Newsletter Jan-Feb 2017

President’s Message 

Deb Dillon

Deb Dillon, President

I hope you have all had a joyous holiday season and are on your way to a positive new year.

I suspect that many of you, like me, are still feeling the after effects of EED (Extreme Election Distress), regardless of your particular political affiliation (or lack thereof). I also know that sitting around and bemoaning either the process or the result is unlikely to lead to recovery. As individuals, we may not be able to join the President’s cabinet or effect world peace, but we are not powerless, especially if we work together. So I have some suggestions.

  • The first step in moving forward is to be informed, and there are a number of avenues for gathering information on issues supported by AAUW. However, though being informed is invaluable, that in itself is unlikely to lift that cloud from over your head.
  •  In order to feel empowered, you need to take the second step: Act on the information you’ve gathered. At the national level, AAUW’s Action Network sends subscribers urgent e-mail notices to contact their members of Congress about important issues. With the online Two-Minute Activist tool, it takes just minutes to make your voice heard. Spend one minute reading about the latest policy issue, then take one more minute to personalize a message and send it to your member of Congress. You can also use the Two-Minute Activist tool to find detailed information on legislation currently under consideration in Congress, write letters to the editors of your local papers, and even register to vote!  Register for the Two-Minute Activist at this link.
  • You can also sign up for AAUW in the Statehouse E-Bulletin to get updates on state policy from across the country, tips and resources for more effective advocacy, and insider information from the AAUW Public Policy and Government Relations Department about good and bad bills in the states.

Anne Schneider, former ASU professor, publishes an Arizona Legislative Alert by e-mail which offers information about what’s going on in the Arizona legislature and offers ideas about ways to respond. Here is one of her suggestions, from a recent newsletter: “Choose an organization that works for the safety, rights, liberty, and opportunity, for all people especially those who were disrespected in the Presidential campaign:  women, people of color, Muslims, immigrants, disabled persons, GLBT, and those who are being disrespected now for the way they voted.”  Stand for the respect and dignity of all people by joining, donating to, volunteering for an organization of your choice.  She provides a fairly extensive list of possible organizations. 

There is significant concern at both the state and national levels about the future of public education. AAUW Arizona held a dynamic Fall Forum this year with a number of speakers who work directly on education issues in our state. Page 2 of the latest Arizona Sun  lays out information from the Forum as well as resolutions developed following the Forum and websites for organizations promoting education in Arizona.

Our AAUW Prescott Public Policy Committee has been learning about issues in education locally and in Arizona. At their January meeting (January 3, 1:00 p.m., at the Prescott Public Library), the committee will be developing an action plan to support education in our area. Consider joining the committee for this meeting.

The Annual AAUW Legislative Day for Arizona will be held February 21 in Phoenix. Members will travel to the Capitol to be educated on issues and processes in the state legislature. An effort will be made to meet with our area legislators that day as well.

Can you do it all? Probably not. But you can start moving. Select an option (or two) and go for it!

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to All!


January 14, General Meeting  Program

Local Issues of Crisis & the Relationship to National Trends

Jerald MonahanOur January presentation will cover several local and national issues of crisis. The focus will be on violence against women and the current local and national efforts in place. The “Start by Believing” public awareness campaign on sexual assualt will be highlighted. The presentation will also include information on recovery (group and rehab) houses, the connection between victimization and those who turn to drugs or alcohol to cope, and the progress being made in Prescott in addressing citizen concerns.

Jerald Monahan is currently the Chief of Police at Yavapai College. His career in public safety has spanned 38 years. Prior to accepting the position at Yavapai College, he served as the Chief of Police for the City of Prescott. Chief Monahan has held leadership roles on the Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women, End Violence Against Women International, and the Arizona Association of Chief of Police.

Our General Meeting will begin with social time at 9:00 am,  followed by general announcements at 9:30; the featured program begins at 10:00. The meeting will be held at the Yavapai College Community Room in Building 19 on Saturday, January 14th. 

February 11, General Meeting Program

Choice in Arizona Education: District, Charter and Private Schools

Tim Carter, Yavapai County School Superintendent

Tim Carter, Yavapai County School Superintendent

The Choice movement in education has created different rules and funding for district, charter, and private schools. Join us for an interesting and informative presentation on current funding for charter and district public schools, differences in student achievement, the tax credits for public schools and private schools, and the empowerment scholarships.

