Gator of the Week: Ava Kuhlman
May 31, 2022
This week’s featured Gator is nominated by Assistant Principal Ashley Clark: Green Level junior Ava Kuhlman.
While busy with a job at Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream, a lead teen position on Cary Teen Council, and a love for sports and the gym, Kuhlman is also very much involved in STEM both in and outside of school.
She says her passion for STEM started since she was very young and was built even more at the beginning of high school, ” I took a biomedical technology class and fell in love. I knew in my heart that this was the field I wanted to have a career in.” Kuhlman then attended a program at NC State called Girls Engineering for Change where she was mentored by a female Biomedical Engineering student, “It included a multi-weekend series of lectures, lab tours, and hands-on projects.”
This inspired Kuhlman to bring accessible opportunities to her own school. Specifically, UNC Chapel Hill’s DNA Day where graduate students would present current research or a STEM topic to high schoolers. After persevering through three years amidst the pandemic and rejection, Kuhlman was able to bring two Ph.D. candidates from UNC to discuss Pharmacogenomic science, “The experience was very inspirational and fascinating,” she expressed.
Researchers from UNC shared information on toxicology and neuroscience to Biology and Forensics students! Thanks for organizing such an amazing opportunity, Mrs. Loftus! 🧬🔬 pic.twitter.com/QrF5S6GoAx
— Green Level High School (@GreenLevelHigh) May 25, 2022
Kuhlman has also been able to help hold STEM workshops and mentor middle school-aged girls through Green Level High School’s TechGirlz club, “We hope to inspire, connect and encourage these girls to follow their interests in STEM careers.”
Clark commented on Kuhlman’s initiative, “I know it is the end of the year, but as a rising Senior, I think Ava’s voice carries weight for not only women in STEM, but for the kind of leadership we celebrate at Green Level.”
As a woman in STEM, Kuhlman has noted that she’s faced some obstacles but is grateful for her support network and family.