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Welcome to the Dearborn, MI Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW)!

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Founded in 1881, AAUW is open to graduates with an associate or higher degree from an accredited college or university, as well as students currently enrolled in college.  Dues support the operations of the Dearborn-Michigan branch, founded in 1933, as well as the state and national organizations.

AAUW-Dearborn in Jeopardy!


Jeopardy! the American-television, game- show gained a new reincarnation last night at our general-membership meeting. Donna Palm, program v.p., designed a quiz competition in which contestants, Barb Brandenburg, Doris Matthews and Lee Savage were presented with clues about women in history. Donna’s game became a perfect complement to Women’s History Month. Afterwards she said that she had really enjoyed building the quiz show on her computer and learned a lot putting it together.

Sarah Lebrell was timekeeper. Joan Arrick, our resident thespian, did dramatic readings of quotations from the various historical figures recalled. A few members chimed in to do musical interludes. There were no buzzers; so diminutive, crayola-colored, plastic bats served to deliver competitors’ ready-sounds as they hovered above a table ready to whack their bats with authoritative speed.

About the game itself, Donna concluded, “What made it successful in my mind was the willingness of everyone to play, whether singing the Jeopardy song, swinging the silly bats or guessing the answers.  Joan was perfect as a dramatic reader. It is a great group to do things with.”

As she left the building, winner Barbara Brandenburg was glowing with pride about her age having enhanced her knowledge base.

Although there were a few inaccurate computer links, happily, the technical glitches served to put everyone at ease. When a high-caliber engineer like Donna Palm is challenged, everyone is free to relax about their recall being challenged!

Once again the branch thanks Donna Palm for her creative, problem-solving skills and again pulling off a clever and enjoyable program.

Photo credit: Judy Monroe captured Lee Savage wielding her hot-pink, plastic, whack-bat.








AAUW-MI has a new Student Advisory Council


The Student Advisory Council (SAC)  is a coalition of college women studd51e82bc-161d-4c09-bfd7-aa1f4ba6254aent leaders in Michigan. The coalition will advise AAUW-Michigan on strategies to engage young people, propose programs, write for the AAUW newsletter and blog, develop student workshops and introduce speakers at the AAUW-MI Fall Leadership Conference as well as the  Annual State Meeting & Convention.

Serving on SAC will provide college women with opportunities to represent students, develop  leadership skills, network, and gain experiences ideal for resumes. SAC members will have their own mentors and learn how to mentor others. They will learn via individual and team projects about gender issues and network with state and community leaders at the AAUW MI Fall Leadership Conference and the AAUW MI Annual Meeting & Convention.

Applications for SAC are now open and will close May 1, 2015. Up to 10 students will be selected each year. Members will serve one-year terms beginning July 1, 2015, and ending June 30, 2016. Students will participate in monthly electronic meetings and attend the Fall Leadership Conference at the Sheraton/Detroit in Novi on 10/31/2015 and the 2016, Annual Meeting & Convention at the Somerset Inn in Troy on 4/28/2016. AAUW-Michigan will cover SAC members’ registration fees.

Application and instructions can be found on the AAUW-MI website: http://aauwmi.org/state-student-advisory-council/

Students must complete the application form,  include a brief resume, a recommendation letter from a staff or faculty member at their college/university or a member of their local AAUW branch, and a maximum-600-word essay that provides their reasons for applying including the skills and qualities that make them an excellent candidate, a time they exhibited leadership, the gender issue(s) that they are passionate about and what they hope to gain from serving on the SAC.

If you have questions, contact AAUW-MI College/University Director, Lee Savage, at <sac@aauwmi.org> . Lee Savage, pictured above, is Program Liaison for the Women’s Resource Center and Office of International Affairs at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus.

Right Stuff–Wrong Gender

GetImage.ashx                                        (Bernice Steadman stands at the far right in the photograph.)

Bernice Steadman had “the right stuff”; but due to gender, she was denied a chance to be an astronaut. Steadman, a professional pilot, was one of 13 female finalists to be possible astronauts under a NASA program in the 1960s.  The title of her autobiography — “Tethered Mercury: A Pilot’s Memoir: The Right Stuff — But the Wrong Sex” says it all.

As one of only 13 female pilots who passed NASA’s Mercury Program, she and the other dozen women demonstrated that women had what it takes physically and emotionally. The Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame states: “Even though these 13 remarkable women were not allowed to complete their space mission, they proved to the country that women were equally as qualified as their male counterparts.”


