Welcome to the Southeast Valley, AZ Branch of AAUW!

                                         …as we  Celebrate our 30th Year!

December Branch Program

You Are Invited


December  14, 2019
Cottonwood  Country Club, Saguaro Room

Social:  11:00 – 11:45  (cash bar)
Luncheon & Program: 11:45 – 1:30
Nicole Watson,  Career Development Grant Recipient [see info below]
Entertainment by We Three, a Sun Lakes vocal trio

Three Holiday Baskets will be Raffled to benefit AAUW Funds

RSVP by November 28     Only $25 for Luncheon

2019 AAUW Funds Holiday Luncheon Menu & Registration
2019 AAUW Funds Holiday Luncheon Donation Form

The Holiday Luncheon is our only fundraiser for AAUW Funds . Please be generous as you make your donation among the four funds. Even if you are unable to attend the luncheon, you can STILL donate to AAUW Funds by returning your Red Envelope  or going directly to AAUW National on line.  Donate between now and December 31, and your donation will be matched dollar for dollar!    Make a difference in lives of women and girls!       Thank you!

What AAUW Funds DO

Education and Training Fund

AAUW Funds Announces 
2019-2020 Fellowships and Grants

AAUW is excited to announce 259 awards and $4 million in funding for fellows and grantees in the 2019–20 award year! This exceptional group of recipients will pursue academic work and lead innovative community projects to empower women and girls.

For 130 years, AAUW has been a leading source of funding for graduate women, providing more than $115 million in fellowships and grants to more than 13,000 women and nonprofit organizations in the United States and around the world.

Meet the  three recipients attending college in Arizona.  

Name: Nicole Watson    *  Holiday Luncheon Speaker *                                                                                 

Award: Career Development Grant
Institution: Grand Canyon University
Discipline: Health and medical sciences
Degree and Specialization: M.P.H., Public Health
Nicole Watson, who is of the Navajo tribe, is a community-health nutritionist with the Gila River Indian Community. Her professional experience includes diabetes prevention and nutrition education. She has focused her efforts in helping others live healthy lives through the revitalization of indigenous foods and culture. She received her bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Arizona State University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public health from Grand Canyon University.


Name: Lorrayne Miralha Marins da Silva                                  
Award: International Fellowship
Institution: Arizona State University
Citizenship: BRAZIL
Discipline: Engineering – civil
Degree and Specialization: Ph.D., Hydrosystems Engineering
Lorrayne Miralha’s current research involves filling knowledge gaps related to agricultural drivers of change using geospatial technologies and modeling methods. She is specifically working on identifying environmental and socio-hydrological impacts intertwined to the food-production industry. Her research may inform discussion with government agencies and policy makers so that new solutions can be implemented to promote changes for a sustainable future.


Name: Diana O. Verschoor                                                                                     
Award:  Career Development Grant
Institution: Prescott College
Discipline: Social sciences
Degree and Specialization: M.S., Somatic-Oriented Counseling
Diana O. Verschoor is pursuing a Master of Science in Counseling at Prescott College with an emphasis in Somatic-Oriented Counseling. As an aspiring somatic counselor, she is passionate about supporting women who face grief and trauma. She also works in geoscience, and is passionate about inclusion and equity in higher education. She plans to apply somatic counseling and her experience in geoscience to support climate action and help people cope with environmental loss.    [Read More  about past AZ winners…]

Economic Security Fund 

WORK SMART “Mobilize a Million Challenge”

As reported in an October 24, 2018, The Arizona Republic AAUW press release, women lose $513B a year to gender pay gap.   AAUW’s renowned The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap report finds women are still paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to a man! We can change that with AAUW’s multipronged economy security initiative: by changing laws, encouraging employers to improve workplace cultures and practices, and empowering women to negotiate to their financial futures by making our Work Smart program available nationwide.  Work Smart is now available on line — for free! 

Join AAUW in the Members Mobilize a Million challenge. Working together, our powerful 170,000 members and supporters — each sharing with 20 of their contacts — can help us reach our first phase goal of training 1 million women! By 2022, we aim to train 10 million women through Start Smart [college program] and Work Smart.

Work Smart is effective: Nearly all participants report having more confidence and better negotiating skills. After attending a Work Smart program, nearly half are able to negotiate for a raise, promotion, or higher-paying job.

Take Work Smart Online Now

Please share Work Smart Online on social media.  And send an email to your friends, family and followers to let them know that one hour of online learning can lead to a lifetime of higher earnings!   [Read More About AAUW Funds!]

