Monday, November 30, 2009

Meet new member Rebecca Peterson

I graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in music (after first attending the University of Minnesota). Moved to Minneapolis. Did some coursework in early childhood development. Continued studying the violin. Taught at MacPhail Center for the Arts. Married Mark Solie. Moved to Fergus Falls in 1991. Taught Early Childhood Music and did other music projects while children were young. In 1994 hired by A Center for the Arts. Executive Director 1994 to present (whew…really that long?). Serve on the board for the Kaddatz Hotel Galleries, ltd. Play violin in the Fargo Moorhead Symphony (is also on their board), the FM Opera (where I'm also personnel manager) and with the Laurie Strom String Trio (where I just get to play music with two REALLY good friends). Serve on the board of Prairie Public Television and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. If it’s not obvious by now – I have a passion for the arts!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our marvelous members: Kershner and Werner receive awards of excellence

Two members recently have been recognized for contributions to their professions.

Marion Kershner received the Discover Award from the University of North Dakota College of Nursing. The award recognizes graduates who have made major contributions to nursing research and scholarship; or has used sound and scientific research findings in practice leading to significant changes in the clinical nursing practice at the unit, service, institutional, regional, or professional levels.

Following completion of her Master’s Degree, Marion designed a groundbreaking research study on issues affecting victims of domestic violence in rural communities. She has been recognized locally and nationally for her research, presentations and publications regarding the prevalence of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in women.

Marion has worked for Otter Tail County Public Health in Fergus Falls, Minn., since 1991 and has led the planning and implementation of Otter Tail County’s program to gather data and education on the dangers of second-hand smoke. She later helped shape the “Borders United for Smoke-Free Air” initiative which ultimately led to legislation banning smoking in public places in the state of Minnesota. Kershner developed and hosts a weekly public health radio show called “Health Matters,” now in its seventh season.

Peg Werner received the President's Award from the Minnesota Library Association. The award recognizes significant and major contributions of members to the work of the Minnesota Library Association. Peg was recognized for her work in assembling a broad group of librarians, county commissioners and state agency staff to review and propose an update to a section of Minnesota Statutes related to public library funding requirements for cities and counties.

Peg is the director of the Viking Library System.

Nov. 30 is AAUW Night at Lundeen's!

Shop at Lundeen's from 6-9 p.m. Monday, November 30 and a portion of the sales proceeds goes to the Fergus Falls AAUW. Invite your friends!

Monday, November 9, 2009

AAUW Tour of Homes on "Find IT in Fergus Falls" Show

What a Wonderful Tour of Homes!

The homes were all beautiful, the biscotti yummy and the weather divine! All together, it made for a wonderful Tour of Homes. A huge amount of thanks goes out to co-chairs Donna Hendel and Karen Lundstrom, the terrific TOH committee, the gracious homeowners, the extremely accommodating Village Cooperative, and the businesses that helped make the homes and reception area so lovely.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

AAUW on KBRF, Friday, Nov. 6!

Members Missy Hermes and Jeanne Jensen will be on KBRF 1250 AM on Friday, Nov. 6 at 10:35 a.m. to talk about the upcoming Tour of Homes and the new AAUW cookbook, "Savoring the Seasons." This dynamic duo has already appeared on Fergus Falls' Peg Access television. How fortunate we are to have such bright, articulate women representing the Fergus Falls AAUW!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's a Wrap Party, Thursday, Nov. 5

We'll be wrapping cookbooks for the Tour of Homes reception at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5, at the home of Sheri Holm, 1116 N Burlington Ave.

Please bring a roll of wrapping paper, ribbon, tape and a pair of scissors. I'll have some of everything on hand, though.

For more information, call Sheri at 651-786-9598, or email her at

Monday, November 2, 2009

Biscotti Baking for the Tour of Homes!

Fergus Falls AAUW members took over the high school FACS kitchen to bake biscotti and make spreads for the reception at the upcoming Holiday Tour of Homes, Nov. 7.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The House Heard You! Take Action!

Thanks to you, AAUW Action Network members who made their voices heard this week, the House just passed the National Women's History Museum Act (H.R. 1700). You spoke out, and your representatives listened! AAUW is extremely excited to celebrate this victory with you.

While a permanent museum to celebrate women's role in history still does not exist in our nation's Capital, we're getting closer. The House passage of this legislation is a critical step towards the allowing the National Women's History Museum to purchase land across from the National Mall for the purpose of building a museum in appreciation of women's many accomplishments and contributions to our nation. AAUW strongly supports H.R. 1700 and is a proud member of the NWHM Coalition, a group of national women's professional and service organizations committed to supporting the NWHM mission.

