The Harford County Branch of the American Association of University Women hosted its 32nd annual Judith Resnik luncheon on April 28 at the Theater dining room of Harford Community College. The luncheon honored twelve outstanding high school junior women who have excelled in science, technology, engineering, or math, STEM. Each young woman received lunch, certificates of achievement and congratulations from from the American Association of University Women Harford County Branch, The Maryland General Assembly, The Office of the Executive of Harford County, Harford County Council, Harford County Public Schools, and The Senate of Maryland. The Harford County Branch of the AAUW also presented each girl with the award-winning book, Lab Girl by Hope Jaren, an autobiographical medication that describes one woman’s journey to scientific achievement and contribution to knowledge. Guests of the young women– including parents, family members, teacher, and school administrators, Harford Community College administrators, and local and state political officials–all applauded the talents and diligence of each student.
The program began with a welcome from the event chair responsible for creating the event, Anne Heidenreich. She reminded the audience of the important contributions of Dr. Judith Resnik, the namesake of this celebration. Dr. Resnik perished in the Challenger accident in 1986. Dr. Resnik was a member of the American Association of University Women and benefited from one of the the organization’s fellowships for outstanding scholars by receiving scholarship monies for graduate study at the University of Maryland.
Ms. Heidenreich introduced the AAUW Harford County Branch president, Dr. Carol Mueller, who welcomed the guests, congratulated the girls, and briefly described the mission and history of the American Association of University Women. She recounted the exciting beginning of the Harford Branch and the commitment it has shown to excellence in education for women through these annual luncheons.
The young women honored, pictured below include the following: Tarnisha Grimsley, Taylor Miller, Jessica Mills, Shelby Croskey, Kristina Holsapple, Hannah Yamagata, Gracie Lynn Chairs, Megan Schall, Abigal Trovinger, Samantha Fielder, Ashley Goudy, and Christine Zhang. Each was indivually introduced and described. The AAUW members who introduced the girls, Sandy Guzewich and Diana Rudolph, highlighted the activities, achievements, goals, and educational plans for the future of each honoree.
The motivational speaker, Dr. Dymond, pictured in the back row at far left, is Group Supervisor for Biological Sciences in the Research and Exploratory Development Department for Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. She spoke to the young women about ways to achieve their goals. Of course she noted the value of diligence, persistence, and hard work. But she also advised that they strive to tolerate ambiguity and what may seem a detour in the path as they pursue a dream career. She observed that her own path to this position that he now holds included a circuitous path and experiences that she has come to value even as she decided not to pursue them to fruition. She affirmed the importance of the process of learning and becoming and urged all of the young women to have patience with themselves and with all of the steps in their journey.