Leadership Fund

National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL)
University of Maryland in College Park, May 27-30, 2020
Early Bird Applications are now OPEN

AAUW Applications for the National Conference for College Women Student leaders (NCCWSL) are now OPEN. NCCWSL will be held at the University of Maryland in College Park, May 27-30, 2020. This life changing experience will focus on leadership development.

Early Bird Applications are now OPEN to all college and university students and will save $100 off the cost of regular registration. Early Bird Applications close on February 16, 2020.     (Details on AAUW National and AAUW-AZ NCCWSL Scolarships)

Miss one of our great Branch Programs or want more information? Notes are taken during a majority of the programs and posted on the Past Events/Footnotes page.    November program is now posted.   

Once in 100 Year Event
♦Save the Date♦

Celebrate 100: Women’s Right to Vote,”
February 17, 2019       5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Cottonwood Country Club Ballroom
Dinner &  Guest speaker:
Dr. Melanie Sturgeon,  Arizona Women’s History Alliance President 

Don’t Miss This Event!!


Public Policy

The ‘Fight Goes On’: ERA Amendment Once Again on AZ Legislative Agenda

Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment was one of the first bills submitted for the 2020 Arizona State Legislature. Julie Shumway, The Arizona Capitol Times, reported that State Sen. Victoria Steele (D- 9) introduced this year’s attempt to make history by Arizona becoming the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

“The ERA states simply that equal rights may not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex and passed without ratification four decades ago. Nevada and Illinois [became] the 36th and 37th states to ratify it. Supporters expect Virginia, which just elected a Democratic majority in both chambers, to become the 38th state next spring. Against that backdrop, Steele is pushing again for Arizona to join the cause. Even if Arizona won’t go down in history as the 38th state to ratify the ERA, Steele said approving it is important both in case the ERA runs into legal challenges and to preserve Arizona’s historical reputation as a leader in women’s equality. The state gave women the right to vote eight years before the 19th Amendment was ratified, has had more female governors than any other state and has one of the highest shares of women in the Legislature. “

Republican sponsors in both Houses are needed to introduce and advance a bill. Last year despite all the efforts of co-sponsors State Sens. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, Heather Carter, Kate Brophy McGee and Tyler Pace, the bill was killed in committee. State Sen. Eddie Farnsworth refused to allow the ERA bill to be even given a hearing. This has been his stance over a number of years; thus it is important that Senate President Karen Fann assign the 2020 bill to a different committee for a hearing.

AAUW of Arizona as well as the ERA Task Force of AZ will be focused on supporting ERA Ratification. Members are encouraged to contact their representatives and to attend the AAUW-AZ Legislative Day on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at the AZ State Capitol. Contact Public Policy Chair, Jan Peterson, to join the effort.

(Click here for email addresses of  ‘Our 2020 Representatives’ )

Fall Forum 2019

AAUW of Arizona Offers Sustenance for Mind and Body

The 2019 Fall Forum hosted by Northwest Valley Branch was one of the best attended with 115 registrants. Jan Bobbett, Tillie Fortner, Mary Humecke, Margaret Noser and Sara Wolters were among those numbers as they joined other branch members and representatives from numerous organizations. Key speakers filled the day with important reports and announcements.

Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State, recounted all the successful Arizona women over the years and that it continues to be ‘important for women to be at the table where decisions are being made.’ She considers protecting the core of our democracy and celebrating the diversity of our state as two important roles of her position. And, of course, voting security is primary, going into an election year. She reviewed the Mail-In Ballot process and reminded us that we can be notified when our ballot is received and counted. The process is transparent and cameras are available to watch the vote counting. She reminded us that the deadline to vote in the March Presidential Preference Election is February 18, 2020.

“Important for women to be at the table where decisions are being made.”                                   Katie Hobbs, AZ Sec of State

Kendra Davis, AAUW Senior VP, was excited to share the successes of AAUW over the past year and plans for future action.
Proud AAUW Successes:
✦ AAUW led the push for the US Paycheck Fairness Act to be passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
✦ Eleven states have passed fair pay laws.
✦ AAUW partnered with New York City to train 10,000 women in salary negotiations via AAUW’s Work Smart program.
✦ AAUW has successfully completed the first phase of the Coca Cola $500,000 grant, Empowering Economic Equity for Women, to promote salary negotiations utilizing AAUW Work Smart. So far 102,700 women have completed the program. AAUW is excited to reveal that Coca Cola has presented AAUW with a second $500,000 grant for the upcoming year focusing on low-wage women.
✦ The NCCWSL held last May was the 4th largest in its 34-year history.
✦ AAUW reached 14 million people through more than 1200 national media articles which demonstrates AAUW as an established expert in women’s issues and recognition of AAUW’s mission.
✦ A new National website is in progress with hopes of release in early 2020 to increase ease of use and more effective sharing of information.
✦ Engaging new audiences through the creation of the AAUW Equity Network. (More details below)

