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University Women celebrate 70th anniversary

The association honored Bayside...

By Betsy Scheinbart

The Queens branch of the American Association of University Women celebrated its 70th anniversary and was honored with proclamations from the city and state governments Saturday at a luncheon at the Douglaston Club.

The association honored Bayside resident Despina Siolas with the A.A.U.W. Frances Benati Award for excellency in math and science. Siolas, a graduate of St. John’s University, will be attending the State University of New York to pursue a doctorate in medicine.

Siolas was the 2001 Head Skull of St. John’s College Skull and Circle Honors Society. As president of the Watson Pre-Medical Society, she instituted its first massive philanthropic project, making it mandatory for all members to participate in the “Charity Grades for AIDS” program.

The American Association of University Women promotes equity for all women and girls, lifelong education and positive societal change.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani proclaimed June 9 as Queens Branch of the American Association of University Women Day. The state of New York issued a legislative resolution commemorating the 70th anniversary of the association.

“This organization educates voter, mentors young women, sponsors community forums, promotes equality in education, fights sexual harassment, and encourages women to run for public office,” the resolution reads.

The association is also the largest source of non-government funding for women graduate student and supports women seeking judicial redress for sex discrimination in higher education.

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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