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University Woman Texas
Volume 66 | Issue 2 | Winter 2015
Our Mission
The American Association of University Women advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.
Ellen GoodmanAmerican journalist, syndicated columnist,1980 Pulitzer Prize recipient and noted for being one of the first women in the United States to discuss women's rights openly, wrote the above quote about a new year.

adjective 1.) having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future
noun      2.) latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness

AAUW of Texas experienced many accomplishments in 2014. An overwhelming 'discovery' made in 2014...OUR POTENTIAL... through statewide initiatives that unite our focus and enhance our individual efforts, impact and visibility. We have been inspired by:
  • educational scholarships AAUW national and local branches offer to women returning to education
  • the invigoration of local branch members tabling for AAUW on local college campuses and the excitement that draws others to become more involved in branch and state led activities and initiatives
  • the younger women drawn to AAUW by our advocacy for women and public policy and the formation of the Younger Women's Task Force Dallas (TX) Chapter
  • an increase in College/University Partners and their eagerness to participate in $tart$mart and Elect Her seminars
  • the unity among our branches and receiving the assistance of an AAUW Field Representative for a second year
  • the women we meet within our local branches and state
Some of our AAUW of Texas branches are 'small, very small' and some are very large with well over 100 members. All branches have their 'worker bees', all have their members who are less involved; however, ALL our members are inspired by the different aspects and opportunities AAUW strives to offer to fulfill our mission of empowering women.

We are a diverse organization with diverse interests, passions, talents affiliations, beliefs...and we often wonder, "Is there room at the table for all of us?" There should be, by expanding our tables with the addition of multiple 'extensions' and through the adoption and practice of a "growth mindset" over a "fixed mindset" (Dweck).

Entering Spring 2015, AAUW of Texas will be endeavoring to realize our potential through:
  • the re-establishment of branches in areas where there was once a thriving AAUW branch
  • "ramping-up" our involvement in making our voices heard on the issues that greatly affect the lives and rights of women, support of families and the protection of our public school funding and curriculum
  • the launching of a virtual AAUW of Texas branch "The Lone Star Loop" on Facebook
  • the establishment of an AAUW of Texas NCCWSL scholarship
  • forming coalitions with like minded non-profit organizations thereby increasing our voices and visibility
  • the commitment of your state board to assist you in discovering and growing your branch's potential
As each of us
It’s that time of the season again! The 84th Texas Legislative Session convened on January 13, 2015. This year AAUW of Texas plans to participate in a big way. Many of the AAUW issues we care about will be considered this session, and we are organized to make an impact.

Photo courtesy of

Freda Bryson, AAUW of Texas Policy Chair and Melodía Gutiérrez, AAUW of Texas Field Representative have been building coalitions, attending meetings and analyzing proposed policy that is poised to seriously affect the women and girls of Texas. This year, some of the big items that are expected to be considered are: various issues affecting public education, minimum wage, sexual assault, human trafficking and more.

AAUW of Texas has a major focus on advocacy this session, and you can be a part of the change you want to see in our state. To receive the most up to date information about how our issues are faring in the Texas Legislature make sure and “like” AAUW of Texas on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @AAUWTx.

The easiest way you can make a positive impact this session is to participate in our “communication tree.” Our “communication tree,” is a tool we use to ignite advocacy on behalf of an issue. To participate in our tree you simply have to let us know! You will be assigned a partner, and that partner will reach out to you when we need your voice on an issue. For example, if we find that the Fair Pay Act is being considered in committee, you will be contacted by your partner and given contact information so that you can advocate on behalf of the issue.

Dates of Interest:
  • Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (1st day) 84th Legislature convenes at noon
  • Friday, March 13, 2015 (60th day) Deadline for filing bills and join resolutions other than local bills, emergency appropriations, and bills that have been declared an emergency by the governor. We were told after the 60th day is when the real work starts to begin!
  • Monday, June 1, 2015 (140th day) Last day of 84th Texas Legislature Regular Session
Please contact us for questions or suggestions! Also, if you are a part of a coalition that you think AAUW should participate in, let us know.
Freda Bryson
AAUW of Texas Policy Chair
Melodía Gutiérrez
AAUW of Texas, Field Representative
Phone: 202.203.8353
On November 24 a Nickelodeon NICK NEWS producer and crew filmed an episode in Austin about Title IX, featuring our AAUW Title IX “Champions” — Kavya and Priya Ramamoorthy, Smrithi Mahadevan, and Maanasa Nathan.

