AAUW Funds Named Gift Honorees, 2015

AAUW of SC and Its Branches Named Gift Honors
for Donation Year 2015

The state organization recognizes South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (SCADVASA) with a Named Gift Honor. In 2015 the South Carolina Association of University Women (SCAAUW) worked in partnership with SCADVASA to address the critical needs of victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. As a result, legislation (S.3) was passed and signed into law. With South Carolina ranking #1 and #2 in domestic abuse, it was necessary to work collaboratively with other organizations that recognize the harm this does to women and families. For your tireless effort to ensure the passage of domestic violence reform legislation, SC AAUW thanks you for your work on behalf of South Carolina. http://www.sccadvasa.org

The state also recognizes Tell Them in South Carolina with a Named Gift Honor. Tell Them is a statewide, reproductive health-focused program. South Carolina Association of University Women (SCAAUW) is proud to work in partnership with Tell Them to address the needs for age appropriate, medically accurate comprehensive health education, domestic violence legislation (S.3), and reproductive health policy. For your critical voice and advocacy for women and girls, SC AAUW thanks you for your work in South Carolina. http://www.tellthemsc.org

Aiken Branch

Academy for Lifelong Learning

The Academy for Lifelong Learning is a volunteer-run organization which provides seniors and retirees in the Aiken, SC area with learning opportunities tailored to their needs and interests. Housed at the University of South Carolina at Aiken, the Academy was a joint venture of former Chancellor Dr. Robert Alexander, Dr. Trudy Henson, and Dr. Jim Kauffman, and officially started in 1989. While the Academy currently has no direct connection to the university, faculty members occasionally serve as course or program instructors. Over the past 25 years, using the guiding principles of fellowship, knowledge, and adventure, the Academy has evolved into a multi-faceted program that provides area seniors with a wide range of learning opportunities each semester. Under the direction of current President Doug Cook, the Academy publishes The Spiral monthly for its members, and organization volunteers annually present the Earl F. Kauffman Award to recognize a group or an individual for outstanding contributions to the program. We honor The Academy for Lifelong Learning and their educational endeavors in this 25th anniversary year.

Aiken Center for the Arts

Founded in 1972 by artists Pat Koelker and Nancy Wilds, Rose Hill Arts Center was a place for aspiring artists to create, teach and learn. Originally located at the Rose Hill Estate on Barnwell Avenue, it became a haven for a variety of artistic disciplines. In 1993, the Center’s current home at 122 Laurens Street became available, and Rose Hill evolved into Aiken Center for the Arts, named for to the Center’s central downtown location. Today, Aiken Center for the Arts offers a multitude of outreach and awareness programs, juried shows and competitions, lectures and instruction, concert events and a gallery store where local artisans offer original works for sale. Year-round exhibits feature artists from around the world, with an emphasis on local and regional talent of the South. The mission of Aiken Center for the Arts is to inspire and educate by providing unique visual and performing arts experiences for all ages.

Mary Bunch

Mary says that she’s always had a love of math. She tried tutoring in college, then substitute teaching in high school, but didn’t feel “called” there. One Sunday in church she heard the words from Matthew, “I was in prison, and you came to me.” She knew immediately that God was calling her, but didn’t know how, until she found out a former college professor was volunteer teaching at Lower Savannah Pre-Release Center (LSPRC). LSPRC is a state facility for inmates who have completed 80 percent of their sentences. Once they are this close to release, inmates become serious about their futures. In 2003 they had no “teachers” except the one volunteer. Mary started with her, and 18 inmates got their GED’s the first year. Thirteen years later at SPRC, there are 3 volunteers and one paid administrator, and now they work on earning both GED’s and Work Keys certification. Mary gets a lot of satisfaction from her work with the inmates, and they appreciate her work with them.

John Demko

Book fair volunteer John Demko has lived in Georgia, Kentucky, Italy and Sweden. He and his wife Nancy moved to Aiken about nineteen years ago. John received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He retired as Project Manager from FKF International Company which is headquartered in Goettenburg, Sweden. John has been volunteering at our Books-n-Things fundraiser for about six years. He sorts books as they come in and has helped in several sections such as non-fiction, arts, and fiction. He is a dependable, conscientious worker who makes the mammoth task of sorting and organizing much more manageable. We value his time and talent!

Rosemary English

Rosemary English is a retired Aiken County teacher and administrator who started at teaching Schofield High School in 1963. When the public schools integrated in 1970, Mrs. English moved to Aiken High School and remained until 1984, before heading to Midland Valley High School. She retired as that school’s assistant principal in 1998 and was elected to the Aiken County School Board later that year. She currently serves as our School Board Chairperson. Mrs. English has received numerous awards for her work in education and in the community throughout her career. She is affiliated with several local, state and national organizations. She is the widow of the Late Rev. Abram English, Jr. and the proud mother of four children. She has one granddaughter.

