This branch was formed to provide a new kind of community for AAUW members for whom a community-based branch is not available or is not a good fit. We also welcome, as dual members, those who do belong to a community-based branch but want to support this new structure.
The list of charter members, in the order they were added to the roll, shows the variety of members that this new structure attracts.
- John Hoffler volunteered to help AAUW NC with a project to train high school students in computer science. After he spoke at the AAUW NC 2008 summer meeting, the attendees took a collection to give him a gift membership. Since his connection was to the state, not to a particular community-based branch, the Tar Heel Branch was a perfect fit. His mother, Millie Hoffler-Foushee, is AAUW NC president, 2008-2010.
- Nancy Shoemaker is past-president of AAUW NC and has been active at the national level, so her AAUW “community” reaches far beyond the boundaries of Raleigh and Wake County, where she maintains her community-based branch membership. She has also been a member of the AAUW CA Online branch since its first year, 2001-2002. She heard of Montana’s idea of a “branch without borders” that would serve communities where there were very few branch members and considered it a brilliant way to extend the AAUW community to those for whom the traditional branch structure didn’t work and for whom the “online” branch was just not realistic.
- Doris Bernlohr has been connected to AAUW for many years, and is a past president of AAUW Chapel Hill (NC). She moved to Burlington NC in 2007. The branch in that area had disbanded several years ago. While Doris continued to support the Chapel Hill branch, she wanted a local group to which she could invite her new friends — but she didn’t want the work of starting and running a new branch. This state-wide branch, where the overhead of running the branch is shared by those from different communities, fit her needs and she agreed to be one of the organizers.
- Mary Morrow was active in the Mooresville (NC) branch until it disbanded several years ago. She transferred her membership to the Statesville branch, and has served that branch in many ways, including branch president. However, this new branch might be a structure that would allow for a local AAUW group in Mooresville, one that might grow to a satellite of the Statesville branch and/or even a reborn branch, but could also serve long-term as a good solution for the community of AAUW members in Mooresville.
- Queen Thompson is a member of the Charlotte (NC) branch and one of their few members who are active at the state level. Since her interests extend beyond those of the branch, she looks to this new group to support her AAUW work.
- Caroline Novello of Burlington had let her AAUW membership lapse. Doris Bernlohr explained the benefits of this new branch, particularly for the small group in the Burlington area, and she rejoined.
- Mary Stephens is the 2008-2010 secretary of AAUW NC and a member of the High Point (NC). As a state leader she is interested in tracking this experiment to see how it might best serve the AAUW mission.
- Mary Fran Schickedantz is apast president of AAUW NC, the current AAUW NC treasurer, and a member of the Greensboro (NC) branch. She is a consummate recruiter for and supporter of AAUW. Joining this new branch extends what she knows about AAUW and its members and gives her a new platform to share her enthusiasm for AAUW and its mission.
- Marilyn Mullanix of Oregon is a member of the AAUW CA Online branch and an organizer of the new AAUW OR Online branch. She believes in the idea of “virtual branches” and wants to learn more about how this “branch without borders” model differs from the “online branch” model so she can provide the best possible advice to the new group in Oregon.
- Judythe Atkinson is a member of the Winston-Salem (NC) branch, a former member of the AAUW NC executive committee, and a current member of the AAUW NC board. She was a key part of the “AAUW NC Online Satellite” experiment a few years ago. What we learned from the Online Satellite was that few members in NC were interested in a traditional branch that was primarily online, and she’s interested in learning more about this non-traditional branch and what will make it successful. She also has an an interest in connecting volunteers to the positions available on the AAUW NC committees and wonders if those who connect through this branch (and so have fewer local demands on their AAUW time) would be interested in hearing more about the state opportunities.
- Stephen Davis is Nancy Shoemaker’s husband, and she signed him up as a member-at-large so she could learn how AAUW appears to at-large members. She transferred his membership to this branch to help it reach the required 15 primary members.
- Patsy ‘Pat’ Abell is a member of the Statesville (NC) branch, a life member of AAUW, and a former member of the AAUW NC executive committee. She supports the idea of the new branch and is willing to devote time to help it succeed.
- Doris Dunlap of Burlington NC was a member-at-large who was another of Doris Bernlohr’s recruits in Alamance County. She supports the mission of AAUW and this branch connects her to AAUW NC information as well as to the growing group of members in Alamance County.
