The Ashland branch of the American Association of University Women on Saturday listened to the personal stories of seven women chosen to receive over $9,000 in scholarships to fund their education next year.

The honors brunch was held at the Rogue River Room in the Stevenson Union, and there were more than 90 members and guests and honorees attending event, which also recognized Southern Oregon University departmental honorees selected for their pursuit of excellence.

This was the first year the Ashland branch's added Rogue Community College women to their scholarship winners.

AAUW awarded three scholarships to RCC students. Welder Linda Haro hopes to create innovative medical instruments. Misty Munoz wants to work in a dental office and provide free care to those who cannot afford it. Ayse van Lienden spearheaded an on-going fundraising campaign with her 8-year-old daughter Kam on behalf of Food for Friends while pursuing a career in dentistry.

AAUW awarded two scholarships to SOU undergraduate women. Katrina Beck views her future career teaching writing to middle school students as a catalyst for social change. Sasha Rose Krafft wants to empower women all over the world to seek paths to peace.

AAUW awarded two scholarships to SOU graduate women. Kimberly Carroll gained a global perspective when she spent — 1/2 years in Egypt filming documentary videos. She will share those insights with future middle schools students. Jamar Lee Burke is a theatre major who has worked in OSF's costume shop, Burke plans to teach math to middle school students.

The Ashland Branch will continue to recognize women in the community and pursue projects to raise funds to implement the national AAUW's 2007 theme of "providing education to women as a means of realizing economic independence."