Monday, November 21, 2011

The AAUW gives thanks for a fruitful 2011

The American Association of University Women would like to pause this Thanksgiving to give thanks for the many opportunities and advancements for women and girls during 2011. Although there is no way for us to list all of the advances for women and girls that we have seen this year, here are just a few to reflect upon and give thanks:
We’re thankful for AAUW’s new research report, Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School, the most comprehensive, nationally representative report conducted on sexual harassment in middle and high schools in a decade. The report has been featured in articles in The Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post On Parenting blog, Education Week, Capitol Hill Blue, and thousands of other press outlets.

We’re thankful that the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that three women, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni opposition leader Tawakkul Karman, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their courageous contributions to peace, democracy, and international women’s rights.

We’re thankful that women broke barriers around the world, with women elected to lead Australia, Brazil, and Thailand for the first time.

We’re thankful that for the first time in history, the president’s top legal team is entirely composed of women.

We are thankful for the U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team finishing as runners up in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, providing American sports fans one with one of the most thrilling and memorable sports event – male or female – of the year.

We’re thankful that the Internal Revenue Service ruled that breast pumps may be purchased with money from pretax flexible spending accounts or, for women without such accounts, a tax deduction for the pump.

We’re thankful for a successful Capitol Hill Lobby Day during AAUW’s national convention. Over 600 AAUW members lobbied members of Congress in one day. Their efforts and those of the AAUW Action Fund Capitol Hill Lobby Corps and AAUW Action Network e-advocates (you!) resulted in 50 additional co-sponsors for the Campus SaVE Act (House 38; Senate 12) and 26 more cosponsors for the National Women’s History Museum Act (House 25; Senate 1).

We’re thankful for Marcia Anderson, who was appointed as the Army’s first African-American female two-star general.

We’re thankful that President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, which ensures all children will have healthy food in schools.

We’re thankful for the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which banned lesbian and gay Americans from openly serving in the nation’s armed forces.

We are thankful that the U.S. hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Women and the Economy Summit in San Francisco, where participants adopted the San Francisco Declaration on Women and the Economy.

We are thankful for the creation of AAUW’s Voices Project, which has  allowed the voices of AAUW members throughout the nation to educate the public, spark discussion, and influence the debate through op eds and letters to the editor.

We are thankful for the $23,500 Cy Pres awarded to AAUW to continue our mission to advance equity for women and girls, which resulted from a settlement in the class action lawsuit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation for the thousands of saleswomen who claimed gender discrimination based on pay, promotion, and pregnancy.

We’re thankful that the Department of Justice announced the creation of the Violence Against Women Federal and Tribal Prosecution Task Force in response to the unacceptable rates of violence against women and children in Indian tribal communities.

We’re thankful that Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) was appointed chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is the first woman to hold the distinguished position.  She also happens to be the only woman on the deficit reduction “super committee,” which she co-chairs.

We’re thankful that the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Labor announced a new Human Trafficking Enhanced Enforcement Initiative to streamline the investigations and prosecutions of federal human trafficking offenses.

We’re thankful for the representatives from AAUW who joined more than 250 women from around the world for the 55th U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. The CSW’s theme of access and participation for women and girls’ education and training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics was greatly informed by AAUW’s recent Why So Few? report.

We’re thankful that 85 nations, including the United States, reaffirmed their commitment to ending violence against LGBT individuals.

We’re thankful that AAUW joined coalition partners on stage during the ‘Stand Up for Women’s Health Rally’ on the National Mall. Members of Congress, activists, and cancer survivors spoke to the crowd of thousands about the direct threat funding cuts posed to women’s health programs.

We’re thankful that the U.S. Agency for International Development established a new Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

We’re thankful for Lauren Hodge, Naomi Shah, and Shree Bose, the U.S. girls who won the top awards at Google’s inaugural science fair in all three age groups. They were congratulated by President Obama, who invited them to the Oval Office.

