NetWorks Monthly newsletter of the Northern Monmouth County (NJ) Branch, American Association of University Women Volume 58, Number 5 March 2014 Mary Higgins Clark to speak at May 8 benefit luncheon by Vickie Snoy Who could not be intrigued by international best-selling author Mary Higgins Clark, guest speaker at the branch’s gala benefit luncheon on Thursday, May 8? Mary Higgins Clark’s life story is the stuff of soap operas. Born and raised in the Bronx, she lost her father when she was eleven. To help support the family, she babysat and worked as a switchboard operator while in high school and moved on to secretarial school rather than college so she could more quickly join the full-time workforce. After three years with an advertising agency, she gave in to the travel bug and became a flight attendant with Pan American Airlines. During her year in the air, she was caught in a revolution in Syria and walked the aisles on the last flight to Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain dropped. She married “the man next door,” Warren Clark, in 1950, and they had five children before his death from a heart attack in 1964. Once again needing to be a breadwinner, she worked as a radio scriptwriter but, determined to be an author, she wrote between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. every day before getting her children off to school. Ms. Clark has kept a diary since she was seven. She began writing short stories shortly after her marriage and, after being the recipient of 40 rejection slips, sold her first piece for $100 in 1956. Entitled Aspire to the Heavens, her first book was a biographical novel of George and Martha Washington, published by Meredith Press in 1969. (The book was “rediscovered” some 30 years later and re-issued in 2002 as Mount Vernon Love Story.) Her first commercial success was the suspense novel Where Are the Children?, published by Simon & Schuster in 1975. Not only is it a bestseller (continued on page 6) Interbranch Program “Living with a Scent of Danger” with Joanne and Walter Stankievich Monday, March 3 Shrewsbury Presbyterian Church 352 Sycamore Avenue Networking — 7 p.m. Business meeting — 7:30 p.m. Program — 7:45 p.m. Just Google “Joanne Ivy Stankievich” and you will be blown away to a world of political turmoil and intrigue! Her memoir, Living with A Scent of Danger: European Adventures at the Fall of Communism (2013), tells of her experiences in Europe from 1988 to 2001 while her husband, a Belarusian activist, worked for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich and Prague during the fall of communism and its chaotic aftermath. Joanne and Walter will share with us her account of “KGB buggings, corrupt government officials and humorous language difficulties.” A long-time member of AAUW, Joanne studied international relations and sociology at Principia College and later honed her writing skills to prepare for writing this book. Read its prologue at her website www.joanneivystankievich.com. This Interbranch program promises to be both fun, as we meet with members from the Freehold Area and Northern Ocean County Branches, and fascinating, to hear about the adventures of Joanne and Walter! For directions, go to tpcas.org and select “About Us” and “Directions.” 2 BRANCH OFFICERS 2013-2014 Co-Presidents Susan Gelber Joan Spring Program VPs Annette Benanti Barbara Iwanski Study Group VP Carol Walther Membership VPs Mary Lea Burden Laura Noll Development VPs Ruth Hodum JoAnne McWilliams Public Policy VPs Mary Gatta Arlene Newman Communication VPs Victoria Snoy Marian Wattenbarger Finance VP Pat Miller Co-Recording Secretaries Mary Ann Anderl Alice MacPhee NetWorks is published monthly except January, July, August, and September by the Northern Monmouth County Branch of AAUW. Items for the April issue are due on March 6 to: Nancy Butler, Editor Our electronic mailing list enables us to inform you about opportunities for AAUW members that arise too late for publication in NetWorks. You can be sure that we carefully evaluate each notice before we send it out. Please note that use of the branch e-mail list is for branch activities only. Members wishing to share other information with branch members are invited to submit a notice to the “Networking” column in NetWorks. Send address changes, names of prospective members, membership applications and checks, and questions about non-receipt of the newsletter to: Laura Noll, Membership VP SAVE THE DATES BOARD MEETING: Monday, February 24, 7:15 p.m. at Kensington Court, 864 Shrewsbury Avenue, Tinton Falls Brookdale Women’s Conference: Friday, April 11 Running & Winning: Friday, April 25 STEM Conference for Girls: April 26 Mary Higgins Clark Author Luncheon: Thursday, May 8, at Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank Presidents’ Message Our combined dinner and branch meeting originally scheduled for February 3 had to be postponed because of a snowstorm. We are fortunate that our very flexible program co-VP, Annette Benanti, was able to reschedule for the following Monday, February 10, at the same restaurant. In addition, our equally flexible presenter, branch member Susan Rosenberg, graciously agreed to do the program a week later. What a wonderful evening this proved to be, well worth waiting for! Highlights will appear in the April NetWorks. We are expecting a good turnout on March 3 for the annual Interbranch meeting with the Freehold Area and Northern Ocean County Branches. Joanne Stankievich, a member of our branch, and her husband, Walter, will present. Interbranch is a long-standing cooperative venture with rotating hosting responsibilities, with