Thank you again for making your voice heard and moving AAUW's mission forward. We know we can count on your support when this bill moves to the Senate as well.

Lanesboro cultural trip highlights!

Eight adventurous AAUW travelers enjoyed exploring Lanesboro and nearby towns for charm, eating, shopping and theatre-going. Schmidt, McGinn, Lundstrom, Kershner, Sweder, Jacobson, Jacklitch and Jensen recommend: Aroma Pie shoppe in Whalan, Jailhouse Inn in Preston, Commonweal Theatre and Vintage Restaurant and great shops in Lanesboro, as well as historical revelations at the Orphanage in Owatonna.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Author/organizations work at "Remodeling Motherhood"

Four out of five American women become mothers at some point in their lives, whether by choice or circumstance. Women have surpassed 50 percent of all US college graduates and are nearly 50 percent of the US workforce and voting populations, yet so much of our world does not reflect the realities of combining caregiving work and career.

Minnesota chapters of Mothers & More extend a special invitation to all branch members of AAUW-MN to meet author and Minnesota native Kristin Maschka this October as she releases her new book, This is Not How I Thought it Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today.

Choose the Minnesota event nearest to you from the locations (listed on Web site:, or tune in when Kristin is Kerri Miller's guest during the 10 a.m. hour of MPR's Midmorning on Friday, 10/2 (archived online at

Shifts in identity, workplace participation, and financial security - no wonder Motherhood could stand to be remodeled! Kristin Maschka's Web site includes Book Club, meeting, and discussion guides that are ready-made for you to connect with the Moms (and Dads) in your life.

We invite you to share details with friends, colleagues, and family members via email or Facebook, and hope to see you in Rochester, Roseville, Mankato, or Woodbury / Oakdale. RSVP at the EVENTS link on Kristin's website -or- contact the sponsoring Mothers & More chapter via their website:


Friday, September 25, 2009

Tickets Available for 2009 Holiday Tour of Homes

Five Fergus Falls families invite you to share the holidays with them as they welcome you into their homes for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fergus Falls Branch’s Holiday Tour of Homes, Saturday, Nov. 7, from 12-5 p.m. Several local businesses will lend their expertise and/or wares to beautifully decorate each home, including Ben Franklin, Boxelder, Flamingo Glass, the Flower Mill, Herbergers, The Market, Periwinkle Décor, Sisters’ Decorating (There’s Comfort in Coming Home), Target and Wild Rose Floral and Gifts.
Tickets are $15 and are available from AAUW members and from Boxelder, the Flower Mill, The Market, Service Foods and Wild Rose Floral and Gifts. Ticket sales are limited. This is the AAUW Fergus Falls Branch’s main fundraiser. Proceeds go to scholarships for area young women.

The event also includes a reception at the Village Cooperative where guests will have the opportunity to purchase “Savoring the Seasons,” a cookbook of recipes and menus for every holiday and occasion. The cookbook is $15.
For more information, email

See poster of 2009 Fergus Falls AAUW Holiday Tour of Homes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pics from first meeting at Café 116

 A full room enjoyed camaraderie and pasta at Café 116 during the opening meeting of 09-10.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Notes from the AAUW state president

Here's what's happening statewide!
  • Remember to submit nominations for 2010 State Board Officers. You are all leaders and may be interested in taking the next step. You may know of others who would also be interested. Encourage them to apply.
  • Although this isn’t a major election year, there is a lot of news regarding the 2010 Governor’s Race. With women running from both major parties, there is a chance for MN to have a woman governor. Be sure to keep in mind that AAUW cannot endorse partisan candidates nor can candidate forums exclude any of the candidates for a particular office. Contact Char Kahler, State Public Policy VP, if you have questions – or 507-235-9837.
  • The Minnesota Women’s Press is seeking personal stories from individuals to be published in their monthly magazine. Go to their website for details –
  • The Minnesota Women’s Foundation is calling for grant proposals to their Social Change Fund. They are especially interested in awarding grants to outstate groups. There mission is very similar to AAUW’s. Application deadline is Oct. 1. Check their website for more information –
  • Theatre Unbound is presenting “Aphra’s Attic: an Evening of Historical Plays by Early Women Playwrights” Sept. 19 – Oct. 4 at the Lowry Lab Theater in Downtown St. Paul. Find information at
  •  A program developed by Admission Possible titled “College IS Possible” will be aired on tpt (Channel 2) on Sunday, 9/20 at 8:00pm, Monday 9/21 at 2:00am, 8:00am and 2:00pm. You will learn how low-income high school students are gaining the resources, inspiration and confidence to pursue – and succeed in – college. Admission Possible was our partner in the “I’m Going to College” events. This may give you ideas to pursue in your communities.
Learn more about what's happening around the state by visiting the AAUW Minnesota site:

Nominate an outstanding college woman for national student leaders conference

Each year the AAUW hosts the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. This two-and-a-half day conference helps students hone leadership skills for their work on campus and in their communities. Do you know a young woman who would be the perfect candidate to attend the 2010 conference? Nominate her today!

