Programs: Spring 2022

Annual Awards Program

May 10, 2022 on Zoom (members-only meeting)

Help us recognize branch members who have been selected for Member Making a Difference and Woman of the Year awards, and meet the recipients of our Chatham Career -Launching grants and Gateway to Equity award. Afterwards, we will select programs for our 2022-2023 Branch meetings.

“Breaking Protocol: America’s First Female Ambassadors”

Professor Philip Nash, Penn State Shenango

Tuesday, April 12, 10:30 a.m. on Zoom (Email us for the link:

Dr. Philip Nash has taught history and international studies since 1999 at Penn State Shenango, where he has won three teaching awards.

After earning his PhD from Ohio University in 1994, Dr. Nash held a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University and teaching appointments in Nevada, Tennessee, and Ohio. He was Fulbright Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore in 2010. In addition to teaching in a variety of topics related to recent U.S. history, Professor Nash is the author of a previous book, The Other Missiles of October, along with many articles and book chapters. He has also contributed a number of episodes to the “Professor Buzzkill” podcast, which is aimed at debunking common myths about history.  

His presentation is based on his newest book, Breaking Protocol: America’s First Female Ambassadors, 1933-1964.

“City of Asylum: Roots and Mission”

Andrés Franco, Executive Director

Tuesday, March 8, 10:30 a.m. on Zoom (Email us for the link:

Executive Director Andrés Franco will share with us the story of City of Asylum’s roots and remarkable mission. Located on Pittsburgh’s Northside, the organization hosts writers and artists exiled from their countries for controversial work. These men and women are provided with housing and health care in Pittsburgh for up to four years, as well as access to social services and a path to resettlement in the United States. Over the years, the organization has expanded its mission to include 40 North, a restaurant serving international cuisine, Sampsonia Way magazine, a bookstore, a community garden near the Mexican War Streets, and Jazz Poetry Month in Pittsburgh. Their headquarters, called Alphabet City, provides a permanent home for programming, where 175 literary and cultural events are sponsored annually, including readings, music and lectures.

city of asylum

“The National Opera House”

Jonnet Solomon, Executive Director of the National  Opera House

February 8, 2022 at 10 AM via Zoom. Email us for the link:

This old house in Homestead, now in disrepair, was once the headquarters of the National Negro Opera Company. The house gained prominence recently when it was declared one of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places. Jonnet Solomon works to preserve restore the house and document its significant history. She has recently received major funding from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Join us as Ms. Solomon describes her goals for the house and her vision of what it could become.

This program is co-sponsored by the Murrysville, Beaver Valley, and North Hills branches of the AAUW.

opera house

“Human skin color: Its evolution, prehistory, and many modern meanings and implications”

 Dr. Nina Jablonski, Professor of Anthropology, Penn State University

Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 10:00 AM via Zoom. Email for the Zoom link.

As a biological anthropologist at Penn State University, Dr. Nina Jablonski studies how human skin color evolved through time, and, more significantly perhaps, how differences in skin color came to be linked to imagined differences between races.

Her research focuses on human adaptations to their environment and the evolution of human hair, skin and skin pigmentation.  By understanding the history of skin-color-based race concepts, Dr. Jablonski has become fluent in comparing how this process manifests in different cultures.  Through extensive collaboration with other anthropologists and evolutionary biologists around the world, her research is able to expose cultural biases for their inherent arbitrary nature, and, by extension, some of the social consequences of racism.

Professor Jablonski received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington, concentrating on primate and human evolution.  Among countless academic honors, Nina was recently elected as a member to the National Academy of Sciences.  In addition to her on-going research activities, she co-leads the prestigious Genetics and Genealogy Curriculum Project with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., host of PBS’s Finding Your Roots.

