Welcome to AAUW Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown (AGJ)!

(serving Hamilton, Fulton, and Montgomery Counties)

AAUW Presents FMCC Graduate, Cierra Mason, Scholarship to Continue Studies

Fulton-Montgomery Community College graduate Cierra Mason was this year’s winner of the Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown American Association of University Women (AAUW) branch scholarship. The $1000 award is given to a non-traditional graduating female student who intends to transfer to a baccalaureate program. The awardee must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8. In addition to the monetary award, the winner also will receive a Give A Gift to a Grad free membership to AAUW.

Cierra Mason is a Northville resident. She completed her degree requirements in December 2019 for her Associates Degree in business. She was a student in the PTECH program which enabled her to attend high school and college at the same time. In order to save money to continue her education, Cierra is currently employed part time at TOPS grocery store in Northville.

In an interview, Cierra stated that she has always loved computers. When she was just five years old, she would teach her grandma how to click a mouse and how to log into windows – back when a username and password was the only option. She said her dream career is to become a web developer.

While in school, instead of looking for boyfriends or checking out the latest makeup trends, she joined various clubs that allowed her to build a robot, blacksmith, and compete in certain professional topics on a national level.

Cierra recently enrolled in Baldwin Wallace University. Her major is Graphic Design: Interaction Design, which teaches both the design and coding philosophies of creating a website. She hopes to find a way to make an impact on the world’s issues that we are currently facing.
The AAUW scholarship is given annually in memory of Rita Mary Burke, FMCC English professor and one of the original members of the local AAUW branch. The original purpose of the scholarship is to reward women who have had to delay their entry into college after high school to work or raise a family and to encourage them to continue to pursue their education. Sandra Maceyka chaired the Scholarship.This year’s recipient came from a different group of non- tradition students, those graduating from PTECH programs.

Anyone with an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university is eligible to join AAUW. AAUW’s mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Winners of AAUW literary award named

The Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown branch of the American Association of University Women announced the winners of the 2020 AAUW Dorothy Wemple Literary Award, according to a news release.

The first place award of $500 went to Alissa Mangiaracina from Gloversville High School. The second place award of $300 was received by Amsterdam High School graduate, Astrid Dimas.

Those entering the contest wrote an essay answering the question, “This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. It was clearly a breakthrough moment but it does not stand alone. We would like you to reflect on all of the changes in women’s lives since 1920 as well as the challenges that women still face in the 21st century. Tell us what you think has been women’s greatest achievement/moment of progress between 1920 and 2020 and what you hope to see as women’s next big breakthrough moment. Explain what makes these compelling choices for you.”

The essays were evaluated both on content and presentation. The judges looked at how much applicants knew about both the last 100 years of women’s history and present day challenges for women as well as the student’s ability to articulate their ideas clearly.

The first place winner, Alissa Mangiaracina of Gloversville, stressed women’s achievement in accessing education, especially ivy league colleges. She connected that to women’s ability to pursue careers just as men do. She looks forward to a woman being elected as president. However, she stressed the best outcome will be one where the person is elected because of ideas and experience and less about gender. Mangiaracina included historical detail which enhanced the essay. Mangiaracina will attend Hamilton College.

Astrid Dimas, from Amsterdam High School, included the perspective as a Hispanic woman in the essay. She considers women’s embrace of activism and their own empowerment to be the big achievement. Dimas wrote about women publicly demonstrating for what they want and not being afraid to assert themselves. She included historical examples as well as the more recent Me Too Movement and Body Positivity Movement. Going forward, Dimas is hoping to see more Latina women as role models in government and careers. Dimas is considering University of Albany, Mt. St. Mary’s and New York University.

The contest is open to students in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties. The AAUW Literary Award is given annually in memory of Dorothy Anderson Wemple who was a member of AAUW for over 50 years and a member of the local AAUW branch since its inception in 1967. Wemple, who died in 2007, was an English teacher at Knox Junior High School in Johnstown and was a past judge for the essay contest which began in 1991.

Laurie Kozakiewicz served as chair of the AAUW High School Literary Award. The readers included Kozakiewicz, Mary Jablonsky, and Ginni Mazur.  AAUW is an organization of college graduates whose mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.


Some of our members in our Club enjoy reading and discussing a book amongst other members.  The meeting times vary as well as the location.  Below is a list of the upcoming books.  Our Calendar page may have more information available for each date.

July 9, 2020    Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

August 13, 2020  Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

Sept 10, 2020  Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing