Indiana AAUW
Last Updated September 8, 2001 


Indiana Bulletin

 ~Winter  2000 Articles~


Dear Member of AAUW
Phrases from Phyllis
Day at the Capitol
Stay Informed
Century of Working Women
Women & Social Security Summit
Submitting Proposed Resolutions
5-Star Award
Host Branch Sought
Educational Foundation
Branch News
What Is AAUW’s Social Capital Quotient?

Dear Member of AAUW

Treva May, director of membership

I am writing an open letter to all the AAUW members in the state of Indiana. To write to each of you I am sure would take too long.

There is a lot of excitement in AAUW. Good things are happening. I hope you can feel some of that excitement and pass it on.

I am still challenging each of you to get a new member. Lake County has 11 new members, a 60% increase in membership. Anderson has 29 new members. And almost every branch has one or more new members. Anderson is the only branch that has collected on the gifts I offered. I have given 14 in Anderson. Surely there are other members who have recruited these new people. Let me know and collect on your gift.

Right now is a good time to recruit with the Association membership incentives. If a member joins at a meeting, they receive a 10% discount on their Association dues. If two members join at one time, they pay only half of the Association dues. Furthermore, the branch gets an Association dues paid for a member. The branch can use it almost any way they wish. And don’t forget that "Give a Grad a Gift" is in effect again until January 15, 2001.

If you find your name in this letter, please let me know and I will send you a gift. How about celebrating an 80th birthday? Congratulations to Idamae Ward! Special thanks to Susan Wahl for preparing the State Directory. Carolyn Vanice sends excellent information for new members. Mary Miller presented an excellent report on Baccarat Glass. Jean Amman is an excellent Program Director for the state. Marjorie Snodgrass, I enjoy the Indianapolis Bulletin. Congratulations to the officers of South Lake: Mary Pat Burkel, Judith Petrou, Barbara Miller, Ellen Miller, and Kay Depel. And other branch members Donna Akin, Denise Bashore, Maryanne Battistini, Katherine Berda, Dorothy Bishop, Sarah M. Boyajian, Pauline Burrelli, Nancy Campbell, Sandra Dalkilic, Betty Goodlad, Pauline J. Gerbick, Janet Gray, Alice Lauterbur, Martha Lijiana, Cheryl Locke, Pamela Mau, Samantha D. Miestowski, Pony Kyle, Lis Mitchell, Thyrza Otterbacher, Lani Petersen, Girija Pillay, Jan Rozich, Francine Shreffler, Gretchen Stange, Morag Thompson, and Mary Tuytschaevers are to be honored.

Thanks to Mitzi Witchger for having the state board meeting in her home. Thanks to Everne Petersen who has been a special inspiration. Thanks to Marsha Miller for the web page. I would like to meet Minnie Lyda. I would like to meet Charlotte Iaconnetti. I would like to get really acquainted with Joan Robinson, and she knows why. What a special name - Anuradha Garlapati? It appears Barbara Kanning and Ruth Von Deylen complement each other in their job. Good luck Gloria Castelluccio with the job of president.

I will be in touch with Sylvia Spurling, Donna McVey, Bonnie Sponberg, Janet Kirkpatrick, Alice Snider, Dana Gapney, Barbara Conklin, Carolyn Hertzer, and Karen Johnson. I wish the following members success in their jobs – Karen Tannebaum, Linda Lucht, Elizabeth Thorne, and Juanita Rapp.

Now if I could put faces with all of the names, I would be delighted. I think we all like to see our name in print.

Let us work together to make this a memorable year. Please contact me with membership questions. Please notify me of deaths and other changes of address.

Phrases from Phyllis

Phyllis Thompson, Indiana President

By now, each branch within our great state is involved with programming and recruiting new members. I would encourage each of you to evaluate what you’ve done and what is working. It is not too late to develop your plan of action or in the terminology of today, "To market your product and plan your strategies."

