On November 12, 1975 the Poughkeepsie Branch held a dinner at the Vassar Alumni House to commemorate the International Women's Year and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of our branch. Eight women were honored for outstanding service to the residents of Dutchess County. Since that time, the Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW has selected a local woman to honor as our Woman of the Year. These women exemplify the goals stated in AAUW's mission statement:
The American Association of University Women advances equity
for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.
We invite you to nominate candidates for consideration of this honor using the form linked below to print, fill in and mail. Your nomination will be in consideration for two years from the date you submit the form to one of the Woman of the Year Committee Co-Chairs: Gail Sisti, 313 Forest Rd, Wallkill, NY 12589 or Mary Lou Davis, 125 Andrews Rd, Lagrangeville, NY 12540
Margaret received her bachelor's degree in history and spanish from Cedar Crest College in Allentown PA, and she began her career in human services the following year. She worked as a case worker in the city of Poughkeepsie, then progressed through positions of increasing responsibility at The Children's Home of Pougkeepsie, then The Astor Home, before returning to The Children's Home to serve as Executive Director from 1975 through 1977. During this same timeframe, Margaret received her MSW from Fordham University.
Margaret began her academic career at Western Carolina University in 1978, then came to Marist College in 1980 as Assistant Professor of Social Work and Director of the Social Work program. It's also important to note that, in 1978, Margaret was responsible for establishing, then supervising, a comprehensive program which provided first-ever services for adolescent populations in parts of North Carolina.
Margaret received tenure at Marist in 1985 and was named Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in 1999. During her tenure at Marist, Margaret has provided leadership both within the social work program and in the larger college community. Her accomplishments include establishing programs to reach alternative students, achieving CSWE accreditation for the School of Social Work, and serving on the Marist College Affirmative Action Committee.
For a number of years, Margaret provided expert consultation to the Anderson School. She has also served as adjunct professor at Yeshiva University, and has made numerous professional presentations throughout the country as well as in Japan.
As a volunteer, Margaret has served on the Board of Managers of The Children's Home of Poughkeepsie since 1988; she has also served on the Boards of Directors of the Dutchess County Child Development Council, the Mid-Hudson Coalition for the Development of Direct Care Practice and Community Family Development, Inc.
On a personal note, Margaret is married to Donald Calista and is the mother of 2 grown sons.