The producers in New York had contacted AAUW in Washington, D.C., and were referred by Lisa Goodnight, senior media relations and marketing outreach associate, to AAUW Austin (TX) Branch and these girls who are featured on our branch website at Just like when we had short notice that we were hosting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Austin, it was necessary to make arrangements to host the film crew very quickly.
Once again we were able to turn to Austin Community College (ACC) and our members who work there; Soon Merz arranged for the use of a classroom in the ACCelerator (the nation's largest learning lab) at the new ACC Highland Campus. The girls’ parents (including a couple of mothers who are members of our branch) quickly invited family, friends, and members of the girl scout troop in which Kavya and Priya Ramamoorthy did their Girl Scout Gold Award Projects, also about Title IX.   Other Austin branch members Lilac BauerAnita Knight, and Mary Ellen Scribner plus some ACC students and staff completed a very respectable audience for the NICK NEWS filming.
In the afternoon, the girls were interviewed and filmed at home in Round Rock.
AAUW Austin (TX) Branch is proud to be associated with the message of empowerment these young women are sending to the world. AAUW as a whole continues in its public policy program to advocate:

Protection of programs that meet the needs of girls and women in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education, including strong promotion of STEM education and comprehensive sex education and vigorous enforcement of Title IX and all other civil rights laws pertaining to education rights. 
The episode premiered on Tuesday, January 13, 2015.

AAUW of Texas is excited to announce the establishment of a grant program to aid AAUW of Texas branches in supporting Texas student attendance at AAUW and NASPA’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWLS). Early-bird registration, which includes scheduled meals and housing, is $425. Regular registration is $475. In partnership with branches, AAUW of Texas plans to provide scholarships of $550 total ($275 from the state and $275 from the branch) to four sponsored students. This amount covers the registration fee and provides some extra money to be used toward transportation costs. 

AAUW of Texas will also be offering two direct grants to students attending NCCWSL from state accredited Colleges and Universities. All students must be sophomore or juniors in higher education. Graduating seniors will not be considered by AAUW of Texas.

Photo courtesy of

NCCWSL is a two-and-a-half-day conference that helps students hone leadership skills. AAUW collaborates with NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education to present this annual leadership conference, which began in 1985. Over the years Texas Colleges and Universities have sent many students to the NCCWSL conferences.

Conference Date: May 28-30, 2015
Conference Location: University of Maryland, College Park

AAUW of Texas will support the conference by providing the following grants and scholarships. Applications with directions can be found at the following links.

  1. Branch NCCWSL Grants
Branches may apply for a $275 AAUW Texas NCCWSL grant. This grant must be equally matched by the applying branch so that the student will receive a state/branch collaborative $550 NCCWSL scholarship which will cover the $425 NCCWSL early bird registration fee and allow the student some extra travel money. (The branch is welcome to add additional money to the scholarship if they so choose.)
  1. AAUW TX NCCWSL Grant to the Student from College with the Most REGISTERD E-Student Affiliates
Those students that are enrolled in College/University Texas Partner institutions will be eligible for this scholarship. A student from the College/University Partner school that has the most E-student AAUW members registered will be awarded a $500 scholarship.
One Scholarship WILL BE AWARDED
  1. AAUW TX NCCWSL Grant to a Student from Any Texas Institution of higher learning

A student will be reward with a $500 scholarship
One Scholarship WILL BE AWARDED

West District Representative Report

West District branches have been busy with various activities this fall. District Rep Susan Roehrig gave an overview of AAUW at the September AAUW Abilene (TX) Branch membership social. She also attended a membership tea hosted by AAUW Amarillo (TX) Branch at Amarillo College in late September. Susan's goal of visiting each branch during the year continues with planned trips to Lubbock in January and El Paso in March (as part of its yearlong centennial celebration) with a visit to AAUW Brownfield (TX) Branch still being planned.

Central District Representative Report

This month AAUW Polk County (TX) Branch will have two women who have newly arrived in America speak to their branch as well as several local business women with the topic: Empowering Women who have ARRIVED.

AAUW Kerrville (TX) Branch is celebrating its 61st year as an organized AAUW branch and at their January meeting, they will be considering the possibility of changing their name to reflect the diverse areas around Kerrville where their members live.

Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross presented a proclamation to AAUW Georgetown (TX) Branch recognizing "Computer Science Education Week" December 8-14, honoring AAUW"s 2010 research report, Why So Few, the work of Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper co-inventing the computer language, COBOL, and the efforts of AAUW with the Hour of Code sessions with students around the country. They have two fundraising events coming up. The first is "Dining with Chef Tony" at Berry Creek Country Club, and the second is their Annual Style Show, Luncheon and Purse Auction.

AAUW Austin (TX) Branch will be having a panel discussion of "Challenges, Strengths in Austin Public Schools Today" by three experts on the topic and held at the GirlStart STEM Center. Back in November, the Nickelodeon's NICK NEWS producer and crew filmed an episode at GirlStart about Title IX, featuring our AAUW Title IX champions: Kavya, Priya, Smrithi, and Maanasa.

AAUW Plano/Collin County (TX) Branch Report

Last October, AAUW Plano/Collin County (TX) Branch held a movie night to view "Miss Representation", an award-winning documentary that exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America.

In November, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere issued a proclamation for "Computer Science Education Week" for the week of December 8-14 to support AAUW's efforts to increase interest in computer science.

For its January Brunch Meeting, Bob Shapiro with Road Scholar gave a presentation on the many educational travel and learning vacations available through its program.

AAUW Abilene (TX) Branch Report

AAUW Abilene (TX) Branch opened its activities for the year 2014-15 with an "Ice Cream Social" membership meeting, an opportunity for current members to get back together and to bring others who might want to join the branch. Homemade vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge, caramel sauce, cherries, nuts and other toppings made it fun while they talked about its branch, "small groups" - Literature, Bridge, and Creative Cooking - which enable members to enjoy each other; upcoming branch meetings and programs, scholarship program which awards scholarships annually to "non-traditional" (mature) women returning to higher education after having education interrupted earlier in life, and the annual "Women of Outstanding Achievement, Women of Promise and Courage" luncheon where they are awarded. Five new members joined the branch, including two of its April 2014 scholarship recipients as student affiliate and graduate student affiliate.

The October meeting included a fashion show by Christopher Banks, a raffle for accessory items from that store, and the awarding of two more scholarships.

The branch also visited the World War II 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum. The program began with a guided tour of the museum where the history of the "Hellcats" unfolds. At the conclusion of the tour, there was a unique opportunity to "hear today's stories" from women serving in the Air Force stationed at Dyess Air Force Base.
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Dr. Myrna Gilstrap, 79, of Greenville passed away on November 13, 2014 at Briarcliff Health Center of Greenville. She is shown here with former Greenville mayor Tom Oliver in 2009 (photo and obituary courtesy of Herald Banner).

Gilstrap was a professor at East Texas State University/Texas A&M University - Commerce, was a board member of the Hope Center of Greenville and a member of the AAUW Greenville (TX) Branch. She also served as director of the Hunt County Head Start Program and was the director of the former West Hill Neighborhood Improvement Association.

Gilstrap served on the Greenville City Council for 12 years and as Mayor Pro Tem for four years. She was the first black woman to run for and hold an elected public office in Hunt County.

She ran as a candidate for mayor in 1988 and missed the runoff election by 13 votes. Gilstrap was also a candidate for District Clerk of Hunt County in November 2004.
Malinda Gaul, currently serving on the 2013-2015 AAUW Board of Directors, is running for re-election. AAUW of Texas members: let's get behind Malinda and help re-elect her to the 2015-2017 AAUW Board of Directors. For more than 30 years, Malinda has practiced employment law representing employees who have been discriminated against in the workplace. Malinda is the senior partner of a law firm in San Antonio. A member of AAUW since 1989, Malinda has been both branch and state president and has held other elected and appointed positions.

It’s your AAUW, so make your voice count! Visit the AAUW election page to see a sneak preview of the candidates for the AAUW Board of Directors - including Malinda! Check back soon for complete candidate bios, the voter guide, details on how to throw a voting party for your branch, and - next June - the election results.
Empower the Internet with the
AAUW of Texas
Lone Star Loop

