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,

Our fiscal year is almost over. Despite the pandemic, AAUW has had a busy year with much more to come. We now have a diversity book club in addition to our regular book club and a new environmental committee.

On April 29th at 7:00 p.m., our Environmental Committee and our partner the Medina Public Library will host a Zoom panel discussion, called The World We Live In, to raise awareness of environmental issues in our area. Please look for the link in this newsletter to make your reservation.

Caught up in the renewal spirit of Spring, my daughter got a 9-week-old kitten which is, adorable, of course. When we introduced kitty, Beignet, (a hole-less French doughnut eaten in New Orleans) to our dog Tillie (who had been a breeder in a puppy mill), Tillie very slowly leaned forward. Then, Tillie very gently kissed Beignet with the tip of her tongue touched to the kitten’s mouth. It was just so sweet and loving. I know Tillie was a good mamma to her many pups.

If only we were all as uncomplicated and pure of heart as animals! The world would be so much nicer. ( No lions, tigers, or bears, oh my!)

I wish you all a warm, sunny spring of hope, recovery, and freedom.


Alanna Arnold
President, AAUW of Medina

The World We Live In, April 29, 2021, at 7pm

Learn how your budget and health are impacted by pollutants in our air, water, and soil. Join the Environmental Group for a panel discussion: “The World We Live In,” on Thursday, April 29 at 7 P.M. The event will be held virtually.

Joining us to share their expertise will be:

  • Dr. Ryan Haden, Associate Professor of Soil Science at The OSU Agricultural Technical Institute
  • Abby Costilow, Medina Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Dawn Meyers, Akron Regional Air Quality Management District
    These well-informed panelists will help us understand why saving our planet is urgent. Explore with us:
  • What the situation is now
  • Why we MUST protect our world
  • Steps you can take to make a change
  • How helping the environment can save money and your health
  • Registrations are being taken at https://tinyurl.com/AAUWMedinaRegistration We hope you can be a part of this important and interesting discussion.

Mark Your Calendar!

Meeting programs are being finalized for the rest of the year, but we have some interesting and exciting topics on the books. Be sure to mark your calendar for the rest of our meetings this year:

  • May 22
  • June 24


Nominating Committee Looking for Potential Officers


Our branch needs a leader who can plan four to five (4-5) programs for year 2021-2022. That person would attend board meeting on the first Monday of the month and attend general meetings. You can plan with your committee to help keep us informed of what’s going on in our community and surrounding areas.

We Can Do This TOGETHER! You don’t have to have “connections.” There are 65+members in this branch. Won’t you step forward and help us lead in our programming? All of our members are qualified.

Also WANTED: Secretary

We need a secretary for two years to take minutes at board and general meetings. Please call Cindy Weisheit at 330-635-0304. Or email at cindygolf3265@gmail.com.

Let’s make this coming year a wonderful year after quarantining and distancing in 2020!

Sister-to-Sister 2021: Sunday, April 18, 2021, On-line

We are very pleased to host the 22nd Sister-to-Sister Girls’ Conference, a forum for Medina County girls ages 11-14, on Sun., April 18, 2021. Our theme this year is: “How to be Resilient”. This year we are delighted to have the Medina County Junior Leaders take our program on as one of their projects. The young women involved have breathed life into an event that would have otherwise been cancelled since we cannot bring a large group together. Their theme: How to Be Resilient, captures the spirit of this past year.

This year’s program will be held virtually and will be supported by the teens from local high schools and from the Junior Leadership team. S2S will include two guest speakers: Medina Councilperson, Jessica Hazeltine, and Branch member Ashley Powell, 2020 Excellence in Leadership Recipient. The teens will then move into breakout rooms and activities with high school mentors. A grab-and-go craft kit will also be available for pick up at the Medina Library, of Medina County District Library from April 12-17.

Sister-to-Sister, (S2S), has been reaching out to young women for more than 20 years. The original S2S project was initiated in 1997 by the national American Association of University Women in an effort to understand the concerns of our nation’s young women and how these concerns affected their educational experiences.

