Author Archives: waynea

Member Spotlight: Deborah Hornsby, Ed.D.

Deborah Hornsby, Ed.D., is the director of academic affairs at the University of Phoenix, Hawaii campus and has been at the University since 2006. She holds a Hawaii State Teaching License in secondary English and earned graduate degrees in education administration, English Language Learning, and Curriculum and Instruction. She earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership in 2010. She is a former professional triathlete and has completed five Hawaii Ironman triathlons.

Aspiring Engineers, Doctors and Scientists Get Hands-on with their Future at Tech-Savvy 2017

The US faces a labor shortage of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM) professionals. The shortfall has been described, by the former presidential administration of Barack Obama, as a national security and competitiveness issue.

To make up for this shortfall, interest in STEM fields must be generated in today’s students, but women have been underrepresented in STEM. AAUW Honolulu addressed the shortage of women in STEM careers with TechSavvy, a day-long career conference for girls in the sixth to ninth grades and their parents. The conference was held Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8:30 am to 4 pm at Hawaii Pacific University’s Windward Hawaii Loa Campus. It was sponsored by HPU, Hawaiian Airlines, and Hawaiian Electric.

Monica Isava, mechanical engineer at Apple, and Dr. Brenda Jensen, dean of HPU’s college of natural and computational sciences, gave keynote addresses to the attendees. The day was divided into hands-on workshops where the attendees explored topics such as, “What lies beneath? Simulating Mapping of the Ocean Floor,” “Robotic Navigation of an Obstacle Course” and “Medical Laboratory Scientists, Solving Medical Mysteries”. The second half of the day focused on “savvy skills” or skills they can use in their everyday life.

SB 501, HB 552, SB 514 Among Legislative Wins for this Session

This legislative session, we’ve helped to pass bills regarding the clear disclosure of reproductive health services, mitigating any negative effects a repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act and allowing pharmacists to administer vaccines.

Senate Bill 501 regulates Limited Service Pregnancy Centers, which (despite their names) are non-medical centers, typically staffed by people lacking medical credentials who pretend to have medical expertise.

These facilities often provide their clients with medical misinformation. Women visit these locations in times of personal duress, when they are considering abortions. But the goal of the centers is to limit women’s access to abortions, through lies, trickery, and manipulation. In addition, they sometimes leak women’s health status.

The new bill clearly defines these centers, typically organized by churches or religious groups, stating they must keep visiting women’s information private. They are also required to provide information about true reproductive health services to women. If they refuse to cooperate with the law, the “clinic” can be hit with civil penalties and actions.

House Bill 552 was passed in the final days of the legislature, when the possibility of losing national health provisions was heightened. The goal of this legislation is to set up an Affordable Health Care Working Group to mitigate the negative effects if/when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed by Congress.

Senate Bill 514 is important since it could diminish the large numbers of unvaccinated young people in Hawaii. It should increase rates of vaccination for HPV, Tdap, meningococcal illness, and influenza, by allowing licensed pharmacists to administer the shots to young people, aged 11 to 17 years.

AAUW Honolulu Members Participate in Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day marks the day when women’s salaries match those of their male peers from the previous year.

AAUW branches across the US educated the public about the significance of the event and what things need to change with regards to law, policy, and American ideas about men and women to diminish the gender pay gap. Honolulu branch participated in activities on the day, and in the week leading up to April 4.

Members of Honolulu Branch attended Mayor Ige’s Proclamation of Equal Pay Day, organized by AAUW-Hawaii, and attended by members of all three Oahu branches. We were delighted to have a small child join in the event with his mother, showing gender pay equity has the potential to improve the lives of children, women, and men in Hawaii and across the U.S.

Two other events occurred prior to Equal Pay Day. AAUW Honolulu was represented on Hawaii Public Radio, in a one-hour segment of Town Square hosted by Beth-Ann Kozlovich focused on the gender pay gap. In addition, AAUW Honolulu, in coordination with the YWCA, the Hawaii Commission on the Status of Women and Hawaii Appleseed organized a “salary negotiation” informational event at the YWCA on Monday, April 3.