Born Bernice Trimble in Rudyard, Michigan, in 1925, when just a one-year-old child, the family home caught fire. The conflagration killed her father, her sisters and a brother.  After high school, Steadman earned a flight license before her driver’s license. As a charter pilot, she started her own flight school and charter service called Trimble Aviation in Flint. As one of the first women to get an Airline Transport Rating (ATR), the highest rating for any pilot, she taught about 200 men who went on to become airline pilots. Ironically, at that time, the airline industry would not hire female pilots!

The Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame indicates she was a charter member of the women’s advisory committee on aviation for the Federal Aviation Agency and chair of the Airport Commission in Ann Arbor.

Steadman died Wednesday at her home in Traverse City at age 89. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her brother Ray Whipple, son Michael, and two grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her four sisters, a brother and her youngest son.

Hope to see you at the Susan B. Anthony Awards Dinner

 The University of Michigan-Dearborn, Commission for Women presents its 37th Annual, Susan B. Anthony Awards Dinner on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, in the Michigan Rooms at Fairlane Center South, 19000 Hubbard Drive in Dearborn.
Reception and Silent Auction —  5:00 to 6:15 p.m.
Dinner and Program — 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Karen Holland, Special Events Coordinator in the Office of the Chancellor, is the Campus Award Recipient.
Deborah Kennedy, Executive Director of AAUW-Wyandotte & Downriver and Secretary of AAUW-MI , is the Community Award Recipient.
The keynote speaker is Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor.
Cost for event: $40.
Contact Judy Walker at  (313)  593-5430 or <jlwalker@umich.edu

3rd Annual Signature Event

5862d357-0a15-4925-a466-dc915f62110619d9970f-abe1-47eb-9b67-21e54dcabc8bFirst Step is an organization which AAUW-Dearborn respects and trusts to do the right thing for women and girls.  Their organization provides emergency, short-term housing to victims of domestic and/or sexual violence and their children.

So if you would like to partake of great food, silent auction items, shopping and a fashion show from local shops and boutiques while contributing to a good cause, mark your calendar for

Wednesday, April 1, 2015, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton. $35 plus cash barb72fa533-77e3-4ff0-af0c-1fa2f770ba0c

Silent Auction Items Include:
One-week stay in gorgeous Naples, Florida condo
Amazing condo get-away in Traverse City
An autographed Calvin Johnson Lion’s jersey
and so many more!
100% of the proceeds from the evening’s event goes to First Step of Western Wayne Country.

Any questions, please contact Theresa Bizoe at 734-656-0730 or <tbizoe@firststep-mi.org> or visit

The Wild Call

This morning, Dallas Seavey won his third Iditarod in four years.  Seventy-eight mushers began the race in Fairbanks and faced poor trail conditions. Some places had almost no snow, and one spot where there should have been solid ice was open water. Eight racers scratched and one was disqualified. Two dogs died on the thousand-mile trek. Sixteen dogs pull one sled! Face protectors and parka hide faces of the mushers. One interesting note is that nearly a third of mushers this year were women!sp_030613iditarod2-large

Aliy Zirkle, noted for having won the Yukon Quest, has finished second in the past three Iditarods.  Jessie Royer, 38, has won the La Grande Odyssée in the French-Swiss Alps. Michelle Phillips, 46, has won the Yukon Quest 300-mile race. DeeDee Jonrowe, 61, has competed since 1980 and finished in the top-10 sixteen times! Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the Iditarod in 1985. Susan Butcher won it four times after her.

As one who hates winter weather, I salute their courage, gumption, fitness and determination!

Learn about Ballot Proposal 15-1

thOn May 5, 2015, you will be asked to to vote on one proposed way to repair Michigan highways.

Want to know more? What would this proposal accomplish? How did it come into being? Will it actually serve to fix the highways?

On April 20, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. the League of Women Voters of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights is sponsoring a speaker from the League of Women Voters of Michigan. Eva Packard, Director of Voter Service, will guide those in attendance through a PowerPoint presentation on the issues involved, then take questions from the audience.

The meeting will take place at the Caroline Kennedy Library located at 24590 George Street in north Dearborn Heights, north of Ford Road, west of Telegraph Road and south of Hass.

Human Trafficking Updates Available

State Senator Judy Emmons invites you to join her for Shine the Light on Human Trafficking - Phase II: Key to the Future. There will be two events  in two cities in two days!

Along with Senator Judy Emmons speakers include: Cook County, Illinois, Circuit Court Judge Rosemary Grant Higgins who addresses issues of human trafficking while serving onhuman-trafficking1 the bench and other investigative-and-enforcement professionals.

When: Wednesday, March 25, 2015, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Committee hearing begins at 3:00 p.m.

Where: 124 West Allegan, Lansing, MI 48909  in Boji Tower in the ground floor,
Senate Hearing Room at the corner of Capitol & Allegan Avenues. Look for the time-and- temperature sign on the corner of the building.  A convenient parking structure is located across street.