Previous Programs

Fall, 2021

Holiday Tea (on Zoom) and Fund-Raiser

December 14, 2021, 10-12

The Second Harvest Thrift Store in Sharpsburg

Bonnie DeMote, President

November 9, 2021, 10:00 – 12:00 (Zoom)

Public Affairs Goals for AAUW-PA

Ann Pehle, President, AAUW-PA

October 12, 2021, 10:00 – 12:00 (Zoom

Bios, Bagels, and Ice Cream: Outdoor Get-Together

Allegheny RiverTrail Park shelter

September 14, 2021, 10:00 – 12:00


Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Women’s Suffrage Movement in Western Pennsylvania
 Dr. Barbara Johnstone, PhD

Tuesday, October 13, 2020
What’s Gender Got to Do with It?
Dr. Dana Brown, PhD, Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics, Chatham University

Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Handling Stress Today
Debra Callahan

December 8, 2020
Holiday Celebration

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Gender Equity for Women in Madagascar
Sthela Gun Holly Hanitrinirina, Founder, Gender Justice for Madagascar

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Mila Sanina, local digital newspaper

Tuesday March 9, 2021
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Tuesday April 13, 2021
AAUW Public Policy Forum, State Senator Lindsey Williams, State Representative Sara Innamorato, Allegheny County Council Member Anita Prizio

Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Jan Fishler, “Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life” and videos from Chatham University Career Launching Award winners.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019
American Women Legal Trailblazers and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 1940s-1960s
Dr. Joan Gundersen, PhD, American History, University of Notre Dame
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Weaving a New Life after Brain Injury 
Dr. Deborah Brandon, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University Professor, Mathematics
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
What’s Up Mother Earth:  Where does our “stuff” come from and at what cost?
Dr. Randy Weinberg, PhD, Teaching Faculty Emeritus, Carnegie Mellon University
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Women and World War II
Mr. Todd De Pastino, Executive Director, American Veterans Breakfast Club
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
It Isn’t Easy Being The New Kid
Jenna Baron, Executive Director, Alliance for Refugee Youth and Support (ARYSE)
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Changing the Want Ads in 1969
Dr. Patricia Ulbrich, PhD, Project Director, InSisterhood: The Women’s Movement in Pgh
[Subsequent events cancelled due to Covid-19]

Affiliate Meetings for the 2018-2019 AAUW year with a speaker at 10:15 AM

Tuesday, September 11: Carlos T. Carter, Executive Director, Homeless Children’s Education Fund, Creating Hope through Learning
Tuesday, October 9: Norma Alrutz, President, Executive Director, Saltworks Impacting the Lives of Children, Youth & Families through the Power of Live Theater
Tuesday, November 13: Tim Dawson, Co-founder, The Art of Democracy, Designing Innovative Community Engagement
Tuesday, December 11: Annual Holiday Luncheon
Tuesday, January 15: Christen Cappatt, Director of Communications, The Aservo Fund: Combating Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation
Tuesday, February 12: Women’s Law Project , Protecting and Advancing the Rights of Women & Girls
Tuesday, March 3: Jill McConnell/ Brad Wulfkuhle, Executive Director/Director of Tech. Lab, Cooper-Siegel , Library Technology Lab @ library
Tuesday, April 9: TBA 
Thursday, April 11, 7-9 PM: STEM-CAN, high school recognitions
Tuesday, May 14: Brunch and Awards Ceremony

Affiliate Meetings for the 2017-2018 AAUW year with a speaker at 10:15 AM
Tuesday, September 12: Kennywood vs Luna: Pittsburgh’s Amusement Park Rivalry, Brian Butko, author and historian
Tuesday, October 10: The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Work of Pittsburgh for CEDAW. Marcia Bandes, Chair, Pittsburgh for CEDAW
Tuesday, November 12: The Humanities go Digital: The Six Degrees of Francis Bacon Project, Christopher Warren, Associate Professor of English, Carnegie Mellon University
Tuesday, December 12: Annual Holiday Celebration and Handmade Sale
Tuesday, January 9: What Do the Shriners Do (When they’re not Driving Little Cars)? Tony Corcoran, Outreach Chair, Syria Shriners
Tuesday, February 13: 100 Percent Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Foundation Supports Women and Girls, Christy Stuber, Donor Services Officer, The Pittsburgh Foundation
Tuesday, March 13: TBA
Monday, March 19, 7-9 PM: Young Women’s Recognition Night
Tuesday, April 10: TBA (Public Affairs Theme)
Tuesday, May 8: Brunch and Awards Ceremony

