Beaufort, SC Branch

Welcome To The American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Beaufort, South Carolina, Website

The Beaufort Branch of AAUW welcomes Dr. Rebecca R. Cooper as its new president. Dr. Cooper has been a member of the branch since 2009 and has served as a member of the board of directors for the last two years. Dr. Cooper is a retired Assistant School Superintendent and is actively involved in the community and her church.

Rebecca Cooper, Ed.D., President of the AAUW Beaufort Branch, South Carolina

Rebecca Cooper, Ed.D., President of the AAUW Beaufort Branch, South Carolina

A Message From the New President

As I prepare to serve as president, I am awed by the strong, talented, educated women who have worked diligently with the common goal of breaking through barriers to ensure that all women and girls in our area have a fair and level playing field in matters related to education, economics, politics, and social issues.

Whether we are working to protect the legal rights of those facing discrimination, advocating for public policies and laws that are fair to women, developing programs that support more women leaders in schools and our community, or funding educational opportunities for graduate women, AAUW Beaufort, under the capable leadership of tenacious and committed women with a mission to serve, have a record of being at the forefront since our inception in 1959.

Building on this solid foundation, I am excited and motivated to “hit the ground running” to continue the momentum and programmatic goals of increasing our membership and implementing a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program geared to the underrepresented girls and young women in the fields. We can achieve these goals if we work collaboratively together.

Thank you AAUW Beaufort for your vote of confidence in my ability to lead our chapter to the next level.

Dr. Rebecca Cooper, President AAUW Beaufort

Meetings are held monthly from October through May. If you have questions or want membership information, please contact Dues are $76.00. Dues include membership in the national association, and the state and local branches, and all but $3 is tax deductible. Donations made to the Beaufort Branch of the AAUW are tax deductible. You will find our latest newsletters, this year’s meeting schedule, and an application on this site.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you at a meeting.

Beaufort Branch AAUW Conducts STEM Workshop

The Beaufort Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW), along with the University of South Carolina and Beaufort County Public Schools, held the first ever STEM career day.  The 48 middle school girls from Beaufort County who attended had a fun day of activities with presenters from STEM careers, which include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

The day started with much excitement during registration as the girls looked through their goodie bags. Some of the girls immediately put on their new “Launch Your Future” T-shirts, just one of the items in the bag. To begin the activities our keynote speaker, Marie McClune who is a retired engineering geologist, gave an inspiring talk about women in STEM.

During the day each girl participated in three hands-on technical activities of her choice from STEM related careers where they solved a crime using blood testing, built the tallest tower from paper, followed a Lego specification, built electrical circuits, learned to computer program, and developed mathematical equations with cubes. In addition, all of our technical session leaders explained how fulfilling a career in STEM could be as they gave real-life examples of their own experiences.

While the girls were in the workshops their parents/guardians attended discussions with experts in STEM education about how they could support their daughters in pursuing STEM careers. Lunch was provided for the girls and their parents. We thank the Society of Women Engineers through a generous donation from the ExxonMobil Foundation for making this event possible. And thank you to all our community volunteers for helping this first STEM middle school career day be a wonderful success!

Beaufort Branch of AAUW Selects Dr. Diana F. Steele


Dr. Diana F. Steele, Past President (on left) receives award from Dr. Rebecca Cooper, President

Beaufort Branch of AAUW Selects Dr. Diana F. Steele as their 2016 EOF Named Recipient Dr. Diana Steele has been a member of AAUW since 2010.

She has served our organization in a number of capacities since joining. Dr. Steele presided over our Beaufort Branch of AAUW as President for four years and served as editor of our newsletter for four years. Currently, Diana is our Public Policy Chairperson, a position she has held since 2011, and she periodically rewrites our bylaws with mandated updates from AAUW.
Dr. Steele epitomizes all of the attributes of an outstanding leader, role model, and community volunteer. A native of West Virginia, she has had distinguished careers as both a classroom
educator and a mathematics professor. She earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in her native state and her doctorate from the University of Florida. Diana is a published author of over 25 book chapters and refereed journal articles. As a successful grant writer, she was awarded grants from such entities as the U. S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. Diana received numerous awards and honors during her 37 years of service, but one she is most proud of is the National College Reading and Learning Award for her research, which increased the status of learning for women in the calculus sequence. Dr. Steele is Professor Emeritus from Northern Illinois University.

