AAUW Honors Williams, Arnaudin - Brevard, NC


May 11, 2017

Matt McGregor

From left to right are Kris Petterson, Abby Williams, Mary Arnaudin, Jennifer Williams, Erika Williams and Kaitlin McCreery.

Jennifer Williams and Mary Arnaudin, co-creators of the T.I.M.E. 4 Real Science program, were presented the American Association of Women (AAUW) Brevard branch's annual "Women Who Make a Difference" award. Amye McCallie, AAUW member, presented the award at the Connestee Falls Golf Club on Tuesday, May 9.

"This award has been given yearly since 1996, recognizing 39 women for their contributions in our community, furthering the mission of AAUW to empower and support women," McCallie said. "We continue that tradition this year with awards to Mary Arnaudin and Jennifer Williams for their cooperative work in creating and sustaining the T.I.M.E. 4 Real Science program, providing a unique opportunity for young people in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

Williams, a chemistry and physics teacher at Brevard High School, said she was honored to accept the award.

"Mary Arnaudin first contacted me 12 years ago and initiated a partnership that has spanned more than a decade," Williams said. "From this partnership came the T.I.M.E. 4 Real Science program, an initiative in which students do not passively learn about science and what scientists do, but instead become scientists and add new, locally important knowledge to the greater scientific community."

Arnaudin, a 4-H cooperative extension agent in the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in Brevard, said the program has been an "experiment" with a hypothesis that has now been validated.

"We appreciate that you believe in us, and I just want to go back to our philosophy," Arnaudin said. "The name of the program, we always call it the T.I.M.E. program, but where we are coming from with that is what it stands for, which is we believe that students are given an amount of 'time' to 'inquire' into their own questions, and they discover that what they find 'matters' to others, and then they will 'explore' more opportunities in science."

Williams said, without their students, the program wouldn't have lasted.

"Conducting real science is not an easy feat and requires hard work, determination, curiosity, problem solving and persistence," Williams said. "The students we brought here today represent the amazing young women who have graduated from the T.I.M.E. program, accomplishing more than they ever thought was possible."

Kris Petterson, Erika Williams, Abby Williams and Kaitlin McCreery joined Williams and Arnaudin at the ceremony. Each one is a graduate of the program.

"Kris Petterson and Erika Williams received the award for the Most Outstanding Project in Microbiology at the International Science and Engineering Fair in 2012," Williams said. "Kris is now a senior at N.C. State University majoring in microbiology and traveling the globe doing science research, and Erika is a senior at UNC Asheville and the new editor-in-chief of The Blue Banner, UNC-A's student newspaper."

Williams said McCreery studied an amphibian-killing fungus while in high school. She is now graduating from Duke University with a major in physics while publishing two scientific papers, and has received a fellowship to the University of Colorado Boulder to study mechanical engineering.

"Even more remarkable than these accomplishments is the fact that all of these young women give back, using their love of science to teach other young women through outreach programs that they have designed or participated in with younger students," Williams said. "We could not have hoped for a better outcome than this."

Matt McGregor

From left to right, Jennifer Williams and Mary Arnaudin receive their "Women Who Make a Difference" awards from AAUW member Amye McCallie.


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