We’re thankful that the Department of Health and Human Services adopted recommendations from the Institute of Medicine that preventive care coverage for women under the new health care law includes birth control without patient copay or deductible.

We’re thankful that on the 17th anniversary of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, Vice President Biden called for renewed efforts to prevent dating violence and sexual assault on teens and college students.

We’re thankful that President Obama told the United Nations General Assembly to make sure that the safety, economic security, and civil rights of women and girls are not overlooked. The President challenged world leaders to include women at every level of society.

We’re thankful that the American Federation of Teachers used statistics from four AAUW research reports to make the case for promoting gender diversity among college and university faculty.

We’re thankful that New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, which went into effect in September, reflects a meaningful effort to reduce bullying in schools.

We’re thankful that new federal regulations went into effect ensuring hospital visitation rights for patients’ partners or spouses prohibit hospitals from denying visitors’ entry based on gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnicity, or disability.

We’re thankful for Kamala Harris, who shattered glass ceilings in California by becoming the state’s first female attorney general, and also the state’s first African American and Indian American attorney general. 

We’re thankful for enthusiastic recognition of Equal Pay Day 2011, including the Paycheck Fairness Act reintroduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD); AAUW’s successful Capitol Hill event New Voices for Pay Equity; publication of AAUW's new guide, The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap; more than 20 AAUW Voices Project op-eds published on fair pay; AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman’s op-ed published in the Huffington Post; and AAUW’s first ever fair pay flash mob on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

We’re thankful for Mississippi voters, who rejected Issue 26, a measure that would have effectively banned all abortions and severely limited access to in-vitro fertilization, birth control, and other medical procedures and care, by more than 58 percent of voters.

We’re thankful for our stalwart allies on Capitol Hill, including Senator Mikulski and Representative DeLauro who are working together to develop legislation that would address the Supreme Court’s problematic decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes.

We’re thankful for the AAUW Action Fund Capitol Hill Lobby Corps, whose persistent and thoughtful volunteer advocacy every year helps educate lawmakers and hold them accountable. This year, Lobby Corps members made over 1,400 visits to Senate and House offices reinforcing AAUW’s message and garnering many cosponsors on key legislation.

We’re thankful for women like Edith Arana, who spoke at AAUW’s national convention about her involvement in the class action sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart.

We’re thankful for AAUW members and supporters who generously give of their time, talent, and treasures to help women advance their educations and develop their leadership skills.

And of course, we’re thankful for you, the AAUW Action Network, for your enthusiastic advocacy to break through educational and economic barriers to ensure that all women have a fair chance. Your thousands of letters and phone calls to members of Congress is a clarion call for the rights of women and girls everywhere.

From all of us at AAUW, best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and a joyful beginning to your holiday season.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our thanks to all who made the Tour of Homes so great!

The Fergus Falls branch of the AAUW wishes to thank all the people who helped make our Tour of Homes fundraiser a success.

We are so thankful for the homeowners who so graciously opened their lovely homes:
  • Dan Fitz
  • Eric and Lisa Farnberg
  • Harriet and Barret Wicklund
  • Kay and Jim Miller
And we were blown away by the lovely decor provided by so many area businesses. Our thanks to:
  • Boxelder
  • The Market on Union Avenue
  • The Flower Mill
  • Wild Rose Floral & Gifts
  • Jaeger Furniture
  • Olson Furniture
  • Floor to Ceiling
  • Flamingo Glass
  • Periwinkle Decor
  • Nancy Walvatne
  • Crates of Yarn
  • Herberger's
  • Target
Special thanks also go to Service Foods for selling tickets and providing gift cards toward groceries for our reception, and to PioneerCare for allowing us to host our reception in their beautiful atrium. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Enjoy these recipes from the Tour of Homes reception

Lemon Bars (From the AAUW "Savoring the Seasons" Cookbook)
2 c. flour                                                              4 eggs
½ tsp. salt                                                            2 c. sugar
1 c. powdered sugar                                       ¼ c. flour
1 c. soft butter                                                  6 T. lemon juice
Mix flour, powdered sugar and salt; cut in butter. Press into greased 9X13-inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350. Beat eggs; add ¼ c. flour, sugar, and lemon juice. Pour over hot crust. Bake an additional 25 minutes. Sift powdered sugar on top.

