Indiana AAUW
Last updated June 22, 2000

Indiana Bulletin

Summer 2000 Articles

Association Discontinues Marketplace Branch News Designate the Maryhelen Barnes Fellowship Dixie Dugan Testifies on the Hill
Message from the President Individuality is the Key to Leadership
Laura Leroy Appointed to LAF Advisory Committee

Phyllis Thompson Takes the Helm July 1

State Convention 2000 Thank You South Lake
Planning & Promoting Issue & Candidate Forums Voter Ed Campaign
Let's Celebrate Our Leadership (summer workshop) Registration Form

Directions for Leadership Celebration

Association discontinues Marketplace

For many years branches and states have boosted their fundraising efforts for Educational Foundation by selling their wares at Association conventions. However, beginning with the 2001 convention, this will no longer be allowed.

Obviously, this will cut into those branches’ and states’ efforts when a large audience is no longer available to them.

What can you do? Call, write, e-mail Educational Foundation at Association to let them know how you feel about this.

Their address is 1111 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036; phone Foundation INFOLINE at 202/728-7602; or e-mail to

Branch News

South Bend

Formed a new study group on architecture of local homes. They plan tours of four local homes of special architectural interest. This branch also has a Social Concerns group, which currently plans to visit the Monet Exhibit in Chicago.


Held a very successful book sale – raising $7,203.45 – an all-time record high!

Calumet Area

Organized a Census 2000 program with the League of Women Voters. Representatives from local, diverse organizations are invited to participate in a meeting focusing on the importance of being counted in the census and to address any fears or concerns about the process.

Will celebrate their 50th birthday with a luncheon on August 26.


Held a Sister-to-Sister Summit on April 15 for middle-school girls of diverse backgrounds to candidly discuss issues they identified as critical: being yourself/differences, cliques/peer pressure, and student rights.

Began a Walking Group and toured downtown Indianapolis on their first outing in May.

Fort Wayne

Earned $4,989.75 at their book sale in spite of difficult circumstances – a snowstorm and few books than in previous years. Many members also enlisted help from their families for this event.


Collaborated with Grace House of Madison County, Inc. to produce a Women’s Festival offering a variety of educational, informational, support, and horizon-expanding services to community women.

Thank you very much to those branches sharing their newsletters with the Indiana newsletter editor. To the rest of you – please share your news by sending your newsletter to Barbara Wellnitz.

Designate the Maryhelen Barnes International Fellowship

Beth LeRoy, educational foundation

Here it is summer. If time is flying as fast for you as it is for me, life is a whirlwind. The faster we go the behinder we get – it seems to be the story of my life. Time to get down to business.

Congratulations to all who made last year a banner year for Indiana giving to the Educational Foundation. Keep up the good work.

Along that line, there seems to be some confusion about how to designate where your money is going. For every $500 your branch contributes, you entitled to honor a branch member. At the same time, the money may be assigned to a specific area of the Foundation. Indiana has two American Fellowships, one International Fellowship, six Research and Projects Grants, and the ever-popular Eleanor Roosevelt Fund.

If you do not designate a specific fund, the money goes to the general fund and may not be used to help a woman complete her education or research.

Again this year, I am asking you to assign your contribution to the Maryhelen Barnes International Fellowship #1661. We need to complete this fund by 2007 or the money will be lost. $25,000 is needed to complete this – so please help.

New Year

This is the first full calendar year of giving to the Foundation. What does this mean? It means you may contribute any time between January 1 and December 15 of 2000. It means you use your February 1st membership to figure your per-capita giving, making it easier to determine the amount needed to earn your EF star ($25 per member).

Whether you are a branch member or a MAL, please designate where your money is going and don’t forget to ask that your branch be credited. Remember if you do not designate, your money does not help educational goals of a woman.

Please send your contributions to Beth LeRoy.

Convention Marketplace

Marketplace has been discontinued at the Association Convention level. In its place is Travel Connections. What’s that? It’s a way to showcase Indiana flavor through a donation of at least one getaway. I need your help in obtaining a getaway for Indiana – bed and breakfast week-end, airline tickets (use your frequent flier points), spa week-end, etc. all branches should have received information in March on this and the Walk for the Foundation. If you would like more information on how to get a getaway or set up a walk, contact or me.

Dixie Dugan testifies on the Hill

Dixie Dugan, Muncie, had the opportunity to testify before a Congressional sub-committee this spring. She was invited to speak on the Family and Medical Leave Act regarding the Department of Labor opinion letters.

The specific issue is that employers need a clear definition of "serious health condition" in order to determine whether the event in fact qualifies under the law. She was part of a panel discussion under the heading, "Is the DOL regulating the public through the back door?"

Dixie states, "I found this experience to be quite exciting, educational, and extremely interesting. The energy level on ‘the Hill’ is intoxicating. I am so grateful to have had the chance to participate in our government at this level."

