REGINA LAWLER 2018 AAUW-Rochester Diversity Champion

With the help of GHANA TOGETHER, Regina, an active AAUW-ROCHESTER member with an international background, started a children’s library in Axim, Ghana pursing a passion to lessen the disparity of educational opportunities in rural Africa by proving reading/learning resources for children. By taking advantage of library book sales, contributions from friends, Ghanaian expats and support from in-country leaders, Regina and her husband have delivered more than 6,000 quality children’s books and helped develop book sharing programs in schools without textbooks for children who have never owned a book and parents who can not read.


Diane Kosuda, 2017 AAUW-Rochester Diversity Champion

Diane Kosuda joined AAUW of Rochester seven years ago to promote its mission: To advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, research, and philanthropy. Diane is the program chair, designer, and facilitator for the branch’s STEAM Savvy Program.  STEAM Savvy offers middle school girls the opportunity to use hands-on experiences to understand the STEAM concepts. We have investigated Forensic Science, Astronomy, Physics, and Chemistry. Diane is one of the facilitators of the AAUW START SMART program. This program provides collegiate women with techniques and strategies to negotiate an equal salary and benefits.   Diane serves on the  Rochester Branch AAUW Board, hosts membership activities, chairs the holiday party, collaborates with the collegiate AAUW branch, and administers the organization’s Facebook page. She promotes active participation by encouraging members to help with programs and to become part of the AAUW activities.  Diane and her husband, Steve, also support community organizations such as The Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Troy, Southwest Solutions, Detroit Crime Commission and the Clean Water Policy Commission.

Barbara Rosalik, 2016 AAUW-Rochester Diversity Champion


Barbara introduces herself as “a shameless social justice activist” because she has continually over the years lobbied and marched in Lansing and Washington D.C. for justice of all kinds. From her involvement in the Fair Housing Project to now, she has worked with Detroit and the suburbs to improve race relations by advocating for a living wage and affordable housing.

Barbara currently sits on the Unitarian Universal Service Committee which fights for civil liberties, clean water and the democratic process for everyone.  She is, also, the 2016 Diversity Chair for AAUW-Rochester promoting women’s rights, fair pay and education.

Irene Walter, 2015 AAUW-Rochester Diversity Champion


Irene Walter is the American Association of University Women-Rochester Branch (AAUW) Diversity Champion because of her lifelong commitment to advocating for diversity in our local communities. Irene realized during college, while living with a paraplegic woman, that people with disabilities enrich our lives and deserve opportunities to use their talents.

Irene continues to volunteer her time to mentor a multi-generational family in Detroit — encouraging them to strive higher through education, job skills and coping with everyday problems. Her participation in AAUW’s Great Decisions (a study group that discusses world problems) inspires her to quietly champion our local communities to look beyond their cultural differences and to appreciate diversity.

Sharon Postnieks, 2014 AAUW-Rochester Diversity Champion


Sharon Postnieks has been nominated for the Fifteenth Annual Diversity Champion Honor Roll held by the Race Relations & Diversity Task Force of Southeastern Michigan.

Sharon is an energetic teacher/librarian who has taken on two unique projects serving diverse student populations. Seeing that the library at Will Rogers Elementary in Pontiac had not been in use for years, she recoded the book collection and started book checkout 2 days a week with the help of volunteers that she recruited. Students are also enjoying story time and novel reading along with learning library skills. The library is now up and running serving all students K-6th. Sharon also co-chaired the very successful SUNDAES AND SCIENCE evening for middle school girls and their mothers sponsored by AAUW (American Association of University Women), Rochester Branch. This year’s program was called Cupcakes and Crime: CSI. Workshops were designed to encourage middle schools girls to consider careers in science, math engineering and technology. Sharon is a dynamic leader who discovers a need and finds a way to fill it.

Sharon will be honored at a breakfast held at The Community House (Birmingham) on Thursday, May 8, 2014.

Let’s celebrate Sharon’s award for the wonderful work that Sharon does to support diversity and the ideals of inclusion in the name of AAUW of Rochester.

Joanne Stroebel, 2013 AAUW-Rochester Diversity Champion

JoanneStroebel“Diversity and equality go hand in hand.” says Joanne Stroebel of Rochester AAUW.  When we focus on diversity, we must also be concerned about equality. In college Joanne became aware of the discrepancy of advantages between minority and white students which grew into her passion ‘to do something’ to reduce inequity in education.

Five years ago Joanne began a tutoring program at Rogers Elementary in Pontiac, recruiting 60 tutors with the goal of helping the students succeed in reading and math. Joanne is also involved with a new venture called Pathway to Self-Sustainability, a program to assist people out of ‘crisis’ poverty into sustainable living.

Rochester AAUW – Diversity Champion

The Rochester, MI Branch of the American Association of University joins the Metro Detroit Race Relations and Diversity Task Force each year in giving a Branch member special recognition who does not settle for the status quo but strives to envision new ways of inclusion and includes many kinds of people in their “circle of influence”.

Our first Diversity Champion in 2012 was Josetta Wood, past program chair, who introduced topics to the membership that embraced diversity in our monthly general meetings. She, also, sought to involve members in knowing and understanding different cultures. Josetta is a member of 5W, a worldwide woman’s organization that encourages women to travel together, room with local area members and experience cultural diversity.

The picture below shows Josetta (second from the left) receiving her award. She is being congratulated by Diversity Chair, Arlene Wanamaker and members Betsey McIntyre and Sharon Postnieks.