Missy’s Sinful Snack (from AAUW Savoring the Seasons" Cookbook)
3 c. corn or rice chex                                       20 caramels cut in halves
2 c. small pretzel twists                                   12 oz. white chocolate chips
1 c. peanuts or mixed nuts

Combine cereal, pretzels, nuts, and caramels in a large bowl. Melt the white chocolate chips and pour over the mixture. Stir until coated and then spread it onto wax paper. When cool, break into pieces.

Cider Citrus Sparkle Punch (from AAUW "Savoring the Seasons" Cookbook)
2 qts. (8 c.) apple cider, chilled
6-oz. can lemonade concentrate, thawed
28-oz. bottle ginger ale, chilled
Ice cubes or mold
In large pitcher or punch bowl, combine cider and lemonade concentrates. Add ginger ale and ice; stir to blend. If desired, garnish with apple or lemon slices. 24 (4-oz.) servings.

Creamy Fudge (from AAUW  "Savoring the Seasons" Cookbook)
6 oz. can (3.4 c.) evaporated milk                             8 oz. Hershey bar
10 big marshmallows                                                   1 stick butter
2 c. sugar                                                                        1 c. pecans, coarsely chopped or broken
6 oz. (1c.) semi-sweet chocolate chips                   1 tsp. vanilla
Combine milk, marshmallows, and sugar and bring to boil and stir for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat well until well-mixed and a little stiff. Turn out into a buttered 9-inch square pan. A glass pan makes it easier to cut the fudge into small pieces. The fudge is rich, but oh-so-good!

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars (Adapted from “The Best of Byerly’s” and “Junior League at Home” Cookbooks)
¾ c. butter, melted (1 ½ sticks)
1¼ cups flour
1 ¼ cups rolled oats
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

1 cup flaked coconut

½ cup sliced almonds (or other nuts, such as walnuts)

1 cup raspberry preserves

Grease 9x13 pan. Heat oven to 350. In large bowl, melt butter, and add flour, oats, sugar, soda, slat, and extracts. Mix until crumbly. Add coconut and almonds and stir well.

Reserve 1 cup mixture; press remaining mixture in greased pan. Spread preserves evenly over crust, leaving ½ inch around edges. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.
Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Cool completely; cut into 48 small bars (8 across, 6 down).

Molasses Crinkle Cookies (From Old Betty Crocker Cookbook)
¾ cup soft shortening (use ½ butter, ½ Crisco)
1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg

¼ cup molasses

2 ¼ cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

Mix shortening, sugar, egg, and molasses thoroughly. Blend dry ingredients and mix well with butter mixture. Chill in refrigerator. Heat oven to 375. Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts. Dip tops in sugar. Place, sugared-side up, 3” apart on greased baking sheets. Sprinkle each with 2 or 3 drops of water.
Bake 10-12 minutes at 375. Makes about 4 dozen.

Pinwheel Refrigerator Cookies (From The Star Tribune – Adapted from “The Betty Crocker Cookbook”)
1 ¼ c. unsalted butter (2 ½ sticks), at room temperature

1 ½ c. powdered sugar

1 egg

3 c. flour, plus more for rolling out dough

½ tsp. salt

¼ c. unsweetened baking cocoa powder (not cocoa drink mix)

With an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugar, and egg on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed and add flour and salt, mixing until a dough forms. (You may need to use your hands to shape it into a ball.)
Remove dough from bowl and divide in half; return half to mixing bowl. On low speed, beat in cocoa powder until evenly mixed.

