Perfect Pairings VII – Fundraising Dinner

We had a very successful fundraiser on April 17th!  More details and photos will be posted on the special events page when we have everything ready…Preliminary results indicate that we will have raised nearly $12,000!  If you would like to push us over that number, the link to donate online is still active.  Just click here.

March Women Awards Luncheon – March 8,2016

All are welcome to attend – Not restricted to members of AAUW Puerto Rico

March Women Awards Luncheon

In honor of Women’s History Month and the accomplishments of local young women, you are invited to an awards luncheon, sponsored by AAUW Puerto Rico and the Rotary Club of San Juan.
Tuesday  March 8, 2016

12:00 pm*

 AFDA Club, 3 Cervantes Street

Condado, San Juan

In our program, we will recognize four special members of our local community. Please come and celebrate Women’s History Month with AAUW!


*Registration begins at 11:30am.  Lunch and the program will begin at 12:00 noon. Each of the honorees will discuss her work, her goals, and her advice for other women. Please come with a friend or two to this amazing meeting! Cost: $25.00  per person. (Free parking, cash bar available)

To Reserve

 Please send your check to AAUW, c/o Nayda Cumpiano, 60 Washington St, Apt 1102, San Juan, PR 00907

AAUW Puerto Rico Branch Sponsorship for NCCWSL 2016

The National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) is around the corner and AAUW-Puerto Rico, Inc. wants to sponsor one or two young women from Puerto Rico to attend this national conference, to be held on June 2-4, 2016, at the University of Maryland–College Park.

This conference offers young women leaders a chance to learn new skills and to broaden their networks with peers from around the country.

To be eligible for our sponsorship, a candidate must be a female student, enrolled in a university or college in Puerto Rico, have demonstrated leadership potential, be fluent in English and be willing to attend all parts of the conference. AAUW-Puerto Rico, Inc. will pay for all the expenses related to the attendance to the conference, including: registration, transportation, housing, and meals.

To apply, candidates will fill out the NCCWSL Sponsorship application and submit it to AAUW-Puerto Rico, Inc. A committee of branch members will read the applications and candidates will be invited to a face-to-face interview, to take place on April 6-7, 2016. Following the interviews, up to two candidates will be selected. The winners will be invited to our Annual Fundraiser Dinner: Perfect Pairings, which will be held on April 17, 2016.

AAUW-Puerton Rico, Inc. will make all the registration, air travel and housing arrangements. The sponsored students will make their own arrangements for ground transportation and meals. Sponsored students will be responsible for any personal expenses. In addition to attending the conference in its entirety, sponsored students will be asked to prepare a short presentation about their experiences at the conference, to share with AAUW-Puerto Rico, Inc. members.

The application deadline is March 15, 2016

To apply for the Sponsorship, click here 

If you have questions (any questions!), please email us to  We will contact you via email or phone call, whichever is the best option for you.

Members, help us spread the word !

Local Women in Science, Business, Education and the Arts Honored by AAUW Puerto Rico

AAUW Puerto Rico recognized four exceptional women on Friday, March 27 at their annual Leadership and Service Awards Luncheon at the AFDA Club in San Juan focusing on Science, Education, the Arts and Business. The luncheon is held every March during Women’s History Month.


Honoree Sarai Santiago Rodríguez, educator

Sarai Santiago Rodríguez was recognized for her contributions to the field of education. Founder and Director of Explora Clínica Integral, she is the only provider of services to children with autism using the Teacch method. Santiago told our audience that her future plans are to continue to serve the needs of children with autism, and to develop programs for young adults on the spectrum, a populations not currently being served.

