ATLAS, November 2014

Over 200 participants attended the first Prince George’s County ATLAS symposium.  The Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders + STEM (ATLAS) symposium offers an opportunity for Maryland students to learn more about rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  On Saturday, November 8, 2014 participants of the inaugural Prince George’s County ATLAS event gathered at the University of Maryland (Van Munching Hall) to learn more about various STEM career paths and to speak one on one with STEM professionals.

The Turnout

Minority 89%
High schools 85%
Female 52%


Exhibitors + Presenters

After attending ATLAS…




“This event is awesome. I came here today thinking about a career in either IT or mechanical engineering. After talking to some people, I’m definitely leaning more toward mechanical engineering. I definitely plan on going to the next event in the spring.”

High School Student
Prince George’s County

“This is a great event. I brought my Girl Scout troop today, and these girls are 9th through 12th grades. I told them what STEM is and they were excited to see what career opportunities are available to them. We had four other events to choose from today, and the girls chose this one.”

Girl Scout Leader
Prince George’s County

“This event helps students realize that science is a friendly environment, and it gives students a chance to see all of the STEM career options they have, which can be cool and fun. They can see that they really can work with all of the things they learn about in class.”

Science Teacher
Potomac High School

The Program

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III and University System of Maryland Chancellor William Kirwan spoke to students and parents prior to the keynote address which was given by Y. Maria Martinez, CEO and Founder, Respira, Inc.  Ms. Martinez engaged parents and students with her inspiring story, sharing the personal and professional experiences that led to her success in her career and life in general.


Keynote Session Speakers:

Rushern L. Baker, III  Prince George’s County Executive

William Kirwan  University System of Maryland Chancellor

Y. Maria Martinez  CEO and Founder, Respira, Inc.

ATLAS participants networked with graduate students, STEM professionals and recruiters from nearly 40 different schools and STEM organizations. During this time, students learned about college programs, career possibilities, and internship and job availabilities. One lucky student from DeMatha High School was even offered a scholarship on the spot!

An entire list of organizations represented by the Expo and Meet & Greet presenters may be found below.

The event closed with a career  panel made up of leaders in business and STEM fields. The panelists discussed their current jobs, backgrounds, and advice about how to succeed in their careers.


Career Panel Presenters

Ed Eisenstein, Ph.D. (Moderator)   Investigator, Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, University System of Maryland

LaTara Harris, MBA   Regional Director, External & Legislative Affairs, AT&T

Felicia James, P.E.   Asset Strategy Manager, Utility Management Group, WSSC

Latresa Lomax, M.A.   CEO, AgemO Technology, Inc.

Karen Long-Rowe, Ph.D.   Principal Scientist, Emergent BioSolutions

Fatima Sequeira, Ph.D.   Chemist, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Donald Shell, M.D., M.A.   Director of the Cancer and Chronic Disease Bureau, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

The first ever ATLAS session for parents included information about financial aid, parent preparation for college, PGCPS resources for parents, and hands on STEM activities.


Parent Session Presenters

Dr. Joie Austria   Prince George’s County Public Schools

Zenia Henderson  CollegeTracks, Inc.

Dr. Felicia Martin-Latief   Prince George’s County Public Schools

Sponsors, Partners, and elected officials gathered with high school students prior to ATLAS to show their support for STEM education.  MdBio Foundation was also honored to present the 2014 Maryland STEM Education Leader Award to Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III and the 2014 Maryland STEM Champion Award to USM’s Chancellor William Kirwan.


VIP Breakfast Remarks From:

Brian Gaines  CEO, MdBio Foundation

Brian Darmody  Associate Vice President for Corporate and Foundation Relations at University of Maryland

Wallace Loh  President, University of Maryland

William “Brit” Kirwan  Chancellor, University System of Maryland

Rushern L. Baker III  County Executive, Prince George’s County

LaTara Harris  Regional Director-External & Legislative Affairs AT&T

Omar Boulware  Commission Chair, WSSC

Dr. Gladys Whitehead  Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Prince George’s County Public Schools

MdBio Foundation thanks its ATLAS partners and sponsors for making this event possible.

“I want to be a veterinarian, and I got information about vet schools and about what being a veterinarian is like. This event has been really fun for me and my friends.”
High School Student
Prince George’s County

“My son is in 10th grade, so it’s time that he start thinking about what he wants to do for a career. This event is perfect for him. He was able to explore a lot of different careers and talk to colleges about what types of programs they offer. He’s thinking about aerospace engineering, so the seed has been planted!”

High School Parent
Montgomery County

Exhibitor, Meet & Greet Presenter Organizations

A. James Clark School of Engineering Student Ambassadors, University of Maryland

Anacostia Watershed Society


Bradley Site Design

Capital Business/Washington Post

Capitol Technology University

Center for Minorities in Science & Engineering, University of Maryland

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland

College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland


Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland

Emergent BioSolutions

George Mason University

Georgetown University

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Hispanic Business Foundation of Maryland

Hood College

Howard University

Marshall Moya Design



Montgomery College

Morgan State University


National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network


Phoenix TS

Prince George’s Community College

QUEST Honors Program, University of Maryland


Startup Shell, University of Maryland

Terrapin Teachers, University of Maryland

Maryland Language Science Center, University of Maryland


Virginia Tech

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)

Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

Women in Engineering, University of Maryland

Young Women in Bio