NCCWSL application form.
See highlights from last year's conference.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Volunteer opportunities at A Center for the Arts

Would you like to help with the arts events in our region? We invite you to become involved with A Center for the Arts! There are many opportunities for volunteerism at the Center including selling tickets and concessions, ushering and box office help. Only with the help of our dedicated volunteers can a nonprofit like A Center for the Arts provide a wide range of programming to artists and the community.


  • Complimentary event admission at the time you volunteer.
  • Knowledge that you are supporting Arts in our area.
  • Opportunities to meet new people.
  • Chance to contribute your skills and talents.

Please call LaVonne at 736-5453 for more information

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Meet two of our new members--in their own words!

Bonnie Straight:
I grew up in Fergus Falls, and graduated from high school in 1961. In 1963 I joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to a project in Southern Brazil developing the 4-H program in Brazil. In 1966 Rich and I were married. We have not had children of our own, but have tried to contribute to college programs in our churches and as volunteers for some Inter-Varsity activities. We have lived in various cities in the US and from the mid 1970's I worked with management information systems. After gathering college credits from a variety of schools I finally earned my bachelor's degree in MIS from the School for New Learning at DePaul University in Chicago in 1985. We lived in Lithuania from 1992-1996 and from 2001-2008. The first time in Lithuania I taught English and how ti use a PC (Windows, Word, and Excel). From 1996 through 2004 I worked and studied at Regent University in Virginia Beach. I earned a PhD in Organizational Leadership in 2004. The second time at LCC I chaired the Business Administration Department . In fall 2003 I found that I had Parkinson's Disease. I am very grateful that it has progressed very slowly and is well managed with medicine and exercise. In summer 2008, my husband Rich and I moved to Fergus Falls. We both needed some medical assistance that we were not able to have in Lithuania. I still teach online business courses for LCC as well as for Indiana Wesleyan University.

Robyne Williams:
What can I say about myself in just one short paragraph? Born some years ago on the island of Manhattan, NY; grew up outside Washington, DC in Maryland. Raised three children, have eight grandchildren, all who are beautiful (handsome), intelligent, creative, athletic, and successful. (I spend a lot of time at hockey rinks.) Taught third grade and kindergarten until NDSU hired me to teach textiles and they let me teach Women Studies. I retired after teaching at NDSU for 41 years. (It was time to pass the baton.) I like to play racquetball, sail, ski, dance and read. I belonged to the Fargo AAUW chapter about 20+ years and am now looking forward to meeting more intelligent, persuasive women.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sign up for cultural trip to Lanesboro by Sept. 1

Jeanne Jensen has only heard from a few people about this fall's cultural trip. It looks like it's going to be fun. Not only do you get to see the sites, the trip is a great way to get to know other AAUW members, too. If you are interested, please contact Jeanne Jensen at 739-2407 or, by Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Savor the journey as well as the destination: How about a ROAD TRIP???

Jeanne Jensen sent this info about the annual cultural trip:

When: Saturday/Sunday, October 10/11

Where: Ultimate destination: LANESBORO, including stops along the way. Lanesboro is located southeast of Rochester, the heart of the Historic Bluff Country National Scenic Byway, and is always on lists of places to visit. It is about a 5-hour drive, so on the way, we could make a stop in Cannon Falls and/or Rochester, possibly visit Preston, and other towns such as Whalen, Rushford, etc. as time and interest allows. Our return home could include Mantorville, Owatonna, and other places of interest.
*****I have not visited this area, so if any of you are familiar with some of these places and can offer some suggestions, please call me at 739-2407, or email me. Otherwise we will all explore an adventure together.

What: The area is known for their Bed and Breakfasts, but I would need to check availability based on our numbers and prices. It is also possible that this time of year would require a 2-night minimum for a B&B, such as we encountered in Stillwater. There would be other options to explore.

Lanesboro has a professional theater, Commonweal, and the production scheduled is "The Odd Couple", for which I would plan to get tickets. (They have brought productions to our Center for the Arts in the past.) They also have the Cornucopia Arts Center, featuring 75+ artists., as well as numerous shops to explore.

And of course, eating is always in the plan—perhaps lunch in Cannon Falls, dinner in Lanesboro; there are a couple of interesting-sounding dinner places listed as options.

