BRATTLEBORO -- Norma Redstone Shakun received the Woman of Distinction award from the Brattleboro branch of the American Association of University Women in recognition of her contributions to education, international relations, the Brattleboro community, and AAUW.

Branch president Mary Hawkes made the presentation at the branch’s 41st annual dinner meeting held recently at Dalem’s Chalet.

Shakun has served many years on the AAUW Scholarship Committee, where she has shared her wisdom on cultural understanding and her commitment to education for girls and women. She often presents the scholarships herself at area high school class nights. She was cited for her dedication to the branch’s annual book sale, which raises funds for the scholarships.

An expert on French culture and language, Shakun has lived in France and has taught French in the United States. She is a world traveler with her husband and has long participated in the World Affairs Council of Windham County. She also contributes to the cultural life of the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community. She is an active participant and host in the AAUW !Adelante! multi-cultural book discussion group.

Shakun received a bachelor’s degree in French from Cornell University, a master’s in French from Columbia University, and a master’s in teaching from the School for International Training. She has worked as a volunteer in the Newfane Elementary School, where she achieved the honor of being named "Queen Norma.


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Speaker for the annual meeting was Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of The Strolling of the Heifers, who told the story of the development and expansion of "the Stroll," now an iconic event rated one of America’s Top 10 Summer Festivals. It now offers community events related to such programs as the Slow Living Initiative, farm/food business development, student agricultural internships and more from its program center at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden at 157 Main St. in downtown Brattleboro.

During the annual meeting, the following officers were elected: president, Vivian Prunier; vice-president for programs, Louise Luring; vice-president for membership, Hawkes; vice-president for publicity, Dee Keller; treasurer, Jenifer Ambler; and secretary, Bob Keller.

Plans were announced for the Annual AAUW book sale to be held at Centre Congregational Church Sept. 4, 5, and 6. A pre-sale book drop-off location and date are being planned.

AAUW is devoted to advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Further information is available by contacting Hawkes at 802-254-6594 or online at aauw.org.