Meet Our STEMbassadors
Zainab Abbas is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SciTech2U Inc. She was born in Accra, Ghana and one of the many grandchildren of the First Chief Imam of Ghana. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband Kevin Bryant, four of her six children and a nephew. She received her B.S from Knoxville College an HBCU in Knoxville, TN, and her M.S in Developmental Biology at the University of Cincinnati. Her work with Proctor and Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Walter Reid Army of Institute of Research, IGEN, BioVeris, Panbio Diagnostics and Fortis College gives her diverse knowledge in STEM disciplines. She was an active member of Women in Bio Youth Committee for three years. When she is not a busy soccer mom and works to help her community, she enjoys reading, traveling and cross-fit.
Tia Bossiwa is a STEM focused teacher who engages the youth of Baltimore City and surrounding counties in increasing their academic, social and life experiences in order to compete globally with innovative 21st Century Skills and field experiences. Ms. Bossiwa devotes 100 percent of her research and educational teaching experiences in working with the youth of Baltimore City for the last 25 years as an educator who strategically aligns herself to the deficits and the needs of our urban youth. Ms. Bossiwa coordinates and engages students in exploratory field experiences with community partners such as NASA (Morgan State University), JHU Goddard Space Center, Thurgood Marshall Fund, JHU MERIT Medical Disparity Program in which she has served as a fellow teacher. Ms. Bossiwa makes it abundantly clear that she is on a mission to find pathways in which all young people can succeed.
She has extensive experiences in innovative teaching strategies for learning, field experiences for students and facilitating professional development for fellow colleagues. Ms. Bossiwa consistently attends professional development with Towson State University, Delaware State University, Chesapeake Bay Phillip Noonan Center and MadeClear: Maryland and Delaware Climate Change Academies, MSP News (Online) in order to keep her skills sharp and in tune with current scientific discoveries. Her recent activities include assisting students fulfill graduation requirements, teaching students on Saturdays and Sundays, planting a few hundred trees with Parks & People and the Audubon Association, taking students funded by a grant on field experiences with the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound Organization), tutoring young men with Mentoring Male Teens in the Hood, serving as BIOEYES Master Teacher with Johns Hopkins Carnegie Institute and is currently a board member of ESTEAM.
Ms. Bossiwa has volunteered at Timothy Baptist Church in the capacity of Church Clerk, teacher of Children’s Church and have assisted with the Tape Ministry. Ms. Bossiwa physically knocks on doors to invite children to receive help with homework, food, and clothing or to attend free academic experiences. Ms. Bossiwa is a champion of fair education for all students. She believes that it is crucial to assist students to think for themselves, navigate their own unconventional learning paths, make connections to their future aspirations, execute a concrete plan with expert support and mentors is absolutely necessary for them to be able to transcend through the maze of preparation for College and Career Readiness and fulfilling their dreams.
Maajida Murdock‘s journey as a STEM Advocator started with her first love – Astronomy. As a young girl, she loved looking through the telescope and wanted to travel to space, which eventually led her to pursue physics and facilitate workshops as a JPL/NASA Solar System Ambassador. Maajida graduated from Morgan State University with a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics, and she earned a Master’s degree in physics from the University of North Dakota. Currently, Maajida is a lecturer in the physics department at Morgan State University, a math teacher at Randallstown High School, BCPS, and the CEO and Director of her company, Strictly Academic. Maajida is a STEM advisor for some local private schools and after-school programs in the Baltimore area and she collaborates with professional STEM organizations and companies to bring opportunities to engage youth or teachers in STEM projects. Last summer, Maajida directed a successful pilot program using Quantum Literacy with a small group of students. This summer, she worked as one of the facilitators for QuantumforAll.org to train eight physics teachers and over thirty high schoolers in STEM and quantum applications at Morgan State University. Maajida’s determination and collaboration allow her the opportunity to make a difference by bringing historically excluded youth opportunities.