A Message from the President

Joan Kutlu, Indiana President

The time has come to say good-bye: this will be my last message to you as state president. The past four years have been, for me, an interesting and learning-oriented time. I have had the additional privilege of working with some truly wonderful and competent women. Your new state officers will do a great job for you, and they deserve all your support and encouragement.

There are two upcoming program events in which we hope you will participate. The first is a "Celebration of Leadership" to be held Saturday, July 29 in Indianapolis. The good news about this is that the state board, at its April 28 meeting, voted to sponsor all costs for the event – in other words, it is totally free to our membership!! We encourage you to attend, whether you are a long-time member or a new member; whether you are an officer, have ever been an officer, have never been an officer, would like to be an officer, or never want to be an officer – in other words, everyone is welcome.

The second event is the Women & Work Conference, October 19, in Indianapolis at the Sheraton Hotel at I-465 and Pendleton Pike. (This conference was not held last year due to budgetary constraints.)

Information on both events can be found elsewhere in this newsletter.

And let’s not forget the Regional Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, June 9-11. Jean Amman and Phyllis Thompson have been Indiana’s representatives on the planning committee – and they’ve done a great job! I hope we have a large contingent of members going to the conference to show our support for all the work they’ve done.

On a personal note to all of you who send cards and words of encouragement during my mother’s final illness, thank you. They meant a lot. I miss her very much.

Individuality is the Key to Leadership

"Your sense of self – call it self-respect, self-esteem, ego strength, liking and appreciating yourself, being your own best friend – this is the backbone, the center support to being in charge of your life," so write Mildred Newman and Bernard Berkowitz in How to Take Charge of Your Life.

Finding one’s inner strength is the secret to becoming a distinguished leader. It takes enormous energy, wisdom, valor, and confidence to accomplish the mission of a distinguished leader – to enhance human worth and dignity.

Distinguished leadership is earned by people who have discovered their individuality – the trait that marks them off from others.

Leadership is a self-discovery journey, and self-discovery takes courage to be yourself. Being one’s self is accomplished inch by inch by asking the question each day, "What’s happening to me?"

When leaders commence their career, they don’t give much thought to themselves. Work hours and thoughts are dominated by job responsibilities and relationships with others. Leaders go to work each day to prove to the world they are competent and worthy to be called a leader.

It takes a number of years of introspection before leaders start to understand what’s happening to their inner growth and development. Unfortunately, leadership preparation barely teaches self-awareness and introspection.

A friend shared an anonymous quote posted on the wall in a San Francisco bookstore about 20 years ago (and adapted here) that has helped and inspired my development:

How great are we?

As great as we think. As great as our goals. As great as the life we live. As great as we want to be.

(Source: AAUW Leader Tool Kit © 1999 AAUW)

Laura LeRoy appointed to LAF Advisory Committee

Laura LeRoy, LaPorte, was appointed to the Legal Advocacy Fund Advisory Committee. Her two-year appointment begins July 1, 2000. LeRoy will assist in the screening of applications for assistance from the fund.

The Legal Advocacy Fund helps students, faculty, and administrators in higher education challenge discriminatory practices involving sexual harassment, denial of tenure or promotion, and inequality in women’s athletics programs. Since its inception in 1981, the fund has provided in excess of $620,000 to more than 59 cases.

LeRoy is a staff attorney for the U.S. District Court in South Bend and president of the LaPorte branch.

Congratulations, Laura!

Phyllis S. Thompson takes the Helm July 1

Our new state president should be no stranger to long-time Indiana AAUW members. Phyllis served as our leader of our state from 1981-1983 and most recently as Legal Advocacy Fund Liaison.

She’s a native of Muncie and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Ball State University. An elementary teacher by profession, Phyllis taught in the Fort Wayne Community Schools and Burke County, North Carolina Schools and supervised student teachers for St. Francis University. She currently owns "Precisely for Learning."

She lives in Fort Wayne and is the retiring co-president of that branch. Throughout her AAUW career, she’s served in many capacities both in Indiana and North Carolina. She helped start the Burke County, North Carolina branch and served as that state’s membership vice president. Phyllis also was a member and alternate to the Association Nominating Committee and served on the Governance Task Force.

Among her honors are Outstanding Young Women of America, Fort Wayne Woman of the Year (1978 and 1999), International Harvester Civic Award, YWCA Peggy Hobbs Award, Named Grant Award (1978 and 1995), Burke’s Best Award given by the governor of North Carolina for volunteer service, and Hometown Heroes Award given by the mayor of Fort Wayne for community leadership.

In addition to AAUW, Phyllis serves as president of the Aboite River Woman’s Club; teaches an adult education class at her church, Trinity English Lutheran Church; serves as finance chair for the Indiana/Kentucky Women of the ELCA; serves on the Strengthening Families Panel for United Way of Allen County; serves on the Cottey College Promotions Committee for the state P.E.O.