Rosalyn Cowart Greene

Rosalyn Cowart Greene, Aiken County’s 2015 Teacher of the Year, currently teaches 7th grade English Language Arts at Jackson Middle School. Originally from Hanahan, SC, Greene is now proud to live and work in the small community of Jackson, stating “I love that I represent a rural school, and I am proud to be a teacher at Jackson Middle. It’s been really powerful teaching in my community.” Greene has been teaching in Aiken County since 2013. Of teaching, Greene states, “This is a calling, and I could not be in this profession without it. You have to do something you love.” Greene’s students are an inspiration to her every day and she strives to bring real-world relevancy to their classroom. She wants her students to be critical thinkers who think for themselves, ask good questions, and challenge the world around them to make it better. Rosalyn lives in Jackson with her husband J.C., and they just welcomed their first child, CoraRose Elizabeth.

Dr. Doris B. Hammond

Doris is one of those people who has a “burning yearning for learning.” She grew up in Cincinnati and earned her Bachelor’s Degree there. In her 40’s, she went back to school and got her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. Although neither of her parents had college degrees, Doris has always been inspired by her parents’ love and belief in her. Despite set-backs such as scoliosis and cancer, Doris has taught elementary school and college, written two books, worked as a guidance counselor, and earned certification in gerontology and psychotherapy. Several years ago she founded the Aiken group “Wise Outrageous Women.” She currently works part time as a counselor in her daughter’s chiropractic office, swims with the synchronized swimming group that she founded, “Aiken Aquatic Art—the Mermaids,” plays tennis, teaches at USC-Aiken, and sings with a local group. She earned a “Make a Difference Day” award for her work with Helping Hands. Hammond says, “I’m very blessed,” and she has obviously blessed many others, as well.

Linda and Steve Hook

Linda has been a professional counselor since 1975, concentrating on school counseling. She has been involved with AAUW since 1994, when her mother, branch member Jo Paxton, got her involved with the Books-n-Things fair by baking and bringing snacks for the workers. She moved away, but came back in 2006, joined with her mother, learned to sort book sale books and was asked to help in Attic Treasures, where she now lives 6 days a week before the sale and loves it! She has also served as our branch co-president with Linda Endler and then Martha Ebel, and Education Committee chairperson. She has flown back from Abu Dhabi, UAE, the last two years, just to work our Book Fair! Steve has been an Emergency Preparedness manager for several nuclear power plants and is currently helping with the building of a new plant in the United Arab Emirates. He has been involved with AAUW since 2006 when his wife, Linda, got him involved with the heavy and dirty work needed to be done for the Books-n-Things fair. He was one of the first male members in our Aiken AAUW branch. Steve and Linda enjoy meeting all the wonderful and interesting people involved in AAUW.

Dr. Lynne Rhodes

Lynne Rhodes is a professor of English at the University of South Carolina at Aiken. She has taught writing courses at the college level for more than thirty-seven years. Dr. Rhodes also served as the Director of Writing Assessment at USC-Aiken from 1991-2012. Additionally, she has directed the Aiken Writing Project since 2007, and has offered annual invitational summer institutes for more than one hundred K-12 teachers. Recently she directed a Family Literacy Project for English Language Learners (ELLs), with National Writing Project support. Lynne has lived in Aiken since 1980 with her husband Lee, who is a consulting forester. They own and operate Burnt Mill Plantation, more than 230 acres which they operated as a Christmas tree farm for 14 years and had rezoned as an environmentally protected “Green” designation in 2012. Lynne and her husband live at Burnt Mill, where they have raised Boykin Spaniels and where Lynne loves to garden. She and her husband have two grown children, Laura and Leon, and an 8-year-old grandson, Zander.

Dr. Roger and Barb Rollins

Hailing from South Dakota, Roger and Barb Rollins have lived in Aiken, SC for over 40 years and have been integral in both music appreciation and music education in our community. For many years, Barb was the band director at area middle schools, provided private music lessons and founded the Home Schools and Aiken Community Bands. Her students have received numerous awards across the state and region for their superb music skills. The Rollins frequently perform at various community events such as parades, churches, festivals and concerts. Roger was employed with the Savannah River Site as a physicist for many years; however, he is probably best known locally as the founder and executive director of the Family and Marriage Coalition of Aiken. In this role, Roger teaches about the importance of healthy marriages and families. He writes an Aiken Standard feature newspaper column, and offers seminars and individual counseling.

