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!

President’s Message

“The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing that all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.” – Claudia Alta, “Lady Bird,” Johnson, Former First Lady of USA 

Dear Members, 

Every Thanksgiving most family and friends gather to share a meal, perhaps watch a football game, or even spend special time reflecting and being thankful for what they have. This Thanksgiving, let us look at the holiday in another light. Are we thankful for our environment? Are we thankful enough to contribute to making ourselves the “focusing lens” on what we can become through improving our environment for ourselves and future generations? 

Our very own Environmental Committee will be issuing challenges and suggestions throughout the year on how our members and the community at large can protect and improve our environment. Let us rise to these challenges and consider their suggestions on how we can have our environment be a reflection of our better selves. “Remember, you are this universe and this universe is you.” (Joy Harjo, United States Poet Laureate.) 

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Native American History Month! 

Kim Oliver
AAUW Medina Branch 



Our VP of Programming, Joyce Rynearson, has been busy planning the upcoming year. Be sure to mark your calendar for this year’s meeting dates:

  • November– No Meeting this Month: Happy Thanksgiving!
  • December 2, 2021, 6 pm – Potluck Diversity Dinner
    Lexington Ridge Clubhouse
    4367 Lexington Ridge Drive, Medina, Ohio
  • January 27, 2022 – “S.O.A.P. Human Trafficking” by Cindy Chesnik, Volunteer and Esthetician for victims of human trafficking
    Medina County Library, 210 S Broadway, Medina, Ohio
    Membership meeting 6:30 PM Program 7:00 PM
  • February 2022 – Black History Program
  • March 24, 2022 – “Adventures of Donna and Kathy in the Middle East” by Donna Hamilton and Kathy Kraus
    Medina County Library, Community Room A
    210 S Broadway, Medina, Ohio
    Membership meeting 5:30 PM Program 6:00 PM
  • April 20 – 23, 2022 – Book Sale – April 19, 2022: Member Preview
  • May 26, 2022 – Spring Dinner Meeting
    Program: Scholarship Recipients for 2022 to be introduced & Installation of Officers
    Venue TBA
    Time: 6:00 PM



Who?    Members & Guests
What?   Dinner prepared by Dominic’s , Coffee, Tea, & Water provided
When?  Thursday, December 2, 2021, 6:00 p.m.
Where? Lexington Ridge Clubhouse
              4367 Lexington Ridge Dr. Medina, OH Cost? $10.00 per person
What to bring:
              Your own table service
              Soft drink or wine
RSVP by November 22 to Jeri Penn, jeripenn@gmail.com or 330-725-0971

Remember your donations to:
The Children’s Center of Medina County
Medina Chapter of SOAP *See article for more information*

We are pleased to announce that Medina AAUW Branch will be holding its Annual Diversity Dinner once again this year! There will be a few changes due to safety precautions, but a good time will be had by all! 

The Medina County Health Department has advised us that food is NOT a vehicle for the transmission of flu/ COVID viruses, but that we need to be mindful of several safety measures. Therefore, we will be adhering to the following suggested guidelines: 

The serving of the food will be done by 2-3 volunteers and prior to going through the line, everyone will be wearing masks and using hand sanitizer or wearing gloves. Mindful masking before and after eating, spacing at the tables and increasing air circulation were also recommended. The party room at Lexington Ridge is spacious and has many tables. It is much more open than a private home setting, allowing us to spread out as desired. It’s also very “ user friendly,” with a large parking lot, no steps to climb, a large kitchen area, restrooms, comfy furniture and a fireplace! All the comforts of home! 

This year’s meal will be prepared by Dominic’s Italian Restaurant in Medina and will include: 

Meat Lasagna
Penne Pasta Alfredo
Salad with Italian or Ranch Dressing
Appetizers and desserts from commercial venues 

Please contact our hostess, Jeri Penn, by phone or mail no later than Monday, November 22 at Jeripenn@gmail.com or 330-725-0971 and let her know you will be attending. The cost for the dinner is $10 per person. Please make checks payable to : Medina AAUW and mail to: Pieri Levandofsky, 251 Jasper Lane, Medina, OH 44256. 