Sister-to-Sister is open to all Medina County young women, ages 11-14, and there is no fee to attend. The virtual event will be held Sunday, April 18 from 12:00-2:00 pm. A zoom link will be sent prior to the event. S2S is made possible by AAUW Medina, Cornerstone Psychological Services, Girl Scouts of America, ZONTA ABC, Medina County District Library, The Medina County Health Department and Cloverleaf schools.

Register online at tinyurl.com/Sister2SisterRegistration .

AAUW Ohio Regional Conferences



This is a significant time in AAUW’s history, as it presents an opportunity for members to exercise their right to vote on three key ballot items. The first issue is an amendment to the organization’s Bylaws that will eliminate the academic degree requirement for membership. As reported in the February 2021 issue of The Voice, the national board is recommending a vote in favor of the proposal. The rationale is that doing so will bring the AAUW membership criteria in line with its mission and values of advancing gender equity. In addition, making this change will promote an inclusive and diverse organization, reflect today’s society, and engage all who are interested in furthering AAUW’s priorities. Not sure how you feel about it? Here is a Membership Requirement Q & A about the issue.

In addition to the Bylaws proposal, the ballot includes amendments to public policy priorities. These are adopted on a biannual basis and serve to guide the national staff and members on advocacy matters. Integrated throughout the proposed amendments is a consistent focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity. Finally, AAUW members are asked to elect four members to the national Board of Directors; board responsibilities and candidate biographies are available for review online.

To access the online ballot and information relevant to the election, please locate the email entitled ”Vote now to shape AAUW’s future,” which arrived on April 7. Here you will find your unique voter ID and pin, along with a link to the National Election page, which provides detailed information on all three ballot initiatives.

Questions may be directed to connect@aauw.org. Please note that voting will remain open until Monday May 17, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

As always, please feel free to contact Kathy Kraus (artkathy@zoominternet.net; 330-722-1107)
or me (agates1107@gmail.com; 330-464-4733) with any membership-related questions.

Respectfully submitted, Anne Gates

Member News


I’m working on a comprehensive project to break the cycle of poverty for a group of individuals who live in Union Square, Medina.

Policy makers do studies on breaking the cycle of poverty and there are classes you can take to learn financial literacy, but more can be done collectively at a grass roots level. We work on individual projects and make a difference a little at a time, but think what we could do if all worked together toward one goal. Breaking the cycle of poverty in Medina County.

With that thought in mind, I reached out to Samantha Harr, who is the resident manager for Union Square, to inquire on what services her community could use to improve their current situation. We discussed the barriers to access education and employment. Some of these barri- ers are: child care, background checks, transportation, broadband and technology. Here are a few things we’ve gotten into place:

Education – Project Learn will conduct tutoring for GED’s, Civil Service and ASVAB testing for anyone over 18 years of age in the Union Square Community Room.
Background Checks – I reached out to the Medina County Probation Officer and received information on how to seal records for individuals who have up to 5 felonies. I’m putting together information packets for Samantha to hand out when needed. We are advertising this information through a poster on the new jobs board Samantha has installed.
Technology– Samantha was approached by an individual who wants to help get computers and tech in the Union Square Community Room. It’s great news for this community! He also has donated a large screen TV that will be installed and can be used as a white board. Continuous WiFi is another subject. The Medina school is paying for WiFi through the end of the school year, but after that we will need to find additional resources. United Methodist Church has promised to pay up to 3 months, and I hope that will cover the summer months. We don’t know what will happen when school starts again in the fall
Library – United Methodist Church has put in 2 small bookshelves and books for the children. I have resourced a couple more bookshelves and a hundred books or so to put on them. I plan to install a bookcase for adult learning as well.
Children – Samantha and I met with the new board president of Let’s Make A Difference to see where we can work together with the children and parents of Union Square. I’m looking to make a connection with Big Brothers and Big Sisters too. I’ve heard that Medina County may now have a branch.