AAUW’s mission statement is as follows:

The American Association of University Women promotes equity for all women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change. In principle and practice AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership.

This is the first tenant we must remember as we begin to market our product. AAUW is for everyone, and all our efforts must incorporate this into our planning.

Secondly, we must develop an awareness of our product. We must know what AAUW has to offer us so that we may relate and relay this to the community and all prospective members. We need to learn, learn, learn!

Thirdly, we need to know our market. Who can we recruit as new members? Are we locked into a mode where we are doing the same thing over and over again?

On the subject of recruiting new members, there are some interesting observations in a book by Dave Tapscott entitled Growing Up Digital: many young people today do not know Ronald Reagan, records, remember Vietnam, and remember only Jay Leno as the host of the Tonight Show. We need to put these thoughts into our own data banks as we think about recruiting and retaining new young members. We have to develop a relationship and realization that for those of us who our seasoned, things must be different.

As I stated in my last letter to you, Indiana is at a threshold. I can see glimpses that we are soon going to cross this threshold and be stronger and better than ever before. We have that potential and I know the possibilities are endless.

Woody Allen has said, "The world is run by those who show up." I expect each branch and each person within the branch and all members at large to show up and begin to run our Indiana communities. Plan your strategies, market your product and do it over again. Plan to participate in State Convention and workshops. Let your state officers know what you are doing. Plan now to attend Association Convention in Austin, Texas, June 22-25. Start putting your money in your piggy bank to do this.

Always know AAUW’s mission and the direction you want to go because if you don’t know where you are going you will end up somewhere else. Always be encouraged by the fact we don’t need to do everything at once. We need to deliberately do things one step at a time or as someone asked me recently, "How do you eat an elephant?" The response is one bite at a time.

If we look ahead, do things one step at a time and have a vision of who we are and what we want to be, our state and branches will be alive, vital, viable, and visible.

I wish for each of us a mission very possible.

Day at the Capitol

Mitzi Witchger, president, Indianapolis branch

Circle Monday, March 5 on your new 2001 calendars. That is the day the Indiana Commission on Women and AAUW have scheduled to visit our Indiana General Assembly to get some lobbying tips, to hear from female legislators, to meet like-minded women from other organizations, and to be a physical presence at the Capitol.

The agenda will include the opportunity to learn more about the legislative process in Indiana and how citizens can make an impact. You can meet with your own legislators to share issues of importance, attend committee hearings or observe House and/or Senate in the afternoon session. We will get background updates on bills of particular importance to women and girls, including education, economic issues, health reform, and violence prevention.

Lunch will be included in the registration fee. Plan now to attend! Snow, rain, or shine it will be an important day for Hoosier women to learn and be heard!

Each branch will receive more information separately on this big event. Check the AAUW Indiana website for further information.

Stay Informed

Now that the election is over, the Indiana State Legislature is about to convene for its long session. Keep up with proposed legislation by visiting

A two-year budget and redrawing boundaries for congressional and legislative districts will be among the issues legislators will decide upon.

Want to contact your senator or representative? Call the House of Representatives at 317/232-9600 or 232-9700 or 800/382-9841 (Republican members) or 800/382-9842 (Democrat members). Call the Senate at 317/232-9400 or 800/382-9467.

You can reach the Governor’s office by calling 317/232-4567.

Now that your favorite senator or representative has been elected, let them know how you feel about various bills! Make your voice heard in Indianapolis.

Century of Working Women 

Carroll Parsons, educational equity and diversity coordinator

On Thursday, October 19th, at the Four-Points Sheraton in Indianapolis, Women and Work celebrated a Century of Working Women with an all-day conference where topics addressed issues of importance to all people. All women work and we sometimes overlook this fact in our zeal to defend our personal choices or in our envy of someone else’s choices, which may appear more attractive.

