Fundraising from local branches provide scholarships.

AAUW Educational Foundation: AAUW is dedicated to advancing education, research, the self-development of women and girls, and the promotion of social change through fellowships and grants, special awards, research programs, and conferences.  Since 1888 the Foundation, which is the largest of it’s kind, has awarded over two million dollars annually in fellowships and research grants to eligible scholars.  The Foundation actively recruits minority women for all awards.

AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund:  AAUW provides funding and a support system for women seeking judicial redress for gender discrimination in education.

Austin Branch of AAUW Awards Scholarships

The Austin Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) working in conjunction with the Riverland Community College Foundation recently awarded two $1,000.00 scholarships to students at Riverland.

The award recipients are Titian Butash and Alexander Jacobsen.  Titian, an award winning sculptor (from Austin, Minnesota!) will be pursuing a Bachelor’s Fine Arts in sculpture at Minnesota State University Mankato after completing a degree in Art at Riverland.  Alexander is pursuing a degree in History.  He plans to transfer to Minnesota State Mankato to complete his History degree and then plans to go on to attain his Master’s Degree.

AAUW in Austin sponsors a tour of homes every other year to raise funds for these scholarships.  They also work with the Friends of the Austin Public Library to hold the annual used book sale.  In addition, the Austin branch of AAUW provides an annual assembly at Austin High School during Women’s History Month.  They work with the AP History instructor to develop research projects for students.  The winners of this project are announced at the assembly and are awarded a cash prize.

AAUW Sponsored two scholarships for young women at Riverland Community College this year (2014/2015).

Ashley Haugen was one of the recipients. She is currently in the MANE Nursing Program and is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She is a single mom, caring for her two young daughters.

The other recipient is Sheree King. She was involved in many activities in high school, including FFA, Spanish Club, and Yearbook. Her mom spent some time in prison because of drugs. Sheree’s mom now struggles to get jobs that can support her family. Therefore, Sheree is grateful for our scholarship as it reduces the financial burden on their family.

Congratulations to these two young women!


An AAUW Minnesota Branch Award Program

In a several year process of strategic evaluation, AAUW determined that the future growth and success of our organization lies in a strong focus on the organization’s mission: “AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research.” This award recognizes branches that work to incorporate the mission in all areas of branch activity.  Branches that satisfactorily complete all four areas will receive the “Mission Powered” award.  Satisfactorily completing three areas, branches will receive the “Mission Forward” award, and those branches satisfactorily completing two of the areas receive the “Mission on the Move” award.  The one required area for all levels of awards is a three year strategic plan.  A strategic plan looks to the future and emphasizes our mission.  Long range plans tend to review and rework the past.  Contact Barb Liukkonen, Award Chair, at or at 763-717-1960 for help. To submit an application for the award, complete the following by March 15th: (No more than 150 words per each answer. Please double space.)

1)      Attach a three year strategic plan. The Austin Branch Strategic Plan is attached.

2)      We spread and promote our mission when we collaborate with others.  Describe a branch project or program in which the branch collaborated with an educational institution (college/university or K-12), a library, or a community-based program for children or youth (preferably one that supports equity).  What was the program or project?  What was its purpose? Who and how many attended?  No more than 150 words.

  • In October, approximately 40 members met at Austin’s Welcome Center.  The Center’s mission reads: “The Welcome Center serves the City of Austin as the community’s multi-cultural center, building community by welcoming newcomers, supporting residents in transition and creating access and opportunity.” The Executive Director and Nel Zellar, Welcome Center Board Chair and AAUW Program VP, explained how we, as individuals and as a group, can help empower individuals from under-served and under-represented populations to break through barriers placed on them by society – including women and children.  We learned how we can help support the WC’s College Access program, which helps organize, educate and empower immigrant youth and their parents to ensure the academic success of immigrant students.  This is critically important in Austin, where 31% of the K-12 students are now students of diversity.  As a result of the program, several members made donations to the Center.

3)      Describe three branch programs, projects or events that focused on the AAUW mission.  (You may include the program/project described in number 2 as one of the three.)  No more than 150 words.

  • November program was presented by Sheila Berger, principal of Sumner Elementary School, on the new 45/15 school year. This year-round calendar provides many student benefits including increased access and opportunity, knowledge retention, and test scores.
  • February program titled “Our Love is as Good as Yours,” centered on the Anti-Marriage Amendment,  a dominant issue of the 2012 election with enormous human rights implications. Three gay women from our community shared their stories on coming out, the discrimination they encounter, and the impact the  anti-marriage amendment  will have on them, their families and the Gay Community
  • March program celebrating Women’s History month.  Eighth year we have collaborated with Austin High School administration and the advanced placement history department on a women’s history project contest.  Our project enables students to research the many accomplishments of women in a variety of areas.   Winners present at our March program.

4)      List at least three steps you took to keep and add new members?  What was your percentage of net gain?  (Points deducted for membership loss of more than 2%.)  No more than 150 words.

  • We host informal wine and cheese get-togethers each August.
    We provide potential members with information about AAUW, fundraising events we support for student scholarships, and describe our small group activities and monthly programs.
  • We looked through previous membership directories to determine who we are missing. We contacted them, invited them to be our guest at a meeting, introduced them before the program began, and encouraged them to join us again.
  • We offer monthly programming that is informative, interesting, and enjoyable, plus we offer several monthly “small group” activities for our members to participate in.
    This includes a morning and evening book club, travel club, great decisions (discuss current issues), arts & entertainment (movies/theatre performances/concerts, etc.), knitting, and just come to lunch.

We have 64 members, based on the state membership’s official February 1st counts for 2010 and 2011, we increased by 5 members which is 9%.

Send completed application to Barb Liukkonen, Award Chair, 2367 Pinewood Circle,  Mounds View, MN 55112 by March 15th or submit by Word document (preferred) to by the same date.