For Immediate Release:
May 7, 2014
Office of the Governor: Rachel Thomas, Rachel.Thomas@governor.virginia.gov
Mrs. McAuliffe and Virginia Council on Women Announce the 3rd Annual STEM Essay Contest Winners
RICHMOND – Today First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and the Virginia Council on Women, in collaboration with the Science Museum of Virginia, announced the winners of the 3rd annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Essay Contest for high school junior and senior girls.
The Council awarded five scholarships to female juniors and seniors pursuing STEM careers at institutions of higher education, the highest award winner receiving a $10,000 scholarship. 270 young women from across the Commonwealth submitted essays focusing on the student’s vision for a future STEM. Scholarships were presented to the recipients at the Science Museum’s Up & Atom Women’s Leadership Breakfast.
While announcing the STEM essay contest award recipients, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe said, “One of the top priorities of the McAuliffe administration is to advance STEM education and workforce training across the Commonwealth. We need to encourage more young women to excel in these high demand STEM fields, so they can be leaders in the industries that will make Virginia more competitive in a global economy. An innovative program like the STEM Essay Contest is just one tool we can use to build awareness of the great career pathways our students are pursuing in every region in Virginia.”
The award recipients are as follows:
- First Place, $10,000 scholarship award: Jennifer Louie of Chancellor High School, Fredericksburg, VA
- Second Place, $7,500 scholarship award: Jessica Sun of Chantilly High School, Chantilly, VA
- Third Place, $2,500 scholarship award: Melissa Angell of Osbourn Park High School, Manassas, VA
- Fourth Place, $2,500 scholarship award: Kaela Frazier of Bruton High School, Williamsburg, VA
- Fifth Place, $2,500 scholarship award: Brittany Huffman of George C. Marshall High School, Falls Church, VA
Applicants were required to be females who reside in Virginia, are enrolled as a junior or senior in high school and hold at least a 2.5 GPA.
The Council extends their sincere thanks to all of the sponsors and judges of this year’s STEM Scholarship Awards. The sponsors were: Capital One; Morrison & Foerster; Holland & Knight; Hunton & Williams; KPMG; McGuireWoods LLP; Murphy & McGonigle; BonSecours; Range Resources; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Troutman Sanders. The judges who generously gave their time in judging entries were: Barbara Kapas, Northern Virginia; Nikki Nicholau, Richmond; Mary Quillen, Blacksburg; Barbara Fuhrmann, Richmond; Kinsey Peeler, Richmond; Laura Mandela, Burke; Marjorie Brahms Signer, Arlington; Kelly Stuart, Richmond; Marty Wilson, Richmond; Olivia Gans, Fairfax; Brook Trible, Richmond; Donna Hearn, Charlottesville; Susan Green, Richmond; Belinda Ragonese, Richmond; Kimberly Snipes, Richmond; Donna Ciliberto, Richmond; Katie Crepps, Richmond; Catherine Harris, Richmond; Christine Hales, Richmond; Juanita Lasswell, Richmond.
The purpose of the Virginia Council on Women is to help women reach their potential and maximize their contributions to society and the Commonwealth as wage earners and citizens. The Council has initiated several projects to meet this goal. One is the annual STEM essay contest for young women in high school. For more information on the Council or on available sponsorship opportunities, please visit: https://commonwealth.virginia.gov/about/council-on-women/.
The mission of the Science Museum of Virginia is to inspire Virginians to enrich their lives through science. The annual Up & Atom Women’s Leadership Breakfast helps support its role in STEM education. Literacy in STEM disciplines is vital to prepare youth for an ever changing, increasingly complex world. For more information on the Science Museum of Virginia, please visit: www.smv.org.