The Pine - April 2019

The Official Publication of AAUW MN

  • A Message from our President
  • Work Smart Session Still Has Openings
  • State Convention - Info Link
  • St. Cloud Branch Selects NCCWSL Participants
  • Branch Spotlight - St. Cloud
  • Tri-Branch Luncheon - Faribault, Northfield & Owatonna
  • Communications Update & Form

A message from our president

Dear Members,

March was pretty exciting this year -- March 7 marked a lively discussion at the State Capitol about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), where the bill was passed by the House. And March 8 was the ERA rally in the Capitol Rotunda. AAUW made a great showing at the International Women’s Day events at the Capitol. I was proud to be there, with such an energetic group, representing AAUW.

April is also a notable time for women. On April 2, we recognize Equal Pay Day, our annual reminder marking how far into the year women have to work (on average) to earn what men earned in the previous year. But Equal Pay Day is not the same for all women. AAUW’s research indicates the following Equal Pay Day dates for various groups of women:

  • Asian American Women – March 5th
  • All Women’s Equal Pay Day – April 2nd
  • Caucasian Women – April 19th
  • African American Women – August 22nd
  • Native American Women – September 23rd
  • Latina Women – November 20th

Unbelievable. There’s still so much to do to achieve equality in the workplace and on paychecks for ALL women. What “they” don’t realize is that we’ll just keep informing, rallying, and fighting for what’s right, for as long as it takes.

A reminder to everyone – if you haven’t registered for the State Convention yet – register now! We’re looking forward to some great speakers and informative sessions. I hope to see you there!

~ Lisa

April Quote: “Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.”

~ Maya Angelou

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What's Happening around the State

St. Cloud Chapter Selects Five College Women to Attend NCCWSL

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ST. CLOUD, MN - The five young women (Yes, five!) our AAUW branch is sponsoring at the NCCWSL conference May 29-June 1, 2019, will bring diverse experiences and interests to the event. What these talented and engaged college students share in common is an enthusiasm for the leadership opportunities the conference offers and a commitment to make the most of it.

The National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (mercifully shortened to its acronym pronounced nic whistle) at the University of Maryland, College Park, is a premier leadership assembly where hundreds of college students focus on pressing contemporary issues, hear inspiring speakers, expand leadership skills and learn from each other.

College of Saint Benedict first-year student Ruby Geng is a self-described 1.5-generation Chinese American who came to Minnesota at the age of 10. She celebrates her dual heritage as Chinese and American, and welcomes opportunities to share her experiences. As a computer science major, she expresses confidence that girls can succeed in this male-dominated field, and she is eager to share that message at NCCWSL. Ruby hosts study groups on campus and is organizing a coding club. She is committed to helping others and believes the conference will help her expand her leadership skills.

Saint Cloud State University sophomore Brittney Clark is from Lincoln, Nebraska. With a major in sociology/criminal justice, she is committed to social justice and hopes to gain skills from NCCWSL that will help her be an ally and voice for marginalized communities. Growing up, she has known financial struggles and describes herself as a white, gay woman from a lower middle-class family. She places a high value on learning and takes advantage of extra-curricular activities. She believes the more she learns, the better leader she will be.

St. Paul CSB sophomore Molly Johnson's interest in social justice led her to major in English and secondary education as a way to serve others. She believes the insights she will gain at NCCWSL will help her achieve her goals to become a great educator and mentor. As a leader, she wants to empower others to pursue their passions.

Sophomore Aubrey Walter of Billings, Montana, is majoring in global business and environmental studies at CSB. As a scholar in the Bonner Leadership Program at CSB, she has gained insights into the benefits of nonprofit organizations through experiences at one of the Bonner program's community partners, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota. She believes the opportunities at NCCWSL to meet others with different perspectives and experiences will inspire her and deepen her resolve to make positive change in her community.

Sophomore Leandria Albury is from Nassau in The Bahamas, majoring in chemistry/pre-med. Coming from The Bahamas, she says she has not had much exposure to women in leadership roles, and she is excited about the leadership opportunities NCCWSL offers. A self-described over achiever and joyful competitor, she believes she can be an exceptional leader, and she is eager to tap that potential at the conference.

MN Branch Spotlight - St. Cloud

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Submitted by Linda MacLeod, VP Membership, President elect, Communications


High School Juried Art Exhibition -

A High School Juried Art Exhibition and reception was held March 29, 2019 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Paramount Center for the Arts. Five entries from sixteen schools were submitted for the competition. Mediums included: pencil sketches, sculptures, watercolors, oils and acrylics, digital photography, clay, ceramics, metals, and more. First, second, and honorable mention cash awards were given out based on 2D and 3D (flat and multidimensional) work. The event was sponsored in part by: the Paramount Center for the Arts, AAUW – St. Cloud Area Branch, Central Minnesota Arts Board, The McKnight Foundation, Friends of the MIA, Zygoatian, LLC, and Jennifer and Paul Harris. Art teachers, students, parents and community members attended.