this year being our turn. See page 1 for details. Kudos to our always efficient and organized membership co-VPs, Mary Lea Burden and Laura Noll, for another highly successful “Coffee and Conversation” on January 26! Their efforts resulted in six new members. Thanks also to Karen Topham for providing and setting up the tasty refreshments, and to the other board members who attended and described the important projects and issues of interest to our branch. Our author luncheon committee is hard at work finalizing the details of our major fundraiser to be held on May 8 at the Molly Pitcher. Although this project involves the efforts of many branch members, we especially want to thank Barbara Williamson for facilitating Mary Higgins Clark’s participation and Alice MacPhee for designing the catchy flier. Now it is up to our membership to support this event by helping to spread the word, inviting friends, and attending. We will have a table at the annual women’s conference at Brookdale Community College on Friday, April 11. Linda Martin was kind enough to allow us to publicize our author luncheon there, so please support that event as well. http://continuinged.brookdalecc.edu/ lifelonglearning/women/ Lastly, but certainly not least, Susan Boyce and her committee have been meeting to plan our STEM event, AAUW NetWorks — March 2014 3 co-sponsored by the Jersey Shore Girl Scouts, at Brookdale on April 26. We appreciate their efforts to increase girls’ interest in STEM careers. You can still join this project; the next meeting will be at Brookdale on Friday, March 28, at 1 p.m. Joan Spring Susan Gelber Co-Presidents conversation with other members, many of whom are native-born speakers. Others were educated in France or were French majors at American universities. We all strive to improve our skills, meeting on a rotating basis for lunch at a member’s home. We encourage more AAUW members to join us. Contact Kate for details. French Intermediate Study, Action, Interest Groups Meets: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to noon Chair: Anne Morrison This group offers an opportunity to those with some experience in French to read, write, translate, and speak the language. French culture, customs, and current events are topics for our lively discussions. New members are very welcome! Call/e-mail for meeting details. Advanced Spanish Conversation German Conversation Meets: 1st Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Chair: Anita Damien Some of us are native-born, and others are Spanish majors from American universities. We serve brunch, followed by different programs about Spanish culture. We have a covered-dish supper with our spouses in late spring. Call for meeting details. Art History Meets: Contact chair Chair: Mary Anne Anderl We meet to study and discuss global art of all periods and genres through member presentations and visits to museums, galleries, and outdoor art exhibitions. New members are welcome! Drama Meets: Contact co-chair Co-chair: Marjorie Levy We study plays, classical and modern, and attend performances when feasible. This year we are subscribing to Two River Theater in Red Bank. Prospective members are welcome to attend a meeting and/or join the group for a matinee or weekend performance. Contact Marjorie for details. French Conversation Meets: 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Chair: Kate Wellauer Our group enables women with a good knowledge of the French language to maintain their fluency through Meets: Twice a month on Mondays, 9:30-noon Chair: Aline Ashkin Our members come from German-speaking countries or have learned to speak German as an additional language. Our common goal is to improve our German language skills. We read about/discuss current events, contemporary German literature, and stories of common interest as suggested by members. Call for meeting details. New members are welcome. Insights Meets: Topic: Tuesday, March 11, 7:30 p.m. Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagan Chair: Ruth Hodum This nonfiction book group focuses on current issues, with special attention to topics affecting women and books written by women. New members are very welcome! Contact Ruth for location. Literature Meets: Thursday, March 20, 1 p.m. Topic: Flight Behavior: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver Chair: Regina Sieben Our group selects literary fiction or an occasional memoir to read during the year. A different member acts as a leader each month and presents background and critical appraisal of that month’s selection. We welcome new members. Please contact Regina for meeting details. AAUW NetWorks — March 2014 4 Book Corner Richard Louv, the author of Last Child in the Woods, warns us about the dangers of allowing children to grow up without contact with nature. He suggests that this lack of connection to nature or “nature deficit disorder” is the origin of childhood obesity, distraction and depression, and advocates that outside play can enhance children’s problem-solving, critical-thinking, and decision-making skills. Instead of the easier and more familiar TV or computer screen watching, Louv promotes time spent outside. As Louv puts it, "In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace." Having spent childhoods outside, Insights members agreed with Louv’s conclusions and felt Last Child was a good read. —Cathy San Filippo Marie Biddle Kean U, Monmouth U MaryAnn Brookdale CC, Thomas Edison Col. Language arts teacher, retired French language, drama, travel V.P. Customer Service, Cablevision Cooking, opera, women’s issues Ilene Rutan Rider U, Temple U Renee Swartz Barnard