When: Thursday, March 26, 2015, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m..

Where: Location coming soon!

R.S.V. P. to: SenJEmmons@senate.michigan.gov or 517-373-3760 or 866-305-2133

All Worthy of Love will be collecting donations of travel-sized, personal-care items, individually wrapped food items and gift cards benefiting those enslaved by street-prostitution. Suggestions include, but are not limited to: individually packaged granola or cereal bars, fruit snacks, Krispy Treats, Capri Suns, juices, chips, crackers and any other non-perishable food items. Travel sized shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloths, lotion, razors, deodorant, blankets, sleeping bags, backpacks or gift cards to Meijer, Costco or Kroger.

This event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors –
Public Affairs Associates, Muchmore Harrington Smalley & Associates, Inc., Blue Cross/Blue Shield Michigan, Manny Lentine, Inc., Governmental Consultant Services, Inc., and Karoub Associates.

SENATOR EMMONS SURVIVORS’ TOUR IS COMING SOON TO VARIOUS MICHIGAN CITIES!Testimonials & conversation with survivors.Tentative Dates:
Monday, April 20, 2015, Monday, April 27, 2015, Monday, May 4, 2015.
Details coming soon!

See you above the bridge!

From Janet Watkins, AAUW-MI program vice-president:

The 2015 AAUW-Michigan State Convention 163
is May 16 and 17, 2015, in Escanaba, Michigan!

The AAUW-MICHIGAN website has everything you need to register, book your hotel room and reserve a seat on the bus. aauwmi.org

Meet people with similar interests and experiences.  Expand your network and circle of influence.

Open your mind to new opportunities.

Make connections and exchange ideas as you hear speakers and attend workshops.

The two exciting days of activities include a free afternoon to take in the beauty of the north.

Friday-afternoon has an optional, docent-led tour of the William Bonifas Art Center, the haunted House of Ludington, Leigh’s Garden Winery  with box lunch and wine tasting,  and a visit to the restored Sand Point Lighthouse. This is where Mary Terry, one of the first women lighthouse keepers on the Great Lakes, worked.

Opt to follow up with Comedian Bill Engvall’s show at  8:00 p.m. Friday in the Island Showroom.  That same evening, AAUW members Laurie Gabel, past-president Traverse City branch; Cynthia McClure, co-president Detroit branch; and Shirley Murray, Traverse City branch director of communications will be available to network and discuss convention highlights.

On Saturday, consider early-morning yoga to prepare for a full day of engaging speakers. Celebrate and review this past year’s program successes.  Attend workshops designed to inform and enhance leadership skills.

Saturday evening you will be free  to explore the Island Resort & Casino or pursue other interests.

Reserve your bus seat no later than April 1. Convention registration is open now through May 3!


L’Oreal corrects its math error!


_81293792_3ef8e868-5234-4353-bcd9-45c8acdb275dBranch member, Rosemary Lauder, with her undergrad degree in math and her masters in industrial engineering, forwarded this story about changes in an advertising campaign due to Brits pointing out its negative implications. It’s from an article written by Hannah Richardson, education reporter for the British Broadcasting Corporation.

L’Oreal Paris recently ran an ad that “included a throwaway boast about not being good at math.”  The campaign hired British actress Dame Helen Mirren to say: “Age is just a number. And maths was never my thing.” A Twitter campaign in England responded that the ad “appeared to boast about poor math skills.” Established in 2012, National Numeracy aims to improve everyday maths skills among adults and children in the United Kingdom. Part of their mission is to change negative attitudes about mathematics.  Their chief-executive clarified: “Throwaway remarks about being ‘no good at math’ are easy to make.” The problem is they normalize negativity about a key subject in education. He added: “We know that women and girls often have particularly low levels of confidence — and particularly high levels of anxiety — about maths. So it’s especially important that advertising directed at them doesn’t perpetuate the myth that women can’t do maths.”

L’Oreal responded rapidly stating that it “is a strong advocate of women in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] through our For Women In Science program…. We listen to  consumers and value their feedback….” Now, the campaign and its message have been changed.

Obviously, members of AAUW love their new awareness and sensitivity about the issue, and will take the time to learn more about L’Oreal’s For Women in Science program. To learn more, go to


Rosemary Lauder declares herself to be “an engineer who likes doing computer programming and really likes math. After reading the article I spent the afternoon reading more articles about numeracy and math education both here and in Britain. I even found a great TED talk.”

Members who delve deeply into the issues important to AAUW help all of us communicate our mission more effectively. I’m off to ferret out that TED talk!