What I need from you and other AAUW members is help in filling in the holes.

Some of these young people will need mentors to help them navigate the job market, writing a resume, finding appropriate clothing, learning to dress for an interview, learning good interview skills, etc. These soft skills can be intimidating and overwhelming. Can you help guide someone through this process? These young people just need someone to believe in them and help them up and out of their situation.

I can give individuals information on how to seal their records, but I can’t answer any legal questions or give advice, so if you are an attorney could you volunteer an hour or so a week to answer any questions on how to fill out the form and what qualifies, etc.?

We will also be looking for a couple of tutors for tech once the computers get in. In today’s work world it’s imperative that everyone has good computer and internet skills. Can you tutor in Word, Excel, Google, email, etc.?

When you help with even one of these items listed above you could change someone’s life forever. Union Square is only a starting point. Once a few more connec- tions are made, and more barriers are taken down, I’d like to see this project be duplicated across the county.

Let’s work together for positive change in Medina County. I hope you will join me!

Donna Beheydt, Community Organizer
If you can help, text Donna at 330-703-7607 or email at donna.beheydt@gmail.com

Autumn Splendor, Annette Miller

Only a third of artists represented by commercial galleries are women and women working in arts professions are paid on average 74 cents to every dollar paid to men. 

This is what motivates AAUW to host an annual art contest — to give women artists the attention they deserve. Medina Branch members Annette Miller and Mary Lou Euse have submitted

This One Is Mine, Mary Lou Euse

photos to the contest. Voting opens Feb. 10 and will close on March 3. The six winning entries will be featured in a collection of notecards mailed to AAUW members in the spring. Click here to vote. Good Luck Annette and Mary Lou!

–Thanks to all who voted for our branch participants. While their entries were not selected in this large and diverse competition, they represented our branch well. Congratulations, Annette and Mary Lou!

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!! “

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

Meeting, March 25, 2021 

AAUW member Joyce Rynearson spoke about “ music, musings and memories,” providing recollections of a journey that began at the age of ten when a teenage boy, playing duets on an old upright piano, changed her life. From taking lessons at the Cleveland Music Settlement, to jamming at Kent State, joining a dance band, working as a church accompanist, playing at a hotel in Mexico, entertaining visitors in the Cleveland Clinic lobby— all of these opportunities and more were made possible by that chance meeting years ago.

Joyce and her piano took us on a musical journey of her varied experiences with a lifetime love of music. We traveled with her from classical to jazz, to gospel and show tunes. We enjoyed her rendition of “Maple Leaf Rag,” a Scott Joplin tune, and “This Little Light of Mine.” She also played “What I Did for Love” from “Chorus Line” and “Sea of Love.”

Joyce reminded us of the importance of music in our lives by sharing several beautiful quotes about music:

  • “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human society cannot do without.” (Confucius)
  • “There are two means of refuge from the misery of life—music and cats.” (Albert Schweitzer)
  • “A painter paints pictures on canvas, but a musician paints pic- tures on silence.” (Leopold Stokowski)

Joyce will be playing at the Cleveland Clinic in Medina when Covid 19 restrictions are lifted. We will post her schedule when it is available. Thank you for the special program on music that we all enjoyed.

Meeting, February 25, 2021

Our Feb. program highlighted Victor Hugo Green, the African American postal worker best known for developing, writing and publishing The Negro Motorist Green Book, later known as The Negro Traveler’s Green Book. This book, published from 1936 to 1966, provided information on lodging, restaurants, gas stations and the like which African Americans travelling during Jim Crow and racial

Diversity Chair, Kim Oliver hosting the Feb. meeting.

segregation could use to safely travel throughout the United States. Kim Oliver, AAUW Diversity Chair, served as Mistress of Ceremony. The presenters, AAUW members or community volunteers, were Alanna Arnold, Jill Heck, Allison Hoff and Minister Senesa Peterson. Many thanks to Colleen Rice and Leadership Medina County for their help hosting the program on Zoom. 

