April 2015 AAUW General Meeting

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Wednesday April 15, 2015

Rochester Public Library Auditorium

6:30pm Coffee and Social Time

7:00pm General Meeting and Program

Literacy Programs in our Community

Our program on literacy will focus on 2 reading programs serving our community both made possible by dedicated leaders and volunteers.  Research has shown that by third grade, students who are below grade level for reading have a significantly harder time catching up.  Shelby DeWall will represent the United Way’s Leap 2 Literacy Initiative which is focused on strategies to improve YOUTH reading proficiency. They partner with the Rochester Public School District and youth-serving organizations such as Boys and Girls Club, Child Care Resource and Referral, Early Head Start, Civic League and more.

When you have a hard time reading, you often have a hard time in life. This adage exemplifies the mission of the Rochester Public Library’s Rochester Reading Champions (RCC). Louise Moe, head of Reference Division, and Fay Van Vleit, Director of Programming at the Reading Center, will take you through the journey of RCC which brings trained volunteers together with members of our community, of all ages, who are struggling to read.  They provide individualized tutoring to young people on-site at the Boys and Girls Club and to detainees at the Adult Detention Center, free of charge.

Please join us to hear how these programs are impacting lives now and in the future.

AAUW March Educational Funds Luncheon

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Annual AAUW Educational Funds Luncheon

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Willow Creek Golf Course

1700 48th Street Southwest

11:30 – Social time

12:00 – Lunch served


Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad & Chocolate Mousse

The vegetarian option is Caesar’s Salad without chicken.

Please indicate in the memo line of your check if you wish to have the vegetarian option.


Reservations: Please send your check for $20.00 made out to AAUW Funds by March 7 to Stacy Haugen, 2752 Boulder Ridge Dr. NW, Rochester, MN, 55901


Speaker: Habibo Haji, RN & Author: Conquering the Odds: Journey of a Shepherd Girl


Raised in a very small village in the interior of Somalia, Habibo lived in her grandmother’s hut until she was fourteen years old. A dirt floor, cooking meals over an open fire, a rug flap as a door, no plumbing or electricity: she learned how to live primitively.


Trained as a shepherd from the age of five, by the time she turned eleven she was taking her grandmother’s cattle out into the grasslands for months at a time by herself as a nomad; one of the very few girls ever expected to do that. She learned how to fend for herself, negotiate her safety amongst “camel boys,” fight loneliness, and endure hunger and great hardship.


She survived malaria eight times. She also survived the breakout of civil war as Somalia fell to its knees. Hiding in the forests at night so as not to be raped or murdered, she would return during the daytime to nurse the soldiers and take care of the animals.

Three years in the largest refugee camp in the world – Dadaab in eastern Kenya, taught her how to live amongst thousands and thousands of others crammed in tight places living in tents. Her efforts to take care of her siblings in this environment, helped prepare her for her future career as a nurse at Mayo Clinic.


Habibo came to America by herself, knowing no English, not understanding the culture, and unable to read, write or understand math. Her story is one of survival, the ability to transcend difficulty, find opportunity in hardship, and adapt quickly to new surroundings.

Her book will be available for purchase at the meeting for $15.


This event celebrates Women’s History month.


AAUW General Meeting: Preserving Your Memories

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AAUW General Meeting

Saturday February 21, 2015

The Homestead Community Room

1900 Ballington Blvd NW

(NW Corner of 55th St NW and 18th Ave NW)

9:30am Coffee and social time

10:00am General meeting and program

Preserving Your Memories

Our guest speaker is Dean Tollefsrud, owner of Bluestem Graphics and Photography. In 1993 Dean found his niche in providing photo restoration services.  In addition to photo restoration, he currently offers a full line of photography services, the scanning of slide transparencies, negatives, tintypes, glass negatives, domed prints, panoramic photographs and graphic design services.

As common among many artists, Dean is mainly self-taught.  He completed a six-month course in Communication Arts in 1992, when the field of computer graphics was evolving, changing and growing so fast.  He realized that he would need to be his own teacher to succeed in this competitive field.

This past year Dean was president of the Hambone Blues Festival, one of the kickoff events for Rochesterfest.  One of his passions is photographing performing artists.