Since 1881 AAUW has been on the frontier of advancement and equity for women and girls. Nationally and around the great state of Texas we continue to empower women, and now we are moving onto a new frontier by establishing a new branch on the internet!
The Lone Star Loop an AAUW of Texas virtual branch. This is AAUW made accessible for the woman who does everything and still craves more. On January 7, we launched the Lone Star Loop as a pilot project program on Facebook. Our virtual branch began with the AAUW of Texas State Board and, since its launch, has grown to 72 members!
This virtual space works just like a meeting room. We discuss topics and network with one another. Take a moment and join our group here: If you’re a part of the Lone Star Loop already, take the time to “work the room” and introduce yourself, or contribute to the discussion of a topic. Help us make our group successful by inviting your friends and family to participate in the group! Since we are in a pilot project phase—anyone can join the Lone Star Loop for free.
Our long term goal for the group is to establish four new leaders who are not already leaders in a branch. We also are working on a website with a blog. By July if we are successful with our group, find that people are participating, and have new leadership we will make the transition from a pilot project to a formal, dues paying branch. We are in exciting times and moving forward together!
If you have any questions about
Lone Star Loop
please contact:
Melodía Gutiérrez
phone: 801.918.6832.
Have you visited the AAUW of Texas Facebook Page and clicked on “Like?”
We are setting a goal of 600 “Likes” by the end of October. That’s only 35 more followers! While you’re at it, look for other AAUW of Texas branch Facebook sites and “Like’ them as well. Great way to use social media & stay connected.
AAUW of Texas (@AAUWTx) is on Twitter, how about your Branch?
This is another good way to follow each other and learn about meetings, events, issues, start a conversation. Look for Social Media Tips you can use to
increase your Branch outreach in upcoming issues of UWT. Oh, by the way, if your branch is wanting to become more Social Media savvy, contact AAUW of Texas. We’ll be glad to present a training, help set up Facebook & Twitter accounts. Contact our Branch Services Chair, Margie Poole to schedule a visit.
Does your branch have a designated STEM officer?
Please email Karen Jean North at with contact information & update your Branch Officer List at, where they now have a designated STEM Officer title.

See You in San Diego!
Registration is now open for the 2015 AAUW National Convention! Will you be the first to join the wave headed to sunny California next June? Register now for the best available rates!

Green underlined text found throughout the newsletter are hyperlinks, which means you can click on them to go to a related website for more information or an email address. This is a great feature of our new web-based newsletter that should not be overlooked!

We hear about the gender gap all the time - in salary, in math and science fields, in leadership. But one of the most glaring and longstanding gaps is in the art world. For centuries, women artists were unrecognized, unencouraged, or even discredited simply because they were not men.

Today, things have changed...some. Still, only 5 percent of the art currently displayed in U.S. museums is by women. There remains just one major museum in the world dedicated solely to women artists. That's why, working with the National Museum of Women in the Arts, we host an annual art contest to get women artists the equal attention they deserve. The six winning entries will be featured in a collection of note cards mailed to AAUW members in the spring. And, for the third year in a row, one of the six winners will take home an NMWA Award of Distinction! Enter the 2015 AAUW Art Contest today!
Elect Her will be held Sunday, February 15, 2015. Find more information here.
50th Annual SMU Women's Symposium
The Women's Symposium was created in 1966 as part of the University's Fiftieth Anniversary celebration by the late Emmie V. Baine, Dean of Women at SMU from 1962 to 1988. The Symposium is the longest continuously running program of its nature in the country and one of SMU's oldest and most distinguished traditions. The annual forum brings together women and men of differing ages and multicultural backgrounds to examine and discuss topics of national interest.

SMU is celebrating its
50th Annual Women's Symposium
on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Registration is open!
Find out more here.

The event will open with a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Lilly Ledbetter, a former litigant and recipient of the AAUW's Legal Advocacy Fund support.
International Women's Day 2015 Theme:

All around the world, International Women's Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.

Each year IWD is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.  Be sure to post announcements and tweet about this event. For other ideas on how to celebrate, see the IWD website here.
How to "Celebrate" Equal Pay Day
Sometimes we find ourselves wishing for more than 24 hours in a day or more than seven days in a week, but more time is not always better. It takes women about 15 months to earn what men earn in 12, thanks to the gender pay gap.

We "celebrate" this occasion every April on a day known as Equal Pay Day, which is the symbolic day when women's earnings (78 cents to men's dollar) finally catch up to men's earnings from the previous year. Equal Pay Day is a powerful occasion to raise awareness and organize action around the gender pay gap in our communities.

Equal Pay Day 2015 will fall on Tuesday, April 14, so mark your calendar!

For Equal Pay Day 2014, AAUW members organized more than 250 activities in at least 43 states. That's more than twice as many activities than Equal Pay Day 2013 and nine more states!

How will you "celebrate"? Click here for some great ideas!
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