Meeting, January 28, 2021

Sarah Krieger, Advancement Specialist of Hope and Healing, will speak at our AAUW meeting on Thursday, January 28th at 7:30 p.m. She will discuss the progress of the Medina project and then answer your questions about the Battered Women’s Shelter.

As you are aware, this has been a very difficult time for families. Please attend the Zoom meeting to hear how the needs of these families are being addressed.

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.

November- No Meeting due to the Thanksgiving holiday

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:


Vincent van Gogh self portrait, Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France

“Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit” is coming to Cleveland from September 9 through November 28 of 2021. This exhibit is 500,000 cu ft. of monumental projections of Van Gogh’s works from the sunny landscapes to the starry nights, portraits, and still life. It is a multisensory exhibit in which you walk through large scale moving images with music. This exhibit will be located at an historic Cleveland venue that is being kept secret for now. Covid 19 safety precautions will be in effect and admission will be managed with advance timed tickets. Go to vangoghcleveland.com to purchase advance tickets. There are several different prices ranging from $30 to $100 per ticket. Most of September and weekends in October are already sold out.

This is the type of trip we would have enjoyed as a group pre-Covid. We can’t do that, but I at least wanted to make sure our members had the information to attend if they choose. Cleveland supports the arts and we are so fortunate to get an exhibit like this.

Great Improvements Ahead

The gifts received for the Battered Women’s Shelter totaled $1600.00. Thank you so much for your support of the facility. I delivered the checks the first of January and they are so pleased we care about the women and children of Medina County.

Jill Morton
Liaison of Battered Women’s Shelter

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.

Jill Morton and Susan Holbrook arranged our February Zoom general meeting with our speaker, Sarah Krieger, the advancement specialist at Hope and Healing, the Battered Women’s Shelter and Rape Crisis Center for Medina and Summit counties. Sarah’s heart has always been in nonprofit work. While in college she helped develop Mission Possible, a service program in the Dominican Republic, and she continues as the Director of that program today. Sarah has also served as Executive Director of a multistate agency that places for credit leadership and service classes in high schools. Sarah has been on the team at Hope and Healing for the last three years, and she gave us an informative presentation on this important local group. 

The calls for help at Hope and Healing have increased due to the coronavirus. The increase has been especially large in the Family and Stability Program which helps with finding jobs and apartments. They also serve as the fiduciary for the Human Trafficking Program and provide housing for these victims on an emergency short term basis. The shelter also has room for senior victims affected by elder abuse. They do help men in abusive situations and work with the LGBTQ community. Those who need the shelter cross all ages, races, and economic groups. 

The clothing bank is always in need of donations which can be dropped off at the Medina office at 696 East Washington St. The shelter employs six psychologists, two youth and four adult. They offer skill classes, therapy dogs, and do allow pets. 

They are in process of building a new facility to further meet the demands for help. When it is complete, they will have a “housewarming party” requesting donations for furnishings. They have always been on our AAUW list of charities to support. Sarah expressed appreciation for that support. It was very interesting to learn more about the grass roots functioning of this group. 

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. 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

Bernice Goertzen organized a unique and interesting poetry program for the month of April. We shared the following four poems:

  • Louise Gluck– “At the end of my suffering there was a door,”
  • Rhiannon Giddens—“Build a House—Juneteenth Song” (this is the musician we know mostly by her first name only) She performs this selection with YO-Yo Ma.
  • Billy Collins—“I Go Back to the House for a Book” Bob Dylan—“The Times They Are a Changin’”

In a podcast by Oliver Fox we examined Billy Collins’s Six Elements of a Poem comparing poetry to a “museum housing a history of the human heart.” These elements are shape (building), title (marquis), first lines (welcome mat), stanzas (rooms), turning toward the abstract (the discovered subject), and the final word (the flagship exhibit).

Poet Amanda Gorman stole the show at President Biden’s inauguration, and poet Brandon Leake won last season’s America’s Got Talent competition. Poetry is alive and well today and is enjoyable reading.