Please join us for an interesting program which will make you want to go home and dig through your heirloom photos.

AAUW General Meeting: The Safe Harbor Act – Changing Lives

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Saturday January 17, 2015

9:30am Coffee and Social Time

10:00am Program

Charter House, Edwards Hall

The Safe Harbor Act of 2011 states that Minnesota Youth engaged in prostitution are viewed as victims and survivors, not criminals.  New changes to the Act, including funding, were signed into law in May 2014.  Minnesota Safe Harbor Act serves as a federal model for combating sex trafficking.  Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Erik Paulsen are part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers working to tackle sex trafficking in the United States and around the world.

Our speaker, Laura Sutherland assumed the position of Safe Harbor Regional Navigator in August 2014.  Laura has a wealth of applicable and varied experiences.  Most recently she has served as a court advocate at the Women’s Shelter.  Her prior experience includes 14 years practicing law as an assistant attorney general in Wisconsin working in Child Protection matters and several years of ministry within churches that included outreach and programming to the homeless in Madison Wisconsin.

Laura’s local office is with Olmsted County Victim Services, although the region which she oversees consists of 11 counties.  The programs of Victim Services provide advocacy designed to promote systems change, professional and community education, prevention efforts to challenge the existence of violence in our communities, and 24-hour hotline.


AAUW General Meeting Wednesday November 19, 2014

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AAUW General Meeting

Wednesday November 19, 2014

Doubletree Hotel, Skyway Level

5:30pm Silent Auction and Social Time

6:30pm Dinner

7:00pm Meeting and Program

Jenna Bowman – Looking for Innovative Ideas for Rochester’s Future

Jenna Bowman is the new executive director of the Rochester Downtown Alliance.  While attending Century High School, Jenna served on the Youth Commission of Olmsted County and was student body president her senior year.  She received the Mayor’s Medal of Honor in 2005 for her work in the community.  After graduating from Century, Jenna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul.  Prior to accepting her new position, Jenna served as the Program and Advocacy Manager for the Grand Avenue Business Association in St. Paul.


Rochester Downtown Alliance, founded in 2005, is a nonprofit corporation working to build a vibrant downtown community.  RDA is funded by a portion of property taxes paid by commercial property owners in the downtown district comprised of 44 blocks.

Please join us to welcome this energetic new leader who wants to engage the community in support of positive growth while preserving an excellent quality of life.

Dinner Menu

Mixed Greens Salad

Tuscan Chicken – stuffed with prosciutto, spinach, and caramelized onions

Roasted Red Potatoes with garlic and rosemary

Fresh Green Beans

Coffee and Assorted Gourmet Dessert Bars

Meatless Alternative Meal: Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

Dinner reservations are required by Thursday November 13.

Send a check for $25.00 made out to AAUW to:

Maryette Braithwaite

3928 Oak Park Cir. SE

Rochester MN 55904



October AAUW General Meeting

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AAUW General meeting

Wednesday October 15, 2014


People’s Energy Cooperative

1775 Lake Shady Avenue South

Oronoco MN 55960

Elaine Garry – Leading the Way to a Bright Future

Elaine Garry has been President and CEO of People’s Energy Cooperative since 2007.  She earned a degree in Civil Engineering at South Dakota State University and later completed a Masters in Industrial Management.

People’s Energy Cooperative is the member-owned electric power utility serving all of the rural areas surrounding Rochester.  PEC has approximately 15,000 members in Olmsted, Dodge, Fillmore, Mower, Wabasha and Winona counties.  PEC moved into the Oronoco nine million dollar facility in April 2012.  New developments and challenges at PEC include construction of a commercial solar facility, acquisition of six area cities and 7,100 new members from Alliant Energy’s electric distribution territory, and implementing the new standards of the Clean Air Act.

Please join us to learn more about Elaine Garry – her career, her leadership in the male-dominated field of engineering, and mentoring other women to achieve their goals.

Directions to People’s Energy Coop – Take Highway 52 North to Oronoco exit 64.  At top of ramp turn left and cross over Hwy 52.  Turn right on Lake Shady Avenue So.  Enter through door E2 (to the right of main entrance).



