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University Women welcome student of disease progression

The La Mesa-El Cajon Branch of American Association of University Women will celebrate the contributions and donations given this year to the branch FUND, the heart of the AAUW on Jan. 13, 2024. The Fund committee, under the leadership of Vicki Spilkin has selected fellowship recipient Paula Kirya as this year’s featured speaker.

Kirya is a master’s student at UC San Diego studying Mechanical Engineering. She received her undergraduate degree in bioengineering from UCSD in June 2023. Kirya has been studying and developing new ways to apply structural color in nature inspired nanophotonic materials to detect disease progression in biological tissue.

In addition to the featured speaker the branch will reveal this year’s Named Gift Honoree.

Every year the AAUW California Fund Committee honors AAUW California members who have done outstanding work in supporting the programs and goals of the AAUW Fund and/or AAUW California. For branches, in particular, a Named Gift is a special way to pay tribute to an individual, a group, or an organization giving extraordinary service to AAUW, said AAUW La Mesa-El Cajon Branch Programs Vice President Sue Sutton, adding that the work that the branch and state accomplish is made possible through the monetary donations of branch members to the various funds.

The monies are allocated into one of four funds. The Greatest Needs, Education and Training, Economic Security, and Leadership.

Participants are asked to wear red to the meeting to show support for the work in progress by this year’s 34 Fellow and Scholarship recipients. Social time begins at 9:30 a.m. and is open to the public. The meeting is held in King Hall at Foothills United Methodist Church, 4031 Avocado Blvd. in La Mesa.

La Mesa-El Cajon Branch of American Association of University Women has been engaged in “equity for all” efforts since the 1950s and is one of the largest branches in the state. AAUW empowers women and girls by advocating for more women in leadership positions, closing the gender pay gap and preventing sexual harassment and discrimination, supporting girls entering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers.

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