Divide each flavor of dough in half. On a floured surface, roll plain dough into a rectangle about 8-by-10 inches. Shape the edges to make all sides straight. Repeat with the chocolate dough, then place it on top of plain dough and roll up tightly. (You may need to run a knife or metal spatula under the dough to loosen it form the counter.) Repeat with remaining dough.
You can also make a simpler bulls-eye cookie by dividing and rolling the chocolate dough into two cylinders 8 inches long, then dividing and rolling the vanilla dough into two rectangles 8 inches long and about 3 inches wide. Place the chocolate tubes on the vanilla dough and wrap, pressing the seam to seal.
Wrap logs tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, or place in freezer.

To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap log and, with a sharp knife, slice into ¼ inch slices. (If using a frozen log, let sit at room temperature 15 minutes before slicing.) Place slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden around the edges. Gently transfer to wire rack to cool.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tickets on sale for Holiday Tour of Homes

Four families are opening their doors to welcome you for the holidays at the 2011 AAUW Holiday Tour of Homes, Saturday, Nov. 5 from noon to five p.m.  The four homes aer a stately 1920s manor, a 1930s bungalow, a modern family abode and a "tree" house for empty-nesters.

The tour includes a reception at the beautiful new PioneerCare at 1131 Mabelle Ave.

Tickets are on sale for $15 at The Flower Mill, The Market on Union Avenue, Service Foods, Wild Rose Floral and Gifts, and the Lake Region Hospital Gift Shop.  Or you can buy tickets the afternoon of the event at Pioneer Care.

For more information, email

We hope to see you there!

Friday, September 30, 2011

I've seen that design somewhere before....

If you go see Hairspray at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre (great production!), take a close look at the retro wallpaper they use, it's the same design we used for our 50th anniversary! What a fun coincidence!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Save the Date! Holiday Tour of Homes is Nov. 5

Mark your calendar for November 5 for the AAUW Tour of Homes.  We have 4 homes that vary in size and style:
  1. Kay and Jim Miller, 23161 Rus Dic Cir;
  2. Harriet and Barret Wicklund, 2003 Kempton Court;
  3. Dan Fitz, 701 West Summit; 
  4. Eric and Lisa Farnberg, 620 West Summit. 
The reception will be at the new PioneerCare Center at 1131 Mabelle Avenue.  

We will need all members' help on November 5 to serve as hostesses at the homes and to work at the reception.  Remember this is our big fundraiser held every two years that enables us to award scholarships to area women.

Karen Lundstrom and Leslie Flugstad, Co-chairs

Monday, July 25, 2011

2011-2012 AAUW Book Study Selections

Here are the book selections for the upcoming year. Contact Jeanne Jensen with questions or comments, The book studies are all held at noon at the Mill Street Residence.

**Monday, October 31—Classic Fiction—Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
(Has anyone read The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler? And if so, would that be a good companion read?)  **Since that is the same week as the Home Tour, if that would seem to be a conflict, we could pick another date.

Monday January 30—Nonfiction/Historical—Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand—The story of Louie Zamperini, Olympic athlete, airman in WWII, Japanese prisoner-of-war, and inspirational speaker

February/March—Fergus Reads selection, Huckleberry Finn

Thursday, March 29—Fiction/World Cultures--Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See—The story of sister Pearl and May Chin, living a life of privilege in 1937 Shanghai, until their father tells them he is broke and has sold them to American suitors. 
Monday, April 30—Biography—Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life, by Bill Minutaglio and W. Michael Smith
Molly was a wealthy Houston debutante who reinvented herself as one of the most provocative and courageous journalists in American history; a fascinating look at the behind the scenes of national media and politics and a sobering account of the toll of addiction and cancer.

Sign up now for 2011 Fall Cultural Trip!

WHEN: October 7-9, 2011
WHERE: Bayfield, WI

WHY: 50th Annual Bayfield Apple Festival—"A festival of family, food, and fun featuring orchards selling their bounties, apple cider, caramel apples, apple pie, apple tortes, Bayfield’s own famous apple "brats" along with over 60 festival food booths, ongoing stage entertainment, fish boils, dance, rides and games, pie contests, an evening Venetian Boat Parade, a Grand Parade featuring the Wisconsin Mass Band of over 500 band members, orchard visits, vendors, arts and crafts, pie and apple peeling contests, Apple Dumpling Contest and street musicians."

