Girls’ Recognition Night is a program that recognizes eighth grade girls from Beaver County Middle Schools who have an exceptional interest in the fields of math and science. The girls are selected by their Math and Science teachers for their enthusiasm and talent in Science and Math, components of the (STEM) subjects. The girls are recognized with a certificate and a pass to the Carnegie Science Center.

A panel of three to five women who are currently working in one or more of the STEM areas discuss their education and careers. They describe their professions and give the young women an insight for the possibilities open to them as they continue their studies in the STEM fields. There is an opportunity for questions after the presentation. The program, in partnership with Community College of Beaver County, is held in April at the CCBC Learning Resource Center. Parents, teachers, superintendents and AAUW members are invited to the program. After the program all are welcome to a Dessert Reception that allows for more one-on-one discussions with the speakers. Membership brochures are distributed, a speaker from CCBC is on hand to discuss college options, and information about scholarships is provided.

This Program is a way for AAUW to support their mission statement and to help reward and encourage young women to pursue their careers in the STEM fields.

AAUW asks every science and math teacher from each school district in Beaver County to  select two of their female students in each of their classes to be recognized at this event.  They were asked to choose students with:

    • An exceptional interest or passion for math or science.
    • A potential for growth in the subject area.
    • Class participation, effort, enthusiasm, grades, in-class projects, and problem-solving ability.

We believe that teachers, advisors, role models and parents can favorably affect the attitudes of young girls and persuade them that they are every bit as qualified as young men to pursue math and science careers.  Being praised for their interest and performance and being shown that there are indeed many female achievers in technical and non-traditional fields can make a great difference to a young woman in deciding which courses to take in high school and college.

Girls’ Recognition Night was held on Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at the CCBC Learning Resource Center 

GRN-application-form-1 (6)


AAUW Members

Introducing the 2017 Panelist    

Dana Donati       

Capt. Dana Donati

Dana graduated from Ambridge Area High School in the spring of 1999 and started flight training at the Community College of Beaver County that fall.  After completing her Associate Degree, she transferred to Robert Morris University while flight instructing at Beaver Aviation located at the Beaver County Airport.  Once she graduated from Robert Morris University, she moved to Orlando Florida and flight instructed at Air Orlando Flight School located at the Orlando Executive Airport.  Almost a year into flight instructing at Air Orlando, she was hired by Piedmont Airlines at the age of 22.  Dana spent the next two years flying the Dash8 100/200/300 series around the east coast.  After hearing about an airline that was planning on opening a Pittsburgh base, Dana applied to Republic Airlines and at the age of 25, was offered a job flying the Embraer 170/175/190/195 series aircraft.

Over her 11 years at Republic Airlines, Dana went from First Officer on the Embraer to Captain on the Dash8 Q400 to Captain on the Embraer to Assistant Chief Pilot.  As an Assistant Chief Pilot, Dana learned how to manage an airline.  She assisted many departments but her overall job was to manage a pilot group of over 2,200 pilots.

After more than a decade of working for the airlines, Dana was offered a position at the Community College of Beaver County as the Dean of Aviation.  Being that she was alumni from CCBC, she was more than excited for the opportunity to take her talents, her expertise and the relationships she has built during her airline career and offer them to the Community College of Beaver County.  Her vision is to connect the aviation students of CCBC to the many aviation jobs available and continue to build the program to be the best it can be.  Dana understands what the aviation world is in need of and is excited to show the students of the Community College of Beaver County, all the possibilities their futures hold.

Maria Shuster, O.D.

Dr. Shuster grew up in the northern panhandle of West Virginia where she graduated as Salutatorian from Weirton Madonna High School. She is an alumni of Washington and Jefferson College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a minor in Psychology. Her Doctorate of Optometry degree was earned from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.

Dr. Shuster joined Complete Family Vision Care in the winter of 2013 and provides all aspects of eye care including diagnosing and treating ocular diseases, glaucoma, contact lenses, pediatrics and LASIK and cataract co-management.

Dr. Shuster is a member of the American Optometric Association (AOA), the Pennsylvania Optometric Association (POA) and the Western Pennsylvania Optometric Society (WPOS). She currently resides in Beaver County with her husband and they are expecting their first child this summer.

Dr.  Melissa Boston

Dr. Melissa Boston

Dr. Melissa Boston is the Associate Dean for Teacher Education and an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA). Melissa teaches mathematics methods courses for future elementary, middle school, and high school teachers. She was awarded the Association of Teacher Educators’ 2008 Distinguished Dissertation Award and has published her ongoing work in scholarly journals and book chapters. Melissa assisted in developing the professional development materials, Improving Instruction in Mathematics: Using Cases to Transform Mathematics Teaching and Learning, and she is currently the lead author for an upcoming National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) book entitled, Taking Action in High School Mathematics. Melissa has served on and chaired the NCTM “Student Explorations in Mathematics” committee, the Editorial Panel of the NCTM 2015 Annual Perspectives in Mathematics Education, as Associate Editor of the journal Mathematics Teacher Educator (2012-2015), and on several advisory boards for research in mathematics education. Melissa is currently Series Editor for the 2017-2019 NCTM Annual Perspectives in Mathematics Education and part of the NCTM Principles to Actions Toolkit development team. In her research, Melissa examines instructional quality in mathematics classrooms through classroom observations and collections of students’ work, using a tool that she developed called the Instructional Quality Assessment (IQA) in Mathematics. She currently serves as external evaluator for two Mathematics-Science Partnership (MSP) grants, where she coordinates data collection and analysis of classroom observations, teacher beliefs surveys, and student achievement data.


Rebecca Howe Brooks

Store Manager, Rue Boutique

Rebecca Howe Brooks

Rebecca worked retail in high school.  This led to an interest in the business of  fashion. Rebecca pursued her new found passion by attending Kent State University’s school of Fashion Design and Merchandising and earned a BS in Fashion Merchandising.  During college, Rebecca worked full time for Nordstrom and after several years, her career path eventually  led her back to Nordstrom.  While there, she held several key positions including Customer Relationship Manager and Personal Stylist Sales Manager.  She then embarked on managing and running a small business.

As the store manager of a fashion and home boutique in Pittsburgh, she is responsible for controlling costs, assisting in planning and buying, and merchandising.



AAUW, a national organization with over 100,000 members, has long advocated gender equity in education. Many studies show that girls who have displayed great ability in science and math begin to lose interest as they reach the middle school age. Girls Recognition Night is intended to encourage middle school girls to enroll in math and science courses in high school and beyond that can lead to careers in the non-traditional  STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math.