Joyce Upham

The Aiken Branch of AAUW honors Joyce Upham posthumously. She was a lifetime member of our branch and served as branch president in 2001-2002. Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, she went on to graduate from Towson University as a Presidential Scholar with a BS in education. Early on in her career she taught in several public schools in Maryland and later taught military dependents in Okinawa, Japan. Joyce earned an Outstanding Elementary Teacher award from the National Science Foundation. With a Southern Regional Education Board scholarship, Joyce earned a Master’s of Science in library science from UNC at Chapel Hill, N. C.. She worked as a librarian in North Carolina and Alaska, became a docent in the Alaska Museum of the North and served as the director of the Carver Public Library in Massachusetts. After retiring to Aiken in 1999, she reorganized, computerized and catalogued the library at St. John’s Methodist church where she was a member. Joyce was a 50 year member of AAUW and was listed in Who’s Who in America. She passed away early this year.

Susan Winsor

Dr. Susan Winsor became President of Aiken Technical College on September 1, 1999. She previously served as Associate Executive Director for Academic Affairs and Technology for the S.C. Technical System and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Spartanburg Community College. Some of her many community and professional activities include: Rotary, past chair of The Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, the SCANA Advisory Board, and Regional Education Center Advisory Board. Dr. Winsor is the 2004 recipient of the Martha Kime Piper award, in recognition of her efforts to advance and support women in higher education in South Carolina. Her other awards include: the 2007 Woman of the Year for the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Knowledge Economist Award from the S.C. Research Authority in 2010, and the Energy Leadership Award from the Charlotte Business Journal. In February of 2016, the State of S.C. recognized Dr. Winsor for more than 30 years of loyal and faithful service to the citizens of South Carolina. The Aiken Branch of AAUW is pleased to recognize Dr. Winsor as a Named Gift Recipient who epitomizes the goals of the American Association of University Women.

Beaufort Branch

The Beaufort Branch selects Dr. Diana F. Steele as their honoree. Diana epitomizes all of the attributes of an outstanding leader, role model, and community volunteer. She retired from a distinguished career as a classroom teacher and mathematics professor. A native of West Virginia, She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in her native state. Her doctorate was earned from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Diana is a published author of numerous articles, journals and guidebooks. A very successful grant writer, she has had many of her grants accepted. During her 37 years of service in the educational arena, Diana was the recipient of numerous honors and awards and she is a Professor Emeritus from Northern Illinois University.

Charleston Branch

The Charleston Branch, in celebration of our 80th anniversary (1935-2015), name all of our past and present members as honorees. This has been an active and diverse group of women who have always embodied the values and principles of AAUW. Our archives only go back to 1950, but here are a few highlights from our past:

  • 1950: Dr. Maxine Larisey was President of the Branch, which sponsored an art scholarship at the Gibbes Museum. Published minutes show an interest in International affairs, Education, and the Welfare of Women.
  • 1960: Mrs. Mildred Janicula was President. A concern that year was ‘Mass Media’ and the topic had its own Chairperson to present issues and solutions.
  • 1970: Miss Lib Bradley was President. New bylaws were adopted and a summer workshop for board members was held to familiarize the board with their duties. During this decade, the branch newsletter “The Trunkline” was published monthly.
  • 1980: Sue Metzger was President. Women in our publications were now named without the title of “Mrs. or Miss”. Members were encouraged to vote for The Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.
  • 1990: Geraldyne Cassidy was President. Two meeting topics during the year were “Pro-choice” and “Women in the Armed Forces”.
  • 2000: President Ellie Setser guided the group to even more involvement in the issues of the day.
  • 2010-15: The Branch remains a force for women’s rights in SC. In recent years, we’ve had speakers on Domestic Violence, Title IX and Sexual Harassment on Campuses, and Understanding Islam. We continue in our dedication to the AAUW Funds, holding a holiday dinner in December to raise our contribution.

Rock Hill Branch

The Rock Hill Branch is pleased to recognize Amanda Stewart with a Named Gift Honor. Amanda has been the key player in establishing the Winthrop University student affiliate organization. Her ability to work with key student leaders on campus, through her position in the Winthrop Foundation and as a instructor in English Department and advisor to campus organizations, provided the link to students who are interested in the mission of AAUW and to students willing to step up and take leadership roles in the newly created organization. Amanda was instrumental in securing administration approval for a new organization and continues to work directly with the affiliate leadership team to ensure success for the group. We are so grateful for Amanda’s enthusiasm for AAUW and her leadership in the development of an AAUW presence on the Winthrop campus.

