AAUW awards young scholars on Whidbey Island

Young women from three Whidbey Island high schools and Skagit Valley College were honored with scholarships at the Coupeville United Methodist Church April 10 by the American Association of University Women.

The Whidbey Island Branch of AAUW initiated the STEM program in 2001 to recognize high school juniors for outstanding achievement in mathematics, science and technology.  Teachers at each of the three island high schools selected the top female students in these areas. The branch also chose three seniors who received grants and two seniors received memorial scholarships.

The AAUW Whidbey Island Branch High School Grants of $2,000 were awarded to three seniors including South Whidbey High School’s Taya Fiona Jae.

The Dale Fischer Memorial Arts Scholarship of $1,200 was awarded to South Whidbey High School senior Amy Arand, and the Susan Blank Memorial Arts Scholarship of $1,600 was awarded to South Whidbey senior Nicole Ledgerwood.

Nine juniors received an AAUW of Washington Certificate of Excellence and $100 and included South Whidbey High School students. Bonnie Klamm received the award for mathematics and for science; and Carley Schwoerer received it for technology.

This year’s speaker at the event was Kira Homola, a senior student at the University of Washington, and former recipient of one of the grants. Homola will graduate in June with a degree in oceanography.  In her talk, ‚“Under the Deep Blue Sea,” she described a research trip aboard the R/V Thomas G. Thompson this past summer. The cruise was organized by scientists from the University of Victoria, B.C., who are building a network of cables and sensors on the seafloor that extend from Vancouver Island to Endeavor Seamount, 300 km offshore. She also discussed climate change. Homola plans to do graduate work in geological oceanography.


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