Affiliate Meetings for the 2016-2017 AAUW year with a speaker at 10:15 AM
Tuesday, September 13:  Veterans’ Place: New Beginnings for Homeless Veterans
Marlon Ferguson, Executive Director
Tuesday, October 11: Islam Today
Wasiullah Mohamed, Executive Director, and Kelcey Sharkas, Director of Programming and Outreach Coordinator, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh
Tuesday, November 8: Animal Friends Therapets Visitation
Amy Martello, Therapeutic Services Coordinator, Animal Friends
Tuesday, December 13: Holiday Luncheon, Musical Entertainment and Silent Auction
Tuesday, January 10, 2017: The Face and Future of HIV/Aids
 Dennis Bergevin, Honorary Co-Chair, 2016 Pittsburgh World AIDS Conference
Tuesday, February 14: The Film Industry in Pittsburgh, Carl Kurlander, Steeltown
Tuesday, March 14: En sprogforsker i Danmark (med en hund) – A Linguist in Denmark (with a dog), Barbara Johnstone, PhD
Wednesday, March 8, 7:00-9:00 PM: STEM-CAN High School Girls’ Recognition Night
Tuesday, April 11: To Be Announced
Tuesday, May 9: Brunch and Awards Ceremony

Affiliate Meetings for the 2015-2016 AAUW year with a speaker at 10:15 AM
Tuesday, September 8: Shaping Chatham University’s new Falk School of Sustainability, Dr. Peter Walker, Dean
Tuesday, October 13: Newsmakers & News Making Today, Daniel Simpson, Associate Editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Tuesday, November 10: Westmoreland Museum of American Art Catena Bergevin, Director of Development
Tuesday, December 8: Holiday Luncheon, Musical Entertainment and Silent Auction
Tuesday, January 12, 2016: To Be Announced
Tuesday, February 9: To Be Announced
Tuesday, March 9: To Be Announced
Tuesday, March 15, 7:00-9:00 PM: Young Women’s Recognition Night, Middle School Girls’ Recognition Night
Tuesday, April 12: To Be Announced
Tuesday, May 10: Brunch and Awards Ceremony

Branch Meetings for the 2014-2015 AAUW year with a speaker at 10:15 AM
Tuesday, September 9: Chronic Pain: Does it have to be a pain?, Paula Breuer, PT, Laura Ebbert, OT, UPMC
Tuesday, October 14: Candidate Forum, Erin McClelland
Tuesday, November 11: Computer Gaming as a High School Education Tool, Nikki Navta, founder/CEO of Zulama
Tuesday, December 9: Holiday Luncheon, Musical Entertainment and Silent Auction
Tuesday, January 13, 2015: Massey Coal, Don Blankenship, and a 14-Year Legal Quest for Justice in Coal Country, Bruce Stanley
Tuesday, February 10:The Origins and Importance of Pittsburghese, Barbara Johnstone, Professor of Rhetoric and Linguistics, CMU; Branch Brainstorming
Tuesday, March 10: The Lincoln Highway, Brian Butko, Heinz History Center
MONDAY, March 16, 7:00-9:00 PM: STEM-CAN, High School Girls’ Recognition Night
Tuesday, April 14: To Be Announced
Tuesday, May 12: Brunch and Awards Ceremony

Branch Meetings for the 2013-2014 AAUW year
September 10: The Allegheny Observatory and Some of Pittsburgh’s Forgotten Giants of Science, Dan Handley
October 8: 9:00 AM Patient Advocacy, Speaker and meeting at Longwood in Oakmont
November 12: On the Road with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: European Festivals Tour, WQED’s Jim Cunningham
December 10: Holiday Luncheon, Musical Entertainment and Silent Auction
January 14, 2014 : The Evolution and Transformation of East Liberty, Claire Hosteny, General Counsel, East Liberty Development, Inc.
February 11: Phipps Conservatory’s New “Living” Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Richard Piacentini, Executive Director, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
March 11, 7:00-9:00 PM: Young Women’s Recognition Night YWRN
April 8: Treasure House Presentation
May 13: Brunch and Awards Ceremony

