“To Engineer is Human” – Paths to California Water Resource Management by Linda Patterson

March Branch Program
March 16, 2017, 7-9 p.m.
Arden-Dimick Community Library Meeting Room
891 Watt Ave., Sacramento

The March Branch Program, in recognition of Women’s History Month and the contributions women are making every day to save our environment for generations to come, will feature two women with a big impact on California’s water crisis. Anne Lynch is a water resource engineer specializing in flood management, recycled water and water resource planning. She is senior project manager with CH2M, where she leads the Statewide Flood Management Planning Program as a consultant to the California Department of Water Resources. Lynch is also a member of the AAUW Sacramento Branch.

Lynch will discuss how she found her calling as a water resource engineer by discussing her career and notable projects in Texas and California. She will reveal how her work on these projects either bucked past trends, sought to solve emerging challenges, or maximize resources. She will then discuss the need to change the way we approach water resources in California in the future.

Our second speaker, Leslie Laudon, is Acting Deputy Director of the Division of Financial Assistance for the California State Water Resources Control Board, a member of the California Environmental Protection Agency. The mission of the Water Control Board is to preserve, enhance, and restore the quality of California’s water resources and drinking water for the protection of the environment, public health, and all beneficial uses, and to ensure proper water resource allocation and efficient use for the benefit of present and future generations. Laudon will discuss some of the key projects of her organization and the path she took to arrive at her current position.

Drought remains a serious issue for our state. “Although recent rain and snow leads to hope that California’s drought might be coming to an end, whether the drought is broken or not, Californians must act this year to achieve more sustainable long-term water management,” said Jay Ziegler, director of external affairs for The Nature Conservancy in California.

This program, sponsored by the Sacramento Branch Tech Trek Committee, promises to be inspiring, informative, and fun. We hope to see you there.

To attend, please register at Eventbrite by clicking here or send an email confirmation of your attendance to Linda Patterson at linkpatter@gmail.com.

Marjorie Wade: EF Fellowship Recipient Loyal to AAUW by Donna Holmes and Marty McKnew

Dr. Marjorie Wade

Marjorie Wade, loyal Sacramento Branch member and professor of World Languages and Literatures at California State University, Sacramento, recently shared how receiving a Fellowship from AAUW allowed her to complete her Ph.D. dissertation.

Born in Kentucky into a military family, she lived in a number of different locations, including seven years in Germany as her father completed two tours of duty there. When time for another move arrived, her father suggested that she apply for college even though high school graduation was still a year away.

Dr. Wade was accepted at the College of William and Mary in Virginia with the provision that the scores on her entrance exams were sufficient. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in European history at William and Mary. After working for the federal government for four years, she returned to academia and enrolled at Duke University to earn her master’s degree in German. She then moved to Ann Arbor, MI., to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in Germanic Languages and Literatures.

At this point, needing financial support to do research for her dissertation, Dr. Wade applied for an AAUW fellowship as well as a Fulbright fellowship. When both organizations were so generous as to award her grants, AAUW worked with her to adjust their dollar amount so she could accept both awards. The awards enabled her to spend two years in Vienna, Austria to complete her research on the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximillian I (1493-1519). She was enthusiastic about the opportunity she had to study at the University of Vienna and have access to the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, which houses Maximillian’s richly illustrated Weisskunig. The Emperor’s autobiographical work is a treasured resource of art, history and literature.

After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Wade joined the German faculty at CSUS, where she teaches classes in German language, literature and history.

Dr. Wade says she is still extremely grateful to AAUW for her grant and for being so accommodating with their fellowship award that she could also keep the Fulbright, which provided many connections abroad. In fact, she very recently returned from the 65th Anniversary celebration in Vienna of the Fulbright exchange program in Austria.

President’s Message by Nancy McCabe

President Nancy McCabe

Have you thought of volunteering for a board position for our branch? Have you thought that you don’t know enough about AAUW to jump in? Would you feel more comfortable with a bit more knowledge? The annual leadership training for our area will be on April 1 at CSU East Bay in Concord. The topics for training are:

  • Conflict Resolution Improvised
  • Enact to Engage – Modeling the Value Promise
  • Lobbying and Advocacy
  • Empower, Engage and Retain Younger Members
  • Dealing with an Aging Membership

Several of us attended the training two years ago and found it to be helpful. While in-depth knowledge of AAUW is not required to hold an office, one feels more comfortable with training such as this. If you are interested in getting more involved in the mission of our branch, you can always volunteer on a committee, where you will learn by doing. I, for one, have learned a lot by holding an office. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you learn as you go, all while getting to know some really nice ladies!

To register for the leadership training, go to the AAUW California site:


Sign up by March 25. The cost is $25, which includes lunch. If you plan to go, let me know if you would like to carpool as I will be driving. I hope several of you choose to get more involved in the business of AAUW Sacramento!

