Posts Tagged ‘campus action project’

Members of academic departments tend to stick together like peanut butter and jelly, forks and knives, or in my case, grants and early coffee trips. Students within the same major or minor usually connect during academic events, from poetry readings to trips to the forest to study the local fauna. At the start of my fall semester in 2011, there was only one other student in St. Mary’s College’s women’s studies program who had self-designed a major, which made my academic community quite sparse. Through the support of my women’s studies sidekick, Catherine Cleary, I was fortunate enough to learn about AAUW and hear firsthand about her wonderful experience on the National Student Advisory Council the previous year. Just a few weeks after submitting my application, I was thrilled to be selected as a member of the 2011–12 SAC.

Within the next month, amid my courses and the quickly approaching Thanksgiving break, I flew to Washington, D.C., to meet the nine other SAC members at our orientation. This weekend excursion created such excitement for a subject I already had great passion for. After the events on our packed itinerary — including my favorite stop, the Sewall-Belmont House — I returned to South Bend, Indiana, with even greater excitement for the upcoming year. Through weekly conference calls, writing blog posts for AAUW, and preparing for and participating in the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, I got to know the other SAC members and the women at AAUW who helped us and kept us informed about opportunities throughout the year.

During my term on the SAC, I was given a plethora of opportunities, ideas, and programs to apply to my own campus and community. Teamed up with my academic sidekick, I successfully completed a Campus Action Project, which was based on AAUW´s research report Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School, to draft a letter to the South Bend mayor asking for a declaration of Equal Pay Day and to hold a $tart $mart program on our campus. AAUW gave me a golden year of opportunity that I will forever appreciate. In addition to meeting amazing women like fair pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter and cartoonist Liza Donnelly and presenting our Campus Action Project at NCCWSL, I expanded my interests and strengthened my network of supportive women. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to apply for the SAC — it was the most exciting and enjoyable year I have ever had. One of the best parts is that even though my term on the SAC is over, my connection and time with AAUW truly has just begun.

Applications for the 2012–13 National Student Advisory Council will be available on August 27 and are due September 30. Visit the SAC page to access the application, instructions, and information about qualifications. Students at AAUW college/university partner member institutions receive preference.

This post was written by former National Student Advisory Council member Laura Corrigan.

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This spring break, as our college friends packed suitcases filled with tank tops and swimming suits, we loaded a car with box upon box of notebooks, pens, white easel pads, and lots of snacks and prepared to go back to high school.

For our AAUW Campus Action Project, based on the research report Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School, we created an interactive, hour long writing workshop for ninth-graders called Use Your Voice. Over our spring break, we presented our workshop to 1,400 students in three public high schools in South Bend, Indiana. We also distributed copies of the AAUW report to teachers, administrators, and members of the South Bend Community School Corporation Board.

As we nervously started our first day presenting, we soon began to experience the everyday parts of high school life that we so easily forgot upon entering college. From drug-sniffing dogs to fire drills to bomb threats, we felt that we were living our high school years all over again.

During the workshops, we shared our own stories of harassment and affirmed the stories and feelings of everyone who contributed to our discussions. Almost every student shared how they witnessed sexual harassment every day in high school. Many students shared how they or a friend had experienced it. At one school, the participants shared the story of a student who committed suicide last year after seeing something hurtful that was posted on the Internet.

When a student shared a very personal story, the classes were very supportive and respectful. The openness for response was wonderful and very inspiring for us! All of the students were saddened when they heard what their peers were going through.

We asked students to share how they can try to be advocates for themselves and others. They shared how they can reach out to people they trust within school and how they can let others know that actions or words that make you uncomfortable do not have to be a part of everyday school life.

Our presentation didn’t just help girls who were being harassed, it also helped to liberate boys who didn’t want to be touched in the hallway or made fun of for their actual or perceived sexual orientations. Many of the school administrators we worked with were surprised that we wanted to talk to both girls and boys. But the reality is that talking to a single gender can’t and won’t solve this social problem. Our message this week was simple: Both girls and boys can use their voices to ensure that sexual harassment does not have to be part of their high school experience.

During the week, Use Your Voice transformed from something expressive we wanted students to write about in journals and became a way for students to truly advocate for themselves and their peers.

This post was written by Campus Action Project grantees Cat Cleary and Laura Corrigan from the St. Mary’s College team in Indiana.

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AAUW’s research reports have the greatest impact when people read them and put our recommendations into practice. Our amazing network of AAUW members helps make this happen, and one way we see our recommendations implemented is through our Campus Action Project grant program. Each year, we fund teams of faculty and students so they can launch programs in their communities that focus on the topic of our most recent research report.

