University Woman Texas

Volume 74 l Issue 4 l February 2023

Message from the President

Freaky February,

Normally, by this time of February Texas can usually count on the frigid air having left the state for good. Close to the coast, azaleas are usually blooming, and everyone feels as though spring is definitely spring. This year we have had such roller coaster weather I’m afraid to plant my annual plants for fear another frost will occur. I suspect it will not, but…

Let’s start with some very positive news! Texas Tech’s Carol Korzeniewski was named a 2022 AAAS Fellow. AAAS stands for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This is a Lifetime honor. Scientists in the past who have achieved this honor are Thomas Edison, Steven Chu, and W.E.B. DuBois. We are honored to have Carol among us. Congratulations, Carol. Her Lubbock branch and AAUW Texas are very proud of her.

One of the unexpected pleasures I received as a new president of AAUW Texas was becoming a member of every branch in Texas. (National added me to their membership rolls.) I have been so very impressed with the activities and fund-raising that the branches are doing and the many programs they are having that are mission based. Wow! I’ve pulled a few to share with you. Please don’t be offended if I did not choose yours. There is a limit to the length of this article.

  • NETC-A program on STEM and Women in the Work Force was presented by Dr. Minerva Cordero, Professor of Mathematics and Distinguished University of Texas Arlington.
  • Tarrant City Branch – Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Women and Children presented by Carol Klocek, Executive Director for Transforming Lives
  • Plano/Collins County – Your Mindset is Your SUPERPOWER was presented by Leslie O’Hare, accredited Master mindset life coach and many other accreditations.
  • San Antonio - CAST Schools Network presented by Jeanne Russell, Executive Director of CAST schools. She led the San Antonio Youth Committee in the year it presented the first Youth-informed public policy agenda to the first City Council.

Very impressive!

Next is a report on the Volunteer Deputy Registrars survey conducted from November to January 15, 2023. Eight branches responded.  There were only three questions in the survey.

  • A. How many members of your branch did register to be a Volunteer Deputy Registrar? 16
  • B. How many total events did you have registrars cover? 29
  • C. How many high schools did you register students at? 11  

We know that we must continue to register each year to be a registrar. Talk to those who served this year and next year join them.

Now, I want to change topics and moods. This is the time of year when our nominating committees begin the daunting task of filling the roster of jobs needed for the election coming up in your branch’s upcoming election. We all love our AAUW branch and we believe in its mission and want to do everything we can to continue promoting equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. How will that happen without leadership? I want you to take a moment and think about what your community would be like without your branch.

I have been thinking about my community, North Harris County, and wondering how they would feel if my branch suddenly were no longer there.

  • Each year the branch sponsors the acclaimed Summit in two lower socio-economic high schools for girls to motivate them to academic success. Summits encourage girls to choose STEM courses in school, to take dual-credit courses, to respect themselves and each other, and the Summits have been found to increase graduation rates. Those would not happen.
  • Two students would not have received scholarships to Lone Star College and National would not have received funds for the Greatest Needs.
  • Eight to ten grants would not have been issued to local public schools and 501(c)(3) organizations that are creating projects which promote equity for girls or women.

What a shame! When your nominating committee comes around and asks you to step up, please do. AAUW does so much that other groups in the community do not do. It is worth the extra time and effort.


Love to each and every one of you.


Mary Smith

AAUW Texas President

Membership Matters

Do you ever wish that you could strengthen your relationships with members of your AAUW branch and get to know many of them better? Building relationships is an important part of having a successful organization and increases the enjoyment of being a member, in my experience. Personal connections help to foster new leaders and creates a strong sense of community working toward a shared mission.

Here are a few ideas branches have used to help cultivate member relationships.

  • Have a birthday club that gets together monthly or quarterly in an informal setting and celebrates recent birthdays. Lunches, dinners or happy hours work well and encourage a small group to get better acquainted and socialize.
  • Provide all new members with a branch mentor to help introduce them to others and connect with the organization. It can build their confidence and encourage them to get involved. They may be more likely to take on future leadership roles and we can all use more branch leaders!
  • Highlight new and long-time members in branch newsletters. It’s a great way to introduce new members to the group and give a glimpse into their interests and the reason they joined AAUW. Long-time member highlights offer recognitions of their accomplishments and the impact AAUW has had on their lives. Don’t forget to include a picture to help members recognize each other in person. 

