MATH AND SCIENCE STUDENTS HONORED
AT AAUW 30th RESNIK AWARDS LUNCHEON
Twelve Harford County junior-level high school girls were honored by the Harford County, MD Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) for their academic achievements in science and mathematics at the annual Dr. Judith Resnik Awards Luncheon held on Saturday, April 23rd at Harford Community College. The young women were cited for their scholastic excellence overall, as evidenced by their high GPAs and for their mastery of mathematics and science in particular. They were also recognized as leaders at their schools and cited for their engagement in many extracurricular and volunteer activities. The honorees were joined by their family members, and teachers and administrators from their respective schools, along with community leaders.
The luncheon is held each year in honor of Dr. Judith Resnik–America’s second woman in space—and a member of the 1986 ill-fated Challenger crew. Resnik was born on April 5, 1949 and she would have been 66 years old. She was an AAUW member and received educational grants from AAUW. She became America’s second woman astronaut (Sally Ride was the first) when she was chosen out of 1,000 applicants (only six of whom were women), to be selected to be an astronaut.
Honorees are selected by their schools, who consider their grades in science and mathematics, as well as their undertaking of advanced placement courses, their involvement in extracurricular activities, and their participation in community projects. Each honoree received certificates from: The Maryland General Assembly, Harford County House Delegation, Office of the Harford County Executive, Harford County Council, Harford County Public Schools, and The Senate of Maryland.
The Honorees Are:
Sara Decker Aberdeen High School
Sara belongs to a military family and has attended nine schools in her eleven years of education. She is family and church-centered, and loves animals of all kinds. Sara plans to pursue a BA/BS in Biology and to do graduate work in Zoology.
Sara is in the National, Math, and Science Honor Societies. As a member of the track team, she ran All-State Cross Country three years in a row. Sara’s family positively influenced her along with teachers and coaches. Her advice to future honorees: “Hard work will pay off, and the little things you are doing right now will build to make a big difference.”
Naveena Murugan Aberdeen Science and Mathematics Academy
Naveena is considering a career in Bio-Medical Engineering and would like to attend Johns Hopkins University. Naveena holds a weighted 4.375 GPA and is in the National, Mathematics, and Science Honor Societies.
Naveena is Treasurer of the Leo Club (Lions Club for high schools), Secretary for the Key Club (Kiwanis for high schools), and Vice-President for Glamour Gals, a group that gives women in senior centers makeovers. Her supportive and encouraging parents are the two people who have most influenced her. Her advice to future honorees: “Stay focused on your studies, but make time to enjoy your life.”
Donna Nguyen Bel Air High School
A first-generation Vietnamese American, Donna is inspired by her peers. She is in the Bio-Medical program and has aspirations of pursuing a degree in pharmacology, which in turn would be used in a philanthropic way.
Donna is a member of the National, Mathematics, Science, and Music Honor Societies. She is a member of the HOPE Club, the C.O.R.E. Club, and is president of the Foreign Language /World Culture Club whose mission it is to cultivate interest in other cultures. Donna would encourage future honorees to “never give up on your dreams and do not allow others to undermine your achievements.”
Deena Silton C. Milton Wright High School
As with other accomplished students, Deena does a balancing act with academics, personal interests and social time. She has many interests and successes. Academically, she is taking four AP (Advanced Placement) courses this year. Attending a Veterinary School someday is a possibility she is considering. Interests include dancing, volleyball, swimming, and track.
Deena’s grandmother, who worked hard to support her family and has an incredible work ethic, has had a positive influence in her life.
Deena would encourage future honorees to “work hard, enjoy what you are doing and put in the effort-do not take the lazy way out.”
Rachel Goldsborough Edgewood High School
Rachel’s interest in science was sparked by a tenth grade anatomy class. Because she has a strong interest in literature as well, and likes to journal, she is unsure which direction will determine her career path. In looking forward to college, she will choose one with a strong physics, chemistry, AND literature department. Academically, she is a member of the National, Mathematics, Science, and French Honor Societies.
