Welcome to the Tucson (AZ) Branch of AAUW!


Did you experience an outstanding teacher or school program as a student, as a parent/grandparent of a student, or have you encountered one in your contact with local schools today? If so, please join us in our new AAUW-Arizona Education Initiative as we “pay it forward for education.”

As you recall your experiences with excellent teachers and public school programs throughout your lifetime, please consider acknowledging that excellence by interviewing and writing up one or more current stories of “public school secrets.”   Of course, they are not really secrets but rather stories which are not widely publicized and do not match the prevailing media and political rhetoric of public schools failing students.

Choose a teacher or program you would like to highlight or volunteer for an assigned interview, then write up and submit the narrative. You may choose to do one or more interviews. We have the basic questions to guide your gathering of information. And, we can help you identify teachers or programs if you want. We do need to have stories representative of instruction at all grade levels, size of schools, subject matter areas within the regular school curriculum, extra-curricular activities and intervention programs.   The focus of our study will be the public district schools. Any charter school included will need to meet the criteria of citizen elected school boards, open board meetings, budget transparency including open purchasing policies, open enrollment (i.e. no requirements/restrictions for enrollment), and adherence to state curriculum and teacher certification standards.

If you will supply the collection manpower, our branch and AAUW-AZ can help to correct the narrative and tell the stories of quality public education.   We can all have a positive experience while joining our voices together to correct the narrative. Help change what is happening in funding of public schools in the state and “pay it forward” for all of Arizona’s children.

For more information or to volunteer contact……
Connie Harrison (connie2425@cox.net)
Francine Schacter (francine@skilfor.com)

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A Century of Activism –

Tucson Branch
American Association of University Women

The AAUW Tucson Branch celebrated its 100th birthday in 2009. To commemorate this centennial event five branch members with a common interest were determined to share the unique history of our Tucson Branch.

The authors, Pat Spoonamore, Lou Bagnara, Patricia Gilbert, Connie Harrison and Baleka Baker were not without experience in AAUW and Tucson Branch activities. Pat Spoonamore was a Past State President, a Past Tucson Branch President and a Tucson Branch Historian. Lou Bagnara and Connie Harrison were also Past Tucson Branch Presidents. Pat Gilbert, was a past editor of the AZ Sun (our state newsletter) and a past editor of the Tucson Branch Saguaro Sentinel and Baleka Baker was also a past editor of the Saguaro Sentinel.

Many other people were involved in creating this book. Beginning in 2009 branch members came and sorted, filed, and tossed duplicates. Members made file folders, and put material in order by decades. We thank Jean Brady, Carol Dow, Maxine Heiman, Cary Hillyer, Nieves Miljure, Shirley Muney, Ardis Noonan, Jane Rohwer, Nancy Sauder, Esther Scher, and Nancy Woodling for all their time and work on the files without which our task would have been much more difficult.

The cover design silhouettes represent the evolution of women in the Tucson Branch from the turn of the century bustle to the 21st century woman in a STEM career. In our century of activism AAUW members have participated in and supported national, state, and community issues based on AAUW’s groundbreaking research concerning women, families, education, advocacy, leadership development and expansion of job opportunities because “Equity is still an Issue”.

Get Your Copy Now!

You may purchase the book at any Tucson Branch Meeting or order a copy to be sent to you by mail.

Please write checks out to Patricia Gilbert for $20.00 if purchasing at a branch meeting.

If you would like to order a copy to be mailed to you please send your checks made out to Patricia Gilbert for $24.00 to cover mailing and handling to Baleka Baker, 7667 E. Lee Street, Tucson, AZ 85715-5018. Include your name and return address to receive your copy.

Current Events

NewBurstCalling All AAUW Artists!
Want to share your artwork with thousands of AAUW members and the head of the National Museum of Women in the Arts? Enter the 2015 AAUW Art Contest! Submissions close January 28, 2015.


Follow the State of the Union with AAUW — and Bingo!
Every year the president uses the State of the Union address to lay out an agenda to Congress and identify the administration’s priorities and proposals. And every year we tune in to hear what the president promises to do to move women’s issues forward. This year, the speech is set for January 20, and we ask you to help us follow along through a friendly (or not-so-friendly!) game of bingo.