AAUW Sacramento Has a Revised Mission Statement by Anna Storey

Thanks go to Pat Winkle, Cherril Peabody, and Marty McKnew for their work on the revision of the Branch Mission Statement. The mission statement is generally revised every 10 years in order to reflect more accurately what the organization hopes to achieve. We saw the need to make the statement more succinct and, at the same time, give the mission statement more energy.

We hope you agree that it is both easier to remember and better states how we see our mission.

Our new Mission Statement:

AAUW Sacramento provides opportunities for women and girls in our community to advocate for equity and to break through barriers.

Updated Calendars, Printable Articles and 2017 Authors Luncheon Registration

  • Click here to read the interest group calendar
  • Click here to read the book group calendar
  • Click here to read this month’s birthdays
  • Click here for this month’s printable articles
  • Click here for the 2017 Authors Luncheon pdf  or click here to pay online

Editor’s Note:

Please note that Book group 3 has a book, “Year We Left Home”, by Jean Thompson. We will correct the PDF calendar.




Americans’ Reproductive Health Rights Face Uncertain Future by Charmen Goehring

Reproductive health for Americans faces an uncertain future with the election of Donald Trump and the Republican-held Congress. The President and his GOP colleagues have made it clear that they are planning to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (putting no-cost birth control at risk, among other things), and they will defund Planned Parenthood. According to the organization’s leadership, 2.5 million people rely on Planned Parenthood for essential healthcare, including cancer screenings, mammograms and birth control. Community health centers and public health officials speculate that no one else could handle servicing all of those who would be without care.

Planned Parenthood reports a 900% increase in women getting the 5- or 10-year IUD since the November 2016 election, giving themselves a birth control option that will outlast the current administration.

According to an article on BBC News in early February 2017, some states are looking ahead and making plans to aid their citizens. In Oregon, legislators have introduced the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which would continue to provide contraceptives without co-pays in the event of an ACA repeal. It would ensure similar coverage for reproductive health services like STD screenings and abortion.

The Illinois Abortion Act of 1975 states that if Roe vs. Wade is ever overturned, abortion will be illegal in the state. Lawmakers there are hoping to pass HB40, which would repeal that provision in the law and ensure women on Medicaid and state employee health insurance have abortion coverage. And, lastly, in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has floated the idea of a ballot amendment to put the right to abortion in the state constitution.

Americans are showing support for reproductive rights and could make it difficult for legislators concerned with public opinion. Naral-ProChoice America reports that seven out of 10 people support legal abortions. The Centre for Reproductive Rights has seen hundreds of new donors, many of them monthly sustainers, in recent months. And Planned Parenthood reports more than 400,000 have donated since the election (some in Vice President Mike Pence’s name). However, even those amounts won’t match lost federal funds if defunding occurs. Planned Parenthood says that even if federal funding is lost, it will find a way to continue providing the care that patients need.

Get involved by calling your Congressional representative and demanding that they protect reproductive health services for all Americans today.

High School Seniors Experience a “Bite of Reality” by Gloria Yost and Linda Whitney

Nine dedicated Sacramento Branch members have been doing their part this year to “sell” products to high school seniors as they complete a one-month budget for an assigned life situation. We are working with the SCHOOLS Federal Credit Union to provide the needed woman-power.

Many of the students find they are married with a working spouse, a child, a tight budget and sometimes debt. As they go to the eight stations to “purchase” the necessities, we volunteers get to encourage them to buy the fancy sports car or upscale clothing. We also remind them that it’s not cool to buy oneself a fancy vehicle and expect their spouse to get to work on the bus. As regular volunteer Marilyn Orrick said, it’s hard to convince them that grandma and grandpa may not be able or willing to babysit for free and they need to face up to the big cost of child care. When they get in financial trouble, the credit union station gives them guidance, and then they revisit some stations to make more realistic purchases and gain a greater appreciation of the budget challenges their parents face.

We have had fun helping young people experience that “bite of reality” at various schools so far and will continue this spring. More volunteers are always welcome. If you’d like to participate, contact Gloria Yost, gloriayost@aol.com.

A Follow-up on Last Month’s Branch Program “Are you Good to Go?” By Gloria Yost and Linda Whitney

An interested crowd of nearly 60 people had many questions to ask as AAUW Sacramento Branch member Karen O’Hara, who facilitated an interactive session that addressed what could happen if one should become ill and unable to make medical and financial decisions for oneself.

As attendees shared stories of difficulties dealing with a deceased parent’s estate when papers weren’t in order or family members who didn’t know and couldn’t agree about how to proceed, Karen guided the group to compile a list of more than 50 documents and wishes that should be organized and placed where they can be easily found by those who need to know. She posed “survivor” questions such as:

  • Would you know the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the next-of-kin?
  • Do you know where to find the names and numbers of service providers of the deceased?
  • Would you know the location of credit cards and the card ID numbers?

Karen also shared information about IRS requirements and instances where death certificates are required.