Branch Meetings for the 2012-2013 AAUW year
September 11: Hurdles Women Who Run For Public Office Face and How They Overcome Them, Barbara Behrend Ernsberger
October 9: Candidates for Congress Mark Critz and Keith Rothfus
November 13: The History of O’Hara Township, Tom Powers
December 11: Holiday Luncheon and Silent Auction
January 15: MONEY MIND GAMES: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions about Their Money, Gregg Indovina
February 12:  The History of the Underground Railroad In West-Central Pennsylvania, Barbara Zaborowski
March 5: 7 PM, STEM-CAN (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-Careers Achievement Night recognizing high school girls.
March 12: complimentary/alternative medicine, Janet Polansky, holistic health practitioner
April 9: The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-first Century, Brian O’Neill

May 14: Spring Brunch and Awards Celebration

Branch Meetings for the 2011-2012 AAUW year
Tuesday, September 13: The Adverse Impact of Marcellus Shale Drilling on the Environment and Community Health, Briget Shields, one of the founders of “Marcellus Protest.”
Tuesday, October 11: Marcellus 101, Barb Hall, a chemist with Test America, Inc. and one of the founding members of Marcellus Shale Coalition.
Tuesday, November 8: I.E.P. Secrets: that your school isn’t telling you. Lori Breen, Author, Mother, Lawyer, Educator, Author, Consultant discusses Autism issues.
Tuesday, December 13: Holiday Luncheon and Silent Auction
Tuesday, January 10: Al Mann, President of the East End/East Liberty Historical Society, author of Images of America: Pittsburgh’s East Liberty Valley will discuss the history of East Liberty, which was the “Wealthiest suburb in America.” He will discuss not only the history of the East Liberty Valley but he will also touch on topics such as East Liberty as the epicenter of commerce and capitalism and the interconnection of East Liberty to the Fox Chapel Area.
Tuesday, February 14: Hillary Snyder, The Pitfalls of Failing to Plan Your Estate Properly, Will Your Wishes Be Honored?
Tuesday, March 13 evening program: Young Women’s Recognition Night
Tuesday, April 10: U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose
Tuesday, May 8: Spring Brunch and Awards Celebration
Branch Meetings for the 2010-2011 AAUW year
Tuesday, September 14:  Keith Rothfus, Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives
Tuesday, October 12:  Jason Altmire, Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives
Tuesday, November 9:  ASSET, Inc., Hands on Science in our schools
Tuesday, December 14:  Holiday Luncheon and Silent Auction
Tuesday, January 11:  Kathleen George, mystery author and theatre proffessor at Uiniversity of Pittsburgh
Tuesday, February 8:  Dr. Sharon Hillier, professor and director of reproductive infectious disease research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine will talk about her efforts to find practical, effective and safe strategies to prevent the spread of HIV, particularly in women.
Tuesday, March 8:  Genealogist Elissa Scalise
Tuesday, April 12:  Women and Girls Foundation of Southwestern PA, working to close the wage gap created the Girlgov program to increase participation of women in politics.
Tuesday, May 9:  Spring Brunch and Awards Celebration
Branch Meetings for the 2009-2010 AAUW year
Tuesday, September 8:  Iran today, women more than ever engaged…and the Green Revolution, Mahnaz Harrison
Tuesday, October 13: Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater
Members’ Arts & Crafts display
Tuesday, November 10: Choices in Public Education in Pennsylvania
Tuesday, December 8: Holiday Luncheon, Musical entertainment and silent auction
Tuesday, January 12: Amusing tales from the Symphony’s travels in Europe and China and overview of the year’s planned events, Brian Weller, Pittsburgh Symphony Speaker’s Bureau
Tuesday, February 9: The Biotechnology Research Collaborative, Michelle Zuckerman
