NASA Aerospace Engineer Aprille Ericsson to Deliver Keynote Address ATLAS Symposium on November 7

Free Event Hosted by MdBio Foundation, Prince George’s Community
College, Prince George’s County Public Schools and NASA Designed to
Inspire Students to Purse STEM Careers

ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aprille Ericsson, Ph.D., a pioneering African American engineer who is
currently an aerospace engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
(GSFC) will be the keynote speaker at the Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders +
STEM (ATLAS) college and career symposium on Saturday, November 7. ATLAS
is a signature event of the MdBio
, and is co-hosted by Prince
George’s Community College
, Prince
George’s County Public Schools
and NASA

ATLAS provides an important opportunity for students to learn about the
exciting career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and
math (STEM), with speakers and activities that encourage and prepare
them to further pursue their interests. During the symposium, which is
being held as part of the Maryland STEM Festival, students will have the
opportunity to explore STEM careers in engineering, cybersecurity, life
science, information technology and more.

“We are honored to have Dr. Ericsson join us at ATLAS this fall,” said
Brian Gaines, CEO of MdBio Foundation. “Through perseverance and a
strong interest in the sciences, Dr. Ericsson has continued to break
barriers for females and minorities. We look forward to having her share
her inspiring story with students and parents.”

Dr. Ericsson received a Bachelor of Science degree in
Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from MIT, where she was involved
in numerous projects related to manned space flight. She then went on to
Howard University, earning Masters of Engineering degree and becoming
the first female and African American female to earn a Ph.D. in
Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace option. At Howard University, her
research focused on developing practical design procedures that can be
used in conjunction with optimal digital controllers for future orbiting
large space structure systems like the Space Station.

Dr. Ericsson also is the first African American female to receive a
Ph.D. in Engineering at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and has
received numerous honors throughout her career. Most recently, in May
2015, she was named No. 8 in Business Insider’s list of the “23
of the most powerful women engineers in the world.” She also has been
acknowledged by the National Technical Association for being amongst the
Top 50 minority women in Science and Engineering, as well as receiving
the Women in Science and Engineering award for being the Best Female in
the Federal Government and a Special Recognition Award at the Black
Engineers Award Conference.

The majority of Dr. Ericsson’s engineering career has been spent working
at the NASA GSFC, first in Robotics and then with satellite projects as
part of the Guidance Navigation & Control Group. For more than 10 years,
she was an Instrument Project Manager, with responsibilities for
projects ranging in cost from $10 million to $500 million. She also
served a year as deputy to the chief technologist of NASA GSFC’s Applied
Engineering and Technology Division. Currently, Dr. Ericsson is the
Small Business Innovative Research program manager at the agency.

To help spur the interest of minorities and females in the math, science
and engineering disciplines, Dr. Ericsson is a member of the NASA GSFC
Speakers Bureau, serving as a professor in aerospace, rocketry,
mechanical engineering; a computer instructor; career advisor and
mentor. She also has created an e-mail pipeline for under-represented
groups in the technology fields to distribute the announcements for
federal grants and employment.

“I feel it is important to create an early mathematical and/or
scientific interest in young people and maintain it throughout their
later years,” Dr. Ericsson said. “I like to encourage students to shoot
for the moon, because even they miss it, they will still be amongst the

ATLAS Symposium Agenda

The ATLAS Symposium will take place in the Largo Student Center at
Prince George’s Community College from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday,
November 7. It will kick off with Dr. Ericsson’s keynote address at
10:15 a.m., and be followed by a College and Career Expo, which includes
career and leadership panels focusing on engineering, science and
technology. During the expo, students will have the opportunity to meet
and network with STEM professionals; learn about college and education
advancement opportunities; find paid and unpaid internships, and
scholarships. A free lunch is provided. Parents also have the
opportunity to attend an information session at 1 p.m. to learn about
financial aid, colleges and potential careers for their children.

For more information, please visit the ATLAS
Symposium website
. The event is free to attend for students, parents
and teachers, but registration is required.

About MdBio Foundation

MdBio Foundation is a charitable non-profit organization that provides
innovative, effective, and experiential STEM education opportunities
with a focus on bioscience. The Foundation’s interdisciplinary approach
uses science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to explore
real-world, problem-centric curriculum that bridges school, community,
health, and business. MdBio Foundation’s flagship education program MdBioLab,
a mobile laboratory for high schools, has provided quality educational
experiences to more than 110,000 students throughout the state of
Maryland since its launch in 2003. The Foundation also operates other
celebrated STEM education programs such as the Young
Science Explorers Program
for middle school students, the Maryland
BioGENEius Award
, and ATLAS:
Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders + STEM college and career symposia. For
more information, visit


for MdBio Foundation
Brad Wills, 240-752-7171