The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a nationwide network of more than 170,000 members and supporters, 1,000 local branches, and 800 college/university institution partners. For over 130 years, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Our commitment to our mission is reflected in all aspects of our work.

AAUW’s Mission
AAUW advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy.

Medina County Branch

The Medina Branch was founded in 1964 by a group of women dedicated to declaring their common interests in encouraging educational activities, cultural activities and personal growth. They were leaders in our community and instrumental in developing long-standing institutions in Medina County, including the Medina Arts Council, the Women of Distinction Awards, home tours, candidates’ nights, a scholarship fund for non-traditional women students, an annual used book sale, and the Sister-to-Sister Conference for Girls. We proudly celebrated our 55th year at our annual meeting and dinner, June, 2019. Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us at our email, aauwmedinaoh@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!

A Message from Medina Branch President, Alanna Arnold

Dear Members, 

Like a lot of you, we didn’t take a vacation this year. So we decided to get things done to our house. The outside work— power washing, massive tree-trimming, and a new roof caused quite a neighborhood uproar. We were asked, just as I said we would be, if we were moving. 

I had a big research project that netted some extra money so I decided to finally change the atrocious wallpaper, that had been there over twenty years, in the one-half guest bath. It was dark and ugly. It made the room so small, you felt you were in a closet. So, I looked online to learn how to make a small room look larger and then set to work. I found removing the wallpaper, even following the detailed advice from ladies on a Medina Facebook page, was just plain too hard. One of the kind ladies privately messaged me to offer her services—which I jumped at. Ok. She got off the old wallpaper, but had the same problems as I had (Ha! I was vindicated). Then she ran out of wallpaper because there was a lot of waste to exactly match the pattern. (Oh no!) We were only wallpapering three walls and painting a recessed area behind the sink and toilet dark navy blue before having a fairly dark blue vanity with a sink installed. 

The first plumber found that the vanity wouldn’t fit flush against the wall unless he cut the wallboard and quarter-round to accommodate the vanity. (Carpentry at a plumber’s rate.) I wanted to reuse the faucet set from the old sink, but after trying for about two hours, the plumber announced one of the handles was permanently welded to the sink. Scratch that idea. So, I ran to my trusty computer and ordered a brass-colored three-piece faucet set from Home Depot. When it arrived, I called the plumbers to come back. They attached the faucet set and discovered that the vanity still could not be completely installed because the cutout in the drawers wasn’t wide enough to allow for our joint which was angled slightly to the right while the cutout would only fit a joint that was perfectly straight from front to back. (Big sigh and big checks later.) 

Finally, hubby Jack got into the spirit (because it was starting to look really good— and much bigger) and called a handyman. That guy very handily and quickly whipped that bottom drawer into shape and we had a complete vanity. 

Now, as to the unfinished wallpaper…that was three weeks ago. I keep going online but  my supplier still claims that that wallpaper is “out of stock.” It would be perfect in there if we didn’t have one white wall, or maybe we could remove the light bulb to prevent guests from seeing the room very well. 

Anyway, at some point, my granddaughter asked her mother (my daughter) if she had seen the bathroom. Somewhat confused as to where this question came from and where her daughter was going with it, my daughter answered that she had seen it. My granddaughter immediately replied, “It was totally unnecessary.” In her mind, we simply waste too much money on such trivial things. (She has redecorated HER room twice this year, I want to note for the record!) 

My granddaughter did express herself in our upstairs largest bedroom. She repainted it over a period of three months. (Nothing happens fast in the Arnold house.) Three walls were painted a dark bluish gray. The third wall is art. It has big gray, white and black diamond shapes on it that cover the wall. It sounded strange, but it looks great! The trash and food containers I found in that room after she left! You wouldn’t believe it. She had a friend help her one day. The next day, the floor was a dump site. 

The pandemic has not been dull for the Arnolds.
Stay safe. Wear your Mask. Don’t get in crowds with strangers.

Alanna Arnold
President, AAUW of Medina



Membership Proposal:
Opening our membership to anyone who wishes to join and no longer requiring new members to be a graduate of a university.

Dues Increase Proposal:
Dues would increase by $3 in 2022, by $5 in 2023, and by $5 in 2024. That makes the dues a total of $62 in 2022, $67 in 2023, and $72 in 2024. Current life members will not be affected by this increase. All but $3 of the dues is tax deductible. The board feels these increases are necessary to maintain our mission and goals of furthering gender equality in this difficult economy.

December Meeting

December 3, 2020, Meet Mercy Muchemi

Mercy W. Muchemi

Our December program will again be a zoom meeting with our STEM Scholar- ship recipient, Mercy W. Muchemi. Mercy is currently working on a bachelor degree in nursing at Fortis college. She has a one- year-old daughter and is working with Visit- ing Angels in Medina while going to school full time.