In the artist’s own words - “Ten different photographs were carefully stitched together in photoshop to seamlessly appear as one composition. A boy in a red jacket walks down a path that shows both darkness and hope.” The artist is Briana Canesi and her submission is called, Balloons. The Annandale High School senior is planning on studying art in college which will allow her to continue to develop her artistic skills. A $300.00 award was presented to Canesi by Co-Presidents, Mary Lou Lenz and Fran Hill-Rowen.

Description of the art by AAUW member, Kathryn Gainey -

A compelling story created by digital images brought the viewer into a fanciful world of people floating in light bubbles while the main image showed a realistic portrayal of a young boy who walked in darkness.

The boy’s red jacket stood out and contrasted with the black and white images. Realism juxtaposed with the imaginative images captured our attention. Balloons raises thought-provoking questions. Why is the boy walking down a railroad track? Where is he going? What is he thinking? Is he dreaming of escape? Furthermore, the selection committee believes, that digital photography as an art form, is representative of today’s technological age and its pervasiveness in our culture. Finally, there were many excellent and creative works that the AAUW committee admired making the decision very difficult.

The selection process -

A subset of the branch art’s committee made up of Mary Lou Lenz, Kathryn Gainey, and me, viewed all of the art located in the Paramount Theatre lobby and the Gallery St. Germain. Each committee member marked the artwork in the program that impressed them the most. Afterward, pieces of art that all three had marked were compared and discussed for the criteria that made it stand out. The committee was also fortunate to meet Juror Rebekah Crusanta de Ybarra.

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St. Cloud Area Branch -

The St. Cloud Area Branch was delighted to participate in this event in fulfillment of our mission and community service. Supporting an emerging female high school artist allowed the branch to fill the age-gap between Tech Savvy for school girls, grades 5-9, and college women student leaders that attend NCCWSL.

The positive public relations and increased awareness of AAUW and the branch were beneficial. There was a skirted table (see photo) filled with information, a continuous laptop slide presentation, and large posters highlighting our membership diversity. Many members identified by AAUW name tags interacted with the attendees. The following branch members surveyed students or attendees for the Paramount or attended this event: Kathryn Gainey, Jan Davis, Joyce Hummel, Janet Lore, Dara Westra, Joanna Pucel, Christine Poff, Kathie Laakso, Lynn Metcalf, Fati Zarghami, CSB student, Ruby Geng, Mary Lou Lenz, and Fran Hill-Rowen, and myself.

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I conversed with Paramount administrators throughout the evening including: Executive Director, Bob Johnson, Curator Laura Ruprecht, and Visual Arts Manager, Derek Segerstrom.

and conveyed the branch’s appreciation to partner with the Paramount on this well-organized high-quality event. Johnson said the event was well-received by the community and will continue to be offered in the future. The exhibition created an opportunity for high school students to showcase their work and to encourage their artistry. It’s well known that the creative arts play an important role in the intellectual and educational development of youth.

“The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.” William Bennett, Former US Secretary of Education

Always trying to increase membership - A gentleman wandered over the AAUW table and asked me what the organization was about. After a brief explanation, qualifications for membership were explained. In addition to the two year degree or above spiel, I said that AAUW is not discriminatory and also welcomes, “Men of good conscious.” This comment sent the man into a hardy stomach laugh with his head tilting backward. He asked, do you think I’m a man of good conscious? He then introduced himself as the Senior Account Executive for Minnesota Public Radio, Gary Osberg. He didn’t ask for an application but walked away with a business card.

Faribault Hosts the 2019 Tri-Branch Luncheon with Owatonna and Northfield

The Faribault Branch hosted the annual Tri-Branch Luncheon with Northfield and Owatonna. The hosting responsibilities changes year to year with Northfield hosting in 2018 and Owatonna to host in 2020. We had a great turnout from all three branches - Northfield, Owatonna, and Faribault. This year the luncheon was held at the Buckham West Senior Center and our program was led by the amazing Isabell O'Connor!!! A fantastic time was had by all!

Communications Update

It's a new year, and we have multiple ways to stay connected with each other!
  • Our updated website
  • The New Pine coming out monthly (September - May)
  • Facebook Page
  • An email message to all members (if needed)

We want to hear from you, so let us know what is happening at your branch.

A special thank you to Michelle Heiting for submitting information about the St. Croix Valley Branch and Gloria Olson for submitting information about the Faribault Book Club.

To submit information for the we have created a form for you to complete.

Additionally, you may email me directly at Please include AAUW Minnesota in the subject line.