AAUW General Meeting Wednesday Sept 17, 2014

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AAUW General Meeting

Wednesday, Sept 17, 2014

Doubletree Hotel Mezzanine Level

6:30pm Special Interest Groups and Social Time

7:00pm AAUW General meeting

7:15pm Program

Melissa Brandt – Advocate for Homeless Students

Melissa Brandt is the Rochester School district’s first student-in-transition coomelissa brandtrdinator.  Her job is to assist the rising number of homeless Rochester students get an education, despite their situation.  It’s an all-encompassing responsibility; to ensure that  students have transportation to and from school, that they are fed, that they have access to social workers and that they have school supplies.  The challenge Melissa faces is how to supply the necessary stability for students to succeed academically when their lives are defined by instability and upheaval.

Please join us and meet an amazing woman.


Maryette Braithwaite (282-6753)

Diane Hellie

Program Vice Presidents


Annual AAUW Educational Funds Luncheon

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Annual AAUW Educational Funds Luncheon

Saturday March 15, 2014

Willow Creek Golf Club

1700 48th Street SW

11:30 Social time

Noon – Lunch Served


Pork Loin with Cinnamon Apple

Herb Roasted Potato

Green Beans

Rainbow Sherbet

The vegetarian option is pasta primavera with red sauce.

Please indicate in the memo line of your check if you wish to have this option.

Reservations: Please send your check for $20.00 made out to AAUW Funds by March 7 to Nancy Kampmeier, 1900 Ballington Blvd. NW #308, Rochester MN 55901.

Speaker: Dr. P. S. (Penny) Duffy

Writing Historical Fiction: Research, Imagination, and Empathy

“Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Henry Higgins famously asked in “My Fair Lady”. The answer might be “she can when she wants to be.” Writing from the point of view of her male characters is just one of the topics Dr. Duffy will cover in her presentation about the process of writing fiction set on the battlefield and in a Nova Scotia fishing village during World War I. Described as both a “debut” novelist by her publisher and as “a mature writer who understands the nuances of human behaviour” in The Washington Post, she will also address the benefits of “maturity” (i.e. aging) in writing fiction and the challenges it imposes both before and after publication.  There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Dr. Duffy, an AAUW member, moved to Minnesota from Washington D.C. almost 30 years ago.  She has a B.A. in History from Concordia University in Montreal, a Ph. D. in Communication disorders from the University of Minnesota.  Ten years ago, following a 27 year clinical and research career in the area of neurologically-based speech and language impairments, she began writing in the neurosciences for Mayo Clinic and is currently the science writer for Mayo’s Neural Engineering Lab. She is the author of an academic text, a memoir of her family’s time in China, and a novel, the Cartographer of No Man’s Land.  See www.psduffy.com for more about the book.

This event celebrates Women’s History month.

AAUW February 2014 General meeting

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AAUW Winter General Meeting

Saturday February 15, 2014

Charter House, Edwards Hall

9:30am Coffee and Social time

10:00am General Meeting and Program

The New Improved Boys and Girls Club

Our guest speaker is Jodi Millerbernd, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club which opened its facility Oct 2013. It is an innovative and cooperative partnership between the Boys and Girls Club and Child Care Resource and Referal’s  Head Start Program.

The 2 organizations together will support youth ages birth to 18 in the same building and will double the capacity to serve kids.  Please join us to learn more about the many services provided by this amazing organization and meet its enthusiastic role models and leaders.  A tour of the new club will be available following the presentation.

AAUW Winter General Meeting

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AAUW Winter General Meeting

Saturday January 18, 2014

Holiday Inn Downtown, Skyway Level

9:30 Social time and Optional Continental breakfast (Freshly baked breakfast pastries, muffins, bagels, orange juice, coffee, tea and milk).  Reservations required for breakfast to Maryette (507-282-6753).  $6.00 payable at meeting

10:00 General meeting and Program – Touch of glass

Guest Speaker: Twanna Buske, glass etcher and owner of Artistic Engraving.  This self-taught artist is as unique as the work she creates.  She customizes pieces as small as champagne flutes to large installations such as full door panels.  Twanna was commissioned to provide a series of etched glass local images for the Rochester sesquicentennial celebration.  She will bring a sampling of her work to display and explain the etching process.

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