WHO: The first people to contact me with a commitment by September 1st. All of the hotels in the area require a 2-night minimum. I have been told that there are no rooms available in Bayfield, so I have reserved 4 rooms at an Americinn in Ashland, which is about 20 miles away. (At this time, they have 3 additional rooms if I get overwhelming interest.) Originally, I had hoped to stay in Duluth on Friday night, and in the Bayfield area Saturday night, but with the 2-night minimum, that doesn’t work. And since Duluth is 1 ½ hours from Bayfield, I didn’t think we would want to drive back there Saturday night.

One thought is to leave Fergus Falls on Friday in time for an early dinner in Duluth, before driving to Ashland. Or for those of you working, who don’t want to, or can’t get away Friday afternoon, you could consider driving to Duluth Friday night, and meeting us in Bayfield or Ashland Saturday morning, and doubling up in the reserved rooms Saturday night. Each room has 2 queen beds at the AARP rate of $143.99. The hotel has an "activity pool" with water slide, sauna, etc. and extensive continental breakfast.

Bayfield and Ashland are situated in bays on Lake Superior, and the drive to Wisconsin should be beautiful in October.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

AAUW Used Book Sale is July 15-16

Felicia used mental imagery to remember the
Fergus Falls AAUW Used Book Sale, July 15-16, 2011.
The Fergus Falls branch of the AAUW will host its annual used book sale Friday and Saturday, July 15-16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kennedy Secondary School (room 2802). This year the sale will be held in conjunction with the all-school reunion taking place that weekend.

Donations can be dropped off at the school Thursday, July 14, between 5 and 8 p.m. If you would like someone to pick up your books, call Donna at 218-739-2822. No textbooks, please.

All proceeds of the sale go to AAUW scholarships and programming.

Friday, May 27, 2011

AAUW Announces Local Scholarship Winners

The AAUW—Fergus Falls branch awarded four scholarships to area women this spring. Each received a $1,000 award to use at the school of her choice. The women were chosen from 27 applications.

• Becky Boyd attended M-State—Fergus Falls and will begin studies at Minnesota State—Moorhead in the fall. She plans to study social work

• Emma DeMartelaere is a senior at Kennedy Secondary, Fergus Falls, and will be attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis in the fall. Her field of interest is civil engineering.

• Ellen Ferry recently graduated from Underwood School. She is interested in studying psychology, communications and business at a liberal arts college.

• Lizzy Link received the Georgia Dieseth Scholarship, which is given to a woman who has demonstrated an interest in the arts. She is a senior at Kennedy Secondary, Fergus Falls, and plans to attend Olivet University in Bourbonnais, IL. She has an interest in ministry as a pastor, teacher or musician.

“Our four awardees stood out from some very stellar applications. Our branch is pleased to be able to help area women further their education and achieve their career goals,” said Peg Werner, chair of the AAUW—Fergus Falls’ scholarship committee.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Silent auction a big success for scholarship for Laizah

Thank you, AAUW members and guests of our 50th anniversary for helping us raise $509 through the silent auction for Zimbabwean student Laizah. In addition, other contributions--including those made at our April meeting, those sent from people invited to the celebration, plus some donated by guests at the meeting--added to the auction $ give us a grand total of $1,341!!!!
In a recent email from Maryjane, she said Laizah is enrolling in a sewing and dressmaking course, which is $20 per month for the class. She also has lodging and food costs. In addition, she still needs to take English classes in order to pass her English exam, which is needed for success in school and business; there is a cost for both the classes and the exam. There should be enough money in the fund for her to buy supplies to be able to start her business on completion of her course.