She finds time to volunteer with the Literacy Alliance and the YWCA. She’s a certified Braille writer, works with asthmatic children, and wants to complete writing a children’s book. Traveling, reading, gardening, and talking on the telephone are her "loves."

Phyllis and her husband, Buck, share their home with Sidney (who doesn’t know he is a dog). They have six nieces, two nephews, 11 great nieces, and four great nephews – who are probably very spoiled by their aunt and uncle!

Planning and Promoting Issue and CandidateForums

Plan your forum

Invite women in the community Work with the media Know the legal guidelines

All election activities carried out in AAUW’s name must adhere to the following principles:


Don’t: If you have any questions about the above or would like a copy for duplication, contact the AAUW Public Policy Department at 800/608-5286 or

State Convention 2000

Jean Amman, director of program

The Indiana State Convention, held April 29 at The Patio Restaurant in Merrillville, carried out the theme, "Making a Case for Women," with speakers, idea exchanges, EF and LAF sales, the transaction of AAUW business, fellowship and yes – even food and door prizes. South Lake County, under the capable leadership of Donna Akin and Kay Depel, was the host branch, and its members did a superb job of taking care of all local arrangements and making the 60 attendees feel warmly welcomed. AAUW members from Gary-Merrillville and Calumet Area ably assisted South Lake County. A big thanks you to these branches!

Dr. Beth Kern, former LAF litigant, started the day with the story of her legal battle over denial of tenure from Notre Dame’s College of Business, her financial support ($18,500) from AAUW through the Legal Advocacy Fund, and her subsequent settlement. Her presentation, entitled "Life after Litigation," revealed her personal growing awareness of discrimination against women and the support she now gives other women in their struggle for equitable treatment. (Incidentally, Beth, who is now a professor at Indiana University-South Bend, has given $20,000 of her settlement with Notre Dame to LAF.)

After the morning’s business meeting, Pamela Gaines then took over the podium to speak on "The Value of Social Security for Today’s Woman." In a very informative, objective presentation, she gave an historical overview of Social Security, an explanation of demographic changes in the United States, an update on the system today, and a summary of proposed Social Security legislation that affects particularly women and children. Pamela is the Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration, Northwest Indiana Social Security Offices. For more information, you may contact her at 219/881-3322, ext. 3352.

Our luncheon speaker was Susan Cairone, Leader-on-Loan for the Association. She is an expert on public policy and is just finishing a four-year term as a member of the Association’s Public Policy Committee. Susan was able to help us understand better the AAUW stance on school vouchers, as well as other challenges to public education. She cleared up confusion about charter schools, explained the AAUW position on single-sex education, and filled us in on education legislation emanating from our nation’s capital.

Susan was also able to attend the state Board of Directors’ meeting on Friday evening before the convention and was quite helpful in making suggestions for our summer workshop on July 29. On Saturday afternoon, she led one of the idea exchanges so that interested members could find out still more about AAUW and its concern for public education. For branch members who are public policy chairs, Susan is a wonderful resource person with an engaging personality. She can be reached at 412/767-5157.

Other persons participating in the idea exchanges were Ruth Elkins, former Eleanor Roosevelt recipient, and Beth LeRoy, Indiana Educational Foundation chair; Beth Kern and Phyllis Thompson, Indiana Legal Advocacy Liaison; and Marsha Miller, who led a lively session called "AAUW Potpourri" (an open discussion in which any question could be raised).

To all of these speakers and discussion leaders, a round of applause! And thanks, too, to all those who attended the convention. I hope to see you again soon at the summer workshop!

Thank you, South Lake County, Calumet Area, and Gary-Merrillville

Many, many thanks to the South Lake County branch for hosting our 2000 State Convention in Merrillville, led by Donna Akin and Kay Depel. Our thanks also go to the Calumet Area and Gary-Merrillville branches for their assistance.

These three branches combine their efforts on other projects as well – and this time the rest of the state saw the results of cooperation among branches!

We had a great convention this year and look forward to more of this same caliber!

Voter Education Campaign 2000


After the 1994 elections, it quickly became clear that issues of importance to women – educational equity, health care, civil rights, workplace equity, reproductive choice, and welfare reform – were seriously threatened by the agenda of the congressional majority leadership. Decades of progress for women and girls were at stake.

In response, AAUW launched its Voter Education Campaign. Thanks in part to the work of AAUW members and branches across the country, women influenced the tone and priorities of the 1996 and 1998 elections.

But the current congressional leadership remains a threat, jeopardizing women’s rights at every turn. That’s why AAUW is continuing its Voter Education Campaign in 2000.


AAUW, with 150,000 members and 1,500 branches across the nation:

Talking points

AAUW’s Voter Education Campaign provides women with factual, straightforward information about how Congress voted on the issues that matter to women and their families.

Every woman’s vote will count in 2000 because there’s so much at stake. In the past year:

In 2000 women can make a difference by electing a Congress that will stand up for women and families.

What you can do

Raise your voice. Join in this critical campaign.