Another Successful Sister-to-Sister 2021

This year’s Sister to Sister event looked a little different as it took place virtually via Zoom. The event almost didn’t happen at all, but thanks to Buckeye Student and Junior Leader, Olivia Ortiz, the planning board was inspired to try a new format. This year’s theme was “How to be Resilient” and featured two guest speakers, Jessica Hazeltine, a Medina Council person, and Ashley Powell, AAUW Medina’s 2020 Excellence in Leadership Award. Hazeltine detailed her experience being bullied as a child and eventually developing the confidence to run for city council. Powell is a former Buckeye Local Schools student, and she discussed her experiences growing up as a black woman in a mostly white community. She discussed how she did not begin to have confidence in herself until her twenties, and she largely attributes that to the people who supported her no matter what. After listening to the two inspiring speakers, the girls were sent to a breakout room where they could interact and ask questions of high school mentors.

To go along with the virtual program, the participants were also able to collect a craft kit and create fun projects using instruction videos created by the teen leaders. We are grateful that we were able to have an event at all this year, and much of the credit goes to the teen leaders for being creative and providing young girls with the opportunity to be inspired and learn how to build resiliency.

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 was open to all Medina County young women, ages 11-14, and there was no fee to attend. 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.



An excerpt from a speech made by a National Board Chairman to a national committee to answer that question.

“I recently had a discussion with a member who was of the opinion that the board is not focused on the right things, among other things; she was upset about the increase in dues and proposed bylaw change. This person felt that we should be solely working on programs and initiatives that would provide more value and benefit to individual members. In other words, she felt the “M” we should be thinking about is membership. I begged to differ with her. When I think of the focus on “M,” two words come to mind: Mission and Management. Now, management is a term often associated with for-profit corporations. However, strong governance along with competent, professional management with vision, is also essential in nonprofit organizations.

“As for mission, AAUW does not exist to serve its members. Its purpose, its mission, is to advance gender equity for women and girls through, research, education, and advocacy. Of course, as a member association, we also want to provide value of membership, but the basic legal tenet of a non-profit is that benefit does not inure to its members except, of course, in a collective and incidental way.”

Member News

Member Nancy Peacock announced a Bourbon Raffle to benefit the Free Clinic of Medina County. Go to their website at https://fcomc.org/bourbon-raffle/ for more information.

Jeri Penn entered the 38th Annual Medina Needle Art Show, which is sponsored by the Medina Needlework Guild. The juried show was held at the Brunswick Library on September 18 & 19, 2021. The wool appliqué heart candle mat received ribbons for First Place, Technical Excellence, & Judges Choice. Way to go, Jeri!

Our President, Kim Oliver, has been busy volunteering with Medina “Spirits of the Past” program. Here she is pictured in the Medina County Gazette impersonating Lucia Medley, an early settler of Medina.

Past President Kathy Kraus will be presenting for the Medina County Retired Teachers Association in October. Kathy promises a beautiful demonstration, drawing with a fall theme, which will be raffled and won by a lucky guest! 

Also from Kathy, Dr. Robert Kraus, son of Kathy Kraus, is Dean of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota. This is the first university chosen to implement the new National Space Force University Partner- ship Program. This program is the recipient of a thirty million dollar endowment from a WWII pilot who is in his mid 90’s. The United States Space Force (USSF) University Partnership Program (UPP) is a key part of the Space Force Human Capital Strategy. USSF is establishing creative and innovative initiatives to motivate and develop space professionals by collaborating with industry and academia. Kraus is a recently retired air force veteran and a West Point and Buckeye High School graduate.

Congratulations to Alanna and Jack Arnold who spent ten days enjoying the Hawaiian Islands to celebrate their 50th Anniversary!


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

Medina Branch Earns Awards

State branch awards were announced at two state regional conferences attended by our branch President Alanna Arnold. Therefore, she would like to announce that Medina AAUW re- ceived the following awards: The Diversity and Inclusion Award (formerly called The Daffodil Award) and the Outreach Award for social websites (formerly called Public Communications Award). There were no Starz Awards this year but, beginning next year, the Starz Award will be called the Buckeye Award.