After managing this program for three years, I’m extra excited this year because I’m also a co-author of our newest report, Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School, which is the research that will guide the 2011–12 CAP teams. I’m intimately familiar with the report recommendations, and I’m excited to see them brought to life by our seven teams this spring.

The newly selected teams will produce projects that include working with focus groups of students and developing workshops, materials, and documentaries to help educate students and communities about sexual harassment and how to prevent it.

In addition to funding the projects, AAUW will pay for one member of each team to speak at the 2012 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. The conference, hosted by AAUW and NASPA, helps women students connect with each other and with successful role models while honing leadership skills for their work on campus and in their communities.
The AAUW Campus Action Project grant recipients for 2011–12 are

  • Dakota State University, South Dakota
  • Jefferson Community College, New York
  • Millersville University, Pennsylvania
  • Pacific Lutheran University, Washington
  • Saint Mary’s College, Indiana
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Kentucky


You will be able to read project updates on the AAUW website in March 2012.

In the meantime, I encourage you to help bring our Crossing the Line recommendations to light, too. Read through the research report, watch and share our public service announcement, and start a discussion about sexual harassment in schools with educators, parents, and students you know.

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Equity Issues Banner

February 27– March 10

AAUW Recognized by Bestselling Author at National Movie Event Sponsored by CARE

AAUW branches across the United States participated in Half the Sky LIVE, a one-night only movie event presented by CARE on March 4. Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide – the book which inspired the film, publicly recognized AAUW, saying: “We would like to especially thank CARE’s partner organizations, like the American Association of University Women, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the Girl Scouts of the USA, which have rallied their members around the country to take part in this event. They are raising their voices on behalf of the mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and sisters around the world – those who may not have the platform to speak out.” CNN, the Huffington Post, and the St. Augustine Record, which highlighted AAUW branch participation, all covered the event.

Have you purchased your copy of Half the Sky yet? AAUW’s Barnes and Noble partnership provides discounts when you purchase books through the AAUW portal. Visit www.bn.com/aauw. Half the Sky is a New York Times bestseller and Tom Brokaw has said its stories “will pierce your heart and arouse your conscience.”

AAUW at the White House for International Women’s Day

AAUW Dialog (Tuesday, March 9)

President Obama told those gathered in the White House East Room that the story of America’s women, like that of the United States itself, has peaks and valleys, but that ultimately it has been one of progress against hardships that women continue to confront. The president pointed to some of what he called the “statistics of inequality” — women earning 77 percent of what men earn; one in four women becoming victims of domestic violence; women making up more than half of the U.S. population while occupying only 17 percent of the seats in Congress, and constituting less than three percent of Fortune 500 company chief executive officers. Read more on AAUW Dialog.

AAUW “Rocks the Red” for HIV/AIDS Awareness

AAUW Dialog (Wednesday, March 10)

Annually, the United States recognizes March 10 as National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD). This nationwide initiative aims to raise awareness about the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls; and to encourage them to make better lifestyle choices in the face of this epidemic. This year blogs, including AAUW Dialog, are participating in the Rock the Red PumpTM campaign by putting the logo on our blog in solidarity with advocates and women affected by or fighting the disease.

AAUW Analysis Figures Prominently in Forbes Woman Article

Forbes Woman (Tuesday, March 2)

AAUW research figures prominently in a Forbes Woman article on popular college majors. It said that while business has emerged as the No. 1 major for undergraduates, a business degree does not shield women from the gender wage gap. The article continued: “a woman one year out of college and working full time typically earns only 80 percent as much as her male counterparts. Why? According to AAUW’s 2007 ‘Behind the Pay Gap’ report, women with business degrees are twice as likely as men with similar degrees to enter administrative, clerical or support positions earlier in their career.”

AAUW Branch Sponsors Conference to Open Doors to Math and Science Careers

Redlands Daily (Monday, March 8 )

The AAUW Redlands (CA) branch received some great press for holding a conference designed to encourage girls to broaden their interests and consider careers they may never have thought about previously. The article began: “nearly 600 Redlands and Yucaipa students may be more inclined to pursue careers in math and science thanks to a conference held last week at the University of Redlands.”

