AAUW Honolulu’s contingent of NCCWSL scholarship awardees returned from the leadership conference held in Maryland and had this to say:
Autumn-Raine Hesia, Windward Community College Upward Bound Residential Advisor, reflected: “The conference was significant because it was my first chance that I had to fellowship with women from all over the world that had dreams and goals similar to mine. It was refreshing to see these young women inspire, encourage, and advocate for one another in an effortless way. To be in workshops and in key note speeches where inspiring testimony was shared. I am thankful for NCCWSL giving me the opportunity to learn, engage, and feel the change that is up and coming.”
“As a woman and minority in STEM, I had my fair share of hardships and successes since my big move to Hawaii,” Lean Teodoro, who holds a Bachelor of Science in geology and geophysics, shared. “Coming from a small island called Saipan, and leaving to pursue grander ambitions, I was automatically put on a pedestal. While you do have a great supportive network in front of you, you also realize that there are a few out there waiting for you to fail. Hearing from all the amazing, inspiring, and empowering boss babes at the NCCWSL made me feel more confident about my own story, my personal values, and my vision for the future. It has motivated to build more resilience in this time in my life. Above all, it has made me realize that it’s not about your personal successes in life, it’s about how you have applied your success for a greater good.”
Debbie has over 35 years of providing educational services focused on college and career planning, and not-for-profit operations.
After spending 30 years in higher education in a career that focused providing student services, she currently manages a program for the Hawaii National Guard that provides career counseling to Guardmembers and their families, and works with economically disadvantaged women at the YWCA O’ahu. She has expertise in formulating, implementing and managing service-providing programs, especially in the not-for-profit area.
Debbie volunteers her time as a board member for the Boys and Girls Club Honolulu Spalding Clubhouse, chaired the 2019 YWCA Oahu Leader Luncheon and stays active in the community volunteering mainly with programs that empower women and young people in the community. From 2016 to 2018 she served as the Board Chair for Women United, an affinity group for Aloha United Way and was instrumental in getting the program reinvigorated, recognized and officially approved in 2018.
In addition to AAUW, she is a member of the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC), the Global Community for Academic Advising (NACADA), and the National Career Development Association (NCDA).
Diane Radcliffe has been a member of AAUW for 45 years, joining in 1973 after she graduated from the University of Illinois, Chicago.
She joined AAUW a little after moving to South Bend, In, on her graduation day. When she moved to Hawaii, she joined AAUW Honolulu and was an active member for many years.
Diane was a founding member of AAUW’s Diamond Head/Koko Head branch. She’s held several different positions for that group, including President on several occasions.
Charlotte Manly was raised in Wahiawa, graduated from the University Laboratory School, and has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and applied sciences from the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate in cognitive science from Brown University. She returned to Hawaii in 2003.
She is interested in human factors in software systems and currently does software development remotely for a radiology vendor. She has led service trips to Haleakala National Park with Sierra Club as well as shorter hikes on Oahu. She attended AAUW’s Work Smart workshop earlier this year and hopes to get involved with STEM activities.
Paula Gill, is an educator who’s worked in Florida and Wisconsin. She received a BS at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse for elementary education and minors in social studies and physical education. She then received an MS degree in counseling and guidance.
She’s worked with at-risk students and handicapped adults, and currently volunteers at Kaiser High School. She’s been a member of AAUW’s Wisconsin, Hartford and Lake County branches, but is now one of AAUW Honolulu’s newest members and calls Hawaii home.
Meira’s grandfather flew in World War 2 and taught her older sister how to fly. From an early age she loved airports, planes, and everything to do with flying. She went to college, joined the Peace Corps and founded her own web web design business.
About two years ago, with her dream of becoming a pilot a distant memory, she visited an airshow at a small airport. Taking a discovery flight, her feelings about flying came flooding to the surface.
Learning to fly came with some obstacles. Meira says, “I was blown away with how much information and skill it required and gained a much deeper respect for pilots and what they go through.”
She created cheat sheets and visual aids and received so much positive feedback that she created a website BlondsInAviation.com to share these resources with others. While working on her instrument rating she joined AuxAir, a voluntary aviation group under the National Guard to patrol the local waters on search & rescue missions.
Meira added, “I love being able to help others, just like so many people have helped me.”
She hopes to become a commercial pilot and to see how her dream will take her.
Katherine Mueller is originally from Maine and moved to Honolulu in 2016. She has a BA in Dance from Connecticut College, a Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Arts in Dance Anthropology from Roehampton University in London, UK.
She has also completed graduate certificates in Feminist Studies and Human Rights. Currently a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, Katherine’s research focuses on intercultural collaborations in the performing arts in London as an entry point for thinking about issues surrounding identity, representation, and belonging in a highly diverse metropolitan center.
Bills that help to further the issues of equal pay, regardless of sex, and to institute federal Title IX protections within the state passed Hawaii’s conference committees — both bills are supported by the Women’s Legislative Caucus. They have been recommended for passage on final reading, which occurs on Tuesday, May 1. The final step will be Gov. David Ige’s signature.
The equal pay bill, SB2351, would prohibit employers from requiring an applicant to provide her/his wage history when applying for a position. Policies that force employees to keep wage information secret will be illegal under the bill. AAUW’s position is that disclosing women’s salary histories and stopping workers from talking about their earnings perpetuates the wage gap. Many AAUW members submitted testimony supporting the equal pay bill and should be congratulated for their efforts ensuring that this bill will become law.
A bill that establishes some of the same protections of federal Title IX laws, HB1489, also passed. Any Hawaii education program that receives funds from the state would be prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sex, gender identity, expression and orientation. AAUW has supported Title IX protections since the early ’70s and believes extending these protections at the state level is important.
Born in Kona on the island of Hawaii, Caroline Michiko Kunitake graduated from Konawaena High School in 1993. Graduating from the University of Hawaii – Manoa in 1999, she has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies – public health. She also received a master’s degree in Health Information Systems from Loma Linda University in California in 2002.
Caroline was an Americorps National Civilian Community Corps from 1999 to 2000 in the Southeastern US. She’s now employed at the HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union as a business continuity planner. In addition to AAUW Honolulu, she’s also active with Toastmasters.
“I’m eager to empower women and hope to make a meaningful contribution to this organization,” she said.