June 5, 2018
Garrett College Student Chapter of AAUW completes first year
By: Dr. Terry Kasecamp, Advisor of the AAUW Garrett College Student Chapter
The Garrett College Student Chapter of American Association of University Women (AAUW) recently completed and evaluated its first year as an organization recognized both by Garrett College and AAUW National (www.aauw.org). The mission of AAUW is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.
Garrett College – Dove Center Consent Revolution Initiative. Pictured left to right: Director of the Dove Center, Heather Hanline; AAUW – Garrett College Student Chapter members, Miyah Meyers, Mariah Long, Kalynn Eyler, Shermani “Jorhden” Kelsick, Angela Lowry; Artist/Author, Regina Holliday; and Dove Center Outreach Counselor, Jessica Cooper.
Empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881, AAUW has more than 100 student chapters in colleges and universities around the world. Student chapters of AAUW receive free resources and support to create campus programming around women's issues, build on-campus feminist communities, and join a global network of more than 170,000 AAUW members and supporters.
The AAUW-Garrett College Student Chapter was formed in the summer of 2017 with the full support of Garrett College President, Dr. Richard Midcap, and in collaboration with the AAUW-Garrett Branch, which has existed in Garrett County since 1949.
Advisors for the new organization, Dr. Terry Lynn Kasecamp, professor of psychology, and Kim DeGiovanni, director of records and registration, worked with Judy Carbone, president of AAUW-Garrett Branch, and a small group of students, including: Angela Lowry, Kalynn Eyler, Dana Brown, Lillian Tasker and Ashton Chapman, to form the new student organization. Lowry and Eyler agreed to take on the roles of president and vice-president respectively for the new organization.
According to Carbone, assisting with the formation of the AAUW-Garrett College Student Chapter and supporting its development and initiatives is one of AAUW-Garrett Branch's top three priorities.
"We strongly believe that AAUW has a strong role to play in educating campus women on equity issues, fostering leadership skills and experiences for women students, and tapping into powerful resources available from the national AAUW organization for programs related to women's issues," states Carbone.
Members of Garrett's student chapter of AAUW either initiated or participated in a large number of activities this year, starting with sponsoring the "Deeper in Debt" seminar at Garrett College, on September 27, 2017.
AAUW-Garrett College Student Chapter members lining up for the Autumn Glory Parade. First Row: Miyah Meyers, Angela Lowry, and Moriah Long. Second Row: Kenya Andrews, Gabirella Wildensen and Shermani "Jorhden" Kelsick. Third Row: Kalynn Eyler, Lillian Tasker, Meagan Lipscomb and Ashton Chapman.
Carbone shared the results of extensive research conducted by AAUW indicating that women hold nearly two-thirds ($900 billion) of the outstanding student debt in the U.S. - and, because of the gender pay gap - take significantly longer than men to repay their student debt.
The student chapter was especially active during the month of October which included participating in the Autumn Glory parade, tabling with the Dove Center to raise awareness about domestic violence and sponsoring a Get-Out-the-Vote initiative in collaboration with Engage Mountain Maryland.
This initiative featured the movie Iron-Jawed Angels, which depicts the final years of the American woman suffrage movement, from 1912 to winning the right to vote in 1920, and highlights the brutal treatment of Alice Paul and more than 200 other suffragists for organizing and actively participating in the first political protest of the White House. At the movie showing, Engage Mountain Maryland helped students and members of the community register to vote.
During the months of November and December, AAUW student initiatives included, in collaboration with Garrett's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, actively participating in Garrett County's Festival of Trees and Christmas caroling for members of the community. Each organization donated a decorated tree to auction off at the Festival of Trees, with proceeds benefitting the Dove Center.
During Women's History Month, the student chapter in collaboration with Dr. Kasecamp's Psychology of Women class, were actively engaged in hosting the three week Dinner Party Exhibit: Making Waves, Making History, featuring plates designed by students to celebrate and honor the women and men that have worked toward gender equality throughout history. In April, the chapter assisted with the Consent Revolution initiative, a collaboration between Garrett College and the Dove Center to raise awareness about sexual assault.
In May, 31 people, including eight members of Garrett's student chapter of AAUW, participated in a two night, three day Women's History-Statue of Liberty-Niagara Falls trip organized by Dr. Kasecamp. Highlights of the trip focused on the incredible contributions of women throughout history to visit the Harriett Tubman Museum in Auburn, N.Y., the Women's National Historical Park and Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y., and feminist icon Judy Chicago's original Dinner Party Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. In addition to student fundraising and money earmarked by the college, Dr. Kasecamp stated there were many organizations and individuals that contributed to the experiences.
"Raising the $11,500 to provide students and members of the community with this multidisciplinary learning experience included generous contributions from the Garrett College Foundation through the Naylor Travel Fund and Albert Coviello Professional Development Fund, as well as, the Garrett County Branch of AAUW and the Garrett County Commission for Women."
Kasecamp also reported this past week, four members of the student chapter attended AAUW's National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL), including Lowry, Eyler and student chapter members Shermani "Jorhden" Kelsick and Mariah Long.
The conference took place at the University of Maryland-College Park and attracted students from across the country, as well as several from other countries around the world, and addressed important leadership issues of the day. The students attending NCCWSL reported having transformative experiences that inspired them to improve their campuses and their communities.
"This experience for our students was financially made possible through Garrett's students receiving AAUW National scholarships and the generous contributions of GFWC Civic Club of Oakland and AAUW-Garrett Branch," noted Kasecamp.
Garrett College President, Dr. Richard Midcap, demonstrates his full support of Garrett's new student chapter of AAUW by attending the Get-Out-The Vote Initiative that was held in collaboration with Engage Mountain Maryland. First Row: Ashton Carr and Kalynn Eyler. Second Row: Mariah Long, Brittney DelSignore, Miyah Meyers. Third Row: Gavin McConnell, Dana Brown, Dr. Richard Midcap, Dr. Terry Lynn Kasecamp, Moriah Moon, April McKinley, Gabirella Wildensen, Shermani "Jorhden" Kelsick, Kenya Andrews, Kelsie Moquinn, and Lillian Tasker.
Plans are already underway for the second year of the AAUW-Garrett College student chapter. With Lowery and Eyler having both recently graduated with their AA degrees this past month, and many of this year's members also graduating and/or transferring to a four-year institution, new leadership has been selected. Meagan Lipscomb is stepping up to be chapter president and Amy Lugo will take on the role of chapter secretary for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Kasecamp shared that priorities this summer will be to recruit incoming students to Garrett College for membership in AAUW-Garrett College Student Branch.
If you are an incoming or returning student at Garrett College, male or female, interested in women's equity and would like to become a member of AAUW-Garrett College Student Chapter, please contact Terry Kasecamp (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kim DeGiovanni (email@example.com) for more information. Persons interested in joining the AAUW-Garrett Branch and can contact Judy Carbone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-616-5036.