Grand Forks AAUW Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Former, current members and community members are welcome to celebrate the 100th Anniversary celebration of the Grand Forks AAUW. An open house will be held on October 1, 2017 at Parkwood Place,  749 South 30th Street, Grand Forks, ND from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

There will be door prizes, refreshments, displays and a short program at 2:00 p.m.

Come joint us in celebrating 100 years of advancing equity for all women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Jamestown Branch Hosts Annual Garden Tour

The 28th Annual Jamestown AAUW Garden Tour was held on Wednesday, July 19 in Jamestown.  This event supports the AAUW Jamestown Endowment at the University of Jamestown and the AAUW Foundation Fund which provides grants and funding for projects that promote equity for women and girls.  Thank you to all who attended and supported this annual event.  For more information about this years tour visit the web page at AAUW Garden Tour.

Officers Installed at Annual Meeting

L to R: Laurel Goulding (Devils Lake) representing Dr. Sharon Etemad; Von Da Lee Grandelan (Wahpeton), Theresa Leiphon (Devils Lake) and Debbie Alber (Jamestown).

President Theresa Leiphon with the assistance of Past President Debbie Alber installed the new officers elected for the 2017-2018 State AAUW ND Board.   They were Theresa Leiphon, (Devils Lake) President Elect ; Von Da Lee Grandelan, (Wahpeton) for another term as VP of Membership, and Dr. Sharon Etemad, (Devils Lake) Finance Officer (not in attendance).  They will join  current board members for 2017-2018, Theresa Leiphon (Devils Lake), State President;  Connie Lillijord (Jamestown), Secretary; Sandra Sidler (Fargo), Public Policy Chair; Mary Craft (Jamestown), AAUW Funds Chair; Kathy Ashe (Grand Forks), Bylaws/Parliamentarian; and Debbie Alber (Jamestown), Web/Media Relations.  The board is currently seeking to fill the College and University Relations Chair position.  If you would consider such a position or have a recommendation please contact State President Theresa Leiphon at tleiphon@yahoo.com

Alber Received “Women of Distinction” Award

Debbie Alber,  (Jamestown), was the recipient of AAUW’s ND “Women of Distinction” award.  The award is given to a member who promotes women’s and girls’ issues, has served as an officer at both the local and state level, has attended a national conference, participates in leadership development within the state of ND, and is recognized within the community and/or state as a leader and motivator.


Grand Forks and Devils Lake Awarded Prairie Rose Award

Kathy Ashe accepting the Prairie Rose Award for Grand Forks Affiliate.

Two state affiliates, Grand Forks and Jamestown, were awarded the Prairie Rose Award for their most successful and outstanding projects this past year (2016-2017).  Grand Forks was honored for their collaboration with other agencies and groups that went into putting together their Annual Book Sale Fundraiser.  Jamestown was honored for holding another Tech Savvy in March that brought over 300 middle school girls together to learn hands on about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers.

President Teresa Leiphon presenting Joan Slusser from the Jamestown Affiliate with the Prairie Rose Award.



Branch members in good standing are encouraged to submit an application to attend the AAUW National Convention in Washington, D.C. on June 14-17.  A grant to help pay for the cost of the convention will be given to winning applications.  Please complete and submit the application ASAP.  State Scholarship Application for AAUW National Convention

Read and see Highlights from the AAUW Annual Meeting held April 21-22 in Wahpeton

Read all our the 2017 AAUW ND Annual Meeting and see highlights on the our Annual Meeting page.


Jamestown Branch Member Wins AAUW Art Contest

Jamestown branch member, Mary Craft, submitted her entry “Spring Rain on Tulips” to the AAUW Annual Art Contest.  Mary took the photo while on a trip to the Keukenhof Gardens.  Mary has entered the contest the past three years and this is her first win.  Mary’s photo was one of the winners of the popular vote in the 2017 AAUW Art Contest!  Her winning entry will be featured in a collection of note cards that will be mailed to members this spring.  Congratulations!

Join AAUW’s Online Book Discussion with the Author of Re Jane: A Novel, Patricia Park

Copyright, Random House

Join AAUW and our ¡Adelante! Book of the Month Club in celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month as we talk with 2013–14 AAUW American Fellow Patricia Park about her book Re Jane. What The New York Times calls a “breezy, engaging” first novel that “grapples with real issues of identity, race, and culture from global and historical perspectives”. Register to join the discussion on May 2, 2017 at 7:00pm. Read more.


