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Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Today we release the fourth and final video in our giving season series. Each story featured a woman touched by AAUW — our mission, our programs, and our members. I had the distinct honor of interviewing the three women who shared their stories; it was one of the best projects I’ve worked on here because it was all about these women’s lives and how AAUW touches them.

In our first video, AAUW Senior Researcher Christi Corbett shared what inspires her to work for AAUW: Her mother, a woman who gets every question right on Jeopardy, never had the support she needed to achieve her full potential. Thanks to Christi’s research, we have a better understanding of what today’s moms need to be empowered, whether it’s fair pay or renewed efforts to combat stereotypes.

Our second video features AAUW member Kathy Kelm, who is also the president of the AAUW Action Fund’s Lobby Corps. After working tirelessly on Capitol Hill to stop cuts to Pell Grants and other college affordability programs, Kathy learned that a woman co-worker was leaving her job to go back to school — thanks to a Pell Grant. Moments like these remind Kathy, and indeed the entire AAUW community, that our advocacy matters to the people in our lives.

I interviewed Maureen Evans Arthurs for our third video. Full disclosure: Maureen and I are old friends.

Each time we meet, she tells me of her latest adventures, each one always more impressive than the last. Here is a mother, a wife, and a first-generation college student who is pursuing her dreams at full speed. And of course, she’s just one of the inspiring members of AAUW’s 2012–13 National Student Advisory Council. Many young women get on the fast track thanks to AAUW’s leadership programs, and Maureen is living proof of that.

The giving season series comes full circle with the last video, which features Christi once more. We made this video our final story because it’s about the people who are most important to AAUW — our members. Every day, we are amazed and inspired by the women and men who keep this work going. We cannot thank you enough, but we’re going to try with this final giving season message.

 

Many thanks for all you do.

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The end of a year is always a good time to reflect on the accomplishments and joys of the last 12 months and to look ahead to the new year. I spoke recently with members of the newly installed executive board of the AAUW student organization at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, about their highlights from 2012 and their goals for the new term. The UM-Dearborn organization got its legs in early 2012 after four students attended the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) in May 2011. I was lucky enough to hear from Tina Nelson, president of AAUW UM-Dearborn, and Benita Robinson, membership coordinator of AAUW UM-Dearborn and 2012–13 National Student Advisory Council member, about their 2012 reflections and 2013 goals.

UM-Dearborn students at NCCWSL

Highlights from 2012

  • Starting the AAUW student organization at UM-Dearborn — an idea sparked by NCCWSL 2011
  • Attending NCCWSL 2012 with 34 UM-Dearborn students and 27 students from 13 other Michigan colleges and universities
  • Presenting the Five Easy Steps to Starting an Organization on Campus workshop at NCCWSL 2012
  • Teaching members of the college community about issues of inequality and ways we can work to combat inequality and discrimination
  • Networking with other women and hearing stories of their successes and obstaclesAAUW UM-Dearborn members painted the University rock with AAUW’s logo
  • Painting the university rock during election week with AAUW’s logo and a reminder to vote — a night that made us feel radical and bold

Goals for 2013

  • Engage and excite our members about our organization
  • Return to NCCWSL in May with other members
  • Sustain and further develop the relationships that we have with the AAUW Dearborn (MI) Branch and AAUW of Michigan

I can tell that the AAUW student organization at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, is going to do great things in 2013.

If you are inspired to start an AAUW student organization on your college or university campus, send us an e-mail at coll-univ@aauw.org with “student organization” in the subject line. You can also check out our Program in a Box for more information on forming an AAUW student org.

This post was written by AAUW College/University Relationships Intern Courtney Douglas.

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“In Tucson, we like our glass ceilings broken.”
— Tucson, Arizona, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, as quoted in the Daily Wildcat

The University of Arizona made history last Friday. For the first time since it was established 127 years ago, the university inaugurated a woman president, Ann Weaver Hart. This isn’t the first time that Hart has made history. In 2006, she became the first woman president at Temple University and was one of the first women presidents at the University of New Hampshire before that. It’s no secret that women have been traditionally underrepresented in senior administrator roles in higher education. However, women like Hart are certainly breaking barriers for future women leaders.

