Janet L. McCoy


AUBURN -- More than two dozen girls from the Birmingham area on Friday will get an idea of career options for women and what college life is like on the Auburn University campus.

Girls Incorporated of Central Alabama in Birmingham will bring 32 12-to-14-year-olds to learn about careers opportunities many girls don't think about, says Brenda Peters, an assistant professor in AU's Department of Industrial Design who is coordinating the one-day program.

"For example, industrial design is such an esoteric field and not many people know what it is, especially females and especially African-Americans," she said. "Also, they don't realize all the job opportunities available with other careers, such as counseling."

This is the fifth year of the career day program by Girls Incorporated, which develops research-based informal education programs that encourage girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges.

In addition to learning about industrial design, the girls will get an introduction into different professions from several AU faculty who will give short programs on career options.

The students, who will be divided into two groups, will meet with Aliecia McClain, an assistant professor of textile engineering; Marilyn Read, an assistant professor in interior environments; Mary Cameron, an associate professor of anthropology; Holly Stadler, a professor and head of counseling and counseling psychology; and Charles Ellis, manager of the microelectronics laboratory in electrical engineering.

Many of the AU faculty have planned hands-on activities for the girls, Peters said. "We want to serve as role models to demonstrate to the young girls that they can go into any field and be successful."

Girls Incorporated serves 350,000 young people ages 6-18 at more than 1,000 sites nationwide. Girls Incorporated major programs address math and science education, pregnancy prevention, media literacy, adolescent health, substance abuse prevention and sports participation.

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CONTACT: Peters, 334/844-2340; Joyce Johnson of the Girls Incorporated of Central Alabama, 205/595-4475.