Presently, she and husband Paul stay busy actively supporting the place they proudly call home—Beaufort, South Carolina.


AAUW Awards Scholarship

To support the educational and career development of women, the Beaufort Branch of the AAUW provides a yearly scholarship to a mature woman, age 21 or older, who is enrolled in a degree program at an institution of higher education in Beaufort County. The $1500 scholarship is applicable to tuition and fees only. The AAUW pays the award directly to the college, university, vocational, or technical school. Funds for the scholarship are raised through various fundraising events conducted by the branch.

This year we awarded our scholarship on May 24th to Ericka Rivers who is attending TCL pursuing a degree in nursing. Mrs. Rivers is a former Emergency Medical Technician and is currently working in a pediatrician’s office.

Erika was born and raised in Washington, D. C. where Ericka received her credentials and worked as an EMT for six years. Ericka then worked in a hospital as a patient care technician. She was responsible for assisting nurses with all their responsibilities and this experience motivated her to become a nurse.

Ericka and her family moved to Beaufort to help her mother-in-law following surgery. After moving to Beaufort, Ericka worked at Beaufort Memorial as an ultrasound assistant. Ericka’s supervisor described her having “enthusiasm and charisma which brings positive energy and passion to any team.” In addition, the supervisor stated that Ericka is “compassionate, tenacious, patient and diligent — all traits that a nurse should have.”

Ericka entered the nursing program at TCL in August 2015. She received outstanding comments from instructors. Ericka’s mathematics instructor at TCL stated that Ericka established herself as a motivated and self-disciplined leader in the class. He further described her as “mature, caring, dedicated and intelligent.” Ericka’s English instructor at TCL described her as an “excellent student and a pleasure to have in the classroom. She was friendly, outgoing, respectful of her classmates, and a serious student who regularly offered insightful and thought-provoking contributions to class discussions.”

Ericka, her husband, and their two daughters still live with her mother-in-law. The elder daughter will be attending college this fall. Her youngest is in middle school. Once Ericka receives her degree in nursing, she aspires to work in a doctor’s office, emergency room, or a hospital with a pediatric unit.

The application process requires the applicant to review the eligibility requirements, print a copy of the application, include the required enclosures, and mail a completed and signed application by the postmarked deadline of April 15 for each year. Next year’s deadline will be April 15, 2017.

Click here to download the application as a PDF file.

For more information, contact Peggy Hubright at




Dick and Celeste Nalwasky hosted our Beaufort Branch AAUW holiday celebration in their beautiful home on Dataw Island. The turn out was wonderful. Members and their partners came bearing wonderful scrumptious food and drink. We held a raffled for two gift baskets. Veronica Miller, one of our members, won the basket with eight bottles of wine and accompaniments and Diane Goodrich’s husband, Dale, won the basket containing liquor, cigars, and gift certificates to Beaufort restaurants We had fun and raised $235 for annual scholarship fund!!

Beaufort Branch Newsletter

Some of our members view the wonderful display of locally decorated Christmas trees exhibited for the cause of The Friends of Caroline Hospice. After the viewing, we walked a few blocks to have lunch at Moondoggies restaurant. We had fun and charged our holiday spirits.


paragraph_separatorCurrent Officers & Committee Chairs, 2016-17


President Rebecca R. Cooper
Immediate Past President Diana F. Steele
Program Vice President Celeste Nalwasky
Membership Vice-President Diane Goodrich
Treasurer Barbara Mattingly
Secretary Laura Burcin
Public Policy Diana Steele
AAUW Funds Laura Burcin
Scholarship Peggy Hubright

paragraph_separatorOne Of Our Members Receives
AAUW Funds Tribute For Longtime Service

Marietta-PulliamMarietta Pulliam, who taught for 30 years at Mossy Oaks Elementary in Beaufort, and later worked there as substitute and homebound teacher, joined the AAUW in 2002. She is an active participant in our local AAUW branch. She has volunteered for many attic sales and other fundraisers, worked as a participant in the Sister-to-Sister Program — a project that mentored over 100 seventh grade girls from four Beaufort middle schools, and has been a regular attendee at our branch meetings. Marietta further demonstrates her dedication to the AAUW by having remained our branch’s communications messenger for the past ten years. Though this responsibility is time consuming, working either by email or telephone, Marietta lets us know the speaker and menu for our monthly dinner meetings and maintains a record of those attending. She also finds time to serve the Beaufort community. Marietta volunteers as a reading tutor at St. Helena Elementary (A program she discovered through one of our monthly dinner meetings.) and is a docent at both St. Peter’s Chapel and Graveyard. She graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, with a Bachelor of Arts and also holds two Masters of Arts degrees, one from the University of Northern Colorado and the other from the University of South Carolina. Marietta is a valued member of the Beaufort Branch of AAUW.

