Gundersen awarded AAUW scholarship

Local AAUW branch presents FMCC graduate, Elizabeth Gundersen, with scholarship to continue studies. (Photo submitted)

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton-Montgomery Community College graduate Elizabeth Gundersen of Gloversville   was  this year’s winner of the Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown American Association of University Women branch scholarship. The $1,000 award is given to a non-traditional graduating female student who intends to transfer to a baccalaureate program. The awardee must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8.

The AAUW scholarship is given annually in memory of Rita Mary Burke, FMCC English professor and one of the original members of the local AAUW branch. The purpose of the scholarship is to reward women who have had to delay their entry into college after high school to work or raise a family and to encourage them to continue to pursue their education. Anya Biel and Sandra Maceyka  chair the Scholarship.

Elizabeth Gundersen  joined the Navy immediately after graduating from high school  in 1987. She  married and became the mother of  three sons and a daughter.  In  1999  she began attending Fulton-Montgomery Community College majoring in Computer Information Systems,  but due to illness had to leave college. She  was finally able to return  to school two  years ago to resume her studies. She graduated from FM this May with an  Associates Degree  in General Studies and plans to  continue her studies at Empire State College.   She has taken most of her classes at FM online since this mode of study appeals to her and fits her schedule best. She is gravitating toward English/History and has developed interest in Asian culture because her daughter-in-law is Chinese American. After obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree, she hopes to  travel to China to teach English there. 

Gundersen attended the June AAUW meeting at the Mayfield Yacht Club where she was introduced to the branch and presented with the $1000 scholarship and an AAUW membership  as part of the award.

Anyone with an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university is eligible to join AAUW. 

AAUW’s mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. For more information about the local AAUW branch go to

By Patricia Older

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