Nominate an AAUW Member for a U.S. Postage Stamp

There have been more than a dozen women involved with AAUW who have appeared on postage stamps. Including Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frances Perkins, and Rachel Carson. We’d love to see more AAUW women represented on our nation’s postage stamps — so we’ll be choosing one woman from AAUW’s rich history to nominate for a commemorative stamp. We’ll select the winning nominee to propose to the U.S. Postal Service. Voting closes April 30 at 12 p.m. EST. Read more.

Tune In for Our Panels on How to #StandUptoSexism

 AAUW’s new #StandUptoSexism campaign has sparked lively conversation on social media, in the news, and in communities. AAUW and NYU Washington, DC, are convening a series of panel conversations. Join us online or in person and learn how you can fight gender bias. Read more.


Ruth Anna Buffalo Speaks at March Meeting of Fargo-Moorhead AAUW

Ruth Buffalo & AAUW President Susan Helgeland

Ruth Anna Buffalo, a member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation and a descendant of the Chiricahua Apache Tribe, was born and raised in Mandaree, North Dakota on the Fort Berthold Indian reservation. Ruth is a member of the“Dripping Earth Clan” from the matrilineal Hidatsa clan-ship system. She carries her late grandmother Ruth Bolman’s Hidatsa name, Mia Eh’Desh, meaning Woman Appears. The title of her presentation is “Personal Accomplishments as a Female and Ethnic Minority.”

Ruth earned her Master’s degree in Public Health from ND State University; in addition she earned Master degrees in Management and Business Administration from the University of Mary. Buffalo, in 2016, was the first American Indian woman to be endorsed as a Democratic-NPL candidate for the ND Insurance Commissioner.

Longtime Fargo Branch Member Honored by Concordia College Event

Concordia College held a  “Women’s History” month event in honor of the late Dr. Margaret Callsen, a long-time member of FM AAUW, and whose gift to Concordia College supports undergraduate research in humanities and social sciences.  Dr. Mary Dana Hinton, President of the College of St. Benedict, will delivered a keynote address “Mission Driven Leadership for Women.”  Prior to Dr. Hinton’s lecture, was the launch of Cordopedia, a digital encyclopedia of Concordia history developed by Joy Lintelman and Lisa Sjoberg, which has an initial focus on women of Concordia.  

 We Rise 2017

AAUW branches are a proud co-sponsor of the We Rise 2017 event that was held in Bismarck on March 12-13, 2017.  All of the educational sessions on Sunday were filled and over 168 participated in the We Rise event at the ND Legislature on Monday.  Several attendees were active in testifying on HB 1308 – Welfare Drug Screening.  Read more about this testimony here.


2017 AAUW National Convention – Registration Open                                        Leadership For Women by Women

AAUW members are invited to attend the 2017 AAUW National Convention that will be held in Washington D.C. on June 14-17, 2017.  For more information about the convention and to register visit the convention website.  Early bird registration discount ends March 31, 2017.

Branch Members  Attend Women’s March in Various Communities

AAUW branch members from across the state attended the Women’s Rally/March events that were held in several communities across the state and in Washington, D.C. on January 21.  The march was held to bring support of women’s priority issues to the forefront. Issues that are a priority with AAUW members such as equal pay, violence against women, health care access and more.  You can sign AAUW’s petition to make women’s priority issues America’s issues.  Take Action

Fargo AAUW in Action

 Jamestown AAUW held Tech Savvy in Jamestown on March 7

On March 7 over 300 middle school girls from Stutsman County ND attended the  third annual 2017 Tech Savvy event that was held at the University of Jamestown campus.  The event gives girls a hands on experience in careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  The girls had lots of fun enjoying hands on activities in each of the Stem Careers. Read all about the event here.

Lived Experiences of the Women’s Movement in the 1950s, 60s and the 70s

The Fargo Moorhead AAUW branch held this well attended panel discussion at the Radisson Hotel on January 14.