We will be sendng the money through "A Light for Zimbabwe," founded by two nurses in New Hampshire. They have done a lot of work with the mission/orphanage/hospital at Mt. Selinda, where the Westras are. Maryjane said that the two women take turns coming over for a month at a time and are able to bring funds with them. Their organization focuses on education and business opportunities, goals in common with ours.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Scenes from our 50th anniversary celebration

Outgoing President Tanya Sundberg and VP of Membership Marion Kershner
modeled pearls, hair pouf and pillbox reminiscent of 1961.
Like many of the attendees, Lisa Brummer and Pam Jacklitch
enjoyed dressing up in an homage to the styles of 1961.

Charter Member Yvonne Condell addressed the celebration guests.

Pemberton Law Firm graciously provided bubbly to help us toast our 50 years!

Customized vases and flowers proved a lovely "parting gift" for attendees.

Kristi Hastings was names 2011 Woman of the Year

Margaret Anderson Kelliher was a charming and enlightening keynote speaker.

A silent auction was held for scholarship funds for Laizeh, a young Zimbabwean woman
who wishes to further her education and help her employment prospects.
View all the great photos on our online photo album.

Kristi Hasting named 2011 Woman of the Year

Kristi Hastings was named the 2011 Woman of the Year by the AAUW--Fergus Falls branch. 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.

Hastings is a lawyer at Pemberton, Sorlie, Rufer & Kershner Law Firm, Fergus Falls, and a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW)—Fergus Falls branch since 2002.

She served as president of the Fergus Falls AAUW branch in 2009. Under her leadership, the branch won the Minnesota AAUW’s “Mission in Motion” Award. This award recognizes branches that work to incorporate the AAUW’s mission in all areas of branch activity.

This past year, Hastings coordinated the branch’s first ever STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career exploration event for 4th and 5th grade girls. Science Girl Saturday was such a success, the Fergus Falls AAUW is planning its next event, Techno Girl Saturday.

This is not the first time Hastings has received public recognition. In 2010, she was named one of the Minnesota Jaycees’ “Outstanding Young Minnesotans” for her demonstrated commitment to public service and to the advancement of women in professional and scientific fields.

She is also the incoming president of the 544 Education Foundation, on the Lake Region Healthcare Advisory Council, and a board member of the Council of School Attorneys.

"Kristi is such a driving force in our branch and she is always bringing fresh ideas to the table. She has been very active in our branch as the president last year and then as the STEM coordinator this year,” said Tanya Sundberg, current president of the Fergus Falls AAUW. “She does all this while maintaining a successful law practice, raising two kids, remodeling her house, and just generally being fabulous."

The Woman of the Year award includes a $100 donation to the organization of the honoree’s choice. Hastings has chosen the Claire Ann Shover Nursery School as the recipient of the donation.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fergus Falls AAUW--50 years strong!

The 1961 charter dinner
of the Fergus Falls AAUW
In 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the U.S.’s 35th president. The Berlin Wall was constructed, the Peace Corps was established and New York Yankee Roger Maris from Fargo, ND, hit his 61st home run of the season, breaking Babe Ruth’s record. In Fergus Falls, a new AMC Rambler cost $1,846. The Fergus Theatre showed such movies as “101 Dalmations” and “West Side Story.” And the Fergus Falls branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) was formed.

The branch’s first president, Lois Fankhanel, presided over 21 charter members. There were no less than 13 standing committees for such topics as the arts, education, international relations, social and economic issues, and the status of women.

Along with the monthly meetings, the Fergus Falls branch held a spring tea for senior girls from Hillcrest, Fergus Falls High School and the junior college, now M-State. In 1963, the first home tour was held, co-sponsored by the Fergus Falls AAUW and Shover Nursery School Mothers. Proceeds of the tour helped finance the educational projects of the two groups.

Fifty years’ later, the biannual Tour of Homes is still one of the Fergus Falls AAUW’s most popular fundraisers, along with the annual book sale. Proceeds help fund the branch’s scholarship and educational programs. This past year the branch hosted its first “Science Girl Saturday,” an event for fourth and fifth grade girls to experience firsthand what STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers are like.

