News Releases

AAUW Grant Funds Gender Pay Gap Talks at Ithaca College

 ITHACA, NY — Ithaca College is one of nine institutions nationwide awarded grants from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for projects focusing on the gender pay gap for graduating students. Ithaca’s project — “TIA Talks: Addressing the Pay Gap Among Recent College Graduates” — will include a series of workshops on topics ranging from self-advocacy to salary negotiation skills.

A recently released study by the AAUW titled “Graduating to a Pay Gap” found that women who are 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.

TIA stands for Teach, Initiate, Advocate! This series of interactive presentations by Ithaca College’s most knowledgeable and inspirational speakers around the issue of gender equity will offer ideas to change attitudes and inspire action among a broad community of learners who are interested in eliminating the gender pay gap. The talks will be presented during the spring 2013 semester, videotaped and made into short films (in the style of TED Talks) for future trainings on campus and in the local community.

The $3,000 grant proposal was written by Michele Lenhart, director of student leadership and involvement in the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs; and Caryanne Keenan, assistant director for career development in the Office of Career Services. Both women are honored that AAUW selected their proposal, and look forward to raising awareness about this important topic on the Ithaca College campus.

“‘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 grants were awarded as part of the AAUW Campus Action Project program, which gives money to teams of faculty and students to create community-based solutions to some of the far-reaching problems examined in AAUW research. Other institutions winning grants included the University of Arizona; Towson University; California State University, Northridge; and the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Founded in 1882, the American Association of University Women is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of more than 150,000 members and supporters that empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

For more information on the TIA Talks, contact Michele Lenhart at (607) 274-3222 or For more information on the Campus Action Project program and this year’s grant recipients, visit