Mercy has a bachelor degree in International Relations from the United States international University in Africa. She has worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya, at Americorp VIP, and at Mama Fauzia Children’s Orphanage. She is changing to a nursing career because she has a passion for helping families and children. Her story is very uplifting.

There is no meeting in November.

Member News

Congratulations to member Ashley Powell who was nominated this week by Leadership Medina County for Excellence in Leadership. Ashley was nominated as an Emerging Leader. Congratulations, Ashley!

Jeri Penn, was recently inducted into the Kiwanis Hall of Fame in Medina. You might have seen the nice write up recently in the Medina Weekly News.

She and her husband Alan have been active in that organization for 40 years. During that time she led many community activities to benefit others, including making blankets, collecting personal care items, and giving books to children. She loves sharing her gifts and skills to benefit others.

Pat Chaloupek is missing her AAUW friends! She sends this beautiful picture and description to share with all of you:

“I took a drive yesterday to Telluride in the mountains to check out the fall colors…they are different from Ohio colors, as you can see. I snapped this photo from the gondola which took me from the base town of Telluride to Mountain Village (where the ski trails begin) for a fantastic view of the bright blue skies and contrasting yellows, golds and greens.. I expect leaves are beginning to turn now in NE Ohio. Telluride is about 65 miles from my home in Montrose. Skiing is quite popular here!! “

Your Voting Questions Answered at the September Meeting

Susan Holbrook, Vice President for Program Development, introduced guest speaker Carol Lawler, Director of Elections in Medina County. She reviewed all the ways we can vote in Medina County in this year’s Presidential General Election, and reported on all the guarantees built into the system to accurately record all votes.

There are three options to vote: 1) request an absentee ballot by mail, 2) vote early in person; 3) vote in person on election day November 3.  October 5 is the deadline to update address and name changes, or to register to vote. Voting starts on October 6. That is the first day mail ballots can go out by law. Over 31,000 ballots by mail are approved and queued up to be mailed out. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by one day before the election (November 2).

The Board of Elections verifies all information before mailing out an absentee ballot. It again verifies all the information when a mail-in ballot is received.

Voters can track their status on the Board of Elections website: www.boe.ohio.gov/medina. They can also track their ballots on this website after mailing them back in. Voting by mail ballots can be returned in person to the BOE office, they can be mailed in, or they can be dropped at a secure drop box at the BOE office (3800 Stonegate Drive, Medina, OH 44256).

Voting early in person is available at one location in each county in Ohio. In Medina it is at the BOE office, beginning October 6. The office is open 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday starting October 6. You must bring an ID. The third week the office is open for voting 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The fourth week it is open 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is also open Saturday and Sunday the two weekends before election day.  All this information is available on the BOE website. Informational flyers are available at the office.

On election day, November 3, you can vote in person at your assigned polling location. As a result of the pandemic, many of these polling locations had to be changed because many were located at senior centers. All voters should double check their current polling place on the BOE website. On election day polls are open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Anyone in line at 7:30 p.m. still gets to vote. Lines are monitored.

On election night the voting count is unofficial. The last day mail-in votes are counted is three weeks after the election. That count is the official count.

The Board of Elections uses a high-speed tabulation machine after 7:30 p.m. on election night. They are required to report the first total, which is the absentee voter total, that evening on its website and to the Secretary of State. It is usually reported between 7:45 and 8:00 p.m. and then updated every 30 minutes. Once the polls are closed, the memory sticks containing the counts of paper and provisional ballots are brought by poll workers to the BOE office, and the totals then increase. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by November 2, one day before the election, and can be received and counted up to ten days later. Mail in ballots postmarked election day or later, or received after 10 days after the election, are not accepted.

Audience Questions: How are signatures verified?

      Answer: Voters have signatures on file at the Board of Elections. They are always verified. The BOE often has many years of signatures on file. They would compare all of them if there was a question. For example, if someone registered with a middle name initial and signed their ballot with the full middle name, this would not be a problem. The vote would be counted because they would verify that the signature matched other signatures on file.

Question: I have concerns about delays in mail delivery affecting how long it will take a ballot to be delivered to the BOE.

        Answer: By law a mail in ballot must be postmarked by November 2. The BOE is working closely with the Post Office to ensure timely delivery. New envelopes have been created for mail-in ballots that will be easily recognized and prioritized.

Confirmed: no blank ballots are mailed in Ohio. Any absentee ballot/mailed ballot request is issued only after verifying name, address, voting status. No envelope is opened until the same information is verified first.

Question: Are you notified if your ballot is rejected?

      Answer: Refer to the BOE website. It will say if the ballot as not counted.

Question: What if someone requests a mail in ballot and then changes his/her mind?

