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Clinton Global Initiative

2012 has been a year of memorable accomplishments for AAUW’s many fellowships and grants recipients. Last week we highlighted some fellows from our 2012 Following the Fellows series; this week we want to showcase some of our other fellows. Publishing books and articles, giving TED talks, and hosting a national television show are just a few examples of the impressive things AAUW alumnae have done this year.

More than 15 current and former fellows published books this year, in genres as varied and unique as the authors themselves. From Rose Corrigan’s work on violence against women to Jessica Faye Carter’s book on women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and from Emilie Zaslow’s Feminism, Inc. to Erin Winkler’s Learning Race, Learning Place, 2012 was a year of innovation and fascinating research.

Besides writing great books, AAUW fellows have also been publishing articles in magazines, newspapers, and journals. Take Vanessa Perez, who became a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, writing about DREAMers, immigration, and human rights. Or Julia Damianova, whose article “The Coming Mediterranean Energy War” was published in The National Interest, or Michal Gilad Gat, whose criminology articles were published in no fewer than three journals. And the list goes on!

AAUW Fellow Amina Tawasil, "33 Bridges, Standing, Still, on a Fluid of Emotions," featured on the Anthropology News website.

2012 has also been a year of prestigious recognition for the diverse work of AAUW fellows and alumnae. In the fall, Carol Tang was named one of California’s Leading Women in STEM for her after-school education advocacy. Barbara Ann Naddeo won the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History for her book Vico and Naples: The Urban Origins of Modern Social Theory. In October, Kristen Johnson was selected as an honoree at the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute’s Women in Action Awards. Not one but two former fellows won awards for translation from the PEN American Center, an international literary and human rights organization: Suzanne Jill Levine received the Literary Award for Translation, and Margaret Sayers Peden received the Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation. In the art world, current American Fellow Amina Tawasil won an award in the American Anthropological Association’s 111th annual photography contest.

Jessica PabónAnd these weren’t the only AAUW fellows and alumnae who made waves this year. Beginning in February 2012, Melissa Harris-Perry began hosting a show on MSNBC. And did you know that Jane Chen was featured in The Impact 30 section of Forbes for her work on the low-cost Embrace incubator for infants? Or that Chen is part of PBS and AOL’s Makers website and documentary, along with women like Lilly Ledbetter and Gloria Steinem, 2003 AAUW Achievement Award winner? Current AAUW fellow Jessica Pabón gave a powerful TED talk on graffiti artists and feminism in November. And in March, Rachael Rollins assumed the role of president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association. And in the past year, many other fellows and grantees have received leadership awards, honorary degrees, and book awards!

AAUW’s Fellowships and Grants Department wishes everyone a happy and healthy New Year. Following the Fellows will continue into 2013, marking five years of sharing alumnae stories. May the new year be filled with inspiring women, powerful connections, and stories that move us.

This post was written by AAUW Fellowships and Grants Intern Emily McGranachan.

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As 2012 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment to thank our AAUW members and supporters for your extraordinary efforts to advance our shared mission. Your advocacy and donations have helped AAUW influence public policy and implement successful and exciting programming throughout 2012. As educated women and men, you are advocates and catalysts for sustainable social change, and your ongoing support will supercharge our efforts to continue to empower women in the new year.

Thanks to your work and generosity, we can be proud of some impressive achievements. Below are just a select few (read the full list). This year, AAUW

