September/October 2021 Newsletter

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Volume 78, Issue 1

Focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion-Welcome to Fall 2021 AAUW Arlington Branch Activities!

Greetings Arlington AAUW Members,

gavelArlington AAUW welcomes you to our 2021-2022 year with thought and care for our nation and the world. We are working and learning together, and striving to keep everyone safe as we plan our activities and events for the coming year . We urge you to pay close attention to the Covid health advisories to keep you and your families healthy and safe from this deadly disease.

Now that summer is winding down and we are looking forward to cooler temperatures, it’s time to get ready for a fall season replete with interesting activities for our branch. Our Vice President for Programs, Meg Tuccillo and her team, have lined up a series of programs this year that focus on AAUW National’s theme of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Our September 20 program Celebrating the Arts in Arlington will highlight the work of artists in our schools and community. The following month, on October 25, a local grass roots organization ArlFib will present a program on Equitable Internet Access for All Arlingtonians. While we hope to have in-person meetings this year, the ramifications of the Covid Delta surge require us to be flexible and ready to be back again on Zoom. You can find out more about these programs below. We also encourage you to ask a friend to join you for our meetings – they might want to join us!

And for those who enjoy discussing books, check out the Let’s Talk About Books page. The International Coffees are scheduled to start again in September and meet monthly.  Priscilla Becker has posted more information below.  Interested in working with older Arlington teenage girls? Mary Beth Pelosky and her team plan to start meeting again with their Lunch Bunch group once school is underway. Branch members are also encouraged to participate in other local, statewide conferences and events coming up in the months ahead. Information will be posted on our website as it becomes available.

Our next Board meeting is on September 1. If you have any items you want the Board to discuss or act on please let one of us know beforehand. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at our September meeting. In the meantime, stay well! If you need to talk or just want a hug,  we are here, for you, nearby. Phone numbers are listed in the Branch Directory.

Here we go! Welcome to the journey with Arlington AAUW!

Terry Bratt and Karen Darner, Co-Presidents


AAUW Arlington, Virginia branch received two stars as part of the 2019-2020 AAUW national 5 Star program. This was a pilot program to reward branches for achievements in Programs, Advancement, Communications & External Relations, Public Policy & Research, and Governance & Sustainability. Based on the pilot, updates have been made for the 2021-22 program year, which began July 1st. Branches qualify for stars on an annual basis.

We received two stars for 2019-2020 for the Advancement and Programs areas. This was announced in the August 2021 Membership Matters newsletter from AAUW national.  We will also be recognized for virtual programs during the pandemic at the upcoming national Five Star celebration event because we had a full schedule of programs, all held virtually

Our star for the Programs area was awarded for holding 6 strategic-plan related meetings open to the public during 2020-21. (We also had 2 programs on DEI just for branch members, which didn’t figure into this count.) All of our public meetings last year were virtual, which is the basis for the recognition we’ll receive at the national celebration of the 5 Star program coming up.

Our star for the Advancement area was awarded for meeting three of the four criteria for this area:

    • gifts to AAUW’s Greatest Needs Fund averaging at least $30 per member;
    • an increase of at least 25% in total giving to the Greatest Needs Fund in 2020 compared to 2019; and
    • at least 90% retention of members from 2019-20 to 2020-21.

We look forward to the challenge of working towards the standards of the 2021-22 5 Star program!

Carol J Dabbs, Immediate Past President

Change in September Membership Meeting

We are announcing a change in our 2021-22 program planning for September 20th due to concerns about our announced in-person meeting, which had been scheduled at Meg Tuccillo’s home.  With Covid still of concern to folks, we have decided to move our in-person presentation on Arts in APS to our spring  Scholarship Awards evening in May and instead have a Zoom meeting with a presentation by a local non-profit, Rosie Riveters.

Join us Monday, September 20th at 7 pm

The Arlington branch of AAUW is excited to connect with a local non-profit, Rosie Riveters, whose goal, as stated on their website, isto provide meaningful engagement with STEM before the drop-off point rather than during it. Children can enroll in Rosie Riveters beginning at age 4 and programs currently extend through middle school; this structure is designed to get young women excited about and interested in STEM well before they encounter barriers discouraging their participation.”

Susan Senn and Meg Tuccillo had the opportunity recently to meet with the executive director, Brittany Greer, and hear about the terrific work being done by Rosie Riveters for girls in Arlington as well as Alexandria and Fairfax.  We are excited to have Brittany join us on September 20th at 7 pm for a zoom meeting where we can all learn more about this organization and its work with Arlington girls in STEM activities!  There are opportunities to volunteer and support this group that we will hear more about on the 20th!!  Please join us for our 2021-22 kick-off meeting focused on the future for our young women in Arlington!!!!! 

Brittany Greer, the executive director will share their work and their plans for the future at this fun and exciting meeting!!  Check out their website at

A zoom link will be sent closer to the September 20th Please plan to join us and join in the excitement for this great opportunity for Arlington girls!!!!!!!

Check out our full program of meetings on the Meetings page on our website.

Meg Tuccillo, VP Programs


Reminder to Renew your AAUW Dues for 2021-22

The Arlington Branch AAUW would like to welcome two new members: Jeanine Brundage and Sharon Valencia. Please encourage your friends to join us.

Thank you to those members who have already paid your AAUW dues for 2021-2022. If you have not paid yet, your membership expired this past June 30, 2021 and info regarding payment is below.

While the amount of AAUW national dues has increased by a few dollars for the 2021-22 fiscal year to $62 (of which $59 is deductible), state dues remain $15, and branch dues remain $16 for the new fiscal year. This means that the total dues for an Arlington Branch Member will be $93, or $31 for a paid Life Member. Honorary Life Members (those who have paid dues for 50 years) do not pay dues to national, state, or branch. 

Our treasurer, Mary Spatz, would prefer that you pay dues directly online at and click on Membership. Once you complete your membership number and password, scroll down on the left side to Renew Membership and fill in the rest. If paying by check, please email Michele Milden for more info at

THE EASIEST WAY IS TO PAY ON-LINE is when you receive a dues notice from (AAUW National). The subject line will be: AAUW Membership Renewal for Fiscal Year 2022. Once you receive the email to renew from AAUW, click on the link, enter your credit card number, and your membership is renewed in less than 30 seconds.

Thank you for renewing your membership at this time. We look forward to seeing you either on Zoom and/or in person next year.  

Michele Milden and Gail McGinn, Membership Co-VPs

Let’s Talk About Books

Leonardo Da Vinci bookThe September meeting is Tuesday, September 28, 2 pm at your regular Zoom location.  Our book selection is Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.

Our October meeting will be Tuesday, October 26, 2 pm.  Our book selection is The Great Alone by Kristin Hanna.

Shortly before each meeting Terry Bratt will send an invitation with the Zoom information. So, watch your email and come join the fun!  Look forward to seeing you then.

See all our books for 2020-21 with a brief description of each on the Let’s Talk About Books page.

Barbara Gallagher, Chair

Fall Plans for THIS/AAUW International Coffee Conversation Group:

Coffee cup clipartThe THIS/AAUW International Coffee group will begin the season with a morning coffee on Sept.8.  Juanita Cullen  of Vienna will be the hostess.

On October 13 the group will meet at the home of Arlene Shapiro in Alexandria for morning coffee and a Halloween program.

November 10 is the date of the November meeting which will be a Thanksgiving luncheon.

Members of the AAUW Arlington Branch are welcome to join the group.  For more information please contact Priscilla Becker. (See Branch Directory for her phone and email.)

Priscilla Becker, lead

Wearable Technology Summer Camp

Cohosted by Arlington AAUW and Qualcomm

Arlington AAUW co-hosted a Wearable Technology Virtual Summer Camp which took place July 12-16, along with Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus STEM programs and  Qualcomm, a company designed to create innovative technologies that transform how the world connects, computes and communicates. Qualcomm was our corporate sponsor. We connected through Jim Egenreider, a former APS teacher and technology guru, who is currently a professor at Virginia Tech, Northern Virginia campus, and the director of the Qualcomm Think-A-Bit lab, designed to teach young people of all ages electronic and robotic technology. Teri Doxsee and Susan Senn worked with Jim previously in APS. Qualcomm sponsored all fees for the electronic kits and other needed supplies that were distributed to 24 girls, ages 10-17, in the Arlington area who were recruited through APS Equity and Excellence Coordinators. Teri worked with the IT supervisor to ensure each girl had equal access to the Zoom platform. We offered participation to the eight girls who were the Science Fair awardees.