       Answer: A voter can send a written request to cancel the absentee ballot. The voter can also bring their mail in ballot to early voting. If a voter waits until election day and tries to vote in person, the system will show at sign-in that they cannot vote on the machines. However, they can get a provisional ballot at that time and vote. This is part of the system designed to prevent a person from voting more than once.

Question: Have you ever had any fraudulent votes in Medina?

        Answer: Not that I recall. Maybe one instance when it was found that there was a misunderstanding about a polling place location.

 Question: Do you have enough polling workers for election day?

         Answer: Yes, they are over the 500 mark for volunteers. They require extensive training.    There are several trained volunteers on call in case of an emergency need.

The BOE office is open seven days for a week after the election to correct provisional and absentee ballots.

Member Joellyn Leget reported that she has worked with Carol Lawler as a volunteer poll worker, and was impressed with the system, the preparation training, and the amount of work that goes into safeguarding the integrity of elections. She and the other members thanked Ms. Lawler for her excellent presentation.

Reprinted from the Sept. 24, 2020 Branch Minutes.

In Memoriam – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Several AAUW members went to hear Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speak in Chautauqua in 2013. Here is a reprint of Pat Chaloupek’s newsletter article from that trip.

Typically, a lecture does not have musical interludes. However, the hundreds who were in attendance for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lecture at Chautauqua Institution on Monday were treated to a show.

Ginsburg spoke on what she admitted were her two great passions – law and opera. During her lecture, which lasted more than an hour, Ginsburg combined live opera with humor as she detailed how often law is a major plot point in operas.

Ginsburg joked that although she is passionate about opera, her own singing skills are poor. “In my dreams, I can be a great diva,” Ginsburg said.

Following her invitation to speak at Chautauqua Institution, Ginsburg said she had to look at operas in a new light as she contemplated the connection between law and opera. “The invitation to be with you challenged me to consider the topic anew,” Ginsburg said. “I find it fair to say that law does have a comparable part in opera.”

Ginsburg spoke about several musicals – including her favorite, “The Marriage of Figaro” – and how law is involved in the plot. Following her explanation of each plot, members of the Chautauqua Opera Company Young Artists’ Program performed arias or ensemble numbers, depending on the opera being discussed.

Additionally, Ginsburg spoke about an event she called “An Afternoon of Music” at the Supreme Court Building. The event has been occurring since the 1980s. At first, it was held every other year. Then it was held yearly. “Since 2002, when I picked up the reigns, the event occurs twice a year,” Ginsburg said.

She also spoke about a comedic opera that is in the works, entitled “Scalia V. Ginsburg,” written by Derrick Wang, a recent graduate of the University of Maryland’s Carey School of Law. The opera uses the justices’ own words to put together the show.

“It’s about two people with notably different views of constitutional interpretation, who nonetheless respect and genuinely like each other,” Ginsburg said.

Following her lecture, Ginsburg also answered a series of questions from the audience.

In 1993, Ginsburg was nominated by President Bill Clinton as associate justice of the United State Supreme Court. Prior to her appointment, she served on the bench of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.

From 1972-80, Ginsburg was a professor at Columbia University School of Law. Prior to that, she served on the law faculty of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Ginsburg was instrumental in launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. Throughout the 1970s, she litigated a series of cases solidifying a constitutional principle against gender-based discrimination. She has also served on the Board of Editors of the American Bar Association Journal, as well as secretary, board member and executive committee member of the American Bar Foundation.

She also served on the Council of the American Law Institute and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

New Medina Branch AAUW Fundraiser


The suffragette pins commemorating the centennial anniversary of “Women’s Right to Vote” are sold out. We sold 100 pins and made a profit of $1,040. This will really help us financially since the ability to have our book sale is very tentative again this year.

Thanks to Carol and Bill Thombs for organizing and subsidizing this creative fundraiser and to everyone who helped sell or bought pins.

Medina Branch Earns National Award

Medina County Branch earned a “star” for programming in the new national AAUW Five Star recognition program for 2019-2020. President Alanna Arnold received a letter from national CEO Kimberly Churches last month announcing the award.

“Highlighted in the report I submitted,” Arnold noted, “were our entire range of activities from meetings to our co-sponsorship of the Black History Month program and Sister-to-Sister. Meeting topics that reflected AAUW mission and goals – ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling,’ ‘Women’s Suffrage, a Celebration,’ and ‘YOU and the Environment’ – helped get national attention.”

“Thanks go to our programming vice president Jeri Penn and to her excellent planning committee, Kim Oliver and her team for our diversity efforts and the branch members who represent us on the Sister-to-Sister Planning Board, as well as the members who gave their support,” she added.

In this year of uncertainty and isolation, it gives us something to “hang our hat on” and be proud.

In addition on the state level, we did it again! Medina County Branch members have reason to be proud as once again our branch took home honors at the AAUW Ohio annual meeting.

