AAUW Tech Trek

Tech Trekies at AAUW are, from left, Zhanna Arsenyan, 13; Arina Megerdichian, 13; Lia Gharabeg, 13; Aga Nogalska, 13; Amira Al Hadeed, 14; and Jana Haddad-Lott, 13. (Courtesy photo / October 16, 2012)

The brunch meeting of the American Assn. of University Women (AAUW) opened with pizazz as six young women, all beneficiaries of scholarships to Tech Trek, were introduced. Tech Trek is a one-week immersion into science and technology for girls from Wilson and Toll middle schools. The program is sponsored and, in part, financed by AAUW, Glendale Chapter. Members of the Glendale Soroptimists also contribute funds.

On Saturday (Oct. 13) at the Oakmont Country Club, some 60 members and guests were treated to the young women’s remarks. Jana Haddad-Lott, 13, was first at the podium. She is on Wilson’s Marching Band and is the daughter of Lana Haddad, an analyst at Glendale Water and Power. Mom was right by daughter’s side for brunch, but to present her remarks, Jana was entirely on her own.

Jana regaled her audience with techie stories from Tech Trek, held during the summer at Whittier College. She learned how to write a check, balance a checkbook and dissect the heart of a pig. The only thing she minded was the smell of formaldehyde. Jana plans to become a marine biologist, largely due to her experiences at Tech Trek.

Tech Trek Coordinator Laura Guillory introduced the remaining girls. Besides Jana, others from Wilson were Amira Al Hadeed, 14; Lia Gharabeg, 13; and Aga Nogalska, 13. Toll students were Arina Megerdichian, 13; and Zhana Arsenyan, 13.

After brunch the remainder of the program was devoted to speaker Christel J. Sutterley, who teaches physics at UC San Diego. She spoke on “Stars, Particles, the Universe and Evolution of Science and Technology” — a topic that was probably more understandable to the Tech Trek girls than any of us in the room.

The meeting ended with AAUW Glendale branch member Leni Richardson and President Sheila Koster announcing the group’s gourmet dinner on Oct. 26.

---

“Glendale K-9s in the Park” program introduced a variety of canine friends, all properly restrained and cleaned up after. A few cats were part of the mix, but the dogs were definitely the stars of the afternoon.

The free Saturday event (Oct. 13) at Verdugo Park was hosted by four Glendale departments: the Glendale Police Department, the Glendale Police Foundation, the Glendale city clerk’s office and Community Services and Parks Department.

It took all four departments to offer such a variety of services. The park was available through the Parks Department. Low-cost dog and cat vaccinations and micro-chipping were sponsored by the city clerk’s office. The Glendale Police Department and Foundation members put on “live police K-9 demos.”

One of those “live police” was Canine Officer Stephanie Pipan from the Morro Bay Police Department, here to support the program. She put her K-9 friend, Xello, through his paces. Xello is a 3-year-old German shepherd who is as expert at posing for the camera as he is at sniffing out the bad guys. His specialty is in narcotics and protection patrol. Xello was trained in Germany and answers only to commands in German. Luckily, Pipan is multi-lingual.

More contributions came from the Kiwanis Grill Team — and their good vittles — and the Pasadena Humane Society, hosting a pet adoption fair.

This fourth annual event is the primary fundraiser for Glendale police’s K-9 Unit. The K-9 Unit is supported with funds from the Glendale Police Foundation, which provided money to begin the K-9 Unit in 2005.

RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.