Founder Omowunmi Oni-Dandridge is a Baltimore native who brings youth and young adults a life skill through a mobile sewing program OND S.E.W Youth Project. Since 2018, this mobile workshop started as a way for her to provide social impact to undeserved communities in Baltimore city. This mobile workshop has served over 300 youth and young adults in learning a life skill in sewing, attributes of entrepreneurship and how to sustain. Most importantly the workshop has reached youth right where they can blossom in order to rise above negative situations in their surroundings as well as support youth in creative expression. OND S.E.W Youth Project provides positive impact and hard work in changing the community one stitch at a time. The work this mobile program has provided has aided in positive out of school time activities for boys and girls. I have taken the lost art of sewing and has used it as a vehicle for change to get in front of youth as a positive force to allow them to think and move beyond their current situation into innovation and sustainability. The OND S. E. W Youth Project has allowed youth and young adults to take what they have in order to create things of their wildest dream through learning the basics of hand sewing and sewing machines. Often times this programs services multiple locations throughout the city to bring this initiative to as many youth and young adults as possible.
Wynette Richardson has been a transformational educator for 14 years in public school systems, high education, and out of school programs. Richardson is committed to education and educating students in and outside of the classroom. Her philosophy of education is building rapport and creating a safe space for education and transformation to take place. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director at KidsSTREAM, Inc.
Christina Romano is APL’s STEM Academy Program Specialist and is responsible for managing STEM Academy, APL’s after school STEM program. Before joining APL in April 2021, Christina spent over 10 years as a STEM educator in different settings: teaching students in grades 2–12, creating and leading professional development for Maryland science teachers, working as a Scholastic science magazine editor, and designing science and engineering content for BrainPOP. She has also published several articles in science and education journals. Christina holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and an M.S. in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. When not working with STEM Academy, Christina enjoys rock climbing, reading, and traveling.
Shanda White has over 17 years of experience in youth development and education. Mrs. White is the Co-Director of Project STEAM MD. Project STEAM MD is a before care, after care and summer camp program that engages school age children in STEM, Art, character education and community service. Project STEAM MD was created to empower future leaders and entrepreneurs through exposure to STEAM.
Shanda enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons Logan and Hunter.
Dr. Winrow (Nevada) is a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine-trained Pediatric Neuropsychologist and has served as a clinical practitioner and an administrator in higher education for over a decade in roles as Dean, Provost, and Senior Executive Vice President. She has served as a Trustee on the Board of Trustees for two HBCUs and served as a member of the US Fulbright Scholars Review Board and the Board of Examiners for Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, our nation’s highest honor that is bestowed by the President of the United States.
Nevada is the alumna of several institutions that include Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Howard University, and Lincoln University and completed fellowships in Neuroradiology, Psychoneuroimmunology, Cognitive Neuroscience and Neurochemistry. Currently Dr. Winrow serves on the board of the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Alumni Association and is the National Chairwoman for youth programs for the National Association of Black SCUBA divers. Nevada is a pilot with membership of Maryland Civil Air Patrol (CAP), where she serves as a CAP aerospace educator and she holds a FAA commercial drone pilot license. Nevada is a PADI Master Scuba Diver, an associate member of the Women’s Diving Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Underwater Sciences
Amanda Valledor is the Event and Outreach Program Coordinator at the JHU Center for Educational Outreach where she supports a variety of K-12 STEM outreach programs and events that engage local Baltimore students and families with JHU students, faculty, and staff. In particular, she coordinates an undergraduate student-led mentoring program called the Charm City Science League (CCSL) which provides weekly support to Science Olympiad teams at over 12 Baltimore City middle and high schools each year. Amanda has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and is a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator. She previously completed two years of AmeriCorps service in a 4th grade classroom through City Year and worked as a curriculum coordinator at the Museum of Science in Boston where she developed hands-on STEM activities, taught engineering and computer science summer courses, and supported the Overnight Program for students and scouts in grades 1-8.