- Birgit Pauli-Haack is a member of the Naples (FL) branch and their web manager. She is part of Nancy Shoemaker’s AAUW community and joined this branch to follow and participate in its experiments in new ways to communicate and connect with AAUW members.
- Jenna Johnson of Elon NC was an at-large member before Doris Bernlohr recruited her to this branch. She is also part of the small group in Alamance County that is providing an example of how this branch promotes real-life contacts between members of the AAUW community.
- Becky Mock of Burlington was pleased to be able to join AAUW in 2005 when we opened our membership to those with associate degrees, but she let her at-large membership lapse. She rejoined as a contact from the Alamance County Women’s Resource Center, and hopes that the group of AAUW members in Alamance County can advance both the AAUW mission and support the important work of the WRC.
- Joan Robertson former member of the Raleigh/Wake County and Chapel Hill branches and former member of the AAUW NC executive committee had let her membership lapse. She is deeply committed to other civic organizations and joined this branch to see if it’s “lightweight” nature could give her the information she wanted from AAUW NC without adding to her already long todo list.
- Martha Stephenson lives over the border in Virginia, but has strong ties to North Carolina. She has always been interested in AAUW, but had never joined. This new branch gave her an opportunity to support both AAUW and its efforts in her home state.
- Judy Hallman lives in Chapel Hill and joined as a member-at-large a few years ago. She is active in other organizations, and while she supports AAUW’s mission, the Chapel Hill branch is not a good fit for her. She appreciates this opportunity to connect to AAUW NC.
- Cherie Ernest of Pittsboro (NC) had let her AAUW membership lapse. She lives in the area served by the Chapel Hill branch, but is not at a point in her life where she can be active in a community-based branch. When Doris Bernlohr explained the branch without borders concept to her, she decided to rejoin and reconnect to this new kind of community.
- Eloise J. Bryan of Burlington transferred from at-large status to join this new branch. A selling point for her was that she now gets all four issues of the AAUW NC newsletter instead of the single issue per year that the state sends the members-at-large. She does not use e-mail or the web, and appreciates other members in Burlington keeping her in the loop.
- Sheila Bassoppo-Moyo is a member of the Raleigh/Wake County (NC) branch and the membership vice president for AAUW NC. She is interested in how this new branch structure affects membership recruitment in the state, particularly in whether it can be a good avenue to connect the state’s campuses to AAUW.
- Elizabeth J. Laney is a past-president of AAUW NC, a life member of AAUW, and a member of the Charlotte (NC) and High Country (NC) branches. She was instrumental in organizing the High Country branch a few years ago and is providing support to this new branch and looking forward to hearing about this AAUW experiment.
- Annette Hawkins has served on the AAUW NC administration team (answering the messages left on our toll-free number) for the last couple of years. She was an AAUW member-at-large, but AAUW NC had no defined process to have members join the state, so she sometimes missed out on AAUW NC mailings. She was a member AAUW Kinston (NC) that folded a few years ago. Now that she is once again part of a branch, she is much more closely connected to the AAUW community in North Carolina.
The branch continues to grow with others who wish to be part of the AAUW community, those who receive gift memberships, at-large members getting more closely connected to AAUW NC, and more. Please join us!
This looks good and will help us when we get to St. Louis in June. Thanks for doing the work here.
When this branch was discussed, I had stopped driving and sometimes I was in poor health, so it was sometimes difficult or impossible to attend AAUW meetings. It seemed to be a good idea to be a member of an organization with which I could communicate by email and telephone.
I know that I am interested in the activities and issues in which AAUW participates. This is a good way to keep in touch, even if i can not attend local branch meetings or state-wide meetings or national meetings.
I wonder if a member of this Branch who has not ever been a member of AAUW can feel a part of the group.
I joined AAUW CAOnline branch in 2001, its first year. After 10 years of intense work in Michigan at local and state, CAOnline and state CA level, and finally national, I want to “back off” but keep in touch. MAL feels too “remote” so Tar Heel BWB is perfect. Mary Rack, Avon Lake, Ohio
Nancy is a great recruiter and even though I too have an overlong “to do” list, this branch allows me to network with great women here in Alamance County. The goals of AAUW and The Women’s Resource Center in Alamance County are the same and collaboration is critical if we are going to be successful. Thanks for making it possible for me to participate. (WRC name is not a part of county operations, just located “in” Alamance County.
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