MCLA to Receive AAUW Grant


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced it is one of nine campuses across the country to receive a grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to address economic problems facing millennial women.

Each year, the AAUW Campus Action Project (CAP) grant program gives money to teams of faculty and students to create community-based solutions to some of the far-reaching problems examined in AAUW research.

The grant, written by Dr. Ojae Beale, program consultant for the Susan B. Anthony Women's Center, Janine Desgres, assistant director of MCLA's Student Success and Engagement (CSSE) and the coordinator of Career Services, and Terry Miller, the director of corporate foundation and government relations in MCLA's advancement office, will implement recommendations outlined in the new AAUW research report,  "Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation."

The team from the MCLA will use its $5,000 award to develop and implement three initiatives to address the pay gap and student debt. The three initiatives are: (1) a campus-wide awareness and advocacy campaign highlighting the gender pay gap and its impact on student debt and female upward mobility, (2) a leadership seminar with an interactive curriculum that integrates theory and praxis, and (3) collaboration with local non-profit organizations serving girls to educate and promote economic literacy.

"Graduating to a Pay Gap" shows that millennial women who are just one year out of college are paid on average 82 cents for every dollar paid to their male peers. The report also found that 20 percent of women working full time a year after graduation are devoting more than 15 percent of their earnings to paying back college loans - considerably more than is manageable for a typical graduate.

"'Graduating to a Pay Gap' makes it clear that, much to their disadvantage, women are paid less than men as soon as they graduate and enter the workforce," said Kate C. Farrar, AAUW director of leadership programs. "Fortunately, our 2012-13 grantees won't waste any time in tackling this problem head-on across campuses and communities."

The selected projects include campus-wide awareness campaigns, social media initiatives, art displays, workshops, TED-inspired talks, and leadership seminars. AAUW will sponsor one member of each team's attendance at the 2013 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) at the University of Maryland, College Park. The annual spring conference, hosted by AAUW and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education brings together college women from across the country to address important and contemporary leadership issues.

The AAUW empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 150,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and 700 college and university partners. Since AAUW's founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day - educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at

For more information on Campus Action Projects and for details on this year's teams, go to

For more information about NCCWSL, go to