Arnold would like to thank our Diversity Chair AAUW Member Kimberly Oliver for an outstanding job both this year and last. Our audiences loved her and her committees’ ideas and performances for Black History month. Even in a pandemic, she did not disappoint.

Likewise, AAUW Member Mary Baker rose to the occasion to fill the very large shoes left by Pat Chaloupek. Baker has done an outstanding job with both the branch website and Facebook pages. One of the most important criteria for this award is that the branch site be viewed and used. Our site is viewed by many people and the comments left indicate that it is used. The judges are always impressed by how useful our website is in our community.

Thank you for outstanding jobs, ladies, and kudos to all the members who contributed to both the diversity and public outreach endeavors! We are proud of you.


Medina Branch Committees

PROGRAMS 2021-2022

October, 2021 – Aneta Mullins, Women in the Military

Rick Pethtel, President of AMVETS Post 1990, Kim Oliver, Aneta Mullins, Linda Kerr, Adjutant AMVETS Post 1990

By Joyce Rynearson, Vice-President Programs

Aneta Mullins at the Oct. Women in the Military program

US Army veteran and AAUW member, Aneta Mullins, did not disappoint! Her slide presentation that chronicled her tour of duty in Iraq gave us a close-up view of life in a war zone. Aneta’s assignment as the driver of a supply truck took her to outposts throughout the country and made her a target of gunfire and IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices). A day that she was alive, had a shower (cold) and a hot meal was a wonderful day!

In attendance was Veterans’ Hall Board President Dave Taylor who generously offered us the use of their state-of-the-art facility. The Medina County AMVETS were also on hand to serve beverages while Jeri Penn and Allison Lee offered a variety of snacks.

All in all it was an eye-opening presentation that frankly addressed issues of women who serve with men in combat.

Aneta, a past AAUW scholarship recipient, is currently completing her degree in social work with a goal of working with veterans. We thank Aneta for her service and wish her continued suc- cess!

September, 2021 – Lisa Maatz

By Joyce Rynearson, Vice-President Programs

Lisa Maatz, former AAUW Vice-President of Public Relations and current senior advisor at Ohio Citizen Action, treated us to a humorous and insightful evening via a ZOOM meeting. Some of us gathered in person at the Medina Library to watch her on the big screen, munching on snacks provided by the hospitality committee, Jeri Penn and Allison Lee. The evening was also a debut for our new PA sound-system which Pieri Levandofsky successfully set up for us!

Lisa grew up in Hinckley, Ohio and graduated from Highland High School. Her advocacy for women’s rights began in third grade when the boys’ restroom had doors on the stalls, and the girls’ restroom did not. The girls took turns standing in front of the stalls to give themselves some privacy. After getting no results pleading to the principal, she started a petition for restroom doors in purple glitter ink. The girls’ restroom got doors! Lisa went on to become a national champion of rights for women and girls.

Being a Washington, DC insider for many years, Lisa’s stories were fascinating to hear. She answered all questions and offered strategies as to how we CAN make a difference in our community.

August, 2021

Cheri Ingraham welcomes member to Bunker Hill.

It was great to see everyone at our August meeting at Bunker Hill Golf Course. A delicious catered meal and a beautiful evening set the tone for a fabulous evening.

Introduced were our board members for 2021-2022.

Pictured are: Allison Lee, Diversity and Cultural Activities Chair, Joyce Rynearson, VP of Programming, Pieri Levandofsky, Treasurer and President Kimberly Oliver. Not pictured, Secretary Kim Ortiz, and VP of Membership Bernice Goertzen.

Our speaker was our Secretary, Kim Ortiz, and mother of Sister-to-Sister committee member Olivia Ortiz, reviewed Sister to Sister for this year, and updated us on planning for next year.

June, 2021 – AAUW Medina Branch Annual Dinner

Members enjoyed a gorgeous evening dining outside at the Corkscrew Saloon on Thursday. The Branch celebrated adapting and surviving all the changes brought by 2020-2021, while enjoying each others company and a delicious dinner.

Out-going chapter officers Alanna Arnold, Susan Holbrook, Anne Gates, Kathy Kraus, and Katherine Baker  were recognized for their outstanding work over the last two years. Also presented were the new branch officers for 2021-2022, pictured: Vice-President Membership Bernice Goertzen; Kimberly Ortiz, Secretary; President Kim Oliver; Vice-President Programs Joyce Rynearson.   