Some topics and issues were never dreamed of by the women of the early 20th century – the Internet and women as entrepreneurs (our grandmothers likely "weren’t allowed" such a choice) and others persist – low wages and domestic violence (strides are being taken and progress has been made). There was also a significant health care component addressed with a workshop on making healthy choices. Many women put themselves and their own health care last in the lives they lead with the children, partner, or even their own parents getting care first.

Keynote speaker was Indiana’s attorney general, Karen Freeman-Wilson, and motivational speaker was the AFSCME Director of Politics and Legislation, Cordelia Lewis-Burks. Both of these African-American women have "moved up through the ranks" with difficulty and shared with us some of the ways to avoid pitfalls and skirt barriers.

Two women received the Women and Work 2000 Outstanding Individual Awards. Judith H. Singleton for her commitment to and support of women and the issues that concern them and Virginia Ryder for her long commitment to improving her neighborhood (Haughville) for the health and safety of the women and children who live there. Women and Work 2000 also presented an award to an outstanding organization, the IUPUI Office for Women, for the work done in response to the needs of and to improve conditions for the women on the Indianapolis campus.

A component of the conference with which I have been involved for several years is that of the exhibitors who bring information on health, safety, and education; financial guidelines; books, clothing, and jewelry to sell; and this year the exhibits included a free bone scan on site courtesy of the ISDOH Office of Women’s Health. AAUW participated with the exhibitors to present information on our organization by our president, Phyllis Thompson, and sale of "Girls Can" t-shirts by Beth LeRoy. AAUW also continued the giving of two scholarships to enable women to attend the conference. These are in memory of Mary Vogt, a long-time participant in both of these groups.

Women and Social Security Summit

Women earn less and live longer – which means they count on Social Security more than anyone. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that Social Security’s guaranteed benefits are there for women and their families.

You are invited to join the nation’s leading experts on Social Security in Washington D.C. February 7-10, 2001, not just to listen, but also to be heard.

AAUW is co-sponsoring this summit with Women and Social Security Project of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, Business and Professional Women/USA, OWL (The Voice of Midlife & Older Women), and National Council of Negro Women.

Wednesday evening, Thursday, and Friday the main events will take place. These include a plenary session, congressional office visits, a team-building workshop, a session designed to show you how to raise visibility for your cause, and tips to reinvigorate an established organization.

For more information, contact BPW/USA – The Women & Social Security Summit at 202/293-1100. For room reservations, contact the Wyndham Washington D.C. Hotel at 800/847-8232 and mention the summit to receive the group rate.

Submitting Proposed Resolutions

A resolution is a formal expression of the opinion or will of an assembly, adopted by vote. The resolution may establish a framework within which action can be taken by the State. Resolutions may also serve to clarify and publicize the thinking and the position of the State on a current or controversial issue.

Proposed resolutions may be submitted to the committee by individual members of the State, by branches, by state committees or board members. The Resolution committee may also initiate resolutions. Resolutions must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the State Convention.

Resolutions may be pre-legislative items and should not, in general, duplicate the legislative program. They may include courtesy resolutions, thanking a branch or member for a specific action.

Resolutions may be proposed from the floor of the convention. Such resolutions will require approval by two-thirds (2/3) of the accredited delegates present and voting to be heard and approval by three-fourths (3/4) of same for passage.

Resolutions may be simple, consisting of a single statement beginning with the word Resolved, or they may be longer and more formal, including one or more Whereas statements. All resolutions must include a budget impact statement and recommendations for implementation by both the State and branches. Resolutions should be consistent with Association and State bylaws and policies.

The preamble, beginning with the word Whereas, should be used only to provide information and/or special reasons for the adoption of the resolution.

The resolving clause states the action to be taken; i.e., that the Indiana AAUW supports or urges a specific action.

Resolutions must be submitted in typed form. They may include, -eliminate: for the committee’s information and clarification, -continue: reasons for consideration, information sources, background materials and explanations.

Resolutions stay in effect until they are revoked by vote at an annual State meeting.

