CT AAUW October E-News
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AAUW CT College University 2014 Fall Conference
Focus on Sexual Violence on Campus
By Patricia T. Owen

Students, survivors, and leaders took part in a day designed to explore various aspects of sexual assault,  its ramifications, and possible controls.  The conference was held at Trinity College in Hartford on October 3 in Mather Hall.  More than 85 men and women gathered to hear speakers and to discuss ways of addressing this important issue on our campuses and in society.  As press coverage grows and conversations increase, prevention of sexual assault or harassment and safety for all on a campus have become priorities for AAUW members.  The day's program was fashioned in response to those priorities.

Dr.  Melinda Rising opened the program with a tribute to the late Dr. Carol R. Virostek.  Dr. Virostek was a strong advocate for AAUW CT and women's  equity.  As a noted educator she used her considerable intelligence, experience, and wit to benefit all with whom she worked and played.  Other conference speakers included President of Trinity College, Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Anne Hedgepeth.  the Government Relations Manager from the Washington, DC Main Office of AAUW.  and Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-CT.  who recently received AAUW's highest approval rating for his voting record. 

Blumenthal laid out the basics for a bill he and two colleagues, McCaskill and Jillibrand, are taking through the Senate to provide due process as well as relief.  

Dr. Karla Spurlock-Evans, Dean of Multi-Cultural Affairs, Title IX Coordinator, and Senior Diversity Officer at Trinity College then moderated a panel consisting of:  Donna Palomba: Founder of Jane Doe No More, Author and Women's Advocate; Julian Wilson: Graduate Intern, Men's Initiative, Southern CT State University (SCSU);  Viridianna (Ana) Medina,'16, Co-Coordinator, Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS), Trinity College; and Anne Hedgepeth, conference keynote speaker.

An additional student panel was moderated by Madison Norwich of University of Hartford. Panelists were Michelle Guerrero, Cepea Burton, and Ulricke Joseph.  All had attended last year's National Conference for Collegiate Women Student Leaders conference held in Washington, DC. and all had high opinions of the experience to share.  


Useful Links from the Conference: (It Happens Here, started at Middlebury College) (We Speak We Stand performers from Wesleyan that address sexual violence/alcohol abuse)

Molly Rockett Got Elected at 20,
and You Can Too!

July 11, 2014

Molly Rockett is a 20-year-old rising senior at the University of Connecticut, a resident adviser on campus, and former president of the College Democrats. She is also a sitting member of the Board of Education in her hometown of Somers, Connecticut.

What motivated Rockett to run for local office before she was even out of college? She had three big things going for her: a desire to serve her community, a support system, and a great campaign strategy.

Rockett wanted to give back to her hometown and saw the Board of Education as the best place for her to do so. “As a product of Somers Elementary School, Somers Middle School, and Somers High School, I know that I owe so much of my current success to the fabulous, top-quality public education I received in Somers,” she said.

This passion for public service was instilled in her by her father, who had served on the same board in the 1990s and brought Rockett with him to volunteer for their town politicians. When Rockett was growing up, on Saturdays they would get up early to drive around town and distribute literature. “We would always talk about local politics during the drive,” she said, “and go out for donuts and coffee afterward.” That early support only grew with Rockett’s decision to run herself, she said, “My parents were both so supportive and excited about my decision to run for the board.”

Who Are Our University Partners in CT?

In addition to our branches, AAUW CT has many college and University partners in CT allowing us to interact and empower women students directly in such areas as: women's leadership development, electing more women students to campus leadership positions, campus safety and salary negotiations for women seniors.  Here are our partners:

Capital Community College, Central Connecticut State University, Charter Oak State College, Connecticut College, Eastern Connecticut State University, Fairfield University, Gateway Community College, Goodwin College, Housatonic Community College, Middlesex Community College, Mitchell College, Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Norwalk Community College, Post University, Quinebaug Valley Community College, Quinnipiac University, Southern Connecticut State University, Three Rivers Community College, Trinity College, Tunxis Community College, University of Bridgeport, University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, University of New Haven, University of St. Joseph, Wesleyan University, Western Connecticut State University, Yale University.

Want to get involved in helping member university or colleges in your area? Contact Lin Rising at

Talk us up! 

Let friends and family know you are a member of AAUW and what we do:

AAUW has been empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881. For more than 130 years, we have worked together as a national grassroots organization to improve the lives of millions of women and their families.

CT AAUW has its own website:

Would you like to help keep it up to date? You don’t need a technical background, just a willingness to provide site ready content to our national webmaster. Please contact Donna Haghighat  if you would like to make a difference.

Copyright © 2014 American Association of University Women, All rights reserved.

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