paragraph_separatorBooks for Birthdays

We are in our eighth year of Books for Birthdays. Every month we read to two classes of preschool children at Shanklin Elementary in Beaufort County. We then give the book to the children who have birthdays in that month. In addition, we give a different book to every child. We celebrate their birthdays with muffins and juice, and of course, sing Happy Birthday to them.


paragraph_separatorEducational Foundation

We also give annually as a group to the AAUW Educational Foundation, which awards grants and fellowships to women across the globe. For example, the AAUW is helping address the global gender gap in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. STEM careers offer women the opportunity to engage in technological innovation, which provides an important step toward greater economic success and equality. The AAUW deliversSTEM education to more than 11,000 girls each year at the branch, state, and national levels in the United States. The AAUW’s national STEM camps and conferences target middle school girls because middle school is a critical time for girls to maintain their interest in STEM and begin taking courses that will lead to future STEM opportunities.

The AAUW sponsors and conducts research on women’s access to higher education. For instance, this year a panel at the 58th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in March will provide findings on the AAUW’s latest research report, Women in Community Colleges: Access to Success.As a result of their findings, the AAUW has selected eleven campus teams to receive 2013–14 Campus Action Project grants. The projects will address such issues as improving access to child care, enrolling more women in science and mathematics fields, and helping students transfer from community colleges to four-year institutions.

The AAUW supports International Fellows with fellowships for continuing higher education. One recipient of the International Fellows is the current finance minister of Nigeria, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Another former International Fellow and International Project Grantee, Otgontugs Banzragch, was recently appointed dean of the Graduate School and dean of the School of Economics at the National University of Mongolia. We also now are helping a former International Fellow, Tererai Trent, to promote rebuilding schools in Zimbabwe.

The AAUW helps women generate income. At present in Kenya, we are helping women farmers generate income by providing grants to them for use in developing and supporting their business products. Whether produce or animal husbandry, the women are provided materials to begin and sustain their production, advice on management and marketing, and legal help. For information, contact Laura Burcin at

paragraph_separatorLegal Advocacy Fund

The AAUW Beaufort Branch’s 50/50 raffle raises money for the national AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund. The LAF works to combat sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace through community and campus outreach programs. The LAF is also transitioning toward supporting landmark sex discrimination cases that have the potential to make a difference for all women. For details, visit

paragraph_separatorBranch Meetings & Events 2016-2017

Members meet at the First Presbyterian Church at 1201 North Street, at 6 p.m. on the following dates. Meetings usually include a guest speaker, and an optional dinner ($15.00) that must be reserved by the Friday prior to the meeting by contacting Rebecca Cooper at 843-368-6720, or .  Visitors are welcome.

 Program Note:  The October 25th and November 16th programs will be dedicated to Etta Nickpeay Mann who died July 14, 2016.  Both speakers were recommended by her, on June 1, 2016.

 October 25, 2016 – Andrea Allen, Board Member, Beaufort History Museum, “Harriet Tubman; a Dialogue”

November 15, 2016 – David Bruce Grim, Author of Swift Current, “Historical Events from 1861-1863 with a Beaufort Connection”

December, 2016 –Christmas Party

January 24, 2017 – Megan Meyer, Marketing Director, Santa Elena History Center, “A Tour of the Santa Elena History Center,” at The Center, 1501 Bay Street, Beaufort, SC 29902

February 28, 2017 – Donna Klein, Former President and Founder of Corporate Voices for Working Families, “Helping Women Lead”

March 28, 2017 – Anthony R. Scott, Retired Police Chief, “Women in Policing”

April 25, 2017 – Alison Barton – Coordinator of Adopt-A-School, St. Helena Elementary School, “Finding a Place to Help Where You are Needed”

May 23, 2017 – Scholarship Presentation