Former First Lady Laura W. Bush, AWIU’s 2010 recipient of the lnternalionalism Award was represented by Anita McBride, Chair, J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and Senior Adviso1; George W. Bush Foundation. Mrs. Bush accepted via video. Throughout her life, Mrs. Bush has been actively involved in issues of education, health care and human rights, first in her community and then on national and global levels. She is an enthusiastic proponent of teacher recruitment programs, an advocate for women’s health and has been an active participant in a campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer and heart disease, both in the U.S. and around the world. Mrs. Bush personifies the spirit that has been the focus of AWIU since its inception.
Composer/lyricist Tim Acito was presented with AWIU’s Outstanding Artistic Leadership Award 2010. In the recent opening of “The Women of Brewster Place, The Musical” for which Tim Acito adapted the book and wrote music and lyrics, the theater’s playbill noted: “Tim’s recent projects include composing the score to a new musical in Seoul, which went on to win Korea’s Best Musical in 2009, composing the theme song ‘What You Take Away’ for AWIU, a human rights group devoted to advancing the status of women throughout the world.” Charlotte (Charlie) Ponticelli was presented with AWIU’s Special Award for Dedicated Service lo AWIU.
Awarded to an AWIU member for outstanding service and leadership towards International understanding.
Judith Hill, recipient of the Behrens Founder’s Award, has been a driving force for AWIU for over fifteen years. A native of Santa Barbara, CA, Judy’s activities have not been confined to the territory within her state. Judy has represented American Women for International Understanding to countries around the globe-from China to Poland, Iceland to Saudi Arabia… and she isn’t finished yet! She served as president of AWIU from 2002- 2006, chaired the Internationalism Dinner that honored White House correspondent Helen Thomas in 2003 and has either cochaired or served on the committee of the Women of Courage event in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In fact, Judy is AWIU’s official State Department liaison.
Ms. Hill has been a role model in establishing leadership roles for women for decades. She was one of the original bank officers at the founding of Santa Barbara National Bank and its Assistant Vice President. She was Charter Chair for Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties for the National Association of Bank Women and a Western Regional VP Judy has also served as President for the American Heart Association (Santa Barbara Chapter), The University Club of Santa Barbara, RITA: Research Issues and Take Action Republican Women’s Club and Zonia International among others. Today, Judy serves as Chair of Santa Barbara’s Women’s Health Coalition, a Director on the Santa Barbara Committee of Foreign Relations in affiliation with the American Committees on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C., and Chief Executive Officer of the Channel City Club, a speakers forum which profiles national and international experts on diverse topics and issues of our times.
AWIU founder, Bernice Behrens was most certainly smiling as this organization presented the Bernice Behrens Founder’s Award to a woman who has followed so closely Bernice’s own path-and who has built bridges of understanding in many ways for many years. Comments by Judith Hill upon receiving the award. “Thank you Carole, and AWIU. I’m proud to accept this Award, especially since I knew Bernice who was a true fiend, advisor and inspiration to me!
This Award was initiated in 2003 here at the National Press Club, during our Internationalism Dinner. Bernice was thrilled to present the first Award in her name to Marianne Alireza in recognition of her service to AWIU. Ambassador Walter Cutler gave a wonderful, personal introduction of Marianne, as he knew the Alireza Family well while posted to Saudi Arabia. His wife, Didi Cutler participated in our 40th Anniversary Celebration just two years ago and both are with us tonight. Bernice’s legacy continues through this Award, and through the Bernice Behrens Scholarship Fund in AWIU, from which Grants were recently made to two women cardiologists from China who came to USA On a medical exchange in collaboration with the sister to sister Heart Health Foundation founded by our member Irene Pollin, a long time friend of Bernice Behrens – they both participated in early AWIU delegations to China and hosted Visiting Chinese Delegations here.
Thank you to AWIU friends who nominated me for this very special Award.”