College Carol Toolan Caldwell College Writing Group Meets: Thursday, March 27, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Chair: Caroline O’Neil This group consists of people interested in all kinds of writing, such as memoir, poetry, fiction, or essay. Members vary from those who write all the time to those who are just beginning, some working on longer pieces, some experimenting with a variety. The meeting begins with a journal exercise, followed by lunch. Then we listen to and discuss pieces or parts of pieces brought in by various members, or more finished pieces circulated and read in advance. Come and see for yourself. New members are welcome. Contact Caroline for information. College professor, retired Volunteer in the public sector Books, tennis, travel, cooking English teacher, retired Art history, travel, theater Barbara Withers Whitman Col., WA; Teachers Col., Columbia U Editor, retired Art, art history, photography Kathleen Kalaher Vassar College; NY State Col. of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell U. Veterinarian Animals/animal welfare Travel, reading, theater, film An end-of year tax deduction reminder for members: When it comes time to prepare your taxes: $46.00 of the Regular National AAUW dues of $49.00 is tax deductible for payments made to “AAUW,” our 501(c)(3) charitable organization; $3 of Regular dues is not tax deductible as it goes to support the AAUW Lobby Corps and electionrelated activities. The state and branch portions of membership dues are not tax deductible. Membership New and Prospective Branch Member Coffee: The “Coffee and Conversation” held on Sunday, January 26, was most successful. We had a total of three new members and 13 prospective members attend. To date, six of the prospective members have joined. We also wish to thank the 10 board members who participated. If you need a ride to a branch meeting or activity, please call one of us. Mary Lea Burden Laura Noll Membership Co-VPs We welcome the following seven members to our branch. Please add their contact information to your yearbook. AAUW NetWorks — March 2014 5 those marriages for federal purposes. Nevertheless, the Utah government’s position leaves those couples in legal limbo. Unfortunately, their legal status is unlikely to be Lois Wier’s husband, Joseph, passed away on January 10 resolved any time soon. The 10th Circuit will not hear at the age of 89. He held a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering Utah’s appeal for several months, which means that the from the University of Illinois and worked at Bell Labs Supreme Court will probably not be asked to consider until his retirement in 1987. We extend our deepest sym- the merits of the case this term. Moreover, if the courts pathy to Lois and her family. ultimately allow Utah to continue enforcing the ban, the couples who were married while the ban was lifted will likely need to file an entirely separate set of lawsuits to determine whether Utah is required to legally recognize their marriages. AAUW supports efforts to ensure the legal equality of gay and lesbian Americans. Stay tuned for updates on this case. Harriet Moore LAF Chair Thanks to all who signed up to work at the Book Sale from January through June. Your help is greatly appreciated! Among Ourselves Winter/Spring Book Sale Schedule There still are many open dates that need filling. You can sign up by contacting me. Irene Gibson Volunteer Coordinator $TART $MART Spring Update $tart $mart is a national AAUW initiative to empower young women to negotiate fair wages for their first salaries. Each state team is working to recruit colleges to participate by holding three-hour workshops for junior and senior students. In New Jersey, the campuses scheduled for this spring are Rutgers-Camden, Richard Stockton College of NJ, Ramapo College, Georgian Court U.S. Supreme Court halts same-sex marriages in Utah, University, and the County College of Morris. but federal government will recognize marriages alOur NJ facilitator team is working to ready the ready performed: In late December, a federal district new materials and site requirements. At the end of the court judge in Utah ruled that a state law banning same- workshops, each student will have practiced new skills in sex marriage was unconstitutional. Following the ruling, benchmarking a fair wage and negotiating a salary. hundreds of same-sex couples were married in Utah. The pay gap (women earn 77 cents for every $1 However, the state appealed the district court’s ruling to earned by men) has changed very little for many years. the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and asked the U.S. “Over the course of a woman’s working life, she will earn Supreme Court to keep the ban in place while the 10th about a million dollars less than a man simply because Circuit considered the appeal. Early in January, the she is a woman.” Our goal is to change this pay inequity Supreme Court reinstated the ban until the 10th Circuit and level the playing field. rules. With the ban back in place, Utah has stopped issuIf you would like to be trained as a facilitator this ing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and the gover- April, please contact me and join our team! nor and attorney general declared that the state would Barbara Williamson not recognize the same-sex marriages performed while $tart $mart NJ RFM the ban was briefly lifted. The Obama administration subsequently announced that the U.S. Government would recognize Legal Advocacy Fund Update AAUW NetWorks — March 2014 6 “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address called for an economic agenda