ATLAS, May 2015

Over 225 participants attended the second Montgomery 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, May 9, 2015 participants of the event gathered at The Universities at Shady Grove to learn more about various STEM career paths and to speak one on one with STEM professionals.

After attending ATLAS…




“I found it nice to be able to talk to a couple of people that have actually had experience in the field. The scholarship information is a plus to the whole experience! I will be looking into some internships for engineering because of ATLAS.”

High School Student

“I learned about internship opportunities at NIH and NASA. Also the speakers inspired me, but the most effective speakers were the people on the panel. They all gave such different stories and they all helped me see that STEM engages people from all over the world and thats why I want to be apart of the STEM world and hopefully get a job in it. There is so much diversity of backrounds and cultures.”

High School Student

“I had an amazing time and I met the Director of a Hispanic organization that could lead to a job this summer, it was wonderful. In addition, the guest speakers were inspiring and encouraged me to always keep an open mind and work hard.”

High School Student

The Turnout

High schools 85%
Minority 77%
Female 65%


Exhibitors + Presenters

“I am so glad I was able to be part of [ATLAS]. It was a very positive experience for me, and I really enjoyed interacting with the students. I had been looking forward to chatting with them and always enjoy talking to young people about science, but I surprised myself too, seeing my own renewed sense of excitement for science as I shared my experiences with them.”

Kaitlin A. Davis, BS
Pre-doctoral IRTA, Johns Hopkins GPP
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institutes of Health

“Congratulations on a great event.  Our team enjoyed participating and speaking with the attendees.”

Juli Zeffert
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Iron Bow Technologies

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

Exhibitor, Meet & Greet Presenter Organizations



Foundation for Advanced Education in Sciences at the NIH


Hispanic Business Foundation of Maryland

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Montgomery County

Hood College, Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies

Hood College, Department of Biology

Iron Bow Technologies

Johns Hopkins University


Montgomery College

Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education (MCBRE)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


Orca Intelligence

Per Scholas, NCR

St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Startup Shell

The Science Advisory Board

The Universities at Shady Grove, Public Health Sciences

University of Maryland, Clark School Ambassadors

University of Maryland, College Park

University of Maryland, Maryland Language Science Center

University of Maryland, School of Public Health

W.R. Grace & Co.

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)


Young Women in Bio

The Program

Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards spoke to students and parents prior to the keynote address which was given by Bahia Jallal, PhD, Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca and Head of MedImmune.  Dr. Jallal 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:

The Honorable Donna F. Edwards US House of Representatives

Bahia Jallal, PhD Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca and Head of MedImmune

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

Jose C. Aponte, PhD  Astrochemistry Analytical Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Kiran Chodavaruapu  Business Development Manager, W.R. Grace & Co.

Ed Eisenstein, PhD (Moderator)  Investigator, Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), University of Maryland

Adam Lerner, JD  Patent Attorney, QIAGEN

Lilana Losada, PhD  Associate Director of Scientific Programs, Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR)

Yvette S. Parker  Unit Coordinator, Utility Management Group, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)

Juli Zeffert  Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Iron Bow Technologies

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


Parent Session Presenter

Zenia Henderson  CollegeTracks, Inc.