The Branch also recognizes the Heart2Heart Foundation and its founders Sheila Caldwell and Deb King. This foundation provides a variety of programs for the community to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Programs include Mission Red, a powerful heart health symposium for women, Statewide Screening Day in February when the Foundation partners with health care providers across the state to provide free basic heart health screenings, February as Heart Health Month in SC, and Girls’ Night Out events that feature a range of topics such as heart healthy cooking. Sheila became in involved in heart health issues when she had a heart attack at age 50. Sheila met Deb when she went through cardiac rehabilitation at Piedmont Medical Center where Deb is the Clinical Supervisor of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center. Together they founded Heart2Heart. The focus of the foundation is education to help women understand their risk factors for heart disease, screen for those risk factors, and educate women on how to keep or get their heart healthy. Shelia and Debby have focused on women in York and Lancaster County. That focus will expand to 12 additional counties in 2016. Thanks to these women and their hard work many women who did not know they were at risk for heart disease and possible heart attacks have been educated and saved from the debilitating results of this disease.


Each year the state and the branches honor people who have significantly contributed to the mission of AAUW. This year’s honorees are:

Branch Anniversaries of Greenville (95), Rock Hill (90), and Charleston (80). Doug Pardue, Mary Jo Dawson, Helga Huse, Ashley and Joe Miranda, Harvetta Havird, Owen and Dr. Linda Clary, Michele Conner, Dr. LaFaye Hargrove, Annie Lynn Hawkins, Alfonso Lamback, Hope Center, The Savannah River Site (SRS) Heritage Foundation, Saratoga Warhorse Project, Marietta Pulliam, Dr. Penny B. Travis, Dr. Sharon Linnehan, Limestone College women in Technology and Science Conference, Lois Schuhrke, Kathy Covington, Jodi Steel, and Janiva Willis.

Read more about these special honorees from the state and branches.

South Carolina AAUW

Greenville’s AAUW Branch, 95th Anniversary

Rock Hill’s AAUW Branch, 90th Anniversary

Charleston’s AAUW Branch, 80th Anniversary

Doug Pardue

Doug Pardue

Doug Pardue is one of the leading authors of the Post and Courier’s series “Till Death Do Us Part”. This series revealed that husbands or boyfriends killed more than 300 women in a decade, while the state’s leaders did little to stem the violence. The study also revealed numerous other failing, including limited police training, inadequate laws, a lack of punishment, insufficient education for judges, a dearth of support for victims, and traditional beliefs about the sanctity of marriage that keeps victims locked in the cycle of abuse.

The series as received several prestigious awards such as 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service to the Post and Courier for their coverage of domestic violence in South Carolina, the deadliest state for domestic violence in several years. Other awards include: Polk Award for state reporting, the 2015 John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for “Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting,” a first-place award for investigative journalism in the 2014 EPPY Awards sponsored by Editor and Publisher, and September’s Sidney Award from The Sidney Hillman Foundation, which honors excellence in journalism in service of the common good. The series also is a finalist in The American Bar Association’s 2015 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts, which recognize outstanding work that fosters the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system. The Post and Courier has been named the winner of The American Society of News Editors’ 2015 Local Accountability Reporting Award for the five-part series that explored South Carolina’s deadly toll from domestic violence.

More importantly for victims of domestic abuse, the series “Till Death Do Us Part” prompted community groups and the legislature to seek efforts to reform South Carolina’s domestic violence law.



Mary Jo Dawson

Mary Jo Dawson was born in Cheverly, Maryland, but grew up in South Carolina where she graduated from Irmo High School. While a student at the University of South Carolina, she participated as an exchange student in the study of history at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England. After earning her B. A. Degree in Journalism, she worked as a news reporter for the Beaufort Gazette. In 1990 Mary Jo graduated with a Masters Degree in Library and Information Sciences form the University of South Carolina. She then began her service with the Aiken Bamberg Barnwell Edgefield (ABBE) Regional Library System as a reference librarian. In 1998 she was named the director of the system where she manages 14 libraries, supervises 75 employees, oversees the upgrades in the technology system as well as the construction and refurbishing of the system’s buildings in four counties. Mary Jo is a Girl Scout Leader, and an Elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Aiken. Her contributions to the Aiken Branch of AAUW include: serving as Vice President for Programs, serving on Education Committee, organizing the children’s book section of major fundraiser “Books ‘n’ Things,” as well as participating in most branch projects and meetings for numerous years.