AAUW Board Member Quoted in Story about Challenges Facing Rural High School Girls

KQCD-TV (Wednesday, March 3)

AAUW board member Connie Hildebrand was quoted in an article about junior and senior high school girls living in rural North Dakota. Research shows that those girls don’t have as strong a sense of opportunity as girls in urban areas. In response, Hildebrand said: “North Dakota cannot afford to waste either the development or the contributions of its talented young women, who support the economic health of their families and this state’s economic future.”

AAUW’s National Women’s History Month Celebration Generates Buzz on Blogs

On the Gender Across Borders blog, Emily Heroy wrote AAUW: “… has great listings for events going on throughout the month” while the WriteSisters.com blog made mention of AAUW’s  activities on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Flickr. “AAUW is promoting a host of activities in cyberspace, tapping pretty much every social media forum to spread the word and raise consciousness.” AAUW’s Women’s History Month kick off blog post was published on BlogHer.

AAUW Funds Record Number of Campus Action Projects

Harvey Mudd College News Service (Monday, March 1)

AAUW is funding a record 12 Campus Action Project (CAP) teams in the 2009–10 academic year. News about Harvey Mudd College receiving an AAUW grant is posted on the school’s website along with a quote from Kate C. Farrar, director of AAUW’s leadership programs. She said: “AAUW is breaking through educational barriers so that all women and girls have a fair chance, and that is exactly what the CAP teams selected this year are doing in their communities. Our teams are increasing the number of young women entering and staying in science and math-related fields by addressing the barriers they face in school, college, and the workplace.”

AAUW Supports Right to Choose

Wausau Daily Herald (Tuesday, March 2)

In a letter to the editor written in response to recent anti-choice actions, AAUW of Wisconsin State President Marian Seagren Hall wrote: “AAUW trusts that every woman has the ability to make her own informed choices regarding her reproductive life within the dictates of her own moral and religious beliefs… AAUW will work to support prevention first, comprehensive sex education, domestic and international family planning programs, and access to reproductive health services.”

AAUW’s Lisa Maatz Contributes to Book that Continues to Receive Praise

Christian Science Monitor (Friday, March 5)

An article about Secrets of Powerful Women, which features a chapter written by AAUW Public Policy Director Lisa Maatz, says: “for all the focus on women, the contributors neither demean men nor debate which gender leads better… The takeaway message to women is confident: Everyone benefits when more women lead.”  In her chapter, Maatz focuses on her early experience with the power of advocacy. Articles about the book have also appeared in People Magazine, on The Women’s Media Center website and on Vivid Living.

In an effort to further boost subscriptions to Action Network and Washington Update, and in honor of Women’s History Month, AAUW’s public policy and government relations department is running a contest during the entire month of March.

  • AAUW Action Network: anyone can sign up, member or non-member. AAUW will draw a name from among the new subscribers in March, and one winner will receive a signed copy of Secrets of Powerful Women. http://capwiz.com/aauw/mlm/signup/
  • AAUW Washington Update: This is a members-only weekly legislative update. AAUW will draw a name from among the new subscribers in March, and one winner will receive a signed copy of Secrets of Powerful Women. http://www.aauw.org/publications/washupdate/index.cfm

Vote now for your favorite images in the AAUW art contest with a link to the contest page. http://www.aauw.org/contests/.  The deadline for voting is March 11.

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Many people underestimate the role that community colleges play in higher education. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, these institutions provide “access to education for many nontraditional students who are adults and working while enrolled” and welcome “more women students (first-generation women, women of color, older women)” than four-year institutions do. In On Campus with Women, Caryn Musil says that community colleges provide a practical education and enhance the potential of both traditional and nontraditional  students “rather than stamping them ‘not qualified.’”

The Shriver Report—A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything argues that our educational system will need to play a more active role as more American women become breadwinners. Postsecondary institutions, including community colleges, will need to ensure that “women pursue and complete degrees that allow them to bring home the same-size paychecks and benefits from the same array of professions as men.”

To address these needs, we must improve access to higher education and services and institutionalize support structures for women who are working toward their degrees while balancing work and family responsibilities. We must also enourage women to pursue careers in the higher‐wage science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professions. AAUW’s 2009–10 Campus Action Projects focus on breaking through barriers for women and girls in these fields.

Massasoit Community College was one of twelve institutions selected to receive funding for a Campus Action Project. Their exciting program, “Beyond Health Care: Moving Women into Nontraditional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Careers,” aims to meet a specific need on their campus. Each spring, the college accepts only 160 students out of nearly 1,000 applicants for the nursing and allied health programs. Many female students who prepare for this career trajectory by taking science and math courses believe they have no career alternatives. The program aims to increase awareness among these students by providing them with information on alternative careers in nontraditional areas.