While sheltering in place rules were in effect in our state, delegates from 16 branches met online to carry on state business, elect state officers and be acknowledged for numerous awards.

Awards received by the Medina Branch this year were:

  • Best Website Feature Event: Sister- to-Sister; Mary Baker, website manager
  • Best Newsletter – large branch: (tie with Middletown Branch), Pat Chaloupek, editor
  • The Social Media Award: Best Facebook page. Pat Chaloupek, site manager
  • First place for “Diversity and Inclusion”, Kim Oliver, chairperson
  • And the STARZ award for all-around efforts – we have won this every year since it was first given; submitted by President Alanna Arnold

Cindy Weisheit, one of the delegates, commented that because 66 people were registered, logging in on the “Zoom” meeting took a long time and the meeting lasted about two hours. Other delegates to the session were Alanna Arnold, Katherine Baker, Anne Gates and Jeri Penn.

Candidates for state office were introduced and elected at the meeting. They include: Mickey Radtkie, Toledo Branch, President; Chris Fowler and Marlene de la Cruz-Guzman, Athens, Co-Program Vice Presidents; Linda Lehman, Greater Cleveland Area, Membership Vice President; Naykishia D. Hand, Bowling Green, Fundraising Vice President; Debby Stein, Circleville, Secretary.

There was no candidate at the time for Finance Officer. A nominee has since emerged and will be voted on at an upcoming meeting of the joint Board of Directors, according to outgoing President Nancy Stellhorn.

A slideshow of projects and results of awards will be posted soon on the state website. Awards will be formally presented at the fall summit/convention scheduled for September 12.


Medina Branch Committees

PROGRAMS 2020-2021

October 22, 2020, Treasures From The Attic

McDowell-Phillips House, currently being restored by the Medina County Historical Society

Our October Zoom program was hosted by Brian Feron on October 22nd at 1:00p.m. Brian shared with us the treasures found in the attic of the McDowell-Phillips house which is being restored by the Medina County Historical Society. The items include an invitation from Abraham Lincoln to attend his inauguration.

There was no business meeting just half an hour of fun learning about this historical house where everything was saved.

Sept., 24, 2020, Carol Lawler,Medina County Board of Elections

Susan Holbrook and the program committee have been hard at work planning on-line programs for this year.Thursday, September 24. at 1:00 PM Carol Lawler from the Medina County Board of Elections will speak about the many methods of voting and how your vote is secured. This will be a Zoom meeting with Alana Arnold as host.There will be a question and answer session after Carol’s presentation. In order to participate in this you will need to use the “raise your hand” feature in zoom. This is located in a bar at the bottom of your screen.Mark your calendar for all of our upcoming programs:

September 24, 2020 – “How to Ensure the Mail-In Vote” by Carol Lawler of the Medina County Board of Elections. Time: Meeting 1:00 Program 1:30
October 22, 2020 – McDowell-Phillips House “Delights in the Attic” Presented by Brian Feron of the Medina County Historical Society Time: Meeting 1:00 Program 1:30
November- No Meeting this Month: Happy Thanksgiving!
December 3, 2020 – Meet Mercy Muchemi!
January 28, 2021– The Women’s Shelter Contact: Jill Morton. Time: Meeting 1:00 Program 1:30

Great Improvements Ahead

Did you know the Battered Women’s Shelter has long been a passion of our chapter? We have had a guest room with our name above the door at the shelter. Through the years our members and their friends have found used furniture, painted, purchased privacy blinds, and even installed a kitchen countertop.

I am including some background about the shelter and want you to consider a donation to the shelter for our holiday giving project. The AAUW donations would be used to purchase items for the AAUW room. The first week of December I will mail you information about donating to this important cause. Please believe me when I tell you, the shelter was in dire need of improvement.

About the shelter: The Battered Women’s Shelter provides emergency protective shelter for those who otherwise would have no choice but to remain in a violent home. The Medina shelter opened over 18 years ago when championed by Commissioner Pat Geissman. Thousands of adults and their children from Medina, Brunswick, Wadsworth and every corner of the county have come through the doors since its opening. With that type of usage, the building now looks tired and worn.

Two years ago, with support and leadership of Ohio Representatives Obhof and Hambley, the Battered Women’s Shelter received a state grant allocation for capital needs. Planning for the renovation began, and then the Coronavirus pandemic hit. The renovation was put on hold for a few months but is now in full swing once again, with the inside gutted and the roof being replaced just this last month. Renovations now include the preparation for more social dis- tancing within this congregant living facility. The shelter is being transformed from 5 to a total of 10 bedrooms. This will allow families to socially distance from others during sleeping hours. Ventilation systems are being rerun, bathrooms, play areas and common rooms are all being redesigned so that shelter residents will be safe from their abuse, and safe from the virus attacking our country. When finished, the Medina shelter will be an environment that encourages peace, while providing respectful surroundings for those that need to stay in the shelter for a few days, or weeks.

