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Posts Tagged ‘Scholarships and Awards’

KatyMiller_For_WebsiteCourageous. Inspirational. Groundbreaking. These are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about Katie Miller, one of our 2013 NCCWSL Women of Distinction. Miller’s story is truly inspiring and gives me the courage to lead no matter what barriers stand in the way.

Ranked eighth in her class of more than 1,000 cadets, Miller was a model student at the U.S. Military Academy. But under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that prohibited gay men and women from serving the country openly and freely, Miller felt she was living untruthfully. She could not keep quiet and had to speak out. The truth came out in 2010, when she announced her resignation from West Point — and her sexuality — on live television.

Reading Miller’s story is eye-opening. Being gay in the military then was a controversial issue and continues to be even after the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”; but Miller saw no other way to live than to be honest. She showed her bravery by looking past the criticism — and, at the time, the apparent end of her promising military career — and coming out.

Following her resignation and announcement, Miller joined the founding board of OutServe, a then-underground network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) service members. She then advocated for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

A recent graduate from Yale University, Miller continues to thrive as an advocate for LGBT service members. Now the policy and government affairs chair for OutServe-SLDN (OutServe merged in 2012 with the Service Members Legal Defense Network), Miller has become the youngest board member of a major LGBT organization. She also recently joined the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress as their special assistant and plans on returning to the military soon.

All that Miller has done inspires me to go against the grain: Speak out, stand up, and make a difference. She has led gallantly and candidly and encourages me to lead with the same vision. Whether your passion lies within the LGBT community or elsewhere, Miller’s leadership can truly motivate anyone to take a stand and make a new way for tomorrow.

I look forward to hearing the words of strength and leadership that Miller will deliver at NCCWSL 2013! Will you be there?

This post was written by AAUW Leadership Programs Intern Nzinga Shury.

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I found that I could say things with colors and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way … things I had no words for.” — Georgia O’Keeffe

It’s that time of year again! The fifth annual AAUW Art Contest is upon us. During this time of year, I look forward to coming into work every morning and immediately looking at the Art Contest gallery page to see what new entries have come in. I’m always impressed by the level of artistic talent displayed by the AAUW members who enter, and I’m amazed at the variety of styles and mediums.

It’s inevitable when looking at this artwork, the majority of which is created by female artists, that I think about the lack of women’s representation in art history and museums. In fact, only 5 percent of the art currently on display in U.S. museums is made by women artists. This statistic was actually the catalyst for the art collection that eventually became the National Museum of Women in the Arts, founded in Washington, D.C., by Wilhelmina Cole Holladay and Wallace Holladay. NMWA is “the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to recognizing women’s creative contributions.”

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Thanks to the strong relationship between AAUW and NMWA we are happy to say that this year, Wilhelmina Holladay and NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling will select a distinction award winner from the six winners of this year’s contest! The six winning entries will be featured on a set of notecards sent to tens of thousands of AAUW members throughout the country this spring. The notecard featuring the museum’s selection will have a special recognition printed on the back. Additionally, a copy of Wilhelmina Holladay and Sterling’s selection will also be hung in the AAUW national headquarters to be admired by staff and visitors for years to come. So please show off your artistic abilities by entering the AAUW Art Contest today!

Entries will be accepted until February 4, 2013. Then, we invite all members to vote on their favorites between February 8 and March 8. For more information, to submit your artwork, and to see this year’s art gallery, please visit the AAUW Art Contest page.

I hope I see your work as I look through the new submissions every morning!

This post was written by AAUW Stewardship Associate Sarah Spencer.

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