PBS has been showing a really good two part documentary on Hemingway that you may enjoy if you are a fan.

We will be meeting via Zoom at 1:00PM on May 10. The link to join us will be sent out a day ahead of time. We will be reading The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett.  Please join us for our last meeting until next September. Our summer reading book will be Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson. Contact Donna Hamilton if you have any questions or suggestions.

Remember: Book Club meets the second Monday of every month at 1:00PM.


“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.

February 2021 – Women and Leadership
Saturday, February 20th, 10:00am to 11:00 am via Zoom
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, Caroline Criado Perez 2019 
Approximate Book cost $16
(Amazon Link here)
Lead discussion: Deborah Wooldridge and Rush Rodgers; click to RSVP.


Carol Thombs has been thinking about the book sale fundraiser that we normally have in April. Unfortunately, the pandemic is forcing us to postpone any plans for this important branch fundraiser until later in the year, perhaps September. Safety will always be our first concern. But, we remain optimistic that we may again serve the book-lovers of Medina.


This year’s Black History Month Program will be a Zoom presentation available to AAUW members and the public. The presentation will take place on Thursday, February 18, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. The topic this year will be “Driving While Black.” We will discuss the particular difficulties that black motorists have historically encountered and The Green Book which was used by black motorists to find friendly accommodations, gas stations, and restaurants while traveling.

To attend, participants must make a reservation at aswarnold@gmail.com or artkathy@zoominternet.net prior to 2:00 p.m. on February 18th. Participants are limited to 100. The first 100 to make a reservation will be sent the Zoom address.



Carbon footprints can be reduced through improving energy efficiency and changing lifestyles and purchasing habits. Reduce, Reuse & Recycle preferably in that order.

Continuing our thoughts around the importance of trees for air quality, what are some ways we can responsibly use paper products? We cut down 23,000 (conservative estimate) trees a day just for toilet paper. Have you ever noticed a package that says in large print, “Made from 100% recycled materials,” and then in small print it says, “at least 50% from post-consumer products?” What is going on here? If it’s “recycled” doesn’t that mean it was already used at least once? Turns out manufacturers purchase new products and then “recycle” them to claim they are using 100% recycled materials. Watch the labels.

How to Reduce Paper Usage

  • Use tissues and toilet paper made from recycled paper.
  • Use old towels etc. instead of paper towels. Use linen towels instead of paper towels, except for greasy messes or cat puke.
  • Bamboo paper towels are reusable, really soak up liquids, and bamboo regrows quickly.
  • Use Norwex kitchen cloths for cleaning up spills. These cloths are carbon neutral and are made of 70% recycled plastic bottles.
  • Cancel most magazine subscriptions.  Magazines can be checked out or downloaded electronically from the library. Share your newspapers and magazines.
  • Use a permanent filter in your coffee maker. This eliminates paper coffee filters.
  • Buy loose tea or tea bags in paper to avoid the waste of the wrappings.
  • Never purchase or use paper dishes or cups or plastic silver-ware.

–submitted by Lor Breyley

Human Trafficking
Carol Thombs

Changes are happening in the Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Rhonda Wurgler has resigned from the Children’s Center. Anna Guy Leach is temporarily acting in her place until a new director is found. In the absence of funds for the Coalition, Bailey Ewing and Beth Ewing have both left the Children’s Center as employees. They will continue as volunteer co-chairs of the Coalition.

These events are leading to other changes. New by-laws are being written which will include the SOAP Project as well. By- laws for the Coalition are new and including SOAP is a welcome addition. Committees are needed to do the work of the Coalition. Alanna Arnold has stepped up to be “Basket Chair” to find groups to submit baskets for fundraising at HT events.

The next HT event will be a Poker Run that is planned for September or October. AAUW will consider making a basket to produce much needed funds for HT. Please support Alanna in creating the basket and also the event.