that will promote policies and practices so that women and their families can achieve economic security. He called for “an end to workplace policies for women that belong in a Mad Men episode.” And he laid out a pathway to move forward this critical cultural and policy change. Among his important recommendations for women: • The President called for raising the minimum wage for all workers to $10.10. This policy is critical to women workers, as two-thirds of all minimum wage workers are women. The President announced that he will increase by executive order the minimum wage paid to federal contractor employees, which is a step in the right direction. And he reiterated his support for the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would increase the minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, index future minimum wage increases to inflation, and raise the tipped minimum wage. AAUW has endorsed this legislation, which would increase incomes for about 30 million workers, 16.8 million of them women. For women, families, and the economy, benefits of raising the minimum wage are real: with higher wages, gross domestic product is expected to grow by about $32.6 billion by July 2015, to bring even more women and families out of poverty. • The President called for an end to the gender wage gap, which remains a frustrating reality for working women. Nationally, the gap is still 23 cents. That means a woman working full-time, year-round typi cally earns 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. The gap is even worse for women of color. While the Lilly Ledbetter Act was signed into law almost immediately after the President was sworn into office in 2009, na tional pay equity legislation has stalled. AAUW supports the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), a much-needed, first-ever update to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that brings the law’s principles and practices in line with the nation’s other civil rights laws. The PFA creates incentives for employers to follow the law, empowers women to negotiate for equal pay, and strengthens federal outreach and enforcement efforts. • The President also stressed the importance of investing in job training and workforce development so that all workers can access the education they need to succeed in new careers and in our future economy. AAUW has noted the importance of access to education and training for women, especially for jobs that offer the opportunity to earn a living wage and are nontraditional for women, such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and manufacturing. The State of the Union address laid out a pathway to women’s economic security, and the President provided a clear message to the country that “when women succeed, America succeeds.” Mary Gatta Public Policy Co-VP After achieving commercial success, she enrolled at Fordham University, graduating summa cum laude now in its 75th edition in paperback; it also was made into with a B.A. in philosophy in 1979. She has been awarded 18 honorary doctorates. a feature film. She found love again later in life, marrying John A storyteller par excellence ever since, Ms. Clark has written more than 30 suspense novels; authored three Conheeney, the retired chairman and CEO of MerrillLynch Futures, in 1996. Their joys in life include 16 collections of short stories and a memoir, Kitchen Privigrandchildren. leges; and co-authored five suspense novels with her The gala luncheon will be held at Red Bank’s daughter, Carol Higgins Clark. (Carol is also an actress Molly Pitcher Inn, beginning at noon. Tickets are $75 and starred in a TV film made from her mother’s novel, ($70 if purchased by April 8), and proceeds will fund A Cry in the Night.) Ms. Clark’s books have sold more than 80 million local scholarships and national fellowships for women. Mary Higgins Clark will sign copies of her soon-to-becopies in the United States alone, and she is the #1 bestreleased suspense novel, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, at selling fiction author in France, where she was named the luncheon. For more information or to make reserva“Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters” by the tions, call (732) 933-4855 and press 5. French Minister of Culture in 2002. May 8 Luncheon (continued from page 1) AAUW NetWorks — March 2014 7 AAUW NetWorks — March 2014 American Association of University Women Northern Monmouth County Branch P. O. Box 398 Red Bank, NJ 07701 Monday, March 3, Interbranch Program: “Living with a Scent of Danger” with Joanne and Walter Stankievich AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. In principle and in practice, AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership. There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or class. Membership is open to any graduate holding an associate or equivalent, baccalaureate, or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university. AAUW Book Sale Stay Connected! The store is located at : Old First Church 69 Kings Highway Middletown AAUW AAUW-NJ AAUW-NMCB Branch phone Open: Donations: To volunteer: Information: AAUW Action Network http://capwiz.com/aauw/home/ 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays Irene Gibson Viki Mischenko, Chair 732-933-4855 www.aauw.org www.aauwnj.org www.aauw-nj-nmcb.org 732-933-4855 AAUW, AAUW-NJ, and NMCB are on Facebook. Check them out! All profits go to local scholarships for women and Meeting cancellation information: to the AAUW Educational Foundation for fellow- Listen to 94.3 FM. ships for women.
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