Girls’ Recognition Night was held on Thursday, April 11, 2019 @ 7:00 pm at the CCBC Learning Resource Center. 

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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.

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:l

    • 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 women 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. 

Emma Lewis, General Manager, Shell Polymers, Shell Chemical LLP will be guest speaker.

Introducing the 2019 Panelist 

Samantha Baldwin:  Emergency Response Manager – Shell Polymers Monaca

Samantha Baldwin (Milosh) grew up in Center Township where she graduated from Center Area High School in 2004.  She is alumni of Saint Francis University inLoretto, PA where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and played NCAA Division I Golf.  Upon graduation, Samantha began her career as a Nuclear Chemistry Specialist at FirstEnergy’s Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, PA.  While employed by FirstEnergy, she obtained her Senior Reactor Operator License and held roles as Nuclear Unit Supervisor, Nuclear Shift Manager, and Assistant Operations Manager.  Samantha currently holds the role of Emergency Response Manager for Shell Polymers Monaca for the new facility under construction in Monaca, PA.  She is excited to see the future this opportunity brings to the area for years to come!  Samantha resides in Moon Township, PA with her husband, John.

Jerra Lobozzo: Neurophysiologist

Coming from a single parent home in Kittanning, I grew up understanding hard work, dedication and grit.  With an interest in math and science, I attended the University of Pittsburgh and graduated with a degree in Neuroscience and History & Philosophy of Science.  I was fortunate enough to be able to jump right into the medical field as a Neurophysiologist at UPMC – I loved my clinical role and working in the operating room; however, I soon realized I needed more of a challenge and started a position with a private company where I was able to travel across the country and do business development for neurophysiology.  Unexpectedly, my favorite part of my job was the business/sales aspect and utilizing my clinical knowledge to reach my sales goals. This led me to two things:

  1. the ability to pursue a medical device sales position that I absolutely love – it is a great feeling to wake up every day looking forward to my work and making an impact in people’s live
  2. the possibility to open my own small business with my husband.  We have a passion for scuba diving that we discovered on our anniversary a few years ago.  We haven’t looked back since and now we are the proud owners of Mars Scuba and get to share our love of the ocean with our community.

Owning a small business and maintaining my other full-time job is difficult to say the least but I love my work – I work hard and I have fun every step of the way.

Christine Secilia, M.S.   Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies

Christine Secilia began her higher education in Criminal Justice at Point Park University with a Bachelor of Science degree followed by her Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration.  Additionally, she has Act 120 Certification from the Allegheny County Police Academy.  With 14 years of law enforcement experience, including six years as a sergeant, Christine also worked with DANET (Allegheny County District Attorney’s Narcotics Enforcement Team) in undercover narcotics investigations.  Recognition has come in a variety of areas such as high risk search warrant completions as well as evidence room supervision, Megan’s Law liaison, and taser trainer.

Returning to Point Park University, for eight years, Christine has taught students pursuing careers in criminal justice. Her courses taught include Introduction to Criminal Justice, Ethics, History of Organized Crime, Fraud Investigations, Transnational Crime, Criminal Law and Procedures, Criminal Evidence, Professional Ethics, Criminal Profiling, and Evolution of policing

Mara Pritchard: Project ManagerSAI Consulting Engineers

Mara Mara Pritchard graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in transportation.  After graduation she worked for a brief time near Washington D.C.,but returned to Western Pennsylvania when she was hired by Michael Baker Jr., Inc., now Michael Baker International.  She spent 16 years at Michael Baker starting in the Traffic Unitdesigning traffic control plans, signalized and unsignalized intersections, and projecting future traffic volumes.  Mara was asked to assist a project manager who was responsible for an Environmental Impact Statement for a 130-mile roadway corridor in West Virginia.  This project introduced Mara to the many diverse natural and cultural resources that need to be considered when planning new roadways and reconstructing existing roadways.   At the conclusion of the project Mara was promoted into leadership positions that included heading the Traffic Unit, then eventually to Business Manager of the Planning Department.    Ms. Pritchard left Michael Baker after 16 years to return to her roots, engineering and design.  She now works as a Project Manager at SAI Consulting Engineers located in the Strip District neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  Her firm concentrates on transportation projects including bridge replacements and roadway restoration projects. She is currently involved in the Freedom Road Upgrade Project located in Conway Borough and New Sewickley Township. Mara resides in Brighton Township with her husband Jim who is a civilengineer with Michael Baker International.

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.