Changes are also happening in SOAP. Nine hotels in Wooster and a 5th team to cover them have been added. Flash drives with training for hotel staffs have been created. Our team members have requested these because of the high turnover in hotel staffs and for refreshers for longer term employees.

The NFL Draft will be taking place in Cleveland April 29 through May 1. An event such as this always draws more human trafficking because of attending men with time on their hands and extra cash. We have been asked to cover hotels in Cuyahoga County that do not have SOAP teams. Members of 2 of our SOAP teams have responded to do this. A big hand to them for their commitment and their passion to eliminate human trafficking.

by Anne Gates Co-vice President for Membership

This spring, AAUW members across the country will have an opportunity to vote on a significant proposed change to the current national Bylaws: eliminating the college degree requirement for membership in the organization.

In an online forum last September, Board Chair, Julia Brown, and Vice Chair, Malinda Gaul, provided a comprehensive perspective on the proposed Bylaws change. They stated that in- clusion is a priority for younger people and, given that fifty percent of the U.S. population was born after 1980, AAUW needs to acknowledge this generational shift with respect to removing barriers to membership and keeping AAUW vital into the future. Further, Brown and Gaul underscored that the AAUW leadership has considered racial and social justice and its relationship to the degree requirement; women in marginalized groups are often dispro- portionately affected by issues of equity. They emphasized that AAUW’s reputation and brand are key, and some outside the organization view it as being hypocritical with respect to its emphasis on inclusivity in light of a degree requirement for membership. This can affect AAUW’s ability to secure grants, as some funders do not want to be affiliated with a group that discriminates on the basis of an educational requirement.

A summary of key talking points in support of eliminating the education requirement, as prepared by AAUW’s Inclusion & Equity Committee, is outlined below:

  1.  It is the right thing to do and is in keeping with our mission to advance gender equity.
  2.  Eliminating the degree requirement will bring AAUW membership criteria in line with its mission – to advance gender equity.
  3.  Greater diversity can only strengthen AAUW and our ability to advance equity.
  4.  Times have changed and society has changed. AAUW strives to meet our mission and society’s needs today.
  5.  AAUW empowers women. How does keeping the membership requirement help you empower women?
  6.  Just like our founding mothers, we can be role models for positive change in the world. But we cannot have the impact we seek when our membership criteria don’t match our mission and values.
  7. AAUW is unique due to our breadth of programming, research, policy and advocacy, fellowships and grants, and most importantly, a grassroots membership that can be mobilized to fight for what we believe in. We should open this powerful grassroots network up to all who want to join the fight.
  8. Education comes in many forms. Those who do not have degrees can still be strong advocates for our mission.
  9. AAUW must evolve to survive.

Voting will take place starting April 7, 2021 and will continue through May 17, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Further information may be found in the Membership Toolkit on the AAUW page cited below. Please familiarize yourself with the proposed Bylaws change and exercise your right to vote later this spring.

AAUW. Open membership toolkit. Retrieved from https://www.aauw.org/resources/ member/governance-tools/national-election/open-membership-toolkit/
AAUW. Webinar on membership dues and degree requirement with Julia Brown and Malinda Gaul: September 22, 2020. Retrieved from AAUW.org.


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


Scholarship Applications Being Accepted for 2021-22

The Medina County Branch of the American Association of University Women is accepting applications for two $1500.00 general scholarships and one $1500.00 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) scholarship to be given to a “non-traditional” woman undergraduate student who is attending an accredited college or university. This applies to the 2021-2022 academic year and applicants must be a resident of Medina County.

A “non-traditional” student is a woman twenty-five years of age or older 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.

The deadline for submission of the application, college transcript, and recommendations is Friday, April 9, 2021. The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of financial need, academic achievement, and clarity of goals and objectives. Scholarships will be awarded in May.

Applications are available through The Akron Community Foundation at www.akroncf.org/Students. For more information email Jill Morton, Scholarship Committee Chairperson at jillmorton@zoominternet.net

Nontraditional Women’s Student Scholarships for 2020-21

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.

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!