Welcome to the Roanoke Valley, VA Branch of AAUW!

May 2: Scholarship Awards and Member Tea

Our favorite time of year is upon us, when we recognize the fruits of all the hard work we put in as a branch. Each year, the branch holds two book sales: one in September and one in February. The purpose of the book sales is to raise funds for branch scholarships to deserving women and girls in the community. Thank you all for your help with sorting books throughout the year and helping on book sale weekend. Your work is much appreciated.

The Scholarship Committee, made up of Charlotte Seth, Peggy Shifflett, Carmen Garrido, Melody Blankenship, Nancy Ocorr, and Tricia McMahon, has completed their work for this year. We had 37 applicants representing 6 high schools and 2 colleges. It’s a pleasure to know that our scholarships have become known in the community as great support for the next generation.


The following high school seniors received the highest scores in the categories of application, academics, financial need, essay, community service and honors received. Each will receive $1000.00.

Wilson, Hunter L., Senior at Glenvar High School in Salem

Perkins, Rachael C., Senior at Glenvar High School in Salem

Marciniec, Carolyn M., Senior at Glenvar High School in Salem

Harmon, Sarah G., Senior at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke


The $1500.00 Scholarship for women 21 years or older, who have not previously obtained a bachelor’s degree were earned by:

Matranga, Hannah J., Studying at Roanoke College

Wingfield, Elizabeth A., Studying at Jefferson College of Health Sciences


The $1500.00 Myrtle and Norman Shifflett Scholarship for women 21 years or older pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics was awarded to:

Wright, Samantha E., Studying at Jefferson College of Health Sciences


The $2000.00 Dorothy Kayser Provine Scholarship for women pursuing a career in the humanities was awarded to:

Lowder, Mary J., Studying at Roanoke College


March 8: International Women’s Day Event – Afghan Dream

Celebrate International Women’s Day
March 8, 2015
1:00 PM
Center In The Square-6th Floor Meeting Room- Roanoke, VA
Documentary- Afghan Dream

Center in the Square, in conjunction with the American Association of University Women Roanoke Valley Branch, the Athenian Society, and the Newcomers of the Roanoke Valley, invite you to view the documentary Afghan Dream. AfghanDreamWomen

This twenty-six minute film follows the journey of five Afghan girls selected to compete in a prestigious international arbitration competition. The girls were born in the Taliban-era when girls were not permitted to go to school. Against all odds, with little or no resources, the girls make it to college and on to Law School.  The girls travel to Hong Kong to compete against 800 top law students in the world.  Not only do they compete but their eyes are opened to a whole new world.  The cameras follow the four from the dirt streets of Kabul to the skyline of Hong Kong.

Executive Producer, Laila Rossi of Black Salt Production and in partnership with American University – School of Communications, will be present for a Q & A after the showing.  The film was presented in January 2015 at the Sundance Film Festival for consideration in the 2016 event.

Admission: Donation of gifts or funds for Turning Point (Domestic Violence Center) would             be appreciated but there is no cost for the program
Parking:     Center in the Square Parking Garage: Free

January 10: Public Policy Program – Violence Against Women

We are excited about our upcoming program this Saturday for Violence against Women. Our meeting will take place at the Tanglewood Mall Community Room on the second floor, next to the elevators. The meeting will begin at 10am.

Our guest speaker, Ms. Sarah Higginbotham, M.S. will be speaking Sexual Assault/Violence on college campuses and the VOICE (Violence.Can.End) Program  at Jefferson College of Health Sciences. Ms. Higginbotham specializes in intimate partner violence prevention, including domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking prevention. She has served as a hotline coordinator, an education and outreach coordinator, a volunteer coordinator and an advocate and counselor for victims/survivors of intimate partner violence during her 15 years of service in the field.  She serves as the VOICE (Violence.Can.End) Program Coordinator for Jefferson College of Health Sciences, as the Chair for the VOICE Task Force, the Vice Chair of the Family Violence Coordinating Council, and a board member of SARA (Sexual Assault Response and Awareness), Inc.

At the conclusion of this program, our branch will provide donated gifts and funds to the Salvation Army’s Turning Point Shelter in Roanoke. If you would like to donate goodies or funds, please bring them to this meeting.

