gmhTODAY 07 gmhToday Mar Apr 2016 - Page 87

Connecting Girls with STEM Careers Alie Fohner, AAUW Gilroy Tech Trek scholarship winner now a PhD in Health Population Genetics Live Oak High School senior Julia Leal Alie Fohner attended Tech Trek on a scholarship from AAUW Gilroy in 1998. Today, she holds a PhD degree in Public Health Genetics and works in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. Her mom, Nancy Fohner, is a long-time AAUW member who has served as a camp director and instructor over the years. Looking back on her time at camp, Alie said, “Tech Trek introduces girls to the exciting and diverse things people are doing with science in the world. I can still picture myself at camp…learning about optics by building a pinhole camera and visiting a lab with huge and impressive equipment for studying biochemistry.” Fohner added that attending camp at Stanford introduced her to dorm life, dining halls, and navigating the campus; an experience that she said for a middle school student was “incredibly empowering.” Live Oak High School senior Julia Leal plans to study Earth Systems when she enters Stanford University this fall. Leal will be the first in her family to attend college. She often looks back on Tech Trek as a life-changing experience. AAUW Morgan Hill provided her camp scholarship. “Stepping onto the Stanford campus and learning about the possibilities inherent in STEM careers inspired me,” Leal said. Along with Tech Trek, Leal was also involved in the GEMS program and participated in a summer internship at Stanford in Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture. Last month AAUW Morgan Hill held a special STEM workshop in memory of Lauren Jenkins, a branch member who passed away in 2015. Jenkins founded the Girls Club, which later became GEMS, and was an early Tech Trek coordinator. “The girls enjoyed a hands-on experience of an emerging area of science,” Cox said. “Afterword, they learned about environmental science careers from a panel of young women science professionals.” Both activities were held at Anarobe Systems in Morgan Hill. AAUW Co-President Mary Cox organized the event, which provided more than a dozen high school girls with insight into how agricultural crop waste can be naturally fermented to produce fertilizer and hydrogen for re-use. Leadership, Advocacy and Philanthropy Interest Groups • Sponsorships. Selected AAUW members have an opportunity to participate in leadership training programs such as that of Leadership Morgan Hill. Morgan Hill AAUW sponsors a college student to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders training. According to AAUW Gilroy Co-president Sabra Dupree, “I’ve never met a group that is more supportive of each other. I can take people to AAUW events and know they’ll be most welcome. It’s easy to start up a group based on member interests.” Dupree shares the co-presidency with Penny Lockhart, who added that “AAUW is a great organization for young moms who crave adult conversation and are looking for opportunities to network with other women involved in the community.” • Education Foundation. The AAUW Education Foundation supports projects and research in alignment with the AAUW mission. • Advocacy. Support of other AAUW priorities including public policy and legal advocacy related to equity for girls and women. SYMPHONY AND THEATER OUTINGS BOOK DISCUSSION GROUPS give members a chance to share thoughts and reactions to books. “AAUW has connected me with several generations of women who have made positive changes in their lives and in the community. In the late 1980s I decided to pursue a graduate degree so I could transition from academics to a high tech career. A grant from AAUW helped me achieve my goal. ” Jenny Redfern, Co-president Morgan Hill AAUW GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN provides members with an opportunity to enjoy virtuouso performances by South Valley Symphony, as well as award-winning plays and musicals at South Valley Civic Theater, Pintello Comedy Theater and Limelight Theater and other venues. “Wine & Whine” brings members together for a little libation and conversation at local restaurants and wineries. LUNCH AND DINNER GET-TOGETHERS  help members stay connected while enjoying a meal together. These include gatherings in member’s homes (sometimes sharing recipes and cooking together) as we \][\]\[˂'H[YPUU[\[X^YۛHHHܛ\8&\[Z[]]YK][]]\]H[Hܝ[]Y\˜ۛX]Y[HZY]HY]\\x)Y[\HXY\[H[][]K'BX\H \\Y[[ܙ[[PUU“PT TS MZ^KB