On Monday, May 16, the Fergus Falls AAUW will celebrate its golden anniversary with a member dinner at the Bigwood Event Center, followed by a keynote by Margaret Anderson Kelliher at 7:30 p.m. Her talk, “Women and the Future of Minnesota’s Workforce: STEMming the Tide” is free and open to the public.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Margaret Anderson Kelliher to speak at May 16 celebration

Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Margaret Anderson Kelliher is our keynote speaker at our 50th anniversary celebration, Monday, May 16, at the Bigwood Event Center. Her speech title is: Women and the Future of Minnesota’s Workforce: STEMming the Tide.

There’s no doubt technology will play a major role in future workforce development. Many of the careers our young children will have don’t even exist yet. The Minnesota High Tech Association helps prepare for the jobs of the future by creating the best environment possible for Minnesota technology companies. Educating our future workforce is a big part of the MHTA mission.

MHTA President Margaret Anderson Kelliher will speak about new research that shows Minnesota has the biggest demand in the country for a highly educated, advanced workforce. That’s why we need to encourage our young people—particularly girls—to seriously consider STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher joined the Minnesota High Tech Association as its president and CEO earlier this year after a 12-year career in the Minnesota House of Representatives. As Speaker of the Minnesota House, she was a champion for the education and workforce issues that are central to the mission of MHTA.

She is sure to inform, inspire and entertain us!

Anderson Kelliher's speech is at 7:30 p.m. Her presentation is free of charge and open to the public.

We're celebrating our 50th anniversary!

Members, soon you should be receiving an invitation to our 50th anniversation celebration, Monday, May 16 at the Bigwood Event Center. Margaret Anderson Kelliher will be our keynote speaker. In addition, there will be a "substantial" Hors D'Oeuvres buffet, dessert, a cash bar, live music and a silent auction to benefit Liazah (see post below). If you don't receive your invitation in the next week, let us know at

Please invite guests to share this special evening with!

Meet Liazah

After reading the book Half the Sky for a book study, some AAUW members wondered what they could do to help more women prosper. At the March meeting, Jeanne Jensen introduced us to Liazah from Zimbabwe. Member Maryjane Westra, who is living and working in Zimbabwe, suggested Liazah as a wonderful candidate for scholarship funds. Here's what Maryjane says about Liazah:
Liazah’s lovely smile will tell you all you need to know about her. She is a young woman with potential. She and young women like her are the future of Zimbabwe. She is worth the investment.

Liazah, age 18, is a recent graduate of the Daisy Dube Children’s Home, which means she has aged out of the children’s home care and must, by law, move out. Unlike other young girls her age, she has no family to take her in and no source of support. With unemployment at 90% in the rural areas of Zimbabwe, the best she can hope for without further training is “piece work,” meaning undependendable day labor jobs like carrying water or working in the fields. Sometimes girls find themselves marrying for all the wrong reasons.
Liazah’s impoverished parents sold her into marriage at the age of eight. She went to live with her future husband’s family where she did forced labor and waited for marriage. At the age of 12, the much older promised husband could wait no longer and took her as his wife. Child welfare officials became involved and Liazah came to Daisy Dube Children’s Home in Mt. Selinda Mission. She has been a hard worker and shown responsibility for the younger residents at the home.

She recently graduated from Form 4 “O” levels, roughly the equivalent of high school. But any further training requires two years of “A” level classes. She is a good student, although she was disappointed that she did not pass English. A passing grade in English is vital to future education. Her spoken English is excellent and we intend to help her study to pass the English exam in April.

Liazah has had some ideas about her future. She is sure she does not want to marry until she has completed some training or education. She volunteers for the hospital full time in exchange for some food and a small room. She does not own a cooking pot or a pillow. She recently took some sewing lessons and sewed herself a uniform. Mt. Selinda is her family and she has adopted Don and Maryjane Westra as her mom and dad!