To future honorees Rachel would advise “not to stress about what career path to select. Think about what you are most passionate about and choose your career based on that passion.”
Rachel Kelsey D’Anna Fallston High
Rachel loves math. She plans to have a career in math as a statistician or an actuary. She is proud of her academic accomplishments, as she takes several AP classes and is in the National Honor Society. Rachel is involved in the PB&J Club which makes sandwiches for the homeless shelter, and volunteers for the Special Olympics. She credits her family with being extremely supportive, especially her older sister who works for the Army Corps of Engineers.
To future honorees she advises not to be so stressed about school and trying to plan their whole future. “Everything will work out in the end.”
Elizabeth Daramola Harford Technical High
Elizabeth came to the United States from Nigeria 15 years ago. Her father has been her educational and spiritual mentor and has had a profound impact on her life. Inspired by Dr. Ben Carson, she is considering a career either in the medical field or chemical engineering. These goals require math which she loves!
Elizabeth is an alto with her church choir and the school chorus and was chosen to be part of the All-State Chorus. She would tell future honorees: “Whatever goals you have, hold onto all of them. You never know which one will lead to success.”
Rachel Wilson Havre de Grace High School
Rachel is a hard worker who strives to be the best at whatever she is doing. Although she hasn’t chosen a college major, she is leaning toward something in the medical field. She is on the lacrosse team and loves playing it as she has for the past six years!
Rachel volunteers at Harford Memorial Hospital and the Citizens Nursing Home. Her parents are her mentors and they, along with teachers and coaches, have had a profound influence in her life. To future honorees she would say “work harder to be better than what you are now.”
Erica Deyesu John Carroll High School
Erica looks forward to attending a four-year college on the East Coast. Her career goals are non-specific at this time; however, she is leaning toward the Life Sciences field. She dreams about college and helping people. With that in mind, Erica is going on a service trip in June to the Dominican Republic where she will be helping to build a house. Erica’s mother has been her mentor and has had a profoundly positive impact in her life. “She’s been there through everything.” Erica would tell future honorees: “Be open to opportunity and to take advantage of every opportunity.”
Isabelle Arjona Joppatowne High
Isabelle is eager to discover as much as she can in our world. Her interests are “in the medical field to raise awareness about what we don’t see,” and marine biology because she “has a passion for the ocean where there is much to be discovered.” Her mother is her mentor and has had a positive influence by providing Isabelle opportunities, believing in her potential, and encouraging her to be whatever she aspires to be. Isabelle loves science and sports, especially volleyball and field hockey.
Isabelle would tell future honorees: “Don’t limit yourself by others’ opinions or your circumstances; realize your possibilities.”
Ada Heinze North Harford High School
Ada plans to be either a chemical or mechanical engineer. She plays softball year around and hopes to play for her college team. Academically, she is in the National Honor and National Math Honor Societies. She enjoys reaching out to the community and dreams of making a difference in the world through her work. Ada’s Mother has been one of her most helpful mentors. When Ada was having trouble with Algebra in the seventh grade, her mom tutored her every night and helped her appreciate math. She also encourages her to strive for greater things. Ada’s advice to future honorees, “take every opportunity given to you and make the best out of it.”
Eleanor Byers Patterson Mill High School
Eleanor has wanted to be a teacher since she was a little girl. She was inspired last year by her chemistry teacher and realized that her love of working with kids and chemistry was a great fit. With this kind of passion and her strong academic achievements, Eleanor will pursue her dream to become a chemistry educator. Eleanor has come into contact with many inspirational teachers who have been positive influences. When asked if there is something about her that others may not know, she said, “My actions describe who I am.”