Current AAUW Programs and Goals:
✦Pay equity by 2030 continues to be a major goal for AAUW. The pay gap accumulates over years impacting even women’s Social Security income. Although 57% of college graduates are now women, they face much larger student debt than men. As Work Smart now has a free On-Line version, branches are encouraged to coordinate with their local libraries to utilize and promote AAUW in their communities.
✦The Equity Network is a pilot designed to appeal to younger women who are not joiners; thus no dues but donations are welcomed. The Network will provide access to a community of experts and allies; promote equity action discussion; and professional skills’ development.
✦A new survey of seniors on sexual harassment in later years is also in the works.

“Pay Equity will continue to be an AAUW priority until the gap is fully eliminated.”           –  The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap, Fall 2018 Edition  

AAUW is one of the largest and oldest women’s organizations in U.S. and we will have our fellowships and grants for years to come, however to be able to be effective in today’s fast-moving world it is critical to have funds available without restrictions. Because Greatest Needs funding is unrestricted, it gives AAUW the most flexibility to address the challenges today’s women face and seek new programs and opportunities. Supporters are encouraged to select AAUW Greatest Needs Fund when making their donations.

Chyna Rendon, a 2019 recipient of a NCCWSL scholarship, shared her experiences at the Conference in Maryland and its impact on her leadership skills. She is a recent grad from Estrella Mountain Community College and is currently enrolled at ASU in Veterinary Science.

Higher Education in Arizona Panel:
Harriet Young, AAUW-AZ Public Policy Chair acted as Moderator. She reviewed changes in higher education from tightly structured classical studies to already degreed students with more diverse faculty, curriculum, and student body.

Dolores Duran-Cerda, Ph.D, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor, Pima Community College, emphasized a discussion of equity within a wholelistic approach. Can never take away your education thus access to good education and resources is essential. Average age is 28 years.   Pima Community College is focused on developing workplace partnerships with corporations. First community college in U.S. to offer courses in cyber security. Development of pathways to result in graduation in 2 years and change in required yearly credits to reasonable numbers are necessary.

Dr. Joanne Vogel, Deputy Vice President and Dean of Students, ASU , spoke of public trust- rebuilding with programs; money- cost and funding model; completion- solving education debt crisis. New Service University moves from research model to accessible education while maintaining costs. More entering education which will benefit the community. Relationships with Starbucks where students can earn admission through on-line courses is an example.

Dr. Marilynn Henley, Provost at Acacia University, On-line Graduate School for Educators, emphasized funding issues as key. Retirees are still paying for education. Teacher shortage is related to low pay and lack of respect for teachers. Acacia focus is on pre-12 education, teacher-training, mentoring to serve new incoming teachers. Have partnerships with Rio Solado College so students can transfer credit.

Linda Alepin, AAUW Tucson President, reviewed the AAUW-AZ Strategic Plan introduced at the Spring Conference last April She reminded us that we are stronger together and partnerships are important.

Kudos to the AAUW-AZ Program Committee for interesting and timely speakers; to the AAUW Northwest Valley Branch for a well-organized event and a fabulous, tasty plated lunch.   [Photo of attending Branch members on ‘Members Only: Photos’ section.]


IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES...      Mark your Calendars

Dec 14  Annual AAUW Funds Holiday Luncheon,  Cottonwood Saguaro Room 
Speaker:   Nicole Watson,  2019-2020 Career Development Grant
Contact Beth Zdeblick for your ‘RED ENVELOPE’ & DONATION FORM

Jan 10  AAUW-AZ Board Meeting using Zoom
Jan 15  Articles due for Prickly Pear Postings
Feb 4
   AAUW-AZ  Legislative Day @ Arizona State Capitol    Details to follow.
Feb 16 NCCWSL Early Bird Applications End Early Bird 
Feb 17  Celebrate 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote featuring  Dr. Melanie Sturgeon, former Director of the State Archives, telling the fascinating story of our very own Arizona trailblazers led by Frances W Munds before the 19th Amendment.      Cottonwood Country Club Ballroom   
Mar 15 Articles due for Prickly Pear Postings
April 3   AAUW-AZ Spring Board Meeting TBD  
April 4   AAUW-AZ Spring Event   TBD
Jun 19-21 Rocky Mt. Regional Conference in Ft. Collins, CO  TBD 


   KEEP IN TOUCH WITH AAUW. THIS WEBSITE WILL BE UPDATED THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.  Your suggestions for other features and uses for this website are welcome. You can contact me using the “Contact Us” feature in the right column.