People came away from this workshop happy that they had a much greater awareness of how important it is to organize things ahead of time, informed that they know how to do the organizing, and determined to get things in order for peace of mind.

10th Annual Speech Trek Contest Celebrates with a Two-Time Winner by Liz Jordan

Manmit Chahal, 3rd Place, Kathy Le, 1st Place, and Simran Thandi, 2nd Place

The Speech Trek Committee and many wonderful volunteers, family, and friends of the speakers listened to five high school students from the Elk Grove Unified School District at the Southgate Library on Saturday, Feb. 18. The contestants spoke to the following topic: “Is it time to pass the Equal Rights Amendment? If so, how can this be accomplished? How can organizations such as AAUW help in getting this amendment ratified once and for all?”

Dr. Virginia Kidd, Communications Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento; Kasmira Kit, a former Marine and creative entrepreneur; and Danielle Metzinger, a Learning and Development Specialist for CalSTRS judged this year’s contest. New AAUW member Jacqueline Rose served as timekeeper for the contest, and Morgan Glover, President of the CSUS Chapter of AAUW, video-recorded all of the student speeches. The Speech Tech Committee also thanks AAUW members Kathy Papst, Gloria Yost, Linda Whitney, Elizabeth Rose, and Gina Schumacher for their help at the event.

The winner of the 2017 Contest was Kathy Le, a 10th grader from Pleasant Grove High School and a familiar face to the contest because she also won first place last year as a ninth grader. This year Kathy won the $500 prize, and a video of her speech has been uploaded to the AAUW CA Speech Trek Channel on YouTube. AAUW Sacramento pays a $25 entry fee to submit Kathy’s winning speech into the state semi-finals.

Last year, 14 branches from around California submitted entries. The judges for the semi-final round view the videos of the branch entries and return their judging forms back to Cathy Foxhoven, Speech Trek Coordinator for AAUW CA. Five of the top speeches are selected. The fourth and fifth place winners are named, winning $250 and $100 respectively. The top three speakers are invited to compete at the State Bi-Annual Convention or the one-day Bi-Annual Meeting.

This year’s Speech Trek Finals will be held at the Annual Meeting at the San Francisco Airport Marriott in Millbrae on April 22. The students and their chaperones will be feted at the meeting luncheon, during which they will deliver their speeches to determine the first, second, and third place winners. Those students are awarded $1,500, $1,000, and $500 respectively. Those awards are made possible by the generous memorial donation of Mr. Gray Allen of Roseville. Eleanor Stem Allen was an active member of Roseville AAUW and a passionate supporter of the Speech Trek Program.

This year, students from four of the district’s nine secondary campuses competed. Simran Thandi, a 10th grade student from Sheldon High School, won second place and a $250 award. Manmit Chahal, an 11th grade student also from Sheldon High School, won third place and a $100 prize. Also competing were Angela Tran, a 12th grader from Monterey Trail High School, and Bisma Khan, 12th grader from Cosumnes Oaks High School. The Speech Trek Committee provides speech contest workshops at all nine of the high schools in EGUSD.

The Speech Trek contest for 2018 will be planned for the third Saturday in February. The committee is always looking for interested members who want to work with high school students.

For more information please contact:

Membership Matters by Shirley Wheeler and Pat Winkle

Please join us in welcoming our newest members:

Sharon Leemans received an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies from Blackhawk College. She is a retired bookkeeper/secretary. Sharon was referred by Rosa Lee Black and lives in Sacramento.

President Nancy McCabe and Membership Co-Directors Pat Winkle and Shirley Wheeler

Diane Parsh received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Nursing from California State University, Sacramento. She is a retired Registered Nurse. Diane was referred by Mary Schneider and lives in Sacramento.

Karen Seminoff received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French from the University of California, Davis. She is retired and had worked in sales. She was referred by Karen O’Hara and lives in Sacramento.

Remember, everyone is a member of the Membership Committee. Refer a friend today!

Exploring Our Interest Groups – Film Fans by Cherril Peabody

Film Fans is one of our most popular interest groups, with more than 50 members on the email list. Though they don’t all attend each get-together, we do have a core group of around 12 who come most of the time. On the third Tuesday of each month, we attend a movie together in the late morning or early afternoon. When the time of the screening permits, we go to lunch afterwards. At the very least, we usually get together for a beverage or dessert after the show so we can discuss the movie and a whole lot of other topics.

The group tends to like independent and foreign films, so we often go to the Tower Theater. I am the facilitator for this group, so on the Friday before our scheduled meeting, I check out the films that will be playing on Tuesday and send an email with film suggestions. I ask everyone who expects to attend to vote for one or two of the films, or suggest another film. I count the votes and let everyone know the final plans.

Lately we’ve seen a couple of the films that have been nominated for Academy Awards, including “La La Land” and “Hidden Figures.” We are definitely film fans, and we enjoy the camaraderie of the group members, too!