Tuesday, March 9, 7:00 PM: Young Women’s Recognition Night
Tuesday, April 13: Rosie Winter Mysteries, author Kathryn Miller Haines
Tuesday, May 11: Spring Brunch and Awards Ceremony
Branch Meetings for the 2008/2009 AAUW year
Tuesday, September 9: Media Literacy and Campaign Advertising, Dr. Elizabeth Perry
Tuesday, October 14: Caregiver Discrimination, Joseph Hardiman, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Tuesday, November 11: Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Fox Chapel Area Branch of AAUW!
Tuesday, December 9: Holiday Luncheon, Musical entertainment and silent auction
Tuesday, January 13, 2009: The role of women in local and state politics; and the importance of involving women in state policies
Allison Lowe, Chatham University
Tuesday, February 10: Prevention and Treatment of Heart Disease, Diane McClune, American Heart Association
Tuesday, March 10: Financial Planning for a Healthy Future, Toni Frisina-Yoder, winner of the PA Federation of Business
and Professional Women’s Club “Young Careerist” title and member of Patterson-Bush Financial Services
Tuesday, April 14: Botanic Garden of Western Pennsylvania, Lindsay Bond Totten, Vice President for Development of BGWP
Tuesday, May 12:  Brunch and Awards Ceremony.  Friend of Equity Award and Outstanding Woman of the Year Award will be presented.
Branch Meetings for the 2007/2008 AAUW year:
September 11, 2007:
October 9, 2007: Second Worst City-What Does This Mean to YOU?, Rachel Fillipini, Executive Director, GASP
November 13, 2007: International Education Connections, Jacqueline Saslawski, Associate Director, International Business Center,
Katz Graduate School of Business, U of Pittsburgh
December 11, 2007: Holiday Luncheon, musical entertainment and silent auction
January 8, 2008: Financial Planning for a Healthy Future, Toni Frisina-Yoder, Patterson-Bush Financial Services
February 12, 2008: Poetry Presentation Dessie Bey, Poet, author Snappin’ Out! In More Ways than One, member of Board of Directors
of UMOJA African Arts Company; founding member, Assistant Director Langston Hughes Poetry Society of Pittsburgh.
March 11, 2008: Young Women’s Recognition Night
April 8, 2008: Legendary Ladies of Western Pennsylvania, Senator John Heinz History Center
May 13, 2008: Brunch and Awards Ceremony.  Friend of Equity Award and Outstanding Woman of the
Year Award will be presented.
Branch Meetings for the 2006/2007 AAUW year:
September 12, 2006, Community Traffic and Cost Impact — Heinz Veterans’ Administration Expansion
October 10, 2006, How to Understand Your Spouse, Kids, and Difficult People– LaDonna Bates
November 14, 2006, Illustrating – an Art Career– Diana Zourelias
December 12, 2006, Holiday Luncheon, Silent Auction and Entertainment.
January 9, 2007, Successful Aging: What happens after the warranty expires? – Susanne Hartmann, MD, MPH
Branch Meetings for the 2005/2006 AAUW year:
September 13, 2005: Grass Roots Reform– Barbara McNees, President, Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, Head of Committee for Row Office Reform
October 11, 2005: Women and Islam– Riffat Chughtai
November 8, 2005: Plight and Promise of Homeless Children in Our Region– Dr. Joseph Lagana,
Homeless Children’s Education Fund, Ms. Myra Powell, The HUB Outreach Center
December 13, 2005: 10:00 AM, Holiday Luncheon, Silent Auction and Entertainment.
January 10, 2006: Identity Fraud Issues and Prevention — Mr. Bruce Hammerle, US Postal Inspector
February 14, 2006: Fundamentals and Fashion –Women’s Medical Demographics and Trends,
Ms. Leslie Davis, President, Magee-Womens Hospital
March 14, 2006, 7:00-9:00 PM, Young Women’s Recognition Night
April 11, 2006: Local Women in History: Speakers – Dorothy Boyer, Granddaughter of Bertha Lamme, & Ed Reese, Westinghouse Museum Director
May 9, 2006: Brunch and Awards Ceremony.  Friend of Equity Award and Outstanding Woman of the Year Award will be presented.


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