The luncheon’s keynote address this year was given by Dr. Mary Cleave, a retired NASA astronaut, and a personal friend of Judith Resnik. Over the years, Dr. Cleave orbited the earth 172 times, and traveled almost 4 million miles. She flew on the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist in 1985 where she was the flight engineer and operated the robot arm. Dr. Cleave also deployed the “Magellan” spacecraft in 1989 which mapped over 95% of the surface of Venus. This was considered one of NASA’s most successful scientific missions. Dr. Cleave, who is an environmental engineer, retired from NASA as the Associate Administrator for Science in 2007 where she was responsible for several exploratory spacecrafts. She spoke to the girls about the impact of Title IX at a time when women were denied many of the opportunities available in STEM areas. Her dream was to be a veterinarian, but after being denied to the pre-veterinarian program at Cornell University in 1965 solely because she was a woman, she went to Colorado State University and studied biological sciences.
She stressed the need for today’s young women to consider careers in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology and encouraged them to follow their opportunities. She advised that they follow their passions and help each other succeed, which is what Judith Resnik did for her.
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Members of AAUW are graduates holding an associate, baccalaureate, or higher degree, or their equivalent, from a qualified post-secondary educational institution. Inquires for more information about the Harford County Branch may be sent to email@example.com
Monday, April 18, two representatives from the Sexual Harrassment/Assualt Response and Prevention (SHARP) Resource Center from Aberdeen Proving Groud, Michcell Shoultz and Tracy Marshall, described the services of their organization to the Harford Branch of AAUW.
They surprised their audience, about thirty branch members, detailing the prevalence of sexual assault in our society and our military. They noted that the offense hides under various more innocuous names, such as hazing, and initiation, but whatever it is called harassment remains a crime of sexual dominance of one person or persons over another. They also surprised AAUW members noting that most such events go unreported and cause victims much pain and suffering, not the least of which is an unjustified sense of personal responsibility and blame. They also noted that most victims are male not female, and male victims are even less likely than female to report such incidents.
The resource center they manage, the group learned, has as its purpose to build partnership and coalitions to help those who come to them having suffered some form of sexual harassment trauma. They define their role as sympatheic listeners who then refer those who seek their help to their coalition partners who provide psychological or legal advice. They convinced us all that the United States Army is taking a leadership role in sensitizing its culture and our society to the prevalence and horror of sexual harassment activities.
Harford Branch member Sally Campbell recently described her life in Iran. She and her husband fell in love with her husband as young high school student. She accepted his proposal of marriage, and they moved to his home in Iran when she was expecting her first child. There she experienced the male-centric culture.
She soon discovered that marriage and total submission to men was the way of life for women there. She learned that women have their own strong connections with each other, but away from that community of fellowship, they are powerless without a husband. Women are property of husband. Women there may seek and enjoy education, but when a marriage proposal comes, every ambition is subjugated to marriage and husband.
She and her husband and children happened to be in the United States where he was studying in Washington D.C. when the revolution of 1979 occurred. They lost all of their property in Iran and were unable to return. Twenty years later, her husband went back to see his mother, and he was jailed for seven months.
Today her life is here. She lives with her family in Bel Air. Though she marvels at the culture she experienced, she is so happy with her life here.
The Harford County Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will honor junior high school women at it annual Judith Resnick luncheon April 23 at Harford Community College.
This year marks the thirtieth universality of this luncheon named in honor of former AAUW member and scholarship recipient Judith Resnik who was killed aboard the Challenger spacecraft which exploded in 1986.
The luncheon celebrates young women who have earned outstanding grades in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The young women honored also have an excellent academic record in other subjects and have demonstrated leadership in school and community.
This year’s speaker is Dr. Cleave who flew on the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist in 1985 where she was the flight engineer and operated the robot arm as well as
deploying the “Magellan” spacecraft in 1989 which went on to study Venus at
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.
Dr. Cleave, who is an environmental engineer, retired from NASA as the
Associate Administrator for Science in 2007 where she was responsible for
several space crafts exploring space. She was a mentored by AAUW member