A sponsor for this young lady would allow her to complete her “A” levels. Sponsorship would mean paying school fees ($90 per term, three terms per year for two years), some money for school supplies and a small amount of money for incidentals. In exchange she will write to you about her progress and future dreams. This girl has potential!
To help support Liazah as she finished her "A" levels, please send donations to Leslie Flugstad, 931 First Ave , Fergus Fall, MN 56537. Please indicate what donation is for. We also invite you to bid freely at the silent auction at our May 16 50th anniversary celebration!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nominate your favorite AAUWer for Woman of the Year!

Think of all the extraordinary women who gather together for our AAUW meeting each month. Is there one who particularly stands out for her contributions to AAUW and to the community? Then nominate her for the 2011 Fergus Falls AAUW Woman of the Year. The list of previous years’ honorees is on the back page of the membership booklet.

Download nomination form.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

We're now accepting 2011 scholarship applications

The Fergus Falls branch of the American Association of University Women is pleased to announce that it is once again offering scholarships. There is no age limit for applicants, and women who are graduating from high school, attending or returning to college, in transition or making career changes are all encouraged to apply. Women of all race, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds are urged to submit an application.

The following scholarships will be awarded in 2011:

Three $1,000 scholarships

One $1,000 Georgia Dieseth scholarship for a woman who has demonstrated an interest in the Arts (music, drama, writing, art).

It is important for applicants to realize that the scholarships will be granted on the basis of the “whole person,”not simply performance on standardized tests or grade point averages. General factors that will be taken into consideration are the following: leadership, dedication to lifelong learning, completion of the essay, life experiences, extracurricular activities, and the applicant appraisal forms.

You can download the application and recommendation forms from this website (on the righthand side).

Only one application packet needs to be submitted, even if you are applying under different scholarship categories. If there is not enough space for your responses on the scholarship application form, please attach additional pages. Please be sure to ask two people to complete the applicant appraisal form. These forms should be completed by a high school or college counselor, advisor or mentor, an instructor, or a work supervisor. Please remember that you must have TWO appraisal forms in order for your scholarship application packet to be considered complete.

Completed application packets must be returned to the address at the bottom of the application and be postmarked no later than March 21, 2011. Scholarship winners will be invited to attend the April 18, 2011 branch meeting.

Please contact Peg Werner at 218-739-6004 if you have any questions.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Science Girl Saturday was a sensation!

"I feel like a scientist!"
"I'm so glad my mom signed me up."
These were all heard at the first Science Girl Saturday, Feb. 26, at M-State. Eighteen fourth- and fifth-grade girls from the Fergus Falls area participated in the event to learn what it's like to be a clinical scientist. The event was sponsored by the AAUW--Fergus Falls Branch to promote careers in science, technology, engineering and math. 

Currently, there is a critical shortage in clinical lab scientists and technicians, said Karen Peterson, instructor and clinical education coordinator at the Clinical Laboratory Science Department at the University of North Dakota. Peterson led the "science girls" in lab experiments, along with Christie Huber, director of the Medical Laboratory Technician program at M-State--Fergus Falls. 

"You know what I'd love to see? All of you in clinical science programs in eight years!" Karen told the girls. 

Karen Peterson leads the science girls in an experiment.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Join us for Science Girl Saturday!

The Fergus Falls branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is excited to announce that it will be hosting "SCIENCE GIRL SATURDAY" on February 26, 2011 in at M State--Fergus Falls.  This is a FREE workshop for girls in 4th and 5th grade who are interested in exploring careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
The workshop will be conducted by Karen Peterson, Clinical Laboratory Director at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, and Christie Huber, an instructor at M State. The workshop include hands-on learning through cool experiments! 
AAUW focuses on raising funds for scholarships for women and girls as well as promoting career opportunities for girls in the STEM fields. 
In celebration of our branch's 50th anniversary, we are pleased to offer this free workshop.
Online registration for Science Girl Saturday is now open at
For more information, contact Kristi A. Hastings, Fergus Falls AAUW STEM liaison at