Tara Rodríguez Besosa was recognized for her

Honoree Tara Rodríguez Besosa, entrepreneur

Honoree Tara Rodríguez Besosa, entrepreneur

entrepreneurial accomplishments. Rodríguez is the co-founder and co-director of Departamento de la Comida focused on local organic produce and artisanal food products. Looking forward Tara recently turned half of El Departamento de la Comida into a non-profit organization that develops markets for local, sustainable farmers and serves consumers looking to eat better, buy better, and support the local economy.


maria del carmen

Honoree María del Carmen Gil, promoter of the arts

María del Carmen Gil, former Chancellor of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music from 1998 – 2012, and currently founder and director of the Fundación para Música y País, a foundation dedicated to making music education accessible for all children at a time when these programs are being cut from both public and private schools. Gil was recognized for her contributions to the arts in Puerto Rico.


Dra. Melween Martínez, scientist

Melween I. Martinez, a Professor at the University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences Campus and the first female Director of the Caribbean Primate Research Center and the Animal Resources Center. Recognized for her contributions to science, Dra. Martínez reminisced about the challenges she faced as a woman in a field dominated by men, and discussed her plans to continue her important research into stroke and dengue fever.

AAUW San Juan is a branch of the national AAUW, active in Puerto Rico for over 50 years. The mission of AAUW is to promote equity for women and girls through research, education, advocacy and philanthropy. Nationally AAUW supports fellowships for women pursuing advanced degrees and grants to community organizations with projects addressing equity for women and girls; lobbies the US federal government on issues affecting women and girls, and sponsors research into women’s issues covering topics like pay equity, sexual harassment, and women in STEM. Locally, AAUW Puerto Rico is involved in a writing workshop project for survivors of domestic violence; sponsorship of college women to attend the National Conference of College Women Student Leaders; and their annual Leadership and Service Awards to raise the visibility of women in the community.

From left to right:  Elizabeth Parker, AAUW Puerto Rico Co-President, Tara Rodriguez, Maria del Carmen Gil, Dra. Melween Martínez, Sarai Santiago, Juanita Morris, AAUW Awards Luncheon chairperson.

From left to right: Elizabeth Parker, AAUW Puerto Rico Co-President, Tara Rodriguez, Maria del Carmen Gil, Dra. Melween Martínez, Sarai Santiago, Juanita Morris, AAUW Awards Luncheon chairperson.

For more pictures of this event, please click here.


Now Accepting NCCWSL Sponsorship Applications

(The 2015 NCCWSL application due date has passed. Stay tuned for next year’s application dates!)

The AAUW San Juan is proud to be offering a sponsorship (or two) to the National Conference of Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL and pronounced “nick-whistle”!) for May 28-30, 2015. In 2014, we were able to sponsor 3 young women from Puerto Rico and the result was outstanding, both for the Branch members who sponsored and the three young women who attended!  (Read about the presentation they gave in September 2014 about the experience.)

Community members who would like to contribute monetarily to this year’s sponsorships can do so by sending a check to AAUW San Juan (memo: NCCSWL sponsorship) C/O Nayda Cumpiano, 60 Washington St, Apt 1102, San Juan, PR 00907.

We are accepting applications already!  To be eligible a candidate must be female, enrolled in a college or university in Puerto Rico, and fluent in English.  She must also be willing and able to participate fully in the conference in Maryland and report back to AAUW San Juan about her experience. The application and details about the process can be found here.

We are looking for an excellent portfolio of applications!

Please note:  There are any number of ways for a college woman to attend this conference.  She can certainly register and pay her own way.  There are also national scholarships available.  The San Juan sponsorship is just one way deserving women can pay for their attendance.  Here are AAUW’s recommendations for those on a budget (aren’t we all??)

Water: A Global Women’s Issue


A special, out of sequence meeting for AAUW San Juan will be Tuesday October 28th at 7:00 pm at the YWCA, when we welcome Dr, Caroline Sullivan, Associate Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy from the Southern Cross University of New South Wales in Australia.  Here is the poster for the event.  You can also find details on Facebook at

Please refer questions to Betsy or


Who’s Next? AAUW San Juan commits to at least one delegate every year!

Sofia Delgado, Noraida Martínez and Mayra Sánchez represented Puerto Rico and AAUW San Juan at the NCCWSL Last June.