Ann Weaver Hart

Ann Weaver Hart (photo: Robert Alcaraz/Arizona Daily Wildcat)

In one of her first actions at Temple, Hart initiated a fund through the Office of International Programs to help students pay for the cost of their first passports. For students who find that studying abroad is too expensive, the Ann and Randy Hart Passport Scholarship helps alleviate their financial worries, at least a little. Hart’s unique vision continued to raise the profile of Temple University during her tenure as she led the way for campus renovations, infrastructure expansions, and a new Office of Sustainability. Her legacy at Temple University seems to be a lasting one, and she has already begun to lay out her vision for U of A.

I am thrilled to see that Hart, an AAUW member, is leading one of our AAUW college/university partner member campuses, and I can’t wait to see her vision in action.

This post was written by AAUW College/University Relationships Manager Christine Hernandez.

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Elect Her–Campus Women Win, a collaboration between AAUW and Running Start, encourages and trains college women to run for student government. Follow the links below to read highlights from this fall’s trainings.

Networking, Planning, Preparing to Run!Louisiana State University

Since many of LSU’s student government officers were in the room during the What’s Your Issue? exercise (where students choose their platforms), the officers were able to start a dialogue about some of the campus issues the attendees brought up and make plans to follow up on the concerns.

Working toward Political Parity, One Student Government Seat at a TimeUniversity of Louisville

Those who attended the Elect Her training clearly embodied the spirit of the program: women who are tuned into critical issues on campus and in their communities stepping up to work for a positive impact.

Elect Her—Howard Women Win attendees strategize how to get the most votes for the campaign simulation exercise.

Elect Her—Howard Women Win attendees strategize how to get the most votes in a campaign simulation exercise.

Working Together to Support Women CandidatesHoward University

Every speaker at this Elect Her training had a unique story, but one point rang true for all three: You need to show up, and often! All three speakers stressed that showing their faces at events and talking to people (especially on election day) was a defining factor in their victories.

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In July 2009, President Obama announced the American Graduation Initiative, a higher education plan that focuses on community colleges. With an increase in federal support, including a recent $500 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, community colleges are playing a key role in higher education dialogue, and enrollment has risen in the last decade. Community colleges provide affordable education that can help students earn an associate degree, transfer to a four-year institution, or gain valuable job skills. But behind this work are leaders —community college presidents.

Merrimack College in North Andover, MA on September 23, 2010.The American Association of Community Colleges recently released a report that found that in 2012, female leaders of community colleges had a higher median base salary than male leaders had. However, when benefits were taken into account, male presidents made slightly more than women. The report also found that about 75 percent of surveyed community college CEOs plan to retire in the next 10 years. With an increase in the number of women community college presidents since 1991, this may be a prime opportunity for women to fill vacancies at the CEO level.

While academia has been the traditional pipeline to college presidency, this burgeoning era of new community college leadership calls for transformational leaders who have a mix of skills, behaviors, and experiences. AAUW has empowered women to lead for more than 130 years. For academic leaders, this advancement has come from opportunities like our fellowships and grants and networking with other AAUW members and supporters. It’s important for women leaders to mentor and champion the next generation of college women administrators. In fact, research shows that it’s critical for women to identify and build relationships with mentors in order for them to become university presidents.

Do you have words of wisdom for aspiring college administrators?

This post was written by AAUW College/University Relationships Manager Christine Hernandez.

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My friends and I have a lot in common, but there is one word that often leads to abrupt disagreements: the f-word. No matter when I say it or to whom, the frequent response is a shudder of the shoulders. Like the other f-word, the sound of the word “feminist” sends chills down others’ spines.

Bethany Imondi spoke about student loans and the pay gap at an AAUW panel in November.

Negative stereotypes of feminists — like bra burning, unshaven underarms, and man hating — perpetuate false assumptions and distract from the true goals of the feminist movement. At its core, feminism simply strives to establish equal opportunities for women, and yet many women today hesitate and feel embarrassed to classify themselves as feminists.

Despite women’s significant gains over the years, including the recent news that a record number of women will serve in the next Congress, other glaring issues of inequity remain. Women may outnumber men in higher education and earn more degrees than ever, but women still earn less than their male peers earn — a significant pay gap exists for women just a year after college graduation. Climbing the corporate ladder remains difficult for women, and positions of leadership continue to be dominated by men.

These dismal facts should be enough to motivate all women to embrace the progressive ideals of feminism. Any person who believes that women deserve equal opportunities is a feminist. Bra burning is not a prerequisite; voting for pro-women’s rights candidates, volunteering at a local women’s shelter, or working to protect women from sexual assault are just a few examples of advocacy on behalf of women’s equality.