How: To make room reservations and order play tickets, please let me know, via phone or email, to include you BY SEPTEMBER 1. We will work out the carpooling and other plans closer to the time. I need a firm commitment, not a tentative one; I do not plan to follow-up to confirm plans with anyone, after you tell me to reserve a spot for you. Contact info: 739-2407 or

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Membership event has moved today!

The weather is looking dicey, so the membership event has moved from the Concert in the Park to President Kristi Hastings home at 706 E Mount Faith Ave. Look for the new AAUW banner!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Book study selections chosen for 09-10

The Book study group has come up with a great selection of books for the upcoming year.

Books include:
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Late Homecomer: a Hmong Family Meoior, by Kao Kalia Yang
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury is the selection for the FERGUS READS discussion next year, so add it to your reading list; the discussion/activities are usually held in February.

The first book study is Oct. 29. Check the calendar below for dates. It's usually held at noon at the Mill Street Residence and lasts about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Is anyone interested in starting up an evening book study? Contact Jeanne Jensen at

Friday, July 24, 2009

Talbots Offers AAUW Members a Discount!

During the months of July and August, AAUW members (and friends and family) can walk into any Talbots store and receive a 20 percent discount on nonsale items. Just mention promotional code "AAUW" to receive your in-store discount!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Houses still needed for home tour

The Home Tour planning committee will meet Monday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. All members are invited to attend. See calendar below for details. Homes are still needed. If you know of someone who may be willing to show their home (perhaps it's YOU), please contact Karen Lundstrom ( or Donna Hendel (

Are you Leadership Corps material?

The AAUW is recruiting members to be a part of a new initiative called the Leadership Corps.

The Leadership Corps is a new member involvement opportunity being created to support AAUW's grassroots. It is based in community-organizing principles and tactics and will provide a corps of trained member leaders, serving as grassroots liaisons to help us identify and address current needs, encourage branch leadership development, foster effective multi-way communication, increase sharing of resources and strategies, and assist membership growth.
Any AAUW member with a passion for the mission, a vision for AAUW's future, and a talent for seeing and inspiring leadership in others will want to be a part of the Leadership Corps.

If you are interested in learning more about the Leadership Corps, you can go to the AAUW website, and you are welcome to join me on the phone for a nationwide conference call for AAUW members interested in this new program. The conference call will be held on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 8:00 pm EDT (please adjust for your time zone). To RSVP for the conference call please fill out the form at the following website:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our Web site now comes with a calendar of events!

The calendar is posted at the bottom of this page. Want to post an event date for AAUW members? Email info to

Check out our AAUW RSS feeds!

Now you can get the latest AAUW news, updates and information on our Web site! RSS feeds pull the newest information and post it on our blog automatically! The feeds are located on the lower right of Web site.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bring a guest to Roosevelt Park, July 30!

The Fergus Falls AAUW will have an information tent at the July 30 Concert in the Park at Roosevelt Park. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and a friend who may be interested in joining our branch. We're hoping to really grow our organization this year and this is a fun way to get the word out about us. The Swedish Fiddlers are scheduled to play 5-7 p.m., and the Underwood Lions will be serving up their famous pork chops!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Peg Werner named 2009 Woman of the Year

Peg Werner, director of the Viking Library System and member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) since 1995, has been named the Fergus Falls branch’s 2009 Woman of the Year. The honor is given annually to a member who exemplifies the AAUW’s mission to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research.

An active member of the AAUW, Werner has served two terms as a branch officer. She also opened her home in 2005 for the chapter’s biannual Tour of Homes fundraiser for scholarships for women.

In the community, she has distinguished herself in her role as director of the Viking Library System by pushing for better access to information for the rural communities in west central Minnesota that the library system serves. This has included:

  • Securing the approval for, funding and design for a new Viking Library System building to better serve the region.

  • Lobbying for telecommunications access and infrastructure funding and support for regional and public libraries.

  • Serving as chairperson of the Governance Council of NW-Links, a 74-member regional K-12 and library consortium. The consortium assists northwest Minnesota school districts, public library systems and higher education institutions to realize their telecommunications goals, ensure the telecommunications infrastructure meets the needs of the member and provide leadership in the application of telecommunications technologies.

  • Serving as a library representative on the 26-member statewide Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Taskforce. The purpose of the group is to make recommendations to the Minnesota governor and legislature regarding the creation of a statewide high-speed Internet access goal and a plan of implementation by 2015.

The award includes a $100 donation to the organization of Werner’s choice. She chose Someplace Safe, a shelter and supportive services for victims of domestic violence, with offices throughout the region.

The AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research. Since 1881, AAUW has been one of the nation's leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls.

The Fergus Falls branch meets monthly September through May for learning and camaraderie, and holds an annual book sale and biannual tour of homes to raise funds for scholarships for women. For more information about the Fergus Falls AAUW, email inquiries to