  • Launched the nationwide voter education and turnout campaign It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard through the AAUW Action Fund. This campaign, targeted at millennial women, engaged members and branches in nearly every state and registered tens of thousands of voters.
  • Released Graduating to a Pay Gap, which uses the latest nationally representative data to explore the salary difference between women and men college graduates working full time one year after graduation and examines the effect of the pay gap on the burden of student loan debt
  • Awarded $4.3 million in fellowships and grants for the 2012–13 program year, the largest amount in four years, to support 278 women at various stages in their professional and academic careers, research projects, and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls
  • Awarded more than $100,000 in case support through the Legal Advocacy Fund to help women like Betty Dukes and Kori Cioca improve working conditions for all women employees at Wal-Mart and women in the military
  • Continued to rapidly expand our use of social and new media tools, experiencing 50 percent growth across many of AAUW’s social media channels
  • Reached more than 600 women and girls in India, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and China through in-country projects implemented by AAUW fellowships and grants alumnae
  • Played a large role in drafting and introducing legislation sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) that would undo much of the harm caused by last year’s Wal-Mart v. Dukes Supreme Court ruling
  • Started a member leadership programs department to facilitate a more focused approach to programs for our AAUW member leaders
  • Continued to expand our global commitment to women and girls through participating in the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women and the U.S. National Committee for U.N. Women, sending an international delegation to China, and hosting women visitors from abroad
  • Awarded 15 Legal Advocacy Fund Campus Outreach Grants to AAUW branches across the country, which held programs on local campuses focused on issues such as pay equity, dating violence, Title IX and athletics, and gender discrimination in the workplace
  • Saw the dedicated members of the AAUW Action Fund Capitol Hill Lobby Corps make more than 1,200 congressional office visits on protecting college access and affordability, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, protecting women’s access to contraceptives, preventing bullying and harassment, passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, and eliminating workplace gender discrimination
  • Reached 30 campuses and more than 600 participants with Elect Her–Campus Women Win, the only program in the country that trains college women to run for student government
  • Helped guarantee that insurance companies cover women’s preventive care services, including contraception, pap smears, and mammograms, without co-pay or cost sharing
  • Confirmed fair pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter, leadership strategist Cynthia D’Amour, and former AAUW fellow and MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry as 2013 AAUW convention speakers, with more to come
  • Helped prevent student loan interest rates from doubling this summer so that those with student loans can meet their commitment despite the tough economy
  • Took the lead in efforts to bring the Paycheck Fairness Act to a vote. Although the bill failed to overcome procedural hurdles in both the House and Senate, AAUW was recognized by the White House, House of Representatives, Senate, and the press as the leading authority on the bill.
  • Earned a perfect score on our audit thanks to the hard work of the AAUW Finance Committee and staff. See the annual report for specific numbers and a wonderful programmatic overview.
  • Sent a letter to 10 of the largest public school districts urging them to review and correct their reporting to the U.S. Department of Education of an unlikely zero incidents of sex-based bullying and sexual harassment. Several districts responded.
  • Addressed the issue of sexual harassment in grades 7–12 through seven AAUW Campus Action Project grants
  • Ensured that the AAUW-backed Campus SaVE Act was included in the Senate-passed reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

In the past year, AAUW and our advocates have had an undeniable impact in our nation’s capital, on college campuses, in our branches and communities, and around the world. Please make a contribution now so that AAUW can intensify our crucial work to break through barriers for women and girls in the coming year.

From everyone at AAUW, best wishes for a wonderful start to 2013!

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From the time I was a little girl, my parents instilled in me the value and importance of an education. I always knew that I was meant to go to high school and college. Now that I am in college, I have noticed that many of the younger girls I know are not motivated to do the same. And I asked myself, Why, and what can we do?

Part of my question was answered in November, when I had the privilege of volunteering at the Adelante/Moving Forward with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) conference, which was co-hosted by the AAUW Elgin Area (IL) Branch, League of United Latin American Citizens, Elgin Community College, and Judson University. The conference was intended to support Latina girls in middle and high school while encouraging them to pursue STEM fields as possible future career choices. Many of the activities emphasized STEM and the bond in Latino families. The girls attended with their moms, many of whom did not go to college themselves, and the conference also emphasized helping the mothers understand the importance of the college experience and the impact it can have on their daughters.

Volunteers from Elgin Community CollegeOne of the most touching moments of the conference was the book discussion about The House on Mango Street. Lizette Beltran, a Bartlett High School alumna, talked about the importance of having her mom’s support in school and in overcoming obstacles. This prompted many of the moms to ask how they can help their own daughters and what the volunteers’ own moms have done to help us succeed. To me, this was the most fascinating aspect of the conference!

I have a strong bond with my mom, and her support of my education has been very important. From my own experience, I think that encouraging girls at a younger age, especially ethnic minority students, to go to college is crucial to establishing their motivation to continue their education. Minority college students are more at-risk for obstacles in their educational pursuits and often lack knowledge of college options. But having another woman give you her undivided support can go a long way, especially if that woman is your mom.

By encouraging mothers to learn about their daughters’ educational interests, conferences like these offer mothers a better understanding of what college will entail. This is a win-win situation because girls’ enrollment will likely increase and the mother-daughter bond will be strengthened — just like mine was with my mom.

Although this conference was geared toward STEM pursuits, its format could be used in any field of study by including moms and changing the activities to fit the desired specialty. Not only will the conference expose girls to a field of study that interests them, but it will also drive students to work hard in high school and earn better grades, allowing them to enroll at a higher education institution. Similarly, if a girl feels like she is making the wrong choices, an opportunity like this could still come early enough for her to change her habits and do better in school. Although this was the first time that I encountered this type of conference, I have no doubt that it can make a great impact on young girls. From what I have seen, a little support and the proper guidance can truly impact girls’ lives.

This post was written by National Student Advisory Council member Nanci Alanis.

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Image courtesy of Barbara Romzek“Be flexible; what works today may not work tomorrow.”