Helga Huse

A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Helga Hulse began her musical training at the age of three with support and encouragement from her mother. Her mother was a concert pianist and knew the value of good teachers so she made it possible for Helga to receive instruction, as she grew older by enrolling her in programs in Chicago, Philadelphia, California and New York. Helga earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in music pedagogy from the University of New York Empire State College. When she was just 19 years old, and attending the University of Southern California, Helga opened her first studio in the slums of Los Angeles. At that time she charged her piano students 25 cents per hour. Helga has been a teacher for more than 70 years. During her career of primarily teaching piano she has also helped establish daycare center programs; and gave lessons to the incarcerated. After moving to Aiken in 2011 Helga has continued her love of sharing music with children. She teaches residents of the Helping Hands (a foster care center) and is also part of the Aiken Music Teacher’s Association. During our AAUW Christmas dinner for senior Croft House residents, Helga provides seasonal entertainment.


Ashley and Joe Miranda

Ashley Miranda is a college freshman majoring in Radiology. She started volunteering for AAUW three years ago through her South Aiken High School’s Serteens group. Ashley has assisted at various AAUW projects, but most especially with the “Books ‘n’ Things” fundraiser. She has been faithful in coming for several days and working long hours to help price and organize sale items during the project preparation stage. In addition she gives much assistance during the actual sale days in March. She is willing to help in any way she can; and does it cheerfully. When she is not studying or volunteering she enjoys walking her dogs, swimming, and hanging out with friends. Some of her other hobbies include video games and a penchant for dragons! The Aiken Branch is very thankful to this young woman.

Joe Miranda is Ashley’s dad and is originally from Queens, NY where he was a Communications/Troubleshooter for the phone company. In 1998 he moved to Aiken, SC and built his own house here. Joe does beautiful woodworking/carpentry with his own company, Southern Yankee Woodworking. Since Ashley was helping with the “Books ‘n’ Things” fund raiser as a Serteens service project, Joe just pitched in and helped with everything possible for the sale. He has built display tables to hold items, hung pictures, installed railings for the food court and carried heavy boxes of books. Joe has a great sense of humor and helps keep the Attic Treasures section running smoothly! Some of his other hobbies include cooking, watching hockey, music, especially playing bass guitar in a nine-piece band.


Harvetta Havird

Harvetta Havird, the Aiken County Teacher of the Year for 2014, has been teaching kindergarten at Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary/Middle School for the past 15 years. She is a native of Batesburg, SC, just a few miles from where she teaches now. She received an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and later a Masters in Early Childhood Education. Several years ago the Aiken County Public School District designated her classroom as a “Model Classroom”. Teachers from across the county visited her room as a learning opportunity. Mrs. Havird’s classroom is an exciting place to be! One might hear a child sing a poem as she learns to read it. You might see children sitting on the floor instead of at desks. It is a nurturing and loving environment where each child feels important and helps other children in small group activities. In her 28 years of teaching, Mrs. Havird particularly enjoys teaching kindergarten children to read. She says: “I don’t know what else I would have done with my life. I love my children and its so rewarding to see a child who couldn’t write his name and leave me as a reader and writer.” Mrs. Havird wants school to be fun, and her hope is that every child will become a lifelong learner.

Owen and Dr. Linda Clary

Both Owen Clary and Dr. Linda Clary have been involved in education and community outreach for many years. Linda Clary has taught in the public schools; for 30 years at Augusta College, Augusta, and GA; and worked as the Curriculum Director for Burke County Schools. Owen Clary was also employed by Aiken County Public Schools. Upon retirement he has been active teaching the history of Aiken County in schools and as part of USC-A and Aiken County Historical Museum programs. He is the current chairman of the Aiken County Historical Commission and the president of the Historic Aiken Foundation. In fact Owen just finished organizing and conducting a lecture series about Aiken County’s past. He prepared and presented the first lecture of the series, which covered in detail the complex and unique background of our county from 1865 to 1950. Owen is quite active in various other aspects of the community and he holds positions on numerous boards, including the Croft House (which is a resident facility for senior citizens and is a recipient of an AAUW Christmas project).

Michele Conner

Michele Conner has created a legacy in the field of education in Aiken County and across our state. She began teaching in 1965 and came to Aiken County in 1982. During her time with Aiken County Public Schools, Mrs. Conner taught 5th grade, worked as Assistant Principal at Aiken Elementary School, Principal of Millbrook Elementary School, Director of Instructional and Curriculum Services, and finally Director of Elementary Education, though the job responsibilities evolved to include schools at all levels. Reading and literacy have always been Michele’s “first love,” and in addition to her jobs with the school district, she has served in leadership positions with several organizations and President of the Aiken Council of the International Reading Association, South Carolina State Council of the International Reading Association, and the Aiken County Administrators Association. During her term as Vice-president of SCIRA, Mrs. Conner planned, implemented, and chaired the annual SCIRA state reading conference for over 2,000 of the state’s educators. Mrs. Conner retired from the school district in 2011 after a total of 42 years in education, during which she positively impacted the lives of countless students and educators. As if that wasn’t enough, she has spent the time since her retirement working with Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Gloverville. She serves on the Parish Pastoral Council, volunteers at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Center, and serves on the Board of Directors as their grant writer. One of the many grants secured by Mrs. Conner is one from AAUW which helps support Our Lady of the Valley’s GED Program.

Dr. LaFaye Hargrove

Dr. Hargrove received the Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology in 1987 from the University of Georgia. In 1998, she left a position as Vice President for Student Development at a private women’s college and launched Hargrove Leadership Services (HLS) with a focus on coaching and developing corporate leaders. Dr. Hargrove’s unique approach to coaching begins with the philosophy that any significant personal and professional change must begin at the core. She guides her clients through a process of self-discovery, which leads to the reframing of limiting beliefs, and stored negative emotions that may inhibit their ability to set goals and achieve desired results in their work and in life. In addition to corporate management positions, she previously served as a faculty member in the School of Business at Georgia College and State University, then as Head of the School of Business Administration and Economics at USC Aiken. She served as Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina then as Vice President for Student Development at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina. Faye continues to maintain her ties to the academic world as a part-time instructor in the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) program at Augusta State University.

Annie Lynn Hawkins

Annie Lynn Hawkins has devoted her life to education. She has now been teaching students in Aiken County for 55 years! She began her teaching career at Kennedy Junior High and then spent over thirty years teaching at Aiken High School. Ms. Hawkins taught geometry and pre-calculus at Aiken High, developed curriculum, coached the Math Team, and served as Math Department Chairperson for many years. After her retirement from Aiken High School in 2000, the Annie Lynn Hawkins Math Award was established in her honor. This award is given annually to the senior with the highest math average over four years. Since her retirement from Aiken High School in 2000, Ms. Hawkins has been teaching math at Aiken Preparatory School and Mead Hall Episcopal School. At Aiken Prep., Ms. Hawkins has taught algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus. She now teaches Honors Pre-calculus at Aiken Prep.’s Upper School Campus. Technology has changed many aspects of teaching since Ms. Hawkins started her career; but the fundamentals of math, which she teaches, remain constant and she continues to prepare her students for success in our ever-changing world.

Alfonso Lamback

Alfonso Lamback began his educational career as a student at Jefferson High School in Bath, SC. He then attended and graduated from Voorhees College in Denmark, SC with a BA Degree in Social Studies. He earned an MA in Special Education from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC, and additional studies in Educational Administration from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. As an educator, Al has served over 40 years in the educational field in the following capacities: Social Studies teacher, Special Education teacher, coach, Assistant Principal, Principal, adjunct Professor for Voorhees College and Assistant Superintendent for Administration for the Aiken County Public School District until retirement in 1999. From 2001 to 2011 he was employed as a Principal Specialist, Principal Leader, Administrative Consultant and Liaison for Priority Schools with the SC Department of Education. In 2010 he was appointed to the Voorhees College Board of Trustees, inducted into the Voorhees College National Alumni Association Hall of Fame and was recognized by the Jefferson High School Alumni Association, INC. as being an Outstanding Educator. In 2011 Al was presented the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Unity Award by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Aiken, SC. In 2014 he received the UNCF-National Alumni Council Outstanding Alumni Award in Memphis, TN and the award for Exceptional Service and Leadership by the Metro-Atlanta Alumni Chapter for Voorhees College.


Hope Center

Christ Central Aiken serves the poor and disadvantaged in our community. The organization not only provides basic needs such as food and clothing, but it helps to improve lives by providing education and training. Their vision for Aiken and Graniteville is to see more young people graduate from high school and become adults who are able to find employment and stabilize their families. Hope Center is a branch of Christ Central built at the site of a deadly train wreck/chlorine spill in 2005. Opened in 2014, it is a center of hope and help for the Graniteville area. It aims to offer educational opportunities from birth to senior adults, providing job training, and preschool readiness and after school mentoring. Future services will include vision and dental clinics, culinary arts training, free GED training/testing, computer lab, and sports activities. This most impressive community center is well worth supporting and visiting.