Sofia Delgado, Noraida Martínez and Mayra Sánchez represented Puerto Rico and AAUW San Juan at the NCCWSL Last June.

AAUW San Juan and Puerto Rico were well-represented at the National Conference of Collegiate Women Student leader in June 2014.  Click here to read more about it and see more photos of the presentation they made at the first branch general meeting on September 15th.


Co-President Betsy Parker’s Plans for 2014-2015


I am really looking forward to the coming year.  As a branch, we have so many good irons in the fire!  Co-President Jody will report in this space also about her foci for the year , so stay tuned for that.

I will focus on three areas that address our (local and national) need for younger member involvement and recruiting.

1. The first is called the Younger Women’s Task Force.

I am actively looking for someone to start this for us here in Puerto Rico. YWTF members are automatically AAUW members. They will be a semi-autonomous group from our branch and will have their own organizational structure, officers, program etc. The group is designed to be a social justice focused organization for women in their 20s and 30s. Because their concerns and issues are closely aligned with ours, the “semi” in the semi-autonomous will be our branch support, via womanpower, experience and resources.

2. The second initiative I would like to get started this year is an effort to recruit college and university partners (C/U Partners ). Not only are the students of partner organizations all eligible for AAUW e-student affiliate membership, but are candidates for many other programs that AAUW has – both nationally and locally. Locally, for example, they become NCCSWL applicant material, and nationally we can make sure they know of the grants and fellowships they can apply for.

Additionally, my third initiative for this year, Tech Savvy requires a C/U partner campus on which to conduct the workshop. A C/U partner also gives us where to push for other AAUW grants like the current one offered through AAUW by Pantene on combating gender stereotypes.

3. The third initiative, as I mentioned, is bringing Tech Savvy to Puerto Rico ( ). Tech Savvy is an expanded and scripted version of our homegrown STEM BRIDGE initiative that has tracks for both the girls and the adults who advise them (parents and teachers, school counselors, etc.) Once we have at least one C/U partner we can begin to prepare our application to become a pilot site in 2016. A lot of advance work and planning will be necessary even to submit an application, so I want to get started now.

If you are interested in working with me, or just giving me your opinions on these endeavors, email me at

Betsy Parker, September 2014




Hello from Israel!

We are on a 3-week tour of work and a bit of relaxation here, beginning with a week in Tel Aviv.

The first thing that hit both of us is the pace of life here, and how vibrant, exciting and alive the city of Tel Aviv is.  In some ways it is a huge city much like others in every other part of the world…but what really overwhelmes you is how young it is here, and how there is almost an underground rhythm of growth, movement, yearning to be better, to excel and to modernize in a country grounded in history and ancient civilization.  You really feel the pulse of excitement as you witness the growth, and it’s a “join in or move over” attitude…there is no being passive here or I think you will get run over!

And the women…the words confident, assertive and strong don’t even begin to describe the young women.  A few nights ago we were having dinner and a group of young soldiers came into the restaurant.  There were about 10 of them, the majority female.  As they all went to put their machine guns up against the wall behind their table, it struck me how equal they all appeared to be.  So, I began to question my 27 year old nephew and his friends about their thoughts on women here… I was greatly pleased at the respect I heard. More importantly for me, though, was that for this generation of young Israelis, there really isn’t a “gender gap.”  They served next to women in the military and military service is obligatory for every girl 18-20 just as it is for every boy.  They compete for jobs with women at the same level and expect to have women as their superiors and partners throughout their lives.  They expect and want women in government and every part of life…it was a non-issue for them.

Of course problems exist here as they do in every other country, but it has been refreshing and energizing to experience this first hand.

With that said, don’t forget about our main fund raiser of the year Perfect Pairings…the money we raise helps move us further towards our own goals!  Let’s make this the most successful one yet!

Hope to see you all at the April meeting,

Co-President Jody Valdes