70 years of supporting women, girls

Katie Kowalski kkowalski@ptleader.com
Posted 5/23/18

A physician and a librarian in training who are planning to bring their expertise back to Jefferson County are two of more than 40 women and girls from the area who this year received scholarships …

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70 years of supporting women, girls


A physician and a librarian in training who are planning to bring their expertise back to Jefferson County are two of more than 40 women and girls from the area who this year received scholarships from the American Association of University Women Port Townsend Branch and its affiliate, University Women’s Foundation of Jefferson County.

The awards totaled more than $70,000 in honor of AAUW’s 70th year in Port Townsend.

“Thanks to the wonderful generosity of our members and contributors, this is the most financial support we’ve ever offered in our annual scholarships and awards,” Celia Fry, vice president of scholarships, stated in a press release. “We’re so pleased to recognize the talents and accomplishments of these women, and to offer encouragement as they pursue their education.”

The award-winning scholars – including university, college, high school and middle school students – were announced during the May 12 meeting of AAUW/UWF.



Lisa Rowan was the recipient of the $11,000 Elmira K. Beyer Endowed Scholarship. After earning her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and English as a second language education from California Lutheran University, Rowan has gone on to teach English in Nepal as a Fulbright scholar, has tutored fourth-grade students at Roxhill Elementary School as an AmeriCorps member, and currently is volunteering through WorldTeach as an English teacher in the Marshall Islands. She will begin classes this fall at the University of Washington to obtain her master’s degree in teaching with a focus on elementary education. Next, she said, she plans to teach in Jefferson County.



Emily Kunz, who is finishing her third year of medical school in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, was awarded an Academic Endowed Scholarship in the amount of $8,500.

Last year, Kunz went to Ethiopia to present microscopes to remote medical camps in an effort to diagnose diseases related to poor water and food.

This year, she has worked in the newborn nursery at the Skagit Valley Hospital, attending drug-addicted babies and helping their families deal with their medical crisis. Kunz plans to return to Jefferson County to practice as a family medicine physician.



Jennifer Grauberger and Jeanne Simmons each received two new $7,000 scholarships awarded in honor of the AAUW Port Townsend Branch’s 70th anniversary.

Grauberger is in her third year of study at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and plans to become an academic plastic surgeon specializing in pediatric reconstruction. She has volunteered at a hospital in Vietnam, participating in reconstructive plastic surgeries on children with dangerous or life-threatening conditions.

Simmons has for nine years served as a youth services associate at the Port Townsend Public Library where she has been the project lead for library’s summer reading program.

Simmons is currently pursuing a master’s degree in library science with a goal of obtaining a management-level library position and continuing to serve the community.



AAUW awarded many subject-specific awards.

Environmental scholarships were given to Elise McLane, Anda Yoshina, Samantha Rae and Rian Plastow to help them further their studies on climate change.

The Lisa T. Painter Scholarships, offered to students studying law, health care or fine arts, were presented to Gladys Hitt, Heather Frank, Miriam Molotsky, Addison Richert, Bailey Kieffer, Corrine Pierson, Ciara Halligan and Kelly Grace.

Camille Ottoway won the Constance Anna Pash Scholarship, which is awarded to a student already in college pursuing a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) degree with an emphasis on math.


Three students graduating from local high schools were each awarded $3,000 for their full-time university studies in 2018-19. Those students are Halli Trafton from Chimacum, Katie Love from Quilcene and Lauren Taracka from Port Townsend.

Sophomore assistance scholarships were given to Aelfhild Wiklund, Kaya Wiant and Bailey Kieffer, who received the high school-level awards last year. 



Nine high school students who excel in STEM subjects were nominated by teachers to receive STEM awards: Maria Morrison, Meigan Kunz and Kyama-Marie Bradley from Port Townsend; Renee Woods, Isabelle Harvey and Quinn Bunker from Chimacum; and Madison Coffey, Abbygael Weller and Elvira Erickson from Quilcene.

Eleven middle school girls will also attend week-long Tech Trek summer camps at Pacific Lutheran University: Anna Molotsky, Samantha Stromberg, Adeline DePalma and Halie Jones from Blue Heron Middle School; Trillium Burbank, Shawna Pickering, Rylee Floechinger and Robyn Weaver from Chimacum Middle School; and Juniper Cervenka, Magdalena Grace and Camryn Hines from Sunfield Waldorf School

In addition to providing scholarships, AAUW and UWF will contribute volunteers and funding for local education projects during the 2018-19 school year. For more information on AAUW/UWF scholarships, projects and membership, visit pt-wa.aauw.net or contact Anne Englander at 360-390-5896.