The Savannah River Site (SRS) Heritage Foundation

On October 28, 1950 the make up of Aiken was dramatically and permanently changed. This is the date that the US Government announced that a nuclear reactor plant would be built. The community changed from a rich man’s winter resort community to a cosmopolitan city almost overnight as hundreds of physicists, engineers, electricians, construction workers, and other workers descended on Aiken to build the plant during the Cold War. In addition to the plant employees there were extended family members which necessitated the quick establishment of schools and housing, medical services and retail options. The SRS Heritage Foundation was born from the collaborative work of Walt Joseph and Todd Crawford to preserve the heritage of the Savannah River Site. They saw a need to document the historical impact the construction of the Savannah River Site has had on Aiken County, and surrounding counties as well as the positive growth it has brought to these communities. Presently the SRS Heritage Foundation is located in the Dibble Building in Aiken as volunteers continue to fulfill its mission of preserving the information.

Saratoga Warhorse Project

Bob Nevins, a Vietnam veteran, founded Saratoga WarHorse. It is a program where military veterans have an opportunity to bond with retired Thoroughbred racehorses. It is a three-day experience that has proven to be effective for those struggling to adjust to life after military service. The program is provided at no cost to the veterans. Saratoga WarHorse provides a new experience with a focus on posttraumatic stress and suicide prevention that is a vastly difference approach from traditional talk therapy. The process facilitates a profound personal connection between veteran and horse seemingly “unlocking” a part of the veteran that has been closed down for years. Researchers are expressing a growing interest in the Saratoga WarHorse methodology and are trying to determine why the ‘Connection Process’ is so effective in reducing symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress as well as suicidal thoughts. With Aiken County’s close relationship to Thoroughbred horses and with its proximity to several military bases, this is a very natural and convenient location for the WarHorse program. All the horses in the program are housed at Aiken Equine Rescue and are specially selected based on character, sensitivity and willingness to work in the encounters


Marietta Pulliam

Marietta 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.


Dr. Penny B. Travis

Dr. Penny B. Travis obtained her PhD in Epidemiology from MUSC in 2006. She taught Chemistry for many years at Trident Technical College and since retiring has taught as an adjunct at the Citadel and MUSC. A transplant from the North, Penny has lived in Folly Beach, SC, for thirty-plus years and considers the low country as home.     A few years after retiring, Penny applied to teach science at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. Upon her return she wrote a book, Kabul Classroom, about her life in Kabul.   Currently she volunteers for the ACLU and Reading Partners, and gives talks to local groups on Islam.


Dr. Sharon Linnehan

The Due West Branch honors Dr. Sharon Linnehan with a named gift to AAUW
Funds. Sharon will be retiring this year from teaching Art at Erskine
College. She has been a faithful supporting and contributing member of the
Due West Branch. Sharon is a very talented professional artist as well as
an art educator. She has been Chair of Erskine’s Art Department, and
Assistant Professor of Art since 2002.  Her exhibited works have received much
acclaim. She plans to return to North Dakota, but in the meantime will
enjoy continuing as a member of our Due West community and member of our
Branch of AAUW.


Limestone College Women in Technology and Science Conference

Gaffney Branch AAUW is pleased to honor the Limestone College Women in Technology and Science Conference (WITS) with a $500.00 gift to the Educational Foundation.

Begun is 2011, WITS is all all-day conference for sophomore and junior high school women in which they receive information about college-level STEM courses and careers in STEM disciplines.

The WITS program is being honored because it aims to help young women in the upstate become more knowledgeable about STEM disciplines and helps them consider careers in these disciplines in which women are still underrepresented, particularly in scientific and technological careers in industry, health, and higher education.

Since many Gaffney AAUW members are Limestone College graduates and members of the Limestone faculty, the branch is especially pleased to honor Limestone’s innovative program.


Greenville Branches 95th Anniversary, 1919.


Lois Schuhrke

Lois Schuhrke joined the Hilton Head Branch in 2005 and was almost immediately appointed as chair of the Branch’s annual fundraiser. She has since held Board positions including membership chair and treasurer, culminating in a two-year term as Branch President in 2012-14. Under her leadership, the Branch established a scholarship fund under the aegis of the local community foundation and conducted a highly successful fundraiser to support it. The Branch also created a summer educational enrichment program for middle school girls, in cooperation with several key cultural and educational organizations. Both the summer program and the Branch’s annual scholarship award to a woman college student have helped to raise the Branch’s profile in the community.