Our speaker is Tim Carter, who has served as the Yavapai County Schools Superintendent since 2005. He began his teaching career in 1973 and taught at Prescott High School and served as Principal.  Tim’s duties have expanded as he is currently serving as the Vice President on the Arizona State Board of Education; his term expires in January 2018.                                                               

Hostesses Needed:  March 11, 2017, Neighborhood Meetings!

Jeanette PolvaniSubmitted by Jeanette Polvani

Each March, we gather in small groups in the homes of members. This is the time when members are given the opportunity to give suggestions to strengthen our branch and to enjoy each other’s company in smaller settings. We are looking for 8 volunteers who would be willing to host a meeting in their home. There will be a board member present at each meeting to facilitate the discussion, and attendees will be asked to help with refreshments.

There will be a sign-up sheet at the January meeting for hostesses for the following neighborhood groups:

  • Copper Basin-Timber Ridge, East Prescott
  • South Prescott
  • Thumb Butte, Central Prescott
  • W. Iron Springs, Forest Trails
  • Willow Creek, NE Willow Creek
  • Prescott Lakes, The Dells
  • Wm Valley No., Granite Oaks, Southview
  • Prescott Valley

 AAUW Business

AZ Fall Forum focused on Public Education

img_2977aThe AAUW Arizona Fall Forum, held Nov. 5 at Scottsdale Community College, presented a highly informative program on a variety of topics. Nine members from Prescott – Sara DeRouchy, Janet Orr, Molly Divine, Deb Dillon, Edi Taylor-Richards, Claudia Greenwood, Sara Wolters, and Patti Allen-LaFleur and Lynne Murphy (not pictured).  – attended the event.

ASU Professor Anne Schneider kicked off the day, presenting information on tracking education legislation in Arizona. Representative Paul Boyer, Chair of the Arizona House Education Committee, was scheduled to follow Professor Schneider, but he cancelled earlier in the week and did not respond to requests to send a substitute.

Two organizations which advocate for public schools and their students made stirring presentations. Expect More Arizona’s Erin Eccleston shared ten points about the good, the bad, and the opportunities facing public education in Arizona. She was followed by Richard Gilman of Bringing Up Arizona. Gilman stated that public education is a public trust for which all citizens are the guardians. Both speakers encouraged AAUW members to take action and gave suggestions for doing so.

Dr. David Garcia, professor at ASU and recent candidate for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, declared that Arizona needs to move from equality to equity, from exclusion to empowerment, and from efficiency to excellence. Finally, Michael Ellegood of Prescott shared information about the Adopt a Classroom program.

After lunch, members heard brief presentations on women’s and children’s health in Arizona, Proposition 206 (minimum wage increase), and the importance of voting.

AAUW Dues – Income Tax Deduction InformationGet ready to file taxes!

This is just a reminder that a portion of your AAUW dues is tax deductible. If you paid the full amount of $85 for the year, your deduction is $46. For those of you who joined between January 1 and March 15 and paid $42,50 for half the year, the deductible portion of your dues is $23.00. If you are uncertain as to what your status is, please feel free to contact me, Gayle Rumble, by phone or e-mail (see Membership Directory).

AAUW Prescott Business

The Hospitality Committee: Coffee Is Back!coffee-cup


Submitted by Kathy Lopez

The Hospitality Committee would like to thank all the Neighborhood Groups who have brought the delectable refreshments to the General Meetings. This year, the board decided not to offer coffee because of the difficulty of setting up the coffee makers well in advance of the meeting time and the unsupported cost of purchasing coffee.

However, three members have suggested a change in that plan. Susan King, Jo-Ann Johnson and Kathryn Madden have stepped forward and offered to set up regular and decaf coffee and tea for the meetings. Though these women are donating their time, there will still be a cost for supplies, and we will ask for donations to cover that cost.

Thank you to Susan, Jo-Ann and Kathryn for making our Saturday morning meetings more welcoming!

AAUW Prescott is in the News

Daily CourierAn AAUW Prescott monthly program was featured in the The Daily Courier of December 3, 2016 . Read more about it online. 

“The American Association of University Women enjoyed a presentation by Sherry Koopot, docent of the Phoenix Art Museum, at its monthly meeting in November. Koopot, who has worked for the museum since 1986, shared information on “100 Women Who Changed the World.”