Proposed resolutions should be sent to Coy Halpern, Bylaws/Resolutions Chair (see Board of Directors on page 2).

5-Star Award

Get all the information you need about this year’s 5-Star Award on the AAUW website, You can even fill out the application online. However, you may want to download it and take your time filling it out. You’ll need Acrobat Reader 4.0 to do this. If you don’t have Acrobat Reader, go to to get it – it’s free!

Let’s have every branch apply for at least one star!

Host Branch Sought

Has your branch always wanted to host a state convention but didn’t know how to go about it? Here’s the chance you’ve been waiting for! The state board is looking for a branch or branches to host the 2002 State Convention to be held on an as-yet undetermined date in April. If you even think you may be interested, contact Phyllis Thompson, president for more details.

This is a great chance to involve all your branch members in an activity to benefit members all over the state. Show off your town to the rest of us! If you don’t want to go it alone, ask another branch to assist you. This is also a great way to build rapport among branches. It’s really not that difficult to do.

Phyllis is looking forward to hearing from you!

Educational Foundation

Beth Leroy, educational foundation

What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshields, and laser printers have in common? They were all invented by women.

This is what the Educational Foundation is all about – helping women to acquire the knowledge and education to continue making these types of contributions to the world.

Congratulations to the Fort Wayne branch for establishing the Joanne Lantz Research and Projects Grant. It’s an awesome undertaking.

Last year the Foundation made 270 awards totaling $3,326,879. This was divided into 73 American Fellows, 47 International Fellows, 39 Selected Fellows, 60 Career Development Grants, 31 Community Action Grants, 13 Eleanor Roosevelt Scholars, and 2 University Scholars in Residence. Only 10% of the applicants were able to receive grants. Your help is needed to maintain this program and enable it to grow.

Remember, donations are due to me by December 15. This is a good time to help with your taxes, as all contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible.

A total of $10,025 has been credited to Indiana so far this year. This is one-third of last year’s total.

Boys Can T-Shirts now available

We now have two shirts available – Girls Can in sizes 2-4 to XXL and the new Boys Can shirts in sizes 2-4 to adult Large. Each shirt is $10 plus $3 shipping.

Dates to Remember

January 10, 2001 – Eleanor Roosevelt grant applications must be postmarked. These are for K-12 schoolteachers for professional development in gender equity and math, science and/or technology, including college courses, seminars, and professional workshops.

February 2, 2001 – Community Action grant applications must be postmarked. Requirements: direct public impact, nonpartisan, take place in the U.S., one-year grants – topics unrestricted but must promote education and equity for women and girls; two-year grants – girls K-12 in math, science, or technology.

Branch News

New/prospective member coffees/receptions were hosted by the following branches: Anderson, Fort Wayne, and LaPorte.

Election activities such as forums and debates were hosted by: South Bend, Anderson, Fort Wayne, LaPorte, and Michigan City. Many of these events were accomplished through co-sponsorship with other organizations.

Michigan City

Celebrated their 75th anniversary with a special dinner to which all past branch presidents were invited (see picture). Each past president was given the opportunity to reminisce about her term of office. A display of pictures and archives brought back many memories for long-time members and gave a sense of history to newer members.

Calumet Area

Celebrated their 50th anniversary with a gala luncheon and program, "We are the Women Bridging the Centuries." In honor of this occasion, a donation of The Remarkable Women Series was made to three local libraries.

Fort Wayne

Hosted a "Breakfast with your Presidents" meeting to encourage members to ask questions and let their leaders know their thoughts on branch matters.


Began a Creativity interest group for persons wishing to enhance their creative skills and a Computers group for those interested in learning more about using this technology.

Hosted their third Sister-to-Sister Summit for girls from seven public and parochial schools. Topics of discussion included teen pregnancy, substance abuse, school violence and "girl fighting," sexual harassment, self-image, peer pressure, divorce, cliques, ways to promote diversity, and setting personal goals.