Thank you for your consideration,
Jill Morton Cell- 330-760-4448
AAUW Liaison to the Battered Women’s Shelter

Donna Hamilton

Book Group will be meeting via Zoom on Monday, November 9 at 1:00 PM. Carol Thombs will be leading a discussion on Jane Fonda’s book, What Can I Do: My Path from Climate Despair to Action. Jane Fonda, forever activist, has taken on the task of rescuing the planet from climate change. She is aided by the cast of Frankie and Grace, her hit Netflix series, and her daughter and grandchildren, as well as many environmental experts. This is the story of her holding “Fire Drill Friday” protests in Washington DC. I have sent out the zoom link to join our meeting. If you did not get it please let me know.

Our use of zoom has been difficult, but I am hopeful we have most of the problems fixed. So give it a try this month. If you have any suggestions or questions about our book group contact Donna Hamilton at 330-334-6734.

For December we will be reading Island of Sea Women by Lisa See. This novel setting is in Toju Island, Korea in the 1900’s. It shows the political changes in Korea and features the lives of the traditional diving women of the island. The December meeting will be Monday, December 14, at 1:00 PM on Zoom. Please contact me if you would like to lead the discussion on this book.


“Coffee and Convos” is the name of a book group from Ohio AAUW. “Convos” is a text slang term for conversations. Now use that new word in a text to your grandchildren and show them how “hip” you are. The next zoom meeting of this book group will be November 14, from 10:00 to 11:00 PM. You can find the Zoom meeting information on the Ohio AAUW website. The topic of this session is“racism.” They will be discussing the book, (amazon link) The Vanishing Half, a novel by Brit Bennett. On January16, 2021, from 10:00 to11:00 on Zoom they will be discussing the ways that race, class, motherhood, and belonging intersect to shape each individual. The book is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Our chapter book club read this book so perhaps you might enjoy participating in this discussion.


Carol Thombs has been thinking about the book sale fundraiser that we normally have in April. Here are some tentative dates to look forward for 2021:

Move in—March 27
Setup—March 29 through April 19
Member’s Night—April 20
Sale Dates—April21 to 24
Cleanup—April 26 and 27

All of these dates can be revised or the sale can be canceled depending on the pandemic. Safety will always be our first con- cern. But we will be optimistic that we may again serve the book- lovers of Medina.

Pam Miller, Chair, Medina Diversity Project

On Tuesday, November 17th at 6:30 PM the Medina Diversity Project will partner with the Medina County District Library to present a 1-hour virtual program: “Introduction to Coded Language.” No registration is required and the event is limited to the first 100 people to join. Click here to access the program:

Caitlin Hawkins of the Northeast Ohio Diversity Council will talk about the definition, history, and implications of coded language (also called dog-whistles). Language and communication can be explicit and implicit. It is a component of culture that is coded with meanings, attitudes, beliefs and power dynamics.

Over time, our language and its meanings become layered and can therefore function in different spaces in different ways and for different purposes. In other words, meanings of words and their implications change over time.

This program will increase your awareness of the coded language that many of us use in our daily lives and will offer practical skills around how to critically assess one’s own language and how to respond when others use coded language.

Please share this link with others.

Carol Thombs

At our first meeting we talked about where to start. The general feeling was that we should be doing something to educate our community. Julianne Bedel, an AAUW member and the director of our Medina County District Library, has offered the use of the library and of the library tech staff to help us.

Jane Fonda’s new book, What Can I Do, which is also our October book group selection, offers ideas and facts that can help us. We need your ideas, too. Be a part in helping us create a positive path to a better environment for Medina County.

Our second meeting of the Environment Group will be on Zoom at 1:30 pm on Thursday, November 12. Please join us. We want you to be a part of this important AAUW group. If you have difficulty getting on Zoom, please contact Carol Thombs immediately so we can arrange for you to be part of the meeting. There are so many things that need to be done to improve our environment and to reduce the negative direction that is happening now.

Human Trafficking
Carol Thombs

In October a campaign in Ohio called “Operation Autumn Hope,” was coordinated by the Ohio Attorney General’s office. It included 50 law enforcement agencies. Their efforts resulted in 179 arrests and the rescue of 109 victims. Some of the rescues of girls was done by the Cleveland Area Task Force which is responsible for our SOAP area.

SOAP training to visit hotels is beginning on-line. This training was created by Theresa Flores, the originator of the SOAP program in which our Medina AAUW partici- pates.