Many women my age seem ashamed or embarrassed to identify as feminists when they should be embracing their beliefs. The challenge today lies in convincing women, particularly young women, that there is more to feminism than the backlash of stereotypes that emerged after the activism of the 1960s. In 2012, gender discrimination still exists. It is imperative that today’s generation of women continue the fight their mothers and grandmothers initiated to shatter the glass ceiling. It might not be the sexiest term, but the f-word is one all women should proudly claim, not only to transform the stereotypes but also to promote a more promising future for women of all ages.

This post was written by National Student Advisory Council member Bethany Imondi.

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Last week, AAUW hosted a panel discussion at our national office on our groundbreaking research report Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation. In addition to a live audience, the panel reached viewers at more than 60 watch parties across the nation during the live webcast. These events were hosted by AAUW student organizations, college and university women’s studies departments, groups of students and faculty on AAUW college/university partner member campuses, AAUW branches, and individuals interested in the report. Students at these watch parties also joined the discussion by tweeting questions for panelists using the hash tag #GapAndGown.

George Mason University students watched the live webcast of AAUW’s Graduating to a Pay Gap panel discussion.

The Women and Gender Studies Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, hosted a watch party on campus for 11 attendees, including undergraduate students, graduate students, and members of George Mason’s Feminist Student Organization. Marisa Allison, graduate assistant for the Women and Gender Studies Center and organizer of the watch party, said students were shocked and “appropriately distressed” by the findings of the research report because they now know that “the gender wage gap is something that will affect them as soon as they graduate.” Students at the watch party found the panelists’ suggestions for what students could do (like negotiate salaries) to combat the effects of the wage gap as they move into the job market to be particularly interesting and useful. Other students were happy to have the report as a resource “to turn to when others argue with them about the existence of the wage gap.”

Students at the University of California, Merced’s watch party found the report insightful and eye-opening, as many of them did not know that the pay gap exists. Amanda Lee, a student attendee, said, “Before this event, I believed that when I’m done with my schooling, I would receive a good paying salary from the career I want.” But because of the research, Lee realized that she might be affected by “a pay gap that has nothing to do with my abilities or skill.”

We hope that other campuses and students join George Mason and UC Merced in using

George Mason University’s Women and Gender Studies Center used flyers to promote their watch party.

Graduating to a Pay Gap to spark conversation about fair pay. The report and panel discussion can also be used to encourage women students to take initiative to curb the effects of the pay gap on recent graduates. Here are a few suggestions for ways to get out the information from the report on campus.

  • Host a watch party of the panel discussion webcast, which is available online.
  • Write an op-ed or letter to the editor for your student or local newspaper.
  • Use the research report in class.
  • Start conversations with friends.
  • Use the report for your next book club pick.
  • Share information on Facebook and Twitter.

If you were not able to join us for the live webcast, you can watch the recording online.

This post was written by AAUW College/University Relationships Intern Courtney Douglas.

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When I was a child, my parents always told me that, as a woman, I was supposed to be shy, feminine, and passive. These qualities aren’t necessarily bad, but they aren’t for me. I want to be independent, assertive, and powerful. I was never allowed to do the many things that my brother did. He could play video games, but I couldn’t. He could wear sweatpants in public, but I couldn’t. Additionally, I was told to like the colors red and pink. Going to college gave me a sense of freedom from the restrictive perspectives of my parents. I was finally able to make decisions that would affect my future on my own, which included majoring in computer science. Even if I’m the minority as a woman in the computer science field, learning about technical subjects like programming, data structures, and algorithms has been the greatest experience. I even get to create video games in one of my classes!

With this newfound freedom, I stumbled upon roller derby. I was drawn to it at first because I thought it was such a cool sport. It is the polar opposite of what my parents would consider conventional. I saw women of all ages roller skating, shoulder checking, and hip bumping other women out of their way while wearing skirts and bright leggings! They expressed womanhood and female strength in a new dimension and displayed an innovative sense of self-expression. People encouraged these awesome, modern women and cheered them on. I was in intrigued, so I decided to join them.

I now train with the Charlotte Roller Girls in North Carolina. It is a fun sport, but practice is tough. Many of the new members are skating for the first time in years. Stopping with skates has been my biggest challenge — I have fallen quite a few times during practice. But it’s all worth it in the end. When practice ends, I’m always shocked at how quickly the two hours have passed. Each practice strengthens our communication, and everyone is always supportive of those who need help. The roller derby women are not just a team. We are a family — a family that protects and looks out for our fellow teammates, and no one is ever left behind.

This post was written by National Student Advisory Council member Maybellin Burgos.

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During the first weekend in November, 10 college women leaders traveled from across the country — from as far away as Washington and Oregon and as close as the Washington, D.C., area — to the AAUW national office for the AAUW National Student Advisory Council retreat. These outstanding women with diverse backgrounds and leadership experiences make up this year’s National Student Advisory Council. Throughout their one-year term on the council, the members will advise AAUW about issues facing college women, promote AAUW programs on their campuses, write for AAUW Dialog, and serve as leaders at the annual National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in May.

The 10 SAC members stand in front of the AAUW national office after the first day of their retreat.

The retreat began on Friday afternoon with a half-day information session aimed at introducing the SAC members to AAUW staff and giving the college women a deeper understanding of AAUW’s mission and programs. The students discussed events they have hosted on their campuses and issues they would like to target on their campuses over the next year. They also had a chance to get know each other and the AAUW staff better and to meet two local AAUW members over dinner.

The SAC members volunteered at Walk Now for Autism Speaks on Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning, SAC members volunteered for Walk Now for Autism Speaks on the National Mall, where they helped register walkers, prepare donated refreshments, and cheer on the participants. To keep warm on the chilly morning and to keep spirits high, the students did jumping jacks together, took photos with mascots, and danced to the live band.

Following the walk, SAC members had a busy afternoon visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the U.S. Capitol, and the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum, where they learned about the historic National Woman’s Party, the fight for women’s suffrage, the Equal Rights Amendment campaign, and the political cartoons of Nina Allender. Huong Nguyen, a student from Washington and Jefferson College, said visiting the museum was her favorite event from the retreat. Nguyen said she liked the museum because she “learned a lot, and the museum sparked my curiosity to learn more.”

The retreat wrapped up on Sunday morning with a brief session at the hotel to answer

SAC members pose after their private tour in the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum.

questions and to set the SAC’s leadership goals, which included forming relationships with AAUW local branch members, encouraging women to join AAUW and to attend NCCWSL, becoming more involved with their campuses’ women’s centers, and executing events on campus. SAC members also noted what personal skills they hope to develop or improve, including public speaking, programming implementation, networking, and blogging. The students are looking forward to reuniting at NCCWSL and using their skills to mentor other student leaders.

The retreat left me feeling inspired and encouraged by these fantastic women student leaders. I look forward to getting to know them better throughout the year. If you have SAC members in your area, please reach out and involve them in your local activities. They will tell their stories of student leadership on campus through guest blog posts on AAUW Dialog. We look forward to welcoming them back to the D.C. area for NCCWSL in May.

SAC members hear from Public Policy staff members Kimberly Fountain and Deborah Swerdlow about get-out-the-vote efforts and other ways to engage students on campus.

This post was written by AAUW College/University Relationships Intern Courtney Douglas.

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To most of our AAUW Dialog readers, it’s no secret that women’s representation in American politics is appallingly low. Women make up just 17 percent of the U.S. Congress, 24 percent of state legislators, and 23 percent of state executive officers. The numbers are even lower for women under 40 and for women of color. The United States is ranked 80th in the world for women’s representation in national politics, behind countries like Uganda, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Yowza.

With Election Day looming, these numbers are always in the forefront of my mind as women’s issues are ignored or attacked by political candidates. The truth is, when we don’t have women in the pipeline for political office, we can’t be guaranteed someone at the table will be representing our interests.

It is for that exact reason that AAUW and Running Start teamed up for Elect Her–Campus Women Win, the only national program that encourages and trains college women to run for office in student government and beyond. We are excited to announce the 39 colleges and universities that will be offering these trainings for women on their campuses this spring. Stay informed about Elect Her via Facebook, and send any questions about the program to leadership@aauw.org.

New Sites in 2013

California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, California

California State University, Chico, California

Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York

Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont

North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina

Portland State University, Portland, Oregon

Sierra College, Rocklin, California

University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia

Returning Sites

Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Carolina

Denison University, Granville, Ohio

George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

Georgian Court University, Lakewood, New Jersey

Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Mount San Jacinto College, Menifee, California

Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan

Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington

Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

University of North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina

University of Texas, Arlington, Texas

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

University of the West Indies, Mona; Kingston, Jamaica

University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming

Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia

Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington

Willamette University, Salem, Oregon

Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

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