Mary Beth Schneider, political columnist from the Indianapolis Star, spoke to members about political trends. Connie Brewer, a welfare recipient in the 1980s, spoke about Welfare to Work. She is now a caseworker for Goodwill Industries.


Held an Edible Auction to raise funds. All items could be sampled the night of the auction and the high bidders on each item reserved the right to request the same item be made at a later date to be agreed upon between the two parties.

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 (see Board of Directors on page 2).

What Is AAUW’s Social Capital Quotient?

Barbara Bonsignore, Great Lakes Regional Director

The arrival of a new century has produced a spate of sociological studies examining the reasons for the decline in community groups and organizations over the last half century. One of these books is Robert D. Putnam’s Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community in which he discusses the significance of social capital.

The term "social capital" refers to connections among individuals, and the ways in which our lives are made more productive by social ties. The connection between the need for social capital and the reality of declining membership in AAUW and other organizations, has had the result of intensifying an examination of cause and effect.

Three of the most prevalent ways in which social capital has declined, are attributed to the following reasons:

The post-baby boom generations are substantially less knowledgeable about public affairs than their elders, despite the proliferation of sources of information. Daily newspaper readership among people under 35 has dropped, as has television news viewership. The result is that today’s under-thirties pay less attention to the news, and know less about current events, than their elders do today, or than people their age did two or three decades ago.

The movement of women out of the home into the paid work force is seen as the most portentous social change of the last 50 years. With the rise in stress levels because of long work hours, coupled with domestic duties, comes a decline in women’s civic engagement, even though women have traditionally invested more time than men in social engagement.

Television and the wide accessibility of Internet access has accounted for lethargy and passivity that leads to civic disengagement, even "cyberapartheid," a term coined to describe the disparity between those with computer access and those who cannot afford, or are not trained in, computer literacy. As a result, connections among people are diminished as "elite networks become less accessible to the have-nots" in the personal computer age.

How does this information apply to the decline in AAUW membership? According to Putnam, "education is an especially powerful predictor of participation in public, formally organized activities." When AAUW was founded in 1881, there was a perceived need for increased educational opportunities for women and girls. Progress has occurred over the intervening years, but many challenges to educational equity remain. On a positive note, there is evidence that America might be on the cusp of a new period of civic renewal, because in the 1990’s young people displayed a commitment to volunteerism without parallel among their immediate predecessors. This development could be the turning point for volunteerism, and for organizational growth, especially if it "persists into adulthood and begins to expand beyond individual caregiving to broader engagement with social and political issues."

In my opinion, the public policy principles of the organization are central to membership in AAUW. Suppose a member has decided not to renew her membership because she is upset by the public policy positions expressed in the state newsletter on opposition to public school voucher programs, or candidate profiles of contenders for a U.S. Senate seat, for example. Her objections would be answered by reference to the Historic Principles of the organization.

For 119 years, AAUW has examined the fundamental issues of the times - educational, social, economic and political - and has taken courageous positions, often far ahead of popular opinion. More than a century of responsible participation at the local, state, national and international levels has evolved clear principles which underscore AAUW’s mission of equity for all women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change. Basic to these principles has been the conviction that true equity requires a balance between the rights of the individual and the needs of the larger community.

The specific issues raised by the disgruntled member are supported by the AAUW Public Policy Program which is approved at each Association Convention, and directs the public policy activities of the members for the biennium following the convention; in this case, from 1999-2001.

The voting records of the Senate candidates are found in the AAUW Voting Record of the 106th Congress, which is sent to each branch to be shared with the members of that branch. The voting records of the candidates speak for themselves on issues of importance to women and families.

The principles of the organization will remain, as they have for over a century, supportive of the educational and social needs of women and girls. They are AAUW’s social capital quotient, and a compelling reason for proud membership.
Newsletter Indiana State Officers Top of Page AAUW-IN Home