If you are interested in doing the training, contact Carol Thombs (330-421-1932) for the link. The link will also be on our AAUW website later this month.

by Anne Gates and Kathy Kraus, Co-vice Presidents for Membership

The 2020-2021 Program and Membership Directory is now available online. You may access it as follows:

  1. Search for Medina County AAUW
  2. At the Membership tab (top right of the page), click on the “Members Only” bar
  3. Enter the new password. If you don’t have it, contact Kathy or Anne.

Paper copies were mailed to the members who requested one. If you did not request a paper copy and would like one, please contact Anne Gates.

We are delighted to welcome two new student members to our branch. Mercy Muchemi earned a B.A. at the United States International University –Africa, located in Nairobi, Kenya, and she is currently pursuing a nursing degree at Fortis College. Aneta Mullins earned an A.A. degree from Lorain County Community College and is now enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College studying psychology and social work. Contact information for both women may be found in the Directory.

We are also pleased to welcome back Betty Lynham to the Medina County branch. Welcome, Betty!

We extend a special note of appreciation to Pieri Levandofsky for her collaboration in creating the annual Directory. When combined with her leadership as Finance Officer, it made for a very streamlined process. We are also grateful to Mary Baker for her ongoing efforts to ensure that the membership information on the website is accurate and relevant. If you have not been on the branch website recently, we recommend that you spend some time exploring it; there is a wealth of information!

Please contact either of us with any membership-related questions.

Anne Gates                                                           Kathy Kraus
330-464-4733                                                       330-722-1107
agates1107@gmail.com                                     artkathy@zoominternet.net


The newly revamped AAUW Public Policy Website is very helpful and easy to interact with – please check it out at: AAUW Public Policy website

2019 -2021 AAUW “Public Policy Priorities underscore AAUW’s mission to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, educa- tion, and advocacy. The work of AAUW builds upon responsible public participation…(aauw.org).” Listed on the website are priorities that pro- vide a basis for AAUW member actions at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Explore the Issues, Get Empowered, and Take Action, are the three main categories you can click on and access clearly stated information within each page. Under ‘Take Action’ for example, there is a Two- Minute Activist page; listing ways you can get involved without leaving your home during our national sequester.

Check out the easy interactive site and I suggest you download the AAUW Public Policy Priorities word document and keep it on your laptop as a reference.

The local medina Public Policy Committee is off to a slow start but will gear up soon as I have had an unprecedented summer and fall with many changes in my job and in family responsibility.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact me – I would love to hear from you.

Cate Hunko, Public Policy, email: chunko@kent.edu

Equity Network Events:

Join us as we engage with the issues that matter most and share helpful resources for taking action. From negotiating your salary and benefits to advocating for change in your own community, the Equity Network is here to help you succeed.Check out our past webinars below and stay tuned for upcoming programs.

Equity Network Events

CULTURAL INTEREST — Stay-at-Home Style

HOW IS YOUR ALONE TIME GOING? These are from the AAUW Ohio website.

    • Keep in touch with family and friends by phone, email, FaceTime, Facebook, etc. Write them a letter like the governor suggests – write about a time in your life you haven’t told them about yet.
    • Start a journal.
    • Attack that pile of books you haven’t had time to read or get
    • eBooks from the library.
    • Plan your garden.
    • Do a jigsaw puzzle.
    • Sew on those buttons.
    • Work in the yard.
    • Learn a language or take a class through the library databases –Mango and Lynda.
    • Watch a movie with Hoopla.
    • Try a new recipe.

There are so many things you can do. It will be fun when we do get back together hearing what everyone did.


Congratulations to our newest scholarship recipients!

Two Brunswick, OH middle school students have been named recipients of our 2020 Camperships. They look forward to experiencing Camp BeWise and learning more about science and technology. Congratulations, ladies!

Unfortunately, due to the current health crisis, the BeWise Camp is being cancelled for this year. We are disappointed, but feel certain that our scholars will continue to pursue their interests in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology in the future.

Nontraditional Women’s Student Scholarships

Congratulations to our two scholarship recipients for 2020-2021, Aneta Mullins and Mercy W. Muchemi!

Aneta Mullins AAUW Scholarship recipient

Aneta Mullins has been awarded our AAUW scholarship. Aneta attended Midview High School, received an Associates of Liberal Arts degree in 2006 from Lorain Community College, and is presently a junior at Cuyahoga Community College majoring in Psychology/Social Work.

STEM Scholarship recipient Mercy W. Muchemi

Mercy W. Muchemi is our STEM Scholarship recipient. Mercy graduated from State House Girl’s School in 2007. She went on to the United States International University-Africa and received her Bachelors in International Relations in 2012. Presently, Mercy is working on a degree in nursing at Fortis College.

A “non-traditional” student is a woman who is returning to college  to finish an undergraduate degree or a woman who has delayed entering college for several years after completing high school or earning a GED. For more information, go to our Scholarship page.