No doubt there are many other ideas that branches use, and I would love to hear them! My email is

Finally, a quick note about upcoming membership renewals for 2023-2024. The official day to begin renewals is April 1st, for those members whose memberships expire on June 30th. National annual dues are $72 and all but $3 remains tax deductible. Renewing your membership sends a powerful message of support for AAUW’s mission of gender equity for women and girls.


Sara Wood

AAUW Texas Membership VP




Great opportunity for students - AAUW’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) will be held in-person this year. AAUW national leaders will welcome student leaders to the University of Maryland College Park campus for the conference to be held May 31 to June 3. AAUW Texas is proud to be able to provide some funds to assist with the cost. Applications forms were sent to Branch Presidents last month. More information is now on the AAUW national website, although the agenda will not be available until early March. Full registration cost includes housing in university dormitories, most meals, and free parking. Early bird registration ends April 3. We hope the SHARE Committee will receive applications in a timely manner and be able to announce awards soon.

The Board decided to correlate the application process for the other grant programs – the Branch Project and Student Affiliate grant programs. - with Branch planning sessions for 2023-24. Because planning generally occurs after Branch elections and before the start of the fiscal year, applications forms and information will be sent in March or April before branch Boards of Directors plan their projects and budgets for 2023-24. In view of the commitment and creativity of AAUW members, Branches have ambitious goals and may need a little financial help from AAUW Texas to bring their ideas to reality. The Project Grant and Student Affiliate Gant program may provide the extra help to fund your Branch project. Share your ideas with your Branch members and then submit your proposals to the SHARE Committee.  

Shirley Selz

SHARE Coordinator

AAUW Texas Public Policy and Legislative Update


Since the 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature opened on January 10, 2023, HillCo Partners in Austin has been sending periodic updates of notable legislative information. By mid-February, 3,014 bills had been filed, and the filing procedures will continue through March 10. Specific bills can be accessed through the Texas Legislature Online (TLO) at

Membership information about House and Senate legislators, as well as the scheduled committee hearings, are also available on TLO from the Home page.          


On February 13, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick presented his 30 Priority Bills, and the full list is available online. It may be surprising to find a few positive titles related to AAUW Texas' public policy priorities, such as #s 9, 10, 11, 25, and 26 listed here:

 Senate Bill 9 – Empowering Teacher Rights – Teacher Pay Raise

 Senate Bill 10 – Adding 13th Checks for Retired Teachers

 Senate Bill 11 – Keeping Our Schools Safe and Secure

 Senate Bill 25 – Creating New Scholarships for Registered Nurses

 Senate Bill 26 – Expanding Mental Health Care Beds Across Texas – Focus on Rural


Governor Abbott's State of the State with his emergency priorities, broadcast on February 16, is also available online.


The five top policies selected in our 2022 survey of Texas AAUW members were women's healthcare issues – like Medicaid expansion of maternal prenatal and postnatal care to 12 months; open and fair elections; education-related issues - like teacher retirees' COLA, school vouchers, and opposition to censoring of city and public school libraries; reduction in gun violence; and pay equity on the state level. Other related issues will undoubtedly emerge. When it seems to be appropriate, the AAUW Texas Advisory Committee will contact the state membership with recommendations regarding pending bills to support or oppose. Please stay in touch with your District Senators and District Representatives as much as possible.

Lobby Days for various organizations will continue to take place at the capitol during this Session. 