Throughout the week, these girls learned to program circuitry using Arduinos, Breadboards and LED lights to design hats that reflected themselves – who they were, what they loved to do, and what, perhaps, their future careers might be. One of the most creative hats was a magician’s hat. It was decorated with a pair of dice, a model of an 8-ball on the front which turned when you asked it a question, and a top with a stuffed bunny that popped out.

Susan arranged for three speakers during the noon hour of the camp on three of the days. They included Shaida Johnson, one of the directors of the Landsat IX project for NASA and Aerospace Corporation. The Landsat IX is due to launch in September. Second was Dr. Argyro Kavaada, a NASA earth scientist and consultant for Booz-Allen Hamilton. This was Argie’s third time presenting for an AAUW function. Third was Lynn Pressey, an electrical engineer who worked for years on managing Nuclear Reactors. All three presenters began by first describing how they came to do the job they do or did; second, the trajectory of their careers including personal stories; and third, by describing how all their jobs went beyond the initial work into sub-careers. Lynn even told the girls how happy she was that now, in retirement, she was able to do what she initially thought would be her career – being a vet.

Susan Senn, STEM Chair

Public Policy

The Public PolicyNorthern District meeting is scheduled via Zoom for October 9.  An in-person meeting at a Fairfax County library is still possible, but given the situation with the Delta variant of Covid-19, unlikely.

We will let you know about it as soon as plans are definite, but  do save the date, at 10:00 am.  Meg Tucillo is on the program with information about the diversity programs in Arlington Schools.

 Lobby Corps News

The current convener of Lobby Corps, Becky Gaul,  has been working with the National AAUW office on arranging Lobby Corps for this year.  Things are still unsettled; Kate Nielson told Becky  she’s  working on it, concluding with this:

“I appreciate your eagerness, but in large part the circumstances are out of my control. I just checked in with two staff members on the Hill to ask their opinion and was told their offices are only taking virtual meetings, and while guidance is supposed to be updated in the fall, with the Delta variant running rampant, they are skeptical of changes. Please know that once we are able to safely and effectively lobby, we will figure out a way to resume.”

Becky also said memorial service plans for Kitty Richardson, of the Falls Church Branch, are still indefinite.

Sara Anderson, Branch Public Policy chair

In Memoriam

Photo of Betty Loome

Betty Loome, an honorary life member of AAUW and a member of our Arlington branch, died on August 12, 2021 surrounded by her family. Betty had moved to Moultrie, GA in 2003. Her full obituary can be read at


Congratulations to Former AAUW Arlington Branch Member on New Book


Dr. Anita Nahal was a very active Arlington Branch AAUW Board Member until she moved out of state. She has now published her third book of poetry, “What’s Wrong With Us Kali Women?” The book is published by Kelsey Books.


AAUW Calendar

Our AAUW Calendar has moved to google which means you can check it online from the website or subscribe and see it directly on your phone or laptop! Additional information about the events is available by clicking the item.  Contact Teri at if you have any questions.

Arlington AAUW Executive Committee 2021-22

Term begins July 1, 2021

    • President: Terry Bratt (2021-2023) and Karen Darner (2021-2023)
    • Co-First VP for Programs: Meg Tuccillo (2021-2023)
    • Co-Second VPs for Membership:  Michelle Milden (2021-2022) and Gail McGinn (2020-22)
    • Third VP for Communications: Teri Doxsee (2021-2023)
    • Co-Secretaries: Candace Lilyquist (2021-2022) and Susan Senn (2021-2022)
    • Treasurer: Mary Spatz (2021-22)
    • Public Policy: Sara Anderson

Note from the Editor – November/December Newsletter

Any articles for publication should be emailed to Teri Doxsee at with the SUBJECT line: Newsletter by October 15, 2021


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