2021 Scholarship recipients, Mercy Muchemi and Aneta Mullins with Scholarship Chair Jill Morton


November 6, 2021 Greystone Event Center 50 Riffle Road Wooster, OH
The place where book lovers come to meet authors and buy their books. There will be over 50 authors and illustrators, and literary activities for all ages.

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.

Great Improvements Ahead

Update: 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


By Donna Hamilton 

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Margaret Fuller 

We will be meeting on Monday, November 8, at 1:00PM via Zoom. I will send the Zoom link out on Sunday. Our discussion, led by Liz Nelson, will be on Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia to Zion Journey by Conor Knighton. Knighton weaves his personal journey and growth through a year in which he visited every United States national park. Yes, there are 63 of them, each with distinctive views to offer. 

For December 13, we will be reading a children’s book which you may want to share with your grandchildren. It is The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. It is a beautifully illustrated, sweet, honest, feel-good story of friendship, love, and kindness. It is an award winning book for all ages to enjoy. 

Please join us at our AAUW Zoom link. Contact Donna Hamilton at clover725@ymail.com if you would like to be added to the book club list to get the link and other information. 


“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.

  • September 18, 2021   NICKEL BOYS by Colson Whitehead (2019)

The novel is loosely based around a real-life true case of systemic abuse at a borstal-type facility in 1960s America. Whilst the novel deals with themes of physical/emotional/sexual abuse, it does so in a sensitive manner. https://aauwohiosept.eventbrite.com

  • November 20, 2021, THE MOMENT OF LIFT by Melinda Gates (2019)

“In her book, Melinda tells the stories of the inspiring people she’s met through her work all over the world, digs into the data, and powerfully illustrates issues that need our attention—from child marriage to gender inequity in the workplace.” — President Barack Obama “The Moment of Lift is an urgent call to courage. It changed how I think about myself, my family, my work, and what’s possible in the world. https://aauwohionov.eventbrite.com


We haven’t been able to have the Book Sale for the last 2 years.  Not only is this our AAUW branch’s only fundraiser, but it such a community affair, a chance to get together and bond as a group. It will be so good to see each other and work together on this important project! As long as there is not another big surge of the Covid virus, we will share time together as we prepare for and hold the sale.

March 26 through April 3 is Spring Break for Medina Students. The Book Sale is scheduled with this in mind since we need their help to move in. Tentative dates are:

  • Move in is Saturday, March 26 (or possibly April 2) and setting up the sale will take place the weeks of April 4-9, April 11-14, and April 18. We will need to work around Good Friday, April 15 and Easter, April 17.
  • Members Only date will be April 19 at 6 pm.
  • Sale Days will be April 20-23.

It is too early to book a location, but hopefully, we will be able to be at the same location again this year. By waiting until close to the time we need the place, we are able to get the use of our site without paying.

It’s early, but you can help by putting these dates on your calendar, saving books for us, and asking your friends and neighbors to also save books for us. Thank you and more information will be coming out soon!


Be sure to go to our Diversity page to see information on our current Diversity Book Club reading pick, and on joining the group.

Juneteenth will be celebrated by the Diversity Program this Saturday, June 19, 2021 at the Pizza Palooza on the Square, 9 AM to 2 PM.

Take the Diversity Challenge at the Diversity Table.  Can you identify these Black and Brown  leaders, actors, athletes, authors?  How many clues do you need to identify them?

Need more suggestions? Check out our ideas for celebrating Juneteenth


By Jeannine Murray

Last summer, as we looked over this year’s reading selections, the suggestion was put on the table to NOT have a book for December … because, you know,  holidays/crazy days, overwhelmed, etc.

Instead of a reading selection, we are meeting face-to-face for an hour or two of discussion and holiday conviviality. Our meeting will be: Saturday, Dec., 11th from 4-6 pm at Pickle Mamas, 7249 Wooster Pike, (Route 3, south of Medina).

Monday, January 17, 2022 – 7:00 pm,  Deacon King Kong, James  McBride

A cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat visits a housing project in south Brooklyn and shoots the project’s drug dealer at point-blank range. This story brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting of a chief drug supplier in the projects.