BREAKING NEWS! Another article about AAUW Prescott published January 1, 2017 in The Daily Courier features the AAUW Prescott Holiday Brunch at Prescott Lakes Club House. Read more online! 

Photo Policy Modified

We believe photographs of our members and events are a valuable tool both for creating community among our members and for promoting AAUW to potential members, including the community at large. We also recognize, however, that some of our members object to publication of photographs in which they appear. We have therefore modified our photo publication policy as follows:

  • All persons who attend AAUW events may be included in both posed and candid photographs, and those photographs may be published in the Thumb Sketch, website, Facebook, or newspaper articles. Any member who does not want her picture to appear in those publications may complete and return an opt-out form available on the AAUW Prescott website.

College Liaison Position Open

We have an opening on the AAUW Prescott Board for someone who would like to serve as our College Liaison. That person works with representatives from our local colleges to maintain positive communication and develop potential collaboration between the colleges and AAUW. To volunteer or for more information, contact President Deb Dillon.

Holiday Brunch Highlights 

This year’s AAUW Holiday Brunch was held on December 10 at the Club at Prescott Lakes. More than 89 AAUW Prescott members and guests joined in the celebration and in honoring our fellow members.  See more pictures taken at the Holiday Brunch on the AAUW Prescott website. 

Mover and Shaker Award

Anne Barton, our 2016 Mover and Shaker awardee

Anne Barton joined the cadre of AAUW Prescott Movers and Shakers as she was welcomed by last year’s winner, Claudia Greenwood.  In her introduction, Claudia compared Anne to that beloved story of the Little Engine That Could.

When asked to assume the presidency of Prescott’s AAUW there was a long hill to climb for this little engine. We had lots of cars filled with eager new members to pull on a track that needed some repair. She didn’t hesitate accepting the challenge, and said, “I think I can.” And she did.  

Mid-way in her journey the little engine was switched onto a siding and forced to stop en route to her goal to rebuild and refuel.   She accepted that personal challenge with the same “Can do!” attitude, continued to encourage and support those who stepped up to help, and returned, ahead of schedule, to the main track.

Joyful in her renewed strength, she surged ahead, assuming different roles. Not always leading but always encouraging, stoking the fires that have moved the Prescott train forward and upward to the highest peaks in the state of Arizona: tops in membership, tops in mission-based programming, tops in the numbers and variety of interest groups, and tops in ownerships of named grapevines!

With sparkling eyes, a broad smile, and abundant energy, Anne Barton, our 2016 Mover & Shaker continues to make a huge difference to AAUW in Prescott.

A note from the recipient:  “Unlike those celebrities at awards ceremonies, I was totally surprised to be the 2016 Movers and Shakers Recipient. I was listening to Claudia and applying her words to someone whom I had nominated.

So I don’t think I properly thanked you for the honor. It’s an honor that really belongs to all of us who are always to be recognized as Awesomely Accomplished Unique Women. [If we were a private corporation, we’d be at the top of the Fortune 500 list.]

I hope that you all had a relaxed, pleasant holiday season and that 2017 will be interesting, exciting, challenging and FUN for everyone!   Again, many thanks for the honor! “
Anne Barton

Rookie of the Year Award

Introduced as “the Divine Miss M” by last year’s Rookie, Donna Gaddy, Molly Divine accepted the award as 2016 Rookie of the Year. Having previously belonged to other branches of AAUW, Molly joined the Prescott Branch this past year, and within a couple months of joining, she agreed to co-chair the Public Policy Committee.  She also developed and leads a successful new evening book group, as well as being a regular in several other interest groups.

Not only does Molly faithfully attend our general meetings and meetings of her various interest groups, but she has also taken the time to attend state events as well. Her enthusiasm and warm smile have been greatly appreciated.

Outside of AAUW, Molly is still employed in book sales and has been working part-time at Peregrine Books.  Molly and her husband Gary are also active in their congregation and OLLI, and they travel frequently.

50-Year Members Honored by the Star Award

Congratulations to Claudia Greenwood and Doris Piatak who are celebrating 50 years of membership in AAUW!  These two honorees join AAUW Prescott’s  three other Star Awardees: Joy Evans, Vera Stewart and Edi Taylor-Richards. 