Equal Pay Day was observed by two proclamations, signed by Governor David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Honolulu Branch members also supported a lobbying educational event at the Hawaii State Capitol, organized by AAUW Hawaii, the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, the YWCA, and Hawaii Appleseed. The group visited most of the offices of State House Representatives and Senate, speaking with many of the office staffs, and senators and representatives about the gender pay gap. AAUW materials were left in all the offices, and we can anticipate an equal pay bill in the 2018 Hawaii legislative session.

At the end of the day, AAUW Honolulu provided a wonderful Talk Story Tuesday (un)Happy Hour at Ferguson’s Pub. AAUW Honolulu member Younghee Overly organized a trivia quiz, ending a successful day.

If you missed Equal Pay Day this year, get involved in the AAUW Honolulu Branch Advocacy Committee, and join Younghee, Bev, Judy, and Sue in future educational advocacy events.

Sadly, there will be another Equal Pay Day next year — at current rates, women will not achieve gender parity for many more decades.

Catching Up With Our Awardees at the 2017 Scholarship Alumni Event!

Members of AAUW Honolulu and past awardees of the group’s scholarship gathered at the Hawaii Yacht Club on Thursday, March 16, 2017 to catch up on their work.

  • Joy Lacanienta received a graduate fellowship from AAUW Honolulu Branch in 2013. She recently produced an award winning  documentary film “Unsheltered Crimes” that focuses on the social issue of criminalizing poverty by incarcerating the unsheltered communities of Hawai‘i.
  • Julia Graham received the Tweet Coleman Aviation Award in 2016. She has an advanced degree in aeronautical science and is working on a commercial multi-engine pilot’s license.
  • Ruth R. Fletcher, Ph.D. received a national AAUW American Fellowship to finish her dissertation before moving to Honolulu and taking on the role of Head of School for St. Andrew’s Schools.

Don’t Just Work Hard — Work Smart!

Are you interested in negotiating your salary, navigating pay raises and getting that promotion?

If you are, attend Work Smart, an AAUW program that will help you close the pay gap!

AAUW’s Work Smart program is designed to empower women with the skills and confidence to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits packages. By learning strategies and practicing effective language, participants gain valuable skills they can use throughout their lives — well beyond their next negotiation.

Fill out the information below, and we’ll keep you updated about this important AAUW Honolulu seminar!

Member Spotlight: Sharon Joy Estioca

My name is Sharon Joy Estioca, 39, single mother and born and raised in the Philippines. I am a native Western Subanon in the Southern Philippines. Our language is in danger of disappearing.

I was an elementary school teacher in the Philippines before I came to the US in the Fall of 2014 to start my graduate studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I came to the US to obtain a Ph.D. in linguistics so that I can also serve my country not only by teaching but also by helping to document the undocumented indigenous languages, particularly on my island, Mindanao, Philippines.

I am in my third year of my Ph.D. program and will be finished with my coursework this semester. As a non-native speaker of English, it is my aim is to write my own, and I hope to complete my studies here at UHM in the Spring of 2020.

The Power of One…Let Your Voice be Heard

The Power of One…never underestimate the power of one voice.  After all, wasn’t the historic Women’s March on January 21, 2017 started by Hawaii’s own Teresa Shook’s Facebook post?

Make your voice heard by paying attention to proposed legislation and then writing or calling your elected officials to express your opinions.  All this can be done by email or voicemail (see contacts at the end of this article) – it’s easier and faster than you might think.

How can you find out about proposed legislation?  In addition to news outlets, you can learn about pending bills at:

For Federal Legislation: and

For Hawaii State Legislation: here you can register for an account and select matters on which you would like to be notified of pending legislation and hearing dates.  After registration, you can also then submit testimony on bills through your account.

For the City and County of Honolulu:

During the Hawaii State Legislative session our Advocacy Committee Chair, Susan Wurtzburg periodically sends out emails notifying us of pending bills and asking for written testimony.  Often the turn-around time for written testimony is tight from when she receives a notice of hearings and the testimony deadline, but every bit helps, so please, when you can, respond to Sue’s emails by submitting testimony.