They appear chronologically in green letters in the Capitol Event Calendar at  

Here are a few to consider supporting:


  • Texas League of Women Voters, on Gun Violence - February 27 & 28, 2023 
  • Texas PTA - February 27 at 8:30, 11:30 & 12 PM
  • Communities in Schools Rally - February 28 at 10 AM                
  • Texas Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence - February 28 at 12 PM
  • All in for Equality Rally - March 20 at 12 PM
  • Children at Risk, on Early Childhood Education - March 21 at 10 AM
  • Early Childhood Education Rally  - March 21 at 12 PM
  • Texas Retired Teachers Association ( - April 11 & 12, 2023
  • Planned Parenthood Texas Rally - April 14 at 10:30 AM -1:30 PM

There are many other resources to consult regarding public policy issues, but here are some recommended by the AAUW Texas Advisory Committee:


Pat Rehm

Public Policy Chair

Voting on Changes to AAUW Bylaws


It’s your AAUW, and your voice counts. It’s almost time to vote on changes to the AAUW bylaws.


In late January AAUW members were notified of the changes proposed by the AAUW Board of Directors and were asked to provide their feedback. Among the eight proposed changes of particular note were the following:

  • Revision of the wording describing AAUW’s charitable purpose.
  • Moving the start of board terms from July 1 to the day following election.
  • Having board officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Finance Chair and Secretary) elected by the board, not the membership.
  • Eliminating the requirement for 60 days’ advance notice to the membership before board approval of a dues change.


The comment period is closed and we are now in the period when the AAUW Board of Directors reviews the comments provided by members, amends as necessary, and approves the bylaws before they go to the membership for a vote this spring. Members will be notified when voting starts in early April 2023.

Key Dates for 2023 Vote

  • February 3 | Comment period ended
  • April 5 | Voting opens (online voting is encouraged)
  • May 15 | Online voting ends at 5:00 pm ET
  • May 17 | Vote results announced online

AAUW member voting is an opportunity that comes around only once every two years. You are strongly encouraged to watch for the April 5 all-member email notification and cast your vote on the AAUW national bylaws recommendations. Voting on Public Policy Priorities will occur at the same time.

Margaret Carlson

Parliamentarian and Bylaws Chair

2024 Conference Strategy Meeting





Possible LAC - Terry Whaley will contact Dianne Carr to see if San Antonio would be interested in taking that role. Could include appointing a registrar, treasurer, technology coordinator, proposing a logo and theme, and developing online programs.


Conference committee recommends that the program booklet will be online only, No printed copies would be provided. (If formatted properly, members could print the program from provided online content.)


Programs suggestions:

A panel of AAUW grant winners, possibly also participate in Breakout Rooms

Branch takeaway ideas from workshops: DEI, Leadership, Recruiting, Retention

Future of Women’s organizations - face of the future

Update from lobbyist

Speakers (spelling?) Minerva Cordero from UTA, Renu Khator the Chancellor of the University of Houston system, Dr. Maria Bottazzi with Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development


Group discussed pros and cons of using Zoom meeting vs Zoom webinar.  


Suggestion made to use Zoom Breakout Rooms as a means for member interaction. Possibly on Friday night before the conference or on Saturday morning to separate speakers.


Terry Whaley to contact Diane Roberts about approved budget for conference. Discussion or pros and cons of providing payment for speakers.


Discussed inviting other interested women’s organizations to participate.


Group discussed charging a fee for members to access the conference. $25 was recommended to give value to participation.


Discussed encouraging “viewing parties” with possible financial support for refreshments or room rental fees.


Margie Poole recommends not doing a fund-raising activity during the conference or using some other format. Announce donor winners at the conference or publish in online program?


Announce outstanding member and outstanding new member.


Little enthusiasm for one of the speakers being from AAUW national. 

Board action would be needed to change the format of the conference to include “happy hour” on Friday, and any increase in the budget to pay speakers.

Terry Whaley

AAUW Texas Program VP




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Elected Officers  

Mary Smith

Terry Whaley

Sara Wood

Margie Poole

Diane Roberts

Lucy Barrington

Elected District Representatives

Betsy Calabro

Cheryl Fuller

Cheri Butler

Stephanie Jones

Standing Committees

Margaret Carlson

Pat Rehm

Appointed Positions

Shirley Selz

Margo Johnson

Communications Team

Malinda Gaul

Janani Janakiraman

Jerrilyn Woodard-Entrekin

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