The Transylvania Times -

Brevard AAUW Starts New Year with IWIL Students - Brevard, NC


October 2, 2017

Courtesy Photo

Students in Brevard College's IWIL program pose before speaking with AAUW members.

AAUW started off their new 2017-2018 year welcoming Brevard College's IWIL (Institute for Women in Leadership) students to engage in dialogue across the generations about setting goals and achieving dreams. This was the second annual exchange on the subject between the IWIL young women and AAUW members. Drawing on the success of last year's exchange when 30 students attended, this year 40 co-eds shared their thoughts and experiences with those of AAUW members.

Dr. Kathryn Rasmussen, Brevard College's IWIL student program director and professor of mathematics and Roberta Carver, AAUW's IWIL liaison, designed the evening's dialogue to take the collaboration and sharing between AAUW members and the IWIL students to another level, enhancing and strengthening the mentoring relationships. After introductions, each table with several students and several AAUW members started their discussion with the same question: "How do you distinguish between dreams and goals?"

"Goals are more immediate and real; dreams are imagination, your desires," said one student to the agreement of others.

"Dreams are what you want for your future and goals are the stepping stones to getting there," said another.

There was considerable agreement that goals seemed to be more concrete and shorter term, whereas dreams were more fluid, idealistic and longer term visions.

Like last year, it was evident that these students in the IWIL leadership training program were very goal-oriented, even though quite a few were still exploring different majors and different options. But even that exploration was seen as a means of better defining and determining which goals to pursue as their dreams evolve.

Each table then discussed different aspects of dreams and goals and what is involved in realizing or achieving them. Many students focused on, if not the need, the benefit of having support of friends and family and mentors to help guide them. But while family, in particular, could be a tremendous asset and source of encouragement, they could sometimes be a roadblock.

"My grandfather had his heart set on me becoming a musician and all through high school I practiced for hours each day to achieve this goal. But, when I got to college I realized that this was not my dream, not what I wanted for myself," said one student.

Another added, "Sometimes to achieve your dreams, you need to oppose the wishes of those you love. You must be true to yourself."

Both young and old recognized that life throws you curve balls at every age.

In discussing how to handle the curve balls, one young lady remarked, "You've got to dig deep into yourself, find that inner strength to overcome the things that stand in your way."

Others also pointed out that curve balls can sometimes be transformative, getting you out of a rut and showing you other alternatives.

"You really need to explore the curve ball because it may lead to new possibilities and change your dreams," said one student.

It was an immensely rewarding evening for young and old alike. AAUW members came away from the exchange feeling enormously impressed by the maturity, ambition and drive of these young women. One AAUW member said, "Wow, I wish I had known half as much as these students when I was in school!"

"This is such a wonderful start to our new year," said President Paula Bennett Paddick, "and the rest of our programs for the year are terrific. We welcome everyone who wants to attend. The program line-up will be rich, rewarding and diverse. What a joy it is to lead such a wonderful organization!"

Unless noted, all meetings will be held at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd:

•Oct. 10 program at 7 p.m .: "The Rosenwald Legacy," Nicola Karesh, speaker.

•Nov. 14 program at 7 p.m .: "Appalachian Biodiversity," Dr. Jennifer Frick-Rupert, speaker.

•Dec. 12 at noon: Holiday luncheon at Connestee Falls Clubhouse.

•Jan. 9 at noon: "Caring for Our Veterans," Pisgah Legal Services presenting.

•Feb. 13 at noon: "The Impact of Alcohol and Drug Addiction on Brevard", Kathleen Mallett, speaker.

•March 13 at 7 p.m .: "Creativity," Connie Donaldson, speaker.

•April 10 at 7 p.m .: "History of Ecusta Working Women," Pecolia Edwards & Marcy Thomson, speakers.

•May 8 at noon: May luncheon, presenting "Women Who Make a Difference" award.

•June 16 at 10 a.m .: AAUW Book Sales opens at Brevard College's Boshamer Gym.

AAUW's mission is to promote equity for all women and girls through advocacy, philanthropy, education and research. The primary fundraising activity of the branch is the annual book sale held in June at Brevard College's Boshamer Gym. For anyone wanting to make a large book donation at any time this year, contact either Raoul Gagne at or call (828) 877-2588 or Pinkie Byrd at or call (828) 885-5311 to have AAUW members come by and pick up your books. The yellow book collection boxes go out to area businesses in February.

Proceeds from the book sale are used to fund scholarships for Transylvania County girls and young women to attend Brevard College, Blue Ridge Community College, Green River Preserve Camp as well as Clemson University's WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) program. The branch takes great pride in the fact that their book sale is a community-driven operation, with books coming from the community and scholarships going back to the community.

More information about the branch and its many activities is available on their website For membership information, contact Maury Bandurraga (862-5984) or Leslie Chepenik (877-5721). The American Association of University Women is open to all graduates who hold a two-year associate degree (or equivalent) or higher degree from an accredited college or university.


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