Barbara Romzek believes this motto can apply to anyone’s career and life plans. Certainly, it is one that she herself has lived by. When Romzek received an AAUW American Fellowship in 1978, she had already learned the importance of being open to change. Describing her academic career as an “evolutionary process,” Romzek changed her research focus while she was a student during the Cold War. She switched from a comparative study of the challenges that U.S. and Soviet government employees face in balancing personal lives with public sector jobs to an exclusive focus on government employees in the United States. Concerns about accessing reliable data and being able to have open and honest conversations, given the tense political situation, prompted her to concentrate on the United States.

Romzek credits her AAUW fellowship with allowing her to dedicate a year to writing, which she says made for a better dissertation and ultimately a better job. That extra year became pivotal for her career path. After completing her doctorate, Romzek began teaching at the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs and Administration, an opportunity she sees as being directly tied to her research and fellowship.

Becoming an administrator was not something Romzek had planned. After more than a decade of teaching, she reluctantly accepted her department’s chair position. For years, Romzek’s research had been in public administration, so the new job was almost like field work. It did not take long before Romzek discovered that she found the job intellectually and personally rewarding. From there she continued to rise through university administration. Last summer, she left Kansas to move to Washington, D.C., to be the new dean of the School of Public Affairs at American University.

With all her responsibilities as dean and professor, Romzek still finds time to publish academic articles and contribute to books. Until recently, her writing focused on formal accountability in public administration, which has to do with balancing responsiveness and efficiency while doing your best at work and being a well-rounded person overall — no small task for employees. Lately, Romzek has been writing about informal accountability between government contractors who are not required to work together but should. For example, contractors in social services like foster care and mental health agencies do not have to consult each other, but it is in the best interest of a child in their care that they do communicate. After a career of research and work in public administration, Romzek is still intrigued by the subject and continues to write about it.

According to Romzek, everyone should “develop a plan that allows you go get to the life you want, but be flexible with your goals along the way.” Life is all about hard work, perseverance, direction, and flexibility. The combination has been successful for Romzek. She proves that dedication, passion, and a willingness to adapt make for an impressive path.

Romzek’s American Fellowship was sponsored by the Florence Edna Rowe American Fellowship, an endowment created by AAUW of Texas in 1964.

This post was written by AAUW Fellowships and Grants Intern Emily McGranachan.

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Image courtesy of Kristina HalonaKristina Halona was one of those kids who were obsessed with anything that flew. She remembers the exact moment when she looked up at a low-flying jet traveling over the isolated Navajo reservation in Arizona where she grew up. The awesome power of the machine, the stark contrast between its technology and her life without running water or electricity, changed her. From that moment, Halona was always outspoken about her love of engineering. In high school, a combination of talent and supportive teachers helped Halona find opportunities and mentors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

A school counselor told Halona about an intensive multi-year STEM summer camp at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Teachers and counselors also encouraged her to join an after-school STEM club and travel to local universities to meet professors and students. Through these experiences she was able to develop her skills, talk with engineering professionals, and begin to see herself as an aerospace engineer. Even though there are few women — especially Native American women — in the STEM fields, Halona never doubted her path. When Halona first attended the Phillips Academy camp as part of the Massachusetts Science for Minority Students program, she had to work hard to catch up to the students who came from privileged backgrounds. That summer marked her first trip outside of Arizona and her first time on an airplane, but despite being out of her element, Halona held her own and successfully completed all three summers of rigorous courses

With all her hard work and success, Halona is still very aware of what her life could have been like — Native American teen dropout rates are double the national average. Even more seriously, she notes that youth suicide rates on tribal reservations are up to 10 times higher than among the national population.

Halona in action

Halona in action

While at Arizona State University, Halona was elected to be the student representative to the board of directors of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), of which she had been a member and chapter president for years. Through that position she met her mentor John Herrington, the first Native American astronaut to fly in space, who was also on the AISES board. Meeting Herrington and learning from his mentorship was a meaningful opportunity to Halona since there are not many Native Americans in STEM fields. In 2002, Halona was invited to join Herrington’s family to watch his shuttle launch at the Kennedy Space Center. Today Halona is a flight test engineer at Raytheon Company in New Mexico.

Halona received her AAUW Selected Professions Fellowship in 2008 while getting her master’s degree in engineering at George Washington University. When she attended AAUW events, she felt in awe of all the members and her fellow grantees. But Halona says that being among them opened her eyes and inspired her to keep going.

A spark ignited in Halona the day she saw that jet flying over her, and it never went out. Halona has lived by her own advice: “No matter your background or where you come from, never give up.”

Halona’s Selected Professions Fellowship was sponsored by the Leona Buckley Miller American Fellowship, established in 1999, and the Flora Rawls American Fellowship, established in 1981.

This post was written by AAUW Fellowships and Grants Intern Emily McGranachan.

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Research is in the DNA of AAUW. It’s a big piece of what we’ve based our reputation on, and it influences our programming agenda and public policy issues. Research provides a basis for the organization and a passion that unites our members across the country.

With every new report, we make a big splash. There’s usually a blitz of media coverage at first, and then it naturally trails off. But every once in a while, a year or more after publication, interest in the report is renewed. This happened recently for our 2011 report, Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School.

AAUW’s Director of Research Catherine Hill was featured on Teen Kids News in October 2012. This show is a half hour weekly news program reported by kids for kids. The episode with Catherine’s interview aired on at least 73 stations across the country. In addition, according to their website, “Teen Kids News is shown every week during the school year in over 12,000 middle and high schools across the country reaching over 6 million students. This is nearly 25 percent of America’s teens — and hundreds of thousands of educators.”


To help make research matter in your local area, AAUW encourages members to contact their local schools and see if this episode about sexual harassment has been shown to students. If not, the video you saw above can be accessed online and shared with schools. Other resources that can be helpful when discussing Crossing the Line include the full report, executive summary, and PowerPoint presentations for various audiences.

If you’re planning on using Crossing the Line or other research to reach out to your local schools, please let us know in the comments! We always like to hear about the amazing work our members and branches do with AAUW research.

AAUW Research Assistant Katie Benson also contributed to this post.

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Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks. Black Friday is a day for getting deals. Why not designate a day for giving back? That’s the question that inspired Giving Tuesday, a day to launch the season of giving that comes with the holidays.

As an organization rated highly by Charity Navigator, NerdWallet, GreatNonprofits, and others, we know how important philanthropy is. In fact, we see the impact AAUW donors have every day. In honor of Giving Tuesday, we wanted to share a success story that illustrates what kind of work AAUW can do thanks to your generosity — but we couldn’t pick just one! Check out these six inspiring stories that were made possible by AAUW donors.

Want to be a part of Giving Tuesday? Donate today.

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Fellowships and Grants

Writing a dissertation and raising young daughters at the same time wasn’t easy, but the Rev. Dori Baker didn’t want to choose between a career and raising a family. Thanks to a fellowship from AAUW, she didn’t have to. “The fellowship literally paid for my child care while I wrote,” Baker says, and it gave her the time she needed to write.

Now a published author who has advanced in her career, Baker is able to mentor young adults — particularly young women — as they figure out their futures.

Today, on Giving Tuesday, support women like Baker: Donate today!

 

NCCWSL Scholarships    

Evelyn Garcia Morales grew up in a poverty-ridden community with drug and gang problems. She knows leadership opportunities for young people are important — that’s why she works with low-income high school students. Morales found inspiration for her work at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, which she was able to attend thanks to a scholarship from an AAUW branch.

“The energy in the room was so powerful — it woke me up in a way and acted as the slingshot I needed to keep me going in my new career path,” Morales says. “And I now feel so connected to this larger community of support that wants to see me develop holistically and will continue to make sure women are lifted up.”

AAUW supports women leaders from day one. Help us keep this going — support this powerful conference today!

 

Tech Trek Camps

Girls need more opportunities to gain confidence and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Now,  eighth-grade girls in Ohio, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, and Washington will get that chance thanks to a pilot program to bring Tech Trek to sites across the country. This weeklong summer camp shows girls how fun STEM can be.

If we can raise the funds to make the pilot program a success, then we can bring the camps to more states next year and open the doors to well-paid STEM careers.

Want to inspire girls to pursue STEM? Support these exciting camps today!

 

AAUW Research

“[AAUW’s report] blows a hole in the argument that women are paid less because they take time off to have children.”

— ThinkProgress.org

Since 1885, AAUW’s research has debunked all kinds of myths about women. Want to help? Donate today!

 

Campus Action Project Grants

This April, students at the University of Arizona will learn about wage discrimination from these women, who are hosting Mind the Gap Day to empower fellow students to stand for fair pay.

Financial support for Mind the Gap comes from AAUW’s Campus Action Project grants, which fund groups of students and faculty who use AAUW research and recommendations to address issues on a local level.

AAUW puts our research into practice. Help us make a difference today.

 

Pay Equity

When Lilly Ledbetter lost her lawsuit for equal pay, she knew she couldn’t just give up and go home.

“I had to stand up for what was right, but I wasn’t alone,” Ledbetter said. “Thanks to the hard work of AAUW and ordinary Americans who called their legislators to support pay equity legislation, we are on our way to winning the fight to close the wage gap. AAUW is a key leader of these continuing efforts.”

Help AAUW support women like Ledbetter. Donate today!

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