AAUW ND Branch Member Speaks Out About Gender Pay Gap

Connie H., a branch member and former National Board member shared AAUW research statics on the gender pay gap in a recent letter to the editor in response to another letter stating there is no gender pay gap.  We are so proud of Connie for sharing the AAUW proven research and standing up for equal pay.  You can read her letter here, http://www.grandforksherald.com/opinion/letters/4118027-letter-gender-pay-gap-cant-be-explained-away and the letter she responded to here: http://www.grandforksherald.com/opinion/letters/4111499-letter-dont-blame-discrimination-pay-gap.

Title IX Presentation at Fargo-Moorhead Branch Meeting

This month the Fargo-Moorhead Branch members learned about Title IX and the discrimination against girls playing soccer in ND from Kerry Wynne and her daughter, Tasha.  They have started a petition on their website: Goals for Girls ND.  The issue is that girls soccer schedule should be in the fall the same as the boys soccer schedule. Currently the girls are playing in the Spring and that excludes them from participating in track and pre-Olympic trials as well as participation in athletic college soccer scholarships and also since neighboring states have girls soccer in the fall they are unable to compete against neighboring state teams.

At our Branch meeting last night we heard from Kerry Wynne and her daughter, Tasha. The topic was Title IX: Goals for Girls ND.  The issue presented was the need for the girls soccer schedule to be in the Fall just as the boys are scheduled in the Fall.  Currently the girls are playing in the Spring and that excludes them from participating in track and pre Olympic trials as well as participation in athletic college soccer scholarships. AAUW ND sent a letter of support to get this schedule changed.  Please go to their website and sign the petition in support of this issue.  So far they have 618 supporters, let’s help them reach their goal of 1,000!


*Note that you can choose the option to not have your name displayed.

Grand Forks Branch

The Grand Forks Branch recently updated their webpage and social media page on Facebook. Take and look and make sure you “Like” their facebook page to keep updated on all of their branch events and activities.  You can reach them on the web at: AAUW Grand Forks (ND)
and on facebook at: Grand Forks AAUW

Diane WolterSalary Negotiation at North Dakota State School of Science

The Wahpeton Branch of AAUW hosted a salary negotiation presentation on April 28 at the North Dakota State School of Science campus.  Diane Wolter, Assistant Director of Career Education at the University of Minnesota-Moorhead, was the speaker.  Wolter has worked with college students in their career searches for nearly 20 years.

AAUW ND Awards 2015-2016 “Women of Distinction”

Maureen Kelly JonasonAAUW ND awarded it’s most prestigious award, “AAUW ND Women of Distinction” to Fargo-Moorhead Branch member, Maureen Kelly Jonason.  Maureen earned a BA in English Literature, NDSU 1988 and earned an MA from NDSU in 1993. She joined F-M AAUW in 1993 while attending an AAUW State Convention in Grand Forks, ND and immediately served as State Membership Chair for three years. This was before the national database and Maureen indicated that it was a challenging job.
Maureen dropped out for a few years to earn a PhD from UND in 2004.  She was given a “Give a Grad A Gift” membership and rekindled her AAUW membership.  Maureen has worked on the Annual F-M Used Book Sale for the last 10 years helping in all areas with a focus on promotion and marketing for the project. She served as on the summer F-M AAUW Program Committee for at least seven years and served as Branch Membership Chair for five years. She served as Awards3-MaureenBranch President for two years. While Branch President she served on the state board.
Maureen served as F-M AAUW Branch Newsletter Editor for three years. She served as ND AAUW State President 2012-14. She has chaired the Branch Nominating Committee for the last three years and is currently serving as the Branch By Laws Chair and Parliamentarian.
Maureen has attended National and State AAUW Conventions. Maureen said that she has learned a lot about different ways to lead from watching all the diverse AAUW leaders over the years and she did the best she could with the available resources. She is passionate about AAUW and is a dedicated member of the organization. She has served as a strong mentor for other officers as well.

As Director of the Clay County Historical Society, Maureen is an established community leader as well as a leader in the AAUW organization. She sees community service as an opportunity to learn and grow as a leader. She said that she encourages others to step up to the plate and take the risk of not being the perfect leader, facing some criticism while doing your best and stretching yourself beyond your own perceived limitations. Congratulations Maureen.