In the New York Times, David Brooks writes that community college enrollment is increasing “at more than three times the rate of four-year colleges.” Federal spending on four-year colleges has continued to increase while, year after year, community colleges get the short end of the stick. President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative, however, would invest $12 billion in community colleges, with the goal of having 5 million new graduates by 2020. This innovative initiative could help increase access to higher education and extend opportunities for women.

As Caryn Musil says, “Community colleges have constructed spaces where women can succeed and thrive, whether as presidents, senior leaders, faculty, or students. They are reminding us … that what is good for women is typically good for the overall population.”

Community colleges deserve recognition for the wonderful opportunities they give aspiring students across the nation. Most important, they embrace diversity and provide students with a chance for a quality education, instead of none at all.

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Thanks to the generous support of the Mary Ann Ahrens–Iowa Giving Circle, AAUW is funding a record 12 Campus Action Project (CAP) teams in the 2009–10 academic year.

CAP grants provide up to $5,000 in funding for each of the 12 teams CAP teams, which are made up of students and faculty at colleges and universities nationwide. This year’s projects will address some of the barriers faced by girls and women entering and staying in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Although women and girls have made significant progress in these fields, they are still underrepresented in certain areas, and barriers to their full participation remain. AAUW’s upcoming 2010 research report, Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, will highlight recent research on women and girls in these fields in three areas: middle and high school, college and university, and the workplace.

This year’s CAP teams will be planning and carrying out projects to help overcome existing barriers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Projects include

  • recruiting nontraditional students to study engineering,
  • producing a film for high school and college students about women professionals working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields,
  • tiered mentoring between professionals working in these fields and college students and between college students and middle school girls,
  • monthly roundtables and networking opportunities for women students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields,
  • workshops for engineering technology students to learn about networking and preparing for the workplace, including tours of local engineering facilities.

AAUW will also fund one member of each CAP team to attend the 2010 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in June to present on their team’s project. (Early-bird registration for the conference begins February 15.)

Visit the AAUW website to learn more about CAP and to read about the inspiring CAP teams. Be sure to visit the CAP webpage throughout the spring to track each team’s progress and, in June, to read about their project outcomes.

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Do you want to learn how to implement great salary negotiation programs on your campus? If you’re attending the AAUW convention, check out the “Salary Negotiation Skills for Women” workshop. If you cannot attend the workshop, you still can follow the links below to learn more about the different resources available to you.

As Lisa Maatz, AAUW director of public policy and government relations will discuss during the workshop, in the 2007 research report Behind the Pay Gap, AAUW found that just one year out of college, women working full time earn less than their male colleagues earn, even when they work in the same field. Learning to negotiate salary and benefits can help close that gap, especially for young women who are just starting their careers.

The 2007–08 AAUW Campus Action Project (CAP) team from Clarkson University used their grant money to empower women students to learn and use evidence-based negotiation strategies and techniques in professional and work situations and to provide a safe space for women to learn to participate actively in negotiations. During the convention workshop, Mary Graham from Clarkson will talk about this project and how the CAP team identified a group of 10–15 women student leaders who researched, developed, and delivered salary negotiation training to their peers on campus. The project culminated with a negotiations contest in which students who participated in the training sessions were able to use their new skills to compete for prizes. CAP team student members Ashley and Lisa, the winners of the competition, each wrote guest blog posts last year about their experiences.

AAUW and the WAGE Project recently formed a partnership to focus their efforts on ensuring that, before graduation, women have knowledge about negotiating equitable pay. Annie Houle, national director of campus and community initiatives for the WAGE Project, will explain to workshop attendees how AAUW members can bring the $tart $mart Campus Negotiation Workshop to their local campus. If you are interested in becoming involved with $tart $mart, please fill out this form.

Related Salary Negotiation Resources

Recently, through a Legal Advocacy Fund Campus Outreach grant, the AAUW Gresham Area (OR) Branch presented Women Taking the Lead in Salary Negotiation at Mt. Hood Community College. If you are an AAUW member with a campus salary negotiation workshop or program in mind, but you need funding, you can apply for up to $750 from LAF to fund it.

Last year, AAUW formed a partnership with Job Search Intelligence, and you can use their free fair pay compensation tool to help you determine your personalized target salary goal. This information can help you make informed career choices and give you tools to engage in intelligent salary negotiation with a future employer, particularly if you are a woman and/or a person of color.

On a side, but related, note, a few weeks ago a friend recommended I read Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide. I did and now I highly recommend it to you!

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