2017 Annual State Meeting Recap

2017 Annual State Meeting Recap

AAUW-PA 88th Annual Meeting
April 21-23, 2017
York Heritage Hills Golf Resort

Heritage: Diversity is our Strength

The AAUW-PA annual meeting, held at Heritage Hills Golf Resort, York, PA from April 21 – 23, was attended by 84 members, speakers and student affiliates. Twenty-seven of the State’s 40 Branches were represented.  Activities on Friday evening included a “get acquainted” table game at dinner followed by our opening Keynote speaker, Dr. Susan Boland from Lock Haven University, who addressed Implicit Bias, Prejudice and Stereotypes.

Saturday’s schedule was very full.  Randi Blackman Teplitz, Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, explained the role of the Commission and the positive impact it has across the state.  Dr. Mary Armstrong, professor at Lafayette College, gave a compelling address on Women in STEM.  There is much work to be done!  President Dot McLane conducted a Business Meeting followed by AAUW-PA Board leaders meeting with their respective Branch counterparts.

Luncheon speaker, Marianne Bellesorte , our Gateway to Equity Awardee, highlighted the mission of Pathways PA, a non-profit  devoted to ending the cycle of poverty, homelessness and abuse.  Concurrent sessions included Randi Blauth, National AAUW Diversity Committee, who addressed diversity within the Branch and our Public Policy Chairs, Barbara Price and Ann Pehle along with Elizabeth Holden from National, who presented, “It’s All About the Bill.”  The College Student Advisory Council (SAC) under the direction of Dr. Holle Canatella, shared their thoughts on campus issues including diversity, inclusion and intersectional feminism.  The District meetings (East, Central, West) were followed by the Awards Presentation program that recognized outstanding efforts from Branches.  Dinner speaker Kristen Galles, a civil rights attorney and Title IX expert who serves on the advisory committee of the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund, reviewed the statistics 45 years after Title IX legislation became law.  Her data provided reason to “get mad.”

On Sunday morning Dr. Jennifer Parker, Associate Professor at Penn State University, Lehigh Valley, recognized for promoting multiculturalism and sensitivity to students, shared her approaches to addressing diversity.  Elizabeth Holden, National Advocacy Manager, provided an AAUW National Update and advised how to advance our public policy at all levels.  She also installed newly elected officers. Activities designed to benefit the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund included a silent auction where attendees bid on baskets donated by individuals and branches and mailboxes strategically placed for membership donations.

Special thanks to the Program Committee including Sandy M. Homel (Program VP), Rosemary Baker, Patricia Byerly, Susan Donahue, Dot McLane, Linda Robbins , Barbara Zaborowski (Conference Coordinator),  and Connie Schroder.

Annual Meeting Speakers

Plenary Speaker – Dr. Susan Boland
Susan Boland is Professor of Psychology at Lock Haven University. She will be speaking on “Implicit Bias: Prejudice and Stereotypes”. View her presentation here.


Plenary Speaker – Mary A. Armstrong, Ph.D.
Dr. Mary A. Armstrong is a Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies and English as well as the Women’s & Gender Studies Program Chair at Lafayette College. Her areas of interest include Feminist and Queer theory, sexuality studies, links between Women’s Gender Studies and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), gender and environmental justice, and Victorian literature/culture. She will present her research on Women in STEM: A Look through the Gender Studies Lens. Mary is a member of our Easton Branch and comes to us highly recommended by our members who have been in her audience.

Plenary Speaker – Jennifer Parker, Ph.D.
Dr. Jennifer Parker, Associate Professor of Sociology at Penn State University, Lehigh Valley, was recently awarded the prestigious John Romano Faculty/Staff Diversity Recognition Award at University Park for consistently promoting multiculturalism and demonstrating concern and sensitivity to the needs of these students. Her presentation topic is “Approaches to Addressing Diversity”.

Speaker – Randi Blackman Teplitz
Randi Blackman Teplitz serves as Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.  She was appointed by Governor Wolf in October, 2015 along with 25 other women who advise the Governor on policies and legislation that impact women and girls. She is a Professor in the Legal Studies Division at Central Penn College and adjunct at Widener University. Randi will join us for breakfast on Saturday morning and share her insight on the role and impact of the Commission. View her presentation here.

Legal Advocacy Fund (LAF) Speaker – Kristen Galles
Kristen Galles, a Civil Rights attorney who represents students, athletes, coaches and teachers in discrimination and retaliation cases nationwide, serves on the attorney advisory committee of the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund. She is a Title IX expert who has successfully litigated on behalf of AAUW.

State Gateway to Equity Recipient – Marianne Bellesorte, PathWays, PA
Our Saturday luncheon speaker, Marianne Bellesorte, will receive the 2017 AAUW-PA Gateway to Equity Award on behalf of  Pathways PA. This award recognizes a person(s) or organization that advocates on behalf of women and girls. Marianne, Vice President of Advocacy, will share the many ways that Pathways PA has positively impact the lives of others as they help teens, women, and families achieve economic independence and family well-being. View her presentation here.

National AAUW Update – Elizabeth Holden, AAUW Grassroots Advocacy Manager
Elizabeth Holden, AAUW Grassroots Advocacy Manager, will provide an update from AAUW National. She serves as the grassroots advocacy manager at AAUW, where she works with members across the country to advance AAUW’s public policy priorities at all levels of advocacy.

Workshop Sessions

Who’s Not at the Table? Recruitment Ideas for a More Diverse Branch with Randi Blauth, AAUW National Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

Did you know that AAUW National has a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force? Randi is a member, and will share information from the Task Force that will help Branches as they seek a more diverse membership. Is your Branch vibrant with a healthy age diversity? Learn how to sustain Branch interest that will appeal to a 50-year age span.

It’s All about the Bill

Barbara Price and Ann Pehle, AAUW-PA Public Policy Co-Chairs; Elizabeth Holden, AAUW National Grassroots Advocacy Manager, Beryl Kuhr, Chief Counsel to House Democratice Appropriations Committee and member Harrisburg Branch

Many of AAUW’s public policy priorities require legislation to achieve success.  Understanding how laws are created and your role in influencing legislation is the topic of this concurrent session.  We will:  explore the Pennsylvania legislative process—how bills become laws; provide clarity on the constitutional amendment process; discuss current Pennsylvania legislation supporting or opposing our public policy priorities; show how to track legislation as it moves through the process; and finally, tips and techniques of grassroots advocacy—from an expert, Elizabeth Holden, AAUW Grassroots Advocacy Manager. We are pleased Elizabeth is attending our convention and will participate in this session.

State Student Advisory Council Presentation:
Bridging the Gap: Inclusion, Diversity, and Intersectional Feminism on Campus

The members of the 2016-17 AAUW-PA Student Advisory Council, Suzanna Carnevali-Doan, University of Pittsburgh; Danita Scott, University of Pittsburgh; Allison Dushack, Robert Morris University; and Virginia Njenga, Indiana University of Pennsylvania will present this session. Moderator: Holle Canatella, AAUW-PA C/U Liaison and Lock Haven University.