NetWorks Mary Higgins Clark to speak at Interbranch Program

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
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
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
For directions, go to and select “About
Us” and “Directions.”
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
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
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.
Lastly, but certainly not least, Susan Boyce and her
committee have been meeting to plan our STEM event,
AAUW NetWorks — March 2014
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
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
1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to noon
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
1st Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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
Contact 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!
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
2nd and 4th Thursdays, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Kate Wellauer
Our group enables women with a good knowledge of
the French language to maintain their fluency through
Twice a month on Mondays, 9:30-noon
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.
Tuesday, March 11, 7:30 p.m.
Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by
Dan Fagan
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.
Thursday, March 20, 1 p.m.
Flight Behavior: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
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
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
Brookdale CC,
Thomas Edison Col.
Language arts teacher, retired
French language, drama, travel
V.P. Customer Service,
Cooking, opera, women’s issues
Ilene Rutan
Rider U, Temple U
Renee Swartz
Barnard College
Carol Toolan
Caldwell College
Writing Group
Thursday, March 27, 12:30-3:30 p.m.
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,
Kathleen Kalaher
Vassar College; NY State Col. of
Veterinary Medicine, Cornell U.
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.
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
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
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
“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
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
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
Branch phone
To volunteer:
AAUW Action Network
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays
Irene Gibson
Viki Mischenko, Chair
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.