Claudia Greenwood

Claudia Greenwood

Claudia graduated with a dual degree in English Composition and Spanish Literature from DePauw University in 1963, and a Master’s in English Lit from the University of Michigan in 1964.   Upon moving to the rural community of Ashtabula, Ohio, in 1965, she was turned down by the local school systems as “over-qualified. ” Undaunted, she joined the local branch of AAUW as a way to meet women in her new community and then applied for a position at the Ashtabula Campus of Kent State at the young age of 24, beginning a 30-year career at Kent State.

As AAUW became active nationally in the quest for passage of the ERA amendment, Claudia recognized the role that she could play in her campus community. In 1973, Claudia began an annual Women‘s Day event that grew to over 150 attendees by its final program in 1989.

During the span of years over which Women’s Days grew, Claudia had returned to college to earn a PhD. She served the campus and university at large in several leadership roles, published multiple journal articles on gender issues in teaching and learning at the college level, and spoke at conferences in the US and Canada. Her greatest satisfaction came in receiving a grant to publish “Go for It!”, the guide for re-entry women students that Prescott’s AAUW currently uses in its mentoring program, and “Reading, Writing, and Reflecting: Dialogue Journaling across Boundaries,” a resource for K-12 Language Arts instructors.

The orientation class for re-entry women that she developed and offered on her campus of Kent State received national recognition at a Freshman Year Experience conference. The mentoring programs that she transported to Prescott, Woman-to-Woman, and Sister-to-Sister, both versions of AAUW national programs, have been recognized by the local and regional Soroptimist organizations.

Claudia’s 50-year relationship with AAUW has been a very productive one! She held offices, including the presidency in Ashtabula, and on the Ohio state board, and she has been a speaker at several state conventions and regional conferences. Claudia has been a member of AAUW Prescott since 2003 and is currently Community Action Chair of AAUW-Arizona and coordinator of the branch mentoring programs.

Doris Piatak

Doris Piatak

When Doris joined the Dekalb County (IL) Branch of AAUW in 1966, she was the wife of a brand new Assistant Professor and the mother of children aged 3, 4, and 5. Within months she was editing the branch newsletter, using a Royal manual typewriter and a mimeograph machine for reproduction, in her tiny basement with six small hands eager to help with the assembling and folding. Doris chaired several committees and served as recording secretary and participated in a book group. 

In 1972 the Branch president-elect moved, and Doris was tapped on short notice to replace her for a two-year term. Doris was teaching English full-time at Kishwaukee College by this time and had recently moved into a 10-room fixer-upper house built in 1904, but husband Dave encouraged her to take on the Branch Presidency, saying that the job would be easier than being Program or Membership Chair.

 When Doris retired to Prescott in 1995, she asked a vivacious woman staffing the Chamber of Commerce booth on the Courthouse Square if there was an AAUW branch in town. She replied, “I’ll pick you up for the AAUW Book Group Meeting on Thursday afternoon.” She did, and Doris immediately had a ready-made circle of bright, curious readers, several of whom are still dear friends 21 years later.

By the way, that vivacious woman mentioned earlier was Annette Schiller, who having been asked to be president in 1997, said she would do it only if she could have a co-president with some computer skills – Doris. The two shared that job, both having been AAUW branch presidents before. During those years they worked closely with the League of Women Voters on candidate forums and celebrated our Branch’s 50th Anniversary at the St. Michael’s Hotel.

For 50 years, membership in AAUW has been a source of pride and joy for Doris. She doesn’t currently attend many functions, but her Book Group has largely become her support group during her husband’s decline into dementia. As she has watched the branch grow from a membership of about 80 to 200+ members, she has also been happy to see the expansion of small groups, from book groups to hiking and crafts and geocaching, for it is in these groups that real friendships evolve. Doris’s wish is for each of us to have one or more groups of women who become our true friends.

Red Envelope Contributions

4-red-envelopeOur annual Red Envelope event supporting AAUW programs at the national level is  a tax deductible contribution. At the AAUW  Prescott Holiday Brunch 49 members contributed $1,880 to AAUW Funds. Any excess of the paid reservations over the expenses will be contributed to AAUW Funds and designated “Tech Savvy – Prescott.”


Public Policy

Contributed by Molly Divine

Our Public Policy group has been learning about issues in education locally and in Arizona. We met at the Prescott Public Library on December 6. There we recapped the information discussed at the AAUW AZ Fall Forum held in Scottsdale in November. Molly distributed a copy of the Action Plan prepared by the state Public Policy Committee. At the January meeting, January 3, 1:00 p.m., at the Prescott Public Library,  the group will be developing an action plan to support education in our area. We would like for this to include working with the Prescott League of Women Voters to stay in contact with our local elected officials. Consider joining the group for this meeting.

