Logo of the AAUW La Palma - Cerritos during COVID-19

April is election time and time to celebrate award winners

Beverly Zwick, president of Cerritos - La Plama AAUW. Courtesy photo.
Beverly Zwick, president of Cerritos – La Plama AAUW. Courtesy photo.

The La Palma-Cerritos Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) held Virtual Election of Officers for the 2021-2022 year on Zoom on April 15, 2021. After surviving the COVID 19 pandemic year with quarantines, Board members from 2020-2021 decided to serve again on the board. Branch members voted for and thanked President Beverly Zwick for serving her second term as President and welcomed back all the elected members of the board. The elected board members include Co-Program VP’s Karen Cox, Nancy Kawamura and Mary Ann Quinn; Membership Co-VP’s Joan Flax and Diane Merrick; AAUW Fund Co-VP’s Esther Aronson, Thea Siegel with Tobi Balma representing the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund; Secretary Christine Taxier; and Treasurer Marlyn Forsstrom. Branch members are appreciative of all board members’ willingness to serve for two terms.

President Beverly Zwick named as Appointed Board Members, members who served on the previous board and will continue to serve on the Appointed Board for 2021-2022. These appointed officers include Sondra Cohen and Harriet Moses, Public Policy; Celia Spitzer and Edna Ethington, STEM/Tech Trek; Norma Williamson, GOV Trek; Carol Marsh, Academic Achievement Awards; Marilyn Forsstrom, Bulletin/Website Editor/Bylaws; Tobi Balma, College University Liaison and Zoom Chair; Jackie Shazadi, International Interests; Janet Karter, Historian; Ceci Borja-Van Zitter, Hospitality; and Sue Carruthers, Pat McClelland, and Joyce Moore, Telephone Tree. All of these members are important as they work together to achieve the branch’s fundraising goals and support branch activities.

Norma Williamson, a member of the La Palma - Cerritos AAUW, was recently award an AAUW grant. Courtesy photo.
Norma Williamson, a member of the La Palma – Cerritos AAUW, was recently award an AAUW grant. Courtesy photo.

Congratulations are extended at this time to Norma Williamson, past branch Public Policy Co-Chair and new Gov Trek Chair! On April 17, 2021, Norma was honored at the Annual Meeting of AAUW California by being awarded a $500 AAUW CA Grant for her State Project entitled, “Gov Trek: A Legacy of Women’s Suffrage Movement.” It was one of only two grants that AAUW CA awarded from grant applications submitted by AAUW California branches. The La Palma-Cerritos Branch members are very proud of Norma’s personal effort and perseverance in creating this project. Norma will be assisted with this project by branch member Gail Ross as help is needed.

The Gov Trek Project will focus on local female high school juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in public service. Through after-school virtual online meetings, they will learn about the Women’s Suffrage Movement, study election issues, experience a voter pre-registration drive, and get an opportunity of interviewing past or current elected women officials. The ABC Unified School District has endorsed the Gov Trek Project, but details are still being determined as to when the project will start this year or later next year. For more information about the Gov Trek Project, contact Norma Williamson at 562-472-7433.

The pandemic has caused changes and a delay of the Annual Academic Achievement Awards that the La Palma-Cerritos AAUW usually presented to women students at Cerritos College in March or April. Students who were considered for these awards had to have a 3.5 GPA or higher, be recommended by a faculty or community member, and be active in the school or the community. Awards Chair Carol Marsh said that two outstanding women have been selected to receive $1,250 each, after enrolling in their first semester at a four-year college or university. The two outstanding women students at Cerritos College who were selected are Haya Chehada and Cerys Rotondo. Haya and Cerys will be recognized at the May 20, 2021 Virtual Zoom General meeting of the La Palma-Cerritos Branch of the AAUW. Congratulations to Haya Chehada and Cerys Rotondo, the 2020-2021 Academic Achievement Award winners for the La Palma-Cerritos Branch of the AAUW!

Persons interested in joining the branch’s Virtual Zoom General Meeting on May 20, 2021 must contact Program Co-VP Karen Cox before May 19, 2021 at 562-519-0596 for the Link and I.D. needed.