Grand Forks Receives Prairie Rose Award

Grand Forks Branch

Grand Forks Branch

Grand Forks branch representatives were also a winner of the AAUW ND Prairie Rose award for their continued efforts in collaborating with Dickinson State University that celebrates Women’s History month in March by holding weekly events that feature women in history. This year the theme was “It’s about Time: Women and Change.”  The Prairie Rose Award is given to a branch for outstanding projects that increase the visibility of AAUW and demonstrate collaboration and impact on their communities.


Super Science Day table

Super Science Day table

Grand Forks Branch Receives Prairie Rose Award for Super Science Day

GrandForks AwardOn April 23 the Grand Forks branch representatives received the AAUW ND Prairie Rose Award for their continued work and collaboration at the  Grand Forks Super Science Day in April.   This event has been held for several years now.   Last year they debuted a new booth with a science experiment “Isolating DNA” and a new display featuring famous female scientists.  This year we expanded to two full tables and included our new AAUW table cloth and new student-focused literature from the AAUW website.  The event had over 850 people attend and our booth was a big hit.  We featured information on Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin and Mayim Bialik.  Youth participated in a science activity at our table using a Geiger counter to identify common household items that have small amounts of radioactivity and also isolated DNA from a banana using a simple recipe that they can do at home.  This event was featured in the Grand Forks Herald  at http://www.grandforksherald.com/accent/entertainment/4010162-something-everyone-super-science-day-harlem-globetrotters-and-record

AAUW Having Fun at Annual Meeting

AAUW is Number One

AAUW Number One at Annual Meeting

The AAUW Annual meeting was held in Devils Lake at Lake Region State College on April 22.  Members and guests were treated to wonderful information about “Protecting Their Income both Before and After Retirement,” were fired up with the seminar on “Get Out The Vote” and heard about how AAUW is “Changing the Climate” for women and girls.  Thank you Devils Lake Branch for organizing all of the great information and for planning this event.  The AAUW meeting was also fun as members hammed it up for AAUW is Number One!  For more photos and a complete story visit our annual meeting page at: Annual Meeting

It’s Graduation Season – Give A Grad A Gift

Did you know that as AAUW members, you can give a free national membership to as many recent graduates as you like? It’s free for you and free for them. You could even gift the entire graduating class of your local college or university! (And yes, national members, that means you too!)  Give the gift of AAUW membership now.


AAUW members across the state are joining forces to raise a state donation of $2000 to support all the good works that AAUW does for women and girls. Just in ND the Jamestown Branch hosted a Tech Savvy event in Jamestown using a national grant that taught over 350 middle school girls about STEM careers.  We also, in cooperation with the ND Women’s Network, applied for a $7000 AAUW Community Service grant to encourage more college girls to attend “We Rise 2017.”  And I know you are all familiar with the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) that educates over 1000 of our young women future leaders annually from every state and around the world.  These opportunities would not be available without our help. This year AAUW ND would like to challenge each of you to contribute what you can to support the AAUW Fund. Our goal for our state is to raise $2000 this year. If we hit our goal by the time of our annual meeting April 22-23 — President Alber has pledged to wear her AAUW “Superhero” costume for our conference!   In honor of all the “AAUW Superheros” who do so much for AAUW.  All funds raised will be given to the National AAUW Funds and are a tax deductible charitable contribution to AAUW’s 501c3.  Please mail a check today to: AAUW Funds % Linda Steve, AAUW Treasurer, PO Box 1334, Dickinson, ND 58602-1334 or donate directly at: https://ww2.aauw.org/donate-gift/  If you donate via the link Please check the box (In Honor of) and write AAUW ND.  

New AAUW Research on Women in Leadership


Women are not new to leadership; think of Cleopatra or Queen Elizabeth. Think of the women who led the civil rights and education reform movements. But women are still outnumbered by men in the most prestigious positions, from Capitol Hill to the board room. Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership examines the causes of women’s underrepresentation in leadership roles in business, politics, and education and suggests what we can do to change the status quo. Download the Full Report.

Tech-Savvy-LogoJamestown AAUW Holds Tech Savvy

Tech Savvy was held on March 9th at the University of Jamestown with over 350 middle school girls from the Jamestown and area schools attending. The girls attended hands-on workshops highlighting stem careers in Math, Science, Engineering and Technology.