Save the Date:  Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Arizona AAUW Legislative Day, Phoenix, AZ

Community Action  

TECH Savvy – March 25, 2017

We need volunteers! Please contact Deb White for more information and to volunteer for this valuable one-day event.  For more details check out the web page. 

Check out the Tech Savvy Poster

Community Action 

Second Woman-to-Woman Mentor Training

Friday January 6 at 10 am – 12, in Room 207 of Yavapai College Building 1 (The Learning Center) 
All those who are interested in participating in the spring semester of of the mentoring program and who have not yet trained, please contact Claudia Greenwood before January 1st. 


Lynne MurphyA Word from the Scholarship Committee

Contributed by Lynne Murphy

Etiquette advice in our youth maintained that one never discusses money, religion, politics, or sex in polite company. Wow, have things changed! In this issue of the Thumb Sketch, I would like to share some thoughts about one of those four–MONEY! 

The Scholarship Committee is charged with raising, awarding, and managing the AAUW Prescott scholarship fund housed with the Yavapai College Foundation. We take this responsibility very seriously; the need to support our local students is great.

AAUW Prescott established two scholarship funds at Yavapai College. One scholarship fund provides tuition funds for female students who have children at the campus Family Enrichment Center (FEC), and our other scholarship supports a female student enrolled at YC in the Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) fields. We have been able to give three $500 FEC scholarships and one STEM scholarship of $500 yearly.

Our Scholarship Committee has created goals and outlined plans for fundraising in a variety of ways. We have set growth goals for our two scholarships: $100,000 in the Mary Alice Moulton Fund (for FEC students) and $50,000 in our Centennial Fund (for STEM students) by the year 2020. The interest and dividends provide the funds that are distributed. Currently, the principle in the Mary Alice Moulton Fund is at $57,598 and the Centennial Fund is at $25,125.

We have developed a plan for achieving our goals:

  1. Educate the membership about the needs of our local students and about how their contributions are applied. Our tour of the FEC last September is an example of these efforts.
  2. Design a variety of fundraising events to meet the interests and personal budgets of our members. To this end, we have held tours of the Yavapai College Wine Center and an Authors’ Luncheon (October 2016), and a Tapas and Flowers Event in the College Sculpture Garden (April 2017.)
  3. Reach out to community civic groups for local scholarship support. We recently received a check for $1000 from our local Kiwanis Club in support of our efforts.
  4. Create community awareness of our scholarship efforts. See the article in October 2016 issue of Prescott Woman.

The students who have been awarded AAUW scholarships in the past have been very grateful for the financial assistance. The Scholarship Committee hopes to increase the number of students receiving scholarships as well as the dollar amounts awarded so students can finish their education in a timely and successful manner.

Please contact any committee member if you have questions about our goals and strategies or if you have a wonderful idea for raising money in support of our local scholarships. 

SAVE THE DATE:  APRIL 21, 2017 at 5 PM                                           TAPAS IN THE YAVAPAI COLLEGE SCULPTURE GARDEN

Interest Groups

Evening Book Group

Contributed by Molly Divine

We are reading and discussing. We had a lovely evening with a quorum of members at Lenore Hemphill’s home on a Tuesday evening. We had a consensus that our experiment of a collaborative book group meeting with each member presenting a brief synopsis of her particular book selection, on the designated theme, was a rousing success.

Our first attempt  had each member bring, and discuss, a book on historical fiction. We had a wide range of topics  presented, and Lenore compiled a list during the meeting. We had an evolving discussion about possible future topics and agreed that there was no shortage of possibilities. January’s topic will be survival. How awesome is that?

Although we have a specific topic for each month, we are encouraging each to read a new book on the subject, and not always rely on previously read books for the discussion. It is OK to reread or bring a strong favorite from the past on occasion. We will try to have a scribe at each meeting to provide a list of the books discussed.

With our base now established, and, as we will be meeting in each others homes, we feel we are now at capacity. We will continue to give occasional updates about our status, and I am happy to keep a ladies in waiting list if you are interested in the possibility of joining us in the future. 

Social Media

AAUW Prescott Area Branch now has a Facebook page. You can like or follow it, click here. 

Don’t forget that AAUW Arizona and AAUW National also have Facebook pages! Keep up with the latest news and issues!