November 23: FACTORY MAN presentation by Beth Macy

On Nov. 23, the speaker will be Beth Macy of Roanoke, author of Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local — and Helped Save an American Town.
The book is about John Bassett, a Galax furniture maker who refused to move his manufacturing offshore, but it also explores a history of the famous furniture family and of the area furniture industry. The book has received rave reviews everywhere and actor Tom Hanks’ production company has optioned it for an HBO miniseries.
This meeting will be at 3 p.m. at Tanglewood Mall in the large meeting room near the chapter’s book sale quarters. Please note the day on this… it’s SUNDAY November 23rd

October 25: Women in Broadcast

On Oct. 25, meteorologists Kristina Montuori of WSLS-TV and Lindsey Anderson of WDBJ-TV will speak at 10:30 a.m. on how they prepared for their careers and what their work lives involve.
Kristina, a native of Roanoke, graduated with distinction in Atmospheric Science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She received the GlaxoSmithKline Women in Science Scholar of the Year award two years in a row. Kristina began her television career in ArkLaTex (Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas) where she had first-hand severe weather experience the record-breaking 2011 tornado season, the deadliest in over 50 years.
Lindsey joined the WDBJ First Alert weather team in July 2013 immediately after graduating from North Carolina State University with a B.S in Meteorology and minors in Environmental Science and Mathematics. She is from Naperville, Illinois. She completed internships with the National Weather Service and with WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., and served as a teacher assistant.
The October meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Roanoke College in Room 117 in West Hall, the old Salem Courthouse. West Hall faces Salem’s main street and has handicapped access through a door at the rear. There should be plenty of parking nearby.

October 11: Roanoke Valley Branch Safari to Poplar Forest

On Saturday, Oct. 11, members of the local AAUW branch traveled to the Bedford/Forest area to visit Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s summer home. Although the weather was drizzly and dreary, spirits were high and the tour was exceptionally professional and informative. Our docent was even an AAUW member from Lynchburg!
At the conclusion of the tour, the group continued on to Bedford for lunch at the renovated train station, Liberty Station. Along with good food, warm fellowship and conversation were enjoyed. All-in-all, the trip proved to be great fun.
Pat Hales, Safari Coordinator

September 20: New Member Orientation

You are invited to our “New Member Orientation” to be held Saturday, September 20th.
There will be a time for meeting other members, sharing and refreshments.

Come and learn about:
Programs, Interest Groups
The upcoming year’s activities and events
The history of the Roanoke Valley Branch
Support for women’s scholarships – including a tour of AAUW-RV headquarters and the book sale area
Ways you can get involved in the AAUW mission

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the AAUW – Roanoke Valley.


Our branch holds two book sales annually. The main one is in September, the weekend following Labor Day. The second one takes place in February, to coincide with the Tanglewood Mall family friendly event.

Most of our members are involved in the sales in one way or another. We start collecting books as soon as each book sale ends. We sort them, classify them and arrange them in our space at Tanglewood Mall (on the second level, opposite Belk’s).

The money we raise goes to fund scholarships that we award not only to high school girls, but also women who have decided to return to college for their degrees. We are proud of our work to provide educational opportunities for women and girls because we know how positively and how deeply this affects society in general.


From left to right, they were Amanda Collins, Myra Ebdalin, Maria Roncal, Holly Gallardo, Brooke Sauerwald, and Meagan Phlegar. Congratulations ladies!

From left to right: Amanda Collins, Myra Ebdalin, Maria Roncal, Holly Gallardo, Brooke Sauerwald, and Meagan Phlegar. Congratulations ladies!

In April, as in past years, our Branch members had the joy of seeing the fruits of their labor. Six talented women were recipients of our branch scholarships. From left to right, they were Amanda Collins, Myra Ebdalin, Maria Roncal, Holly Gallardo, Brooke Sauerwald, and Meagan Phlegar. Congratulations ladies!

Throughout the year, many of our members work tirelessly in the book sale space to sort and clean books for our twice annual book sales. As a result, we are able to award several scholarships each year to women and girls in our community. Click here to learn more about the scholarship recipients.