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AAUW's Resnik Award Brunch Honors 11 HCPS Female Students for their Achievements in the Fields of Science and Mathematics
On April 30, 2022, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Harford County branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) was once again able to recognize 12 Harford County high school female students for their academic achievements in the fields of science and mathematics.   This event began in 1986 to honor Dr. Judith Resnik, an AAUW member who lost her life in the Challenger shuttle explosion.  Dr. Resnik was the second woman in space.

Each honoree received certificates from the AAUW Harford County branch, the Harford County Executive’s office, the Harford County Council, and the Superintendent of Harford County Public Schools.

The keynote speaker was Erin Lieb, with the architectural firm Barefoot Design Group, LLC, in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.  She is a 1994 graduate of Joppatowne High School.

Lieb’s main message and her approach to life, is “Jump and the net will appear.”  This bit of wisdom was told to her when she was 26 and it became her motto.  For Lieb, this means being willing to take a “jump” to a new situation or location if your current one is unsatisfying and trusting that a net will appear. She shared with the group her personal story of four significant jumps, relaying her own journey, which is an interesting study in determination and self-discovery.

She pointed out that as a woman in STEM, the honorees may feel underappreciated and frustrated because it may be harder for them than for their male colleagues.  Nonetheless, she knows she is breaking down stereotypes every time she is the only woman on the jobsite.

Her parting advice to the honorees was to “continue building your net. If you do, you won’t be afraid to jump and you will do amazing things because a net will appear.”   


Sarah Parsley, Aberdeen High School
Sarah wants to get a degree in the medical field and then become a physical therapist.  She serves as president of her school’s Junior Class Student Body Council.  Sarah believes that “every moment in your life is significant” and in her college commencement speech she would urge others to “Don’t just go through the motions in life but be intentional in everything you do.”

Ellinore Ford, Bel Air High School
Ellinore wants to study biomedical engineering and then possibly enter medical school.  She is intrigued by fetal medicine.  This field fascinates her because of the way it combines many of her interests and is constantly expanding our knowledge of the human body.  Ellinore believes that science and mathematics are all about discovery.

Theo M. Hanna, C. Milton Wright High School
Theo wants to get a degree in microbiology and then either work as a molecular virologist or study diseases and parasites.  Theo has a broad view of science and mathematics and a deep understanding of how these fields are embedded in our lives through athletics, food and art.  Theo belongs to the school’s Green Team and Math League. 

Abigail Bond, Edgewood High School
Abigail wants to attend a university to study exercise science, eventually earning a doctorate in physical therapy.  She is involved in her school’s Green School Committee, and she created a butterfly garden for it.  Abigail will continue to be involved in her community, encouraging young women to pursue science and mathematics topics, and sharing her knowledge with others.

Hannah Richard, Fallston High School
Hannah wants to go earn a science related degree, possibly in the medical field or engineering.  She serves as Vice-President of her school’s Junior Class Council and she is a member of the service organization “Volunteen.” Hannah would love to be part of a team that works together to solve problems in our world and find medical resolutions to help people in need.

Liliana Daugherty, Harford Technical High School
Liliana is an aspiring engineer.  She knows it is a challenging field that will require continued learning throughout her career.  Liliana has been inspired by examples of women succeeding in a variety of fields of study.  She believes that she will have the most impact on the world by lending her time and experience towards environmental conservation and working to aid in the evolution of technology.

Adeline Murray, Havre de Grace High School
Adeline plans on majoring in environmental science at a four-year university, ultimately becoming a conservation biologist.  As a 5th grader she heard a stewardship speech, which led her to consider a career in environmental science.  She encourages everyone to stand for something… otherwise others may decide your path for you. She is hopeful that wherever she is, she will have a positive impact.

Germarys Santiago Alvarez, Joppatowne High School
Germarys wants to attend Georgetown University as a political science major.  Then it’s on to law school with a focus on immigration law.  Her goal is to work with immigrant families by defending their rights to equal employment opportunities and opportunities in engineering, science and mathematics. Germarys is proud of succeeding in a world where minorities feel they are being silenced. 

Jenna Amrhein, North Harford High School
Jenna plans on attending a four-year college to study mathematics, engineering or physical therapy and then going into a career in one of these fields.  She does some tutoring of her peers at school and is also involved in several school sports, especially soccer and lacrosse.  She built a catapult and a gravity car in AP physics and would like to share these experiences with young girls to get them excited about math and science.

Sara Ghaemi, Patterson Mill High School
Sara wants to pursue a career in the medical field.  She founded her school’s medical club to help students interested in a possible career in the medical field.  She is also a member of a club dedicated to helping new students adjust to the school environment. Sara envisions having a positive impact in the world by becoming more involved in her community and helping to normalize diversity.

Riya Patel, Science and Mathematics Academy
Riya wants to work in the medical field, either as an anesthesiologist or emergency medical doctor.  She is inspired by the idea of learning new skills daily. Her ideal capstone project will allow her to explore biological aspects.  Riya feels that the most positive impact she could have in the world is by “spreading kindness, hoping it will encourage others to spread kindness, creating a domino effect on the world.”

Olivia Chesla, The John Carroll School

Olivia is considering a career in biomedical engineering with a focus on rare diseases.  Having a career that could make a difference in people’s lives is very meaningful to her.  Her ideal career would be one where she would be part of a company or team seeking solutions to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ALS or Parkinson’s.  Olivia serves at Junior Class Member-at-Large for SGA.

Pictured seated from left: Sarah Parsley, Hannah Richard, Olivia Chesla, Adeline Murray, Theo M. Hanna, Germarys Santiago Alvarez. Standing from left: Rita Patel, Sara Ghaemi, Liliana Daugherty, Abigail Bond, Jenna Amrhein and the speaker Erin Lieb. Absent from photo: Ellinore Ford.