BrainSTEM Event Held

AAUW Fargo-Moorhead members and the NDSU College of Engineering teamed up to bring the first BrainSTEM event that brought 175 seventh and eighth graders to NDSU to learn about science, technology, engineering and math, known as STEM.

BrainSTEM sessions are designed to give students hands-on experiences that make learning fun and reinforce what they are studying in school. Students problem-solved, built and designed projects like circuits, medical devices and marshmallow shooters. They played math games to learn about probability and even practiced DNA extraction.

To learn more about this wonderful event visit: https://www.ndsu.edu/news/banner_stories/brainstem2016/

Our 2016 AAUW Art Contest Winners!


AAUW received more than 200 submissions to the 2016 AAUW Art Contest from member artists all over the country. Read all about the winners here. And don’t forget to look out for your 2016 spring note cards in the mail!

Navigating Ocean Conservation as a Woman of Color

2010–11 AAUW American Fellow Ayana Elizabeth Johnson works as an independent consultant with nonprofit organizations that specialize in ocean conservation. Being a leader and a woman of color in a white, male-dominated field has not come without its bumps in the road, but, she says, she refuses to allow these stereotypes to stop her from doing her job. Read More.


Tune in with your favorite Steminist for a fabulous collaboration between AAUW and Fab Lab. Airing weekend mornings on your local FOX affiliate. FabLab is scouring the globe for mind blowing new discoveries, inventions and innovations that are making the world a better place. Check Local Listings.


untitledAAUW ND Delivers Title IX Resources to ND Schools  

AAUW members from the Fargo-Moorhead, Wahpeton, Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Jamestown and Dickinson branches joined forces to contact local schools to gather contact information on Title IX coordinators in every school across the state.  According to Debbie Alber, AAUW ND State President, every school should have at least one employee who is responsible for coordinating the school’s compliance with Title IX.  Through their contacts the AAUW members learned that not all schools had a designated Title IX coordinator.  The members are working with those schools to educate them about their responsibilities under the Title IX law.  AAUW members were successful in gathering information from 378 schools from across the state.  This month AAUW members then electronically delivered new Title IX Coordinator Handbooks to each of the coordinators.  The handbooks were recently released by the U.S. Department of Education to help coordinators understand the scope of their jobs.


start-Smart-1Members Trained in Start Smart and Work Smart Salary Negotiation

AAUW North Dakota is pleased to report that two AAUW state members, Molly Mclain and Kelsey Murray, both from the Jamestown branch, have completed training for the Start Smart and Work Smart salary negotiation workshops! We now have trained facilitators right here in North Dakota. Let the workshops begin! Visit this link to request a training on your campus or in your community! http://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/salary-negotiation-workshops/

SuperHero Fall Meeting


Fall Board “Super Hero” Board Meeting

State board officers and branch presidents met in Jamestown on October 31.  Members enjoyed activities such as Stomping out Barriers to Membership Villains, Superhero story on increasing branch membership, building superhero partnerships with C/U partners and growing student affiliates and becoming a Title IX hero.  It was exciting to hear about plans for our 2016 Annual meeting that will be hosted by the Devils Lake Branch on April 22 and 23. The tentative schedule will begin with on Friday, April 22 with an evening Work Smart – a salary negotiation seminar for women training followed by a member reception hosted by Devils Lake President, Theresa Leiphon.  Saturday April 23 will focus on Protecting Your Income Before and After Retirement in the morning followed by the Annual meeting in the afternoon all held in the Lake Region State College Chautauqua Gallery.


L to R: Lauren Sako, Connie Hildebrandt, Mary Craft, Debbie Alber, Pat Schutt

L to R: Lauren Sako, Connie Hildebrandt, Mary Craft, Debbie Alber, Pat Schutt

Five Members Attend AAUW National Convention in San Diego

Debbie Alber, ND State AAUW President, Mary Craft, ND State Funds Chair, Lauren Sako and Connie Hildebrandt, Jamestown Branch members and Pat Schutt, Fargo Branch member attended the National Convention in San Diego, June 18-21.  For more highlights visit the AAUW National Convention page. The next convention will be Washington, D.C., June 14-17, 2017.