By Carol Thombs

The Environment Committee is hoping to get members involved in helping to improve our environment and in adopting positive practices that will reduce waste.  Each month we will publicize a challenge for the month.  

Our first challenge presents the “How to Live By the 5 R’s of Zero Waste.” This challenge takes us beyond the original “Reduce, Recycle, Reuse” that we have been living by. The 5 R’s are placed on a reversed pyramid according to the amount of impact each will have.  In this pyramid Recycling is next to the bottom.  because our attempts to recycle have not been and will not be productive in making a change. By working to use this guideline when making our decisions and in creating positive habits, positive strides towards reducing waste and improving our environment can be made. Learn more about how to live by the 5 R’s here.


Do you enjoy meeting new people, greeting members, and welcoming guests? Do you have a flair for creating holiday favors and table decorations? Is baking or providing snacks and beverages your niche? Maybe you enjoy setting and arranging the refreshment table.

If any of these describe you, then the Hospitality Committee is a way that you can have fun and serve Medina Branch AAUW!

Contact Jeri Penn for more information: jeripenn@gmail.com

Human Trafficking

By Carol Thombs

Medina S.O.A.P. volunteers visit 33 hotels, 1 beauty school and 2 truck stops each month. Each month we provide the hotels with a Missing Children Poster with photos and brief descriptions of eight children who have gone missing in the previous month. In addition to the posters, the volunteers provide Indicator Cards that are specific for both Front Desk Staff and Housekeeping. The cards give warning signs to look for to help identify possible trafficked children. Besides these items that help with identification, our volunteers provide small soap bars and/or makeup remover wipes, labeled with phone numbers and web sites. These are to be placed in rooms where victims may find them and reach out for help. In addition, we help to answer questions and help with their understanding of the problem and how they can help. While we don’t normally receive information when girls are located, hotel staff have been excited to tell our volunteers when they have found one of the missing children from the posters.

Our team was associated with the Cleveland S.O.A.P. Team from our beginning a number of years ago. Because of the inconvenience caused by the distance and other obstacles, our volun- teers decided to become an independent team. We are now Medina S.O.A.P. with 26 volunteers serving 14 hotels, 2 truck stops and a beauty school in Medina County, 7 hotels in Strongsville and 10 hotels in Wayne County. In the past we have had donations to provide us with most of the sup- plies required for our hotel visits. Now we are finding that we need to replenish supplies and to add items that we were not aware that we needed. Some of the items are listed below:

  • $245      Outreach materials which come in packages for 5 hotels.  These include indicator cards, mousepads, brochures, etc. and are priced at $35 a package for 5 hotels.
  • $30       Flash drives to load with training information for new employees and/or refreshing current employees.
  • $50       Name Tags to identify team volunteers.
  • $200.    Case of soap when we need to replenish.  For the present we have enough.
  • $200     Case of makeup remover wipes. Also, we have enough for the present.

Volunteers have to print all of the Missing Children Posters. If we add more places to deliver them in the future, we may need to find a source for printing.

The AAUW Board voted to have our members’ Christmas donations be given this year to Medina S.O.A.P and the Medina County Children’s Center. Many of our S.O.A.P volunteers are AAUW members. We would appreciate a donation of $325 from AAUW at this time.

Thank you for being supportive.
Carol Thombs, Medina S.O.A.P. President MedinaSoap21@gmail.com


Please let Bernice Goertzen know if you need to change any of your personal information in the directory, (330-241-0046) or bernice.goertzen@gmail.com)


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


Our scholarship fund began in 2005 through many generous member contributions, endowments and fundraising efforts. We partnered with the Akron Community Foundation to help us grow the fund to its current $65,000 + balance. The annual returns ($3000) helps generate money to award non-traditional women scholarships.

Scholarship recipients are announced at our spring dinner meeting.
We thank you for your continued support of this effort which fits with our mission statement: To advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education and advocacy.

Contributions to this fund are tax-exempt and can be made in honor or memory of a loved one. To donate online :

Give Now

Or, make checks payable to: AAUW of Medina County Scholarship Fund. Mail to :
Akron Community Foundation 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307

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.

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!