NewBurstAAUW Tucson Branch will hold its January meeting on January 10, 2015 at Old Pueblo Grille, 60 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85711 from 11:30am-1:30pm. There will be a short meeting followed by lunch. We are delighted to announce that Jane Adrian, AAUW State President, will be the featured speaker. The topic, “AAUW of Arizona: Choosing Today for Tomorrow”, will be audience-inclusive and conversational in presentation. AAUW Tucson Branch extends an invitation to members from other state branches to join us as we celebrate the New Year 2015 and discuss how decision-making today affects AAUW actions of tomorrow. For further information, lunch choice and cost contact VP for Program, Jeanne Clarke at jnclarke@email.arizona.edu.

Deni Seymour, Archeologist, Tells AAUW-Tucson to Ignore Glass Ceiling:
Build Your Own Ediface

By Carol Dow, Past President, AAUW-Tucson

Noted archeologist Deni Seymour addressed the Tucson Branch November 15, recounting her experiences hitting the glass ceiling. She received her PhD and MA in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1990 and her Bachelor’s degrees with honors in both Anthropology and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1980. She has taught, was employed by a number of state and federal agencies, and has worked for a number of cultural resource management firms, including one she founded and directed. Deni is now a full-time research archaeologist affiliated with two academic institutions and the nonprofit research group Jornada Research Institute and she serves on the boards of two non-profit organizations.

DeniSeymourBecause of the variety of her work experience, she experienced most of the obstacles women face in the work environment. Deni attributed her success to dogged persistence to have access to the ability to succeed. Women come across as aggressive when asking for a raise or directing men—or women—on the job. Admirable traits of women leaders are labeled as “bossy.” When women try to be assertive, they are called “aggressive” and “inappropriate.” Deni’s refusal to accept a woman’s traditional role and the manufactured faults and name-calling thrown her way resulted in her forming her own company and getting all the contracts.

When Deni retired at 44, she began writing. She was surprised at the disrespect for retirees among researchers.   She finds that acquiescing to conventional wisdom leads to “truths” that are not necessarily reality, citing her own discovery that Apaches lived in Southern Arizona far earlier (1300’s) than generally accepted scholarship had indicated. Adding examples of whom or what we tolerate as a culture, Deni encouraged us to move beyond power relations, citing Sir Edmund Hillary: “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”


By Jeanne Clarke, Tucson Branch Program Chair

ArtsOur October Branch Meeting was special, as we met on the 23rd at The Jane Hamilton Fine Art Gallery in Tucson. Jane and her daughter, Sarah, graciously hosted the meeting, which included refreshments, an opportunity to view her wonderful art collection, and hear a short talk from Jane about her success as an art dealer. She started out many years ago with a small gallery in Bisbee, Arizona. From there she moved to a location in Tucson, and then to a very beautiful location in the Tucson Foothills. While doing all of this, she also raised five children on her own!

It was a lovely event, and was part of our “To the Top” themed series of branch meetings this year. We are focusing on women who have been successful in their chosen fields, and how they did so!

NewBurstThe Lois Sands Mitsch Research and Projects Grant 2014-16:
Scientek K-12 Foundation/SARSEF Tucson, Arizona 2014-2016


NewBurstA Social Media Handbook for AAUW Branches
We’ve just completed a quick and easy-to-use guide to help you use social media for your branch. Learn about the primary tools, best practices, and loads of tips for Facebook and Twitter. The guide also has links to even more information to help you get the most out of social media for your branch.

NewBurstMembership Matters Click on AAUW Membership Matters in the right sidebar for the latest membership information, branch success stories and tips, and other vital information for the AAUW community.

NewBurstAAUW Tucson Branch Membership Recruitment

October 2014 and February 2015 will be recruitment activity months for AAUW Tucson Branch. In place of membership meetings and luncheons, events will be planned at venues and times chosen to attract new membership. All members are encouraged to attend and invite prospective new members to these events. AAUW national offers an incentive program, SHAPE THE FUTURE, through which new members, signing up on the spot, pay only 50% of national dues ($24.50) for their first year. As well, the branch benefits because for every 2 new members applying through this program, the branch receives 1 free national membership (up to a total of 5 per fiscal year) to be used in any way the branch chooses (a give-away, a raffle, a thank you to a volunteer……). ALL members are RECRUITERS! Just ask the VP for Membership, the Treasurer or the co-Presidents for information and the necessary application form! The SHAPE THE FUTURE program works at any AAUW Tucson Branch event that is open to the public!


The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political.

AAUW’s Mission
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

AAUW’s Value Promise
By joining AAUW, you belong to a community that breaks through educational and economic barriers so that all women and girls have a fair chance.