For Federal Legislation, AAUW National has set-up “The Two-Minute Activist”.  This is a quick, easy tool where you are notified of issues AAUW National has identified as being consistent with our national agenda, and then provides a direct link to your Congresswoman or Senator.  To sign-up go to:

We hope to have “Two-Minute Activist” set up for Hawaii state legislation soon, so stay tuned!

Often people hesitate to contact their elected officials because they aren’t sure “what to say”.  After talking to many elected officials, here are some tips they share:

  • In your opening sentence refer to the Bill in question by number and name and whether you are writing to SUPPORT or OPPOSE the Bill;
  • Be brief and succinct – get your point across in a way that can be read within one-minute (one page or less is best);
  • Be factual, not emotional and always, be respectful (anger, threats and name-calling can result in immediate rejection of your ideas);
  • Personal experience stories grab their attention (hearts and minds) – tell how the issue being considered affects you, your family, your business or those with whom you work.

Elected Officials Contact List

Via U.S. Postal Service:

  • For correspondence to U.S. Senators:

Office of Senator (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

  • For correspondence to U.S. Senate Committees:

(Name of Committee)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

  • For correspondence to U.S. House of Representatives:

Name of Representative
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC  20515

  • For correspondence to U.S. House of Representatives Committees:

Name of Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

  • For correspondence to the President or Cabinet:

Name of person to whom you wish to address including title
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

  • For correspondence to Hawaii State Senators/Representatives:

Name of Senator
State Capitol, Room 10
415 Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Name of Representative
State Capitol, Room 27
415 Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

  • For correspondence to City & County of Honolulu representatives:

Mayor Kirk Caldwell
Honolulu Hale
530 South King Street, Room 300
Honolulu, HI 96813

City Council Member(s) by name
Honolulu Hale
530 South King Street, Room 203
Honolulu, HI 96813

Via email (go to link and then click “contact me”):

By telephone:

  • The White House public comment line (202-456-1111)
    U.S. Senators and/or Represenatives: (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senator/Representative’s office you request.
  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard: (202) 225-2726
  • Representative Colleen Hanabusa: (202) 225-4906
  • Hawaii State Senate: (808) 586-6720 and your call will be directed to the appropriate Senator’s office.
  • Hawaii State House of Representatives: (808) 586-6400 phone and your call will be directed to the appropriate Representative’s office.
  • Mayor Kirk Caldwell: (808) 768-4141

AAUW Honolulu’s 100th Birthday

Join us to celebrate AAUW Honolulu’s 100th birthday!

Photo by tiverylucky via

WHEN: March 29, 2017 ~ 6-8:00 pm
WHERE: Historic Laulima House, 1802 Keaumoku St, Honolulu

Come celebrate 100 years of advancing equity for women and girls in Hawaii! We will have a fun trivia game to explore AAUW Honolulu’s achievements and milestones followed by a discussion of how we are impacting Hawaii today and in the future.

6:00-6:30 Dinner and birthday cake
6:30-7:00 AAUW Honolulu trivia
7:00-8:00 Discussion: What We Do and Where we’re headed!

RSVP below!

Show your AAUW support with a fabulous t-shirt for only $10! Shirts will be available at the event or prepay now for fast pickup at the door.

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The Women’s March of Washington in Honolulu — Moving Forward

Despite rainy weather, thousands of women gathered at the Hawaii State Capitol in support of women’s rights.

AAUW Hawaii — in addition to other organizations including ACLU – Hawaii and Planned Parenthood — was a sponsor of the Honolulu march. Despite the size of the march around the world, no arrests were reported in the march at Washington DC and in the other marches held the same day around the world.

To view a gallery of the march, click here.

This historic event plans to be a springboard for continuing advocacy to advance women’s rights. The march is calling on those that participated, and those who support the cause, to take 10 actions in 100 days. The first action to organize, or “huddle”, to visualize a more equitable world in four years and what’s needed to get there.

To read more about 10 Actions/100 Days, click here!