21st Annual Sister to Sister Conference, March 8, 2020

One of the last events in early March before the
COVID-19 outbreak redirected our lives, Medina’s 21st Sister-to-Sister Girls Conference, was a resounding success for its 42 enrollees, 14 student leaders and over a dozen adult participants.

Keynote speaker, Stefanie Robinson addresses Sister-2-SIster.

The theme of “Be the TRUE You,” was one that has been reiterated a number of times, but this year had a fresh appeal. Keynote presenter Stefanie Robinson brought her message to the girls: ”You do not have to be what people expect of you, but be true to yourself and what you are capable of.” As a person who suffered from low self esteem early on, Robinson went through stages of bulimia, addiction to meds and drugs and was on the verge of self-destructing before she managed to find the strength to accept help and turn her life around. Today, she works with self-help organizations, bolsters courage among young people as well as adults who suffer from issues of dependencies and gets out on the road to speak her message to as many people as will listen. She is executive director of Hope Recovery Community and works with OhioGuidestone.

The junior leaders get a selfie.

Girls from the Junior Leadership Medina organization took on our conference as a group project this year. Many thanks to Carrie Park, Director, her young ladies who added their youthful enthusiasm and leadership to the event and the other teens who helped.

Attendees representing 15 schools as well as homeschooled students participated this year. We thank our special greeter — and his handler — from Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs for coming to welcome our attendees. A big round of applause goes to our host, Medina Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic Hospital, who has solidly supported this project since year one.

AAUW Medina Branch was the initiator of the event as we created a safe setting for young women to come together to meet girls from other schools, learn what it takes to become more self- confident and have fun while learning leadership and social skills. AAUW team members who were part of the project this year are Alanna Arnold, Pieri Levandofsky and Pat Chaloupek.

Special June Meeting: Basics of Investing, June, 25 at 7 pm

There was a virtual meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. The Zoom meeting was hosted by our speaker Sue Kozak who discussed “The Basics of Investing.”



February Meeting – 18th Black History Month Program Salute to Veterans: The Fight for Freedom

Veteran Tonya Jones next to her picture.

“This year’s event acknowledged and saluted the Black Veterans of the United States of America Armed Forces who fought and continue to fight for all of our freedom even when they had or have none of their own,” announced Kim Oliver, Medina Branch Diversity Chair. The program was highlighted in a recent edition of The Medina Gazette.

The Black History Month program, which has become a tradition in our community, was held Thurs., February 20, at the Second Baptist Church, 451 Bronson St., Medina. Co-sponsors with AAUW were the Second Baptist Church and Fellowship Baptist Church.

From Civil War regiments to Tuskegee Airmen and in present day military incursions, black soldiers have distinguished themselves with valor; they were celebrated in song, poetry and historical readings.

The Claggett Middle School Choir, the Medina Community Choir, and Local VFW #5137 also participated in the program. A “pick-up” community choir sang that evening, having come to the church an hour before the program for practice. AAUW members brought plated snacks and dessert items to the Fellowship Hall for serving following the program.

AAUW Medina County Branch members, Ashley Powell, Kathy Kraus, and Jill Heck. Kraus was one of the planners of the event and offered attendees a look into the life of Col. Robert Shaw.

Oliver chaired the program with assistance from branch members Kathy Kraus and Alanna Arnold, and Pastors John and Senesa Peterson of Fellowship Baptist Church and Arthur Ruffin, of Second Baptist Church.

Also, our thanks to The Foundry (formerly High Voltage Indoor Carting) for allowing us to use their parking lot for overflow parking.

January Meeting – Members Learn Recycling, Reusing and Conserving

With guidance from branch member Carol Thombs, a dedicated environmentalist and former science teacher, thirty of our members learned to discern what materials can be recycled, what can be reused, what is safe for the environment and what products should be avoided.

The program, held January 23 at the home of Cheri Ingraham, was a “hands-on” learning experience for all. Thombs assigned people to groups, and armed them with a bag (reusable) with various kinds of trash items from “paper” plates to wrapping paper. and take-home containers. They were to decide how these products would be classified and record data on their whiteboard. They considered paper with/without coatings, stamped recycle markings on the bottom of the product, shape and condition.

On hand to answer questions on what is being recycled locally was Beth Biggins-Ramer, Solid Waste Coordinator at Medina County Solid Waste District. “Recycled items are commodities, and as such are bought and sold so they need to conform to certain standards,” she stated.

Thanks to Carol Thombs for preparing the program, Beth Biggins-Ramer, Solid Waste Coordinator, Cheri Ingraham for hosting in her lovely home (she used regular plates and table service and cloth napkins) and to the members who provided snacks/ treats with no single-use plastics.

DECEMBER MEETING- AAUW Medina Branch December Diversity Dinner

Thank you to everyone who generously gave money or gift cards to The Children’s Center last month. The final total, $530, helped provide Christmas presents for children served by the Center during the holiday. Our members really came through again!

Guest presenters with the International Student Exchange program – Garance Deret, from France, and Pareeda (Beam) Techawongprasert, from Thailand—were welcomed at the branch Diversity Dinner, held Dec. 10 at the lovely holiday decorated home of President Alanna Arnold.

Deret, enrolled as a senior at Medina High School, is from Joinville de Pont, France,
a commune in the SE suburb of Paris. She has a special interest in graphic art and has taken Advanced Drawing and 3-D Art and Design as courses this year. Outside of school, she was enrolled in ballet at Medina Centre for Dance Art and was preparing for an upcoming recital. She has four siblings and has been studying English since grammar school, with the hopes of teaching English. Duret is staying with Kate Owen and family on East Washington St. in Medina.

From a city with a metro area population of over 14 million persons, Pareeda (Beam) Techa- wongprasert calls Bankok, Thailand home. Beam, as she likes to be called, is being hosted by the Lorton Family and is a senior attending Wadsworth High School. Her favorite subjects are math and science and she is considering a career in engineering. She, too, is interested in dance, and has had training in traditional Thai dances.

She commented about her new “American look” –blonde hair, which she has been trying out, and which her parents would be surprised at. “Our schools are more strict back home; kids wear uni- forms and cannot change their hair color.”

American kids more dependent on using cell phones, the girls stated, saying that in their home schools, electronic use was more regulated. Both young women are finding Americans friendly and hospitable and have enjoyed being a part of the international experience. They were looking forward to school vacation and getting to participate in more activities, including some opportunities to travel out- side the area.

The ISE has been bringing together ex- change students and volunteer host families for nearly 40 years. Students arrive in August for the 10-month program and stay through the school year, Hamilton has been with ISE since 2007 and currently has 12 exchange students that she is responsible for in Medina and Summit County.

The branch thanks Alanna and Jack Arnold for generously opening their home for the dinner meeting and Jill Heck and her assistants for setup and prep work: Mary Lou Euse, Donna Hamilton, Jill Morton, Jeri Penn, Judy Smith and the Arnolds. Moravian Star table favors were made by Euse.


No Meeting. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.


Celebrate the Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote.

During 2019 and 2020, Americans will celebrate the 100thanniversary of the ratification of the 19thAmendment which legalized women’s right to vote. The AAUW Medina Branch is celebrated this occasion by holding a special local event.

AAUW member & re-enactor, Kathy Krause, portrayed Victoria Woodhull, a leader of the suffrage movement. Ms Woodhull was the first woman to start a weekly newspaper and the first woman to own a brokerage firm on Wall Street, but Woodhull is best known for being the first woman candidate for President of the United States.

Kathy was joined by AAUW member, Annette Barzal, and members of the Sharon Center Historical Society portraying  suffragettes, campaigning for equal rights for women.

Luncheon, for members only, began at 12:00 p.m. The program followed the luncheon at 1:00 p.m. and was free and is open to the public.


“Breaking the Glass Ceiling”, a panel discussion featuring five women in positions of prominence in business and non-profit organizations kicked off the programming for the chapter for this year,  Thursday, September 26 at the Medina Library.

 The program offered insights into how these women rose to their current positions, their thoughts on how to be successful in engaging men and women to find solutions and meet goals, and their views on trends regarding female leadership in Medina County. 




We kicked off our year with a lovely picnic held at the Pavilion at Bunker Hill. While enjoying the great food, this year’s BeWISE campers, Adrienne Raglow and Sarah Keller, and family members were our special guests, describing their experiences at the week-long STEM camp held at Kenyon College in June. BeWISE camp was started in 1989 by members of the board of directors of AAUW Ohio to encourage girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math, and was one of the first of its kind in the country.

      • JULY 4TH – AAUW branch members dressed as “Suffragettes” for the Medina City Annual Parade. We rode in an antique truck from the Historical Society waving banners.  At right, photo from last year’s parade.
      • JULY 28 – (SUNDAY) – Annual Nate Vermote Run to Freedom, on Medina Square. Both 5-K run and 1-mile walk; start time 9 am. Benefits Medina County Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

The branch offers opportunities to come together monthly to experience programs on topics of interest from NASA space shuttle projects to storytelling, human trafficking awareness to following a student as she re-traced the original “Freedom Ride” of 1961 through the south.  We have active interest groups that discuss pertinent books, visit area museums, exhibits and attractions, and screen current films.

Browse our site and find out how you can be a part of our active organization!

Medina County Branch has a Facebook Page….visit us at http://www.facebook.com/MedinaAAUW to see what people are interested in. Share your thoughts and LIKE us!