Lois is a graduate of Indiana University and earned an MA from Ball State University. Her working career was primarily in the non-profit arena, notably as an executive at the American Dental Association for 24 years. She and her husband “retired” to Hilton Head in 1998 and she subsequently held staff positions with two community organizations. With her background at the ADA, it’s perhaps not surprising that she eventually gravitated to the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic-HHI, a large charitable clinic, where she started as a volunteer. Since 2004 she has served as the Director of the VIM Dental Clinic. In addition, she is active with a variety of social and civic groups and enjoys traveling with her husband and family.


Kathy Covington

Kathy Covington retired from the Rock Hill Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism in 2012 after 28 years service. She began her work in 1984 as Special Populations Supervisor, her title changed to Therapeutic Supervisor, and finally, to Recreation Division Supervisor. In her role, she supervised therapeutic recreation programs, youth programs, senior programs, four recreation centers, and four community swimming pools.

Kathy completed her undergraduate degree in Special Education at Winthrop University in 1982. In 1984, she completed a graduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation and Gerontology at Virginia Tech.

When Kathy joined the Rock Hill Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism, she developed excellent programs that have served as models for many areas. As Volunteer Director of Special Olympics for Area Eleven, she coordinated three county areas serving athletes who were mentally disabled. Under her leadership, this program provided year round training and competition in twelve different sports. During her tenure, the Area Eleven Special Olympics grew from 400 athletes to 1,700 athletes. She made it possible for athletes to participate in local, state, national and world levels. Area Eleven was recognized as Outstanding Area for South Carolina six times. As soccer coach, she took her team to national games twice and to Dublin, Ireland for the World Games.

Her community activities include softball coach for Youth Sports, Girl Scout Leader, Photography teacher for Rock Hill PRT programs and Shepherd’s Center. She is a member of the Shepherd’s Center Board of Directors and a volunteer for various Rock Hill PRT special events. She taught Physical Education and Recreation for Children with Disabilities at Winthrop University. She also taught a martial Arts class at Winthrop.

Kathy is known and loved throughout the Rock Hill community. She has touched the lives of so many in an extremely positive way.

Jodi Steele

Jodi Steele has been a Science teacher for Elementary and Middle schools in Rock Hill School District 3 for 40 years. Her dedication to her students and her joy of teaching is the reason the Rock Hill Branch has honored her with a Named Gift.

Mrs. Steele serves as a team leader as well as a PLC (Professional Learning Committee) leader at Dutchman Creek Middle School. She shows a sincere interest in her students as individuals and is consistently fair in dealing with them. She continually searches for ways to make teaching more interesting and more informative. Her students like and respect her and are pleased to be in her class.

Principal, Norris Williams wrote this about her. “Mrs. Steele is a remarkable educator and has a wealth of knowledge to offer. She is highly professional and works effectively with all members of the staff.  We are blessed to have her as a member of our faculty family.”

Jodi also has a passion for the environment. She currently serves as Chair of the River Park Advisory Board for the Rock Hill City Parks and Recreations.

Janiva Willis

Janiva Willis is a licensed clinical social worker graduating from Winthrop with her Master of Social Work in 2008 with an extensive background of working with underserved youth involved in the court and foster care system.

Willis founded the I Dream Academy in November 2014 with a vision to end the cradle to prison pipeline for underserved youth through mentoring. Willis has more than ten years of experience in leadership development, program development and facilitating programs for youth demonstrating severe emotional and behavioral disturbances and those desiring to earn athletic scholarships to attend college. Willis practiced Multi-Systemic Therapy with court involved youth and their families earning an international award for being one of twenty therapists in the world for providing successful outcomes to youth and their families helping them to live successfully in their homes, schools and communities.

She graduated from Winthrop in 2005 Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education concentrating in Athletic Training. Willis also serves as a motivational change agent providing keynote addresses, leadership workshops and personal and professional development trainings for youth, families and professionals.

Willis has currently launched the I Dream in Colors Tour, a cross-country cycling tour leading the charge to end the cradle to prison pipeline through mentoring. Willis will cycle through 11 states, 60 cities and engage in 58 community service projects starting August 29, 2015 to promote mentoring, literacy and leadership, and health and mental wellness to youth, families and communities. During this campaign Willis will help to raise funds for scholarships for underserved youth to participate in high quality mentoring programs across the country while recruiting male mentors.

Willis is a former professional athlete who played for the Canadian National Softball Team and Winthrop University. Willis was one of 20 athletes selected to try-out for the Canadian Olympic team in 2007 and was honored as the NCAA Woman of the Year (SC) and Top 10 finalist for the national award prior to ending her college career. Willis was honored by her hometown in 2007 though the naming of their community softball fields and was inducted into the Winthrop Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. Most recently, Willis was named to the Big South All Decade team in 2014 and continues to be highlighted as an emerging leader in her community.