Women and Math: Infinite Options


CSM Hosts Day of Exploration for High School Students, Teachers

Young women often feel unsure of career options in science and math fields, according to Sandy Poinsett, professor of math at the College of Southern Maryland and organizer of this year’s Women and Math event along with fellow instructors Mary Bilmanis and Stephanie McCaslin. This uncertainty among potential female science and math majors is what has driven Poinsett to create this day-long event—just for the girls.

In its fourth year, the Women and Math workshop, Oct. 18 at CSM’s Center for Business and Industry at the La Plata Campus, enables female students and high school teachers to explore chemistry, mechanical engineering, pharmacy, financial services, architecture, avionics and astrophysics careers, among others, with women who are currently working in each field.

“Young women are unaware of the many options that they can pursue using math skills, and as recent discussions and news stories have revealed, many girls who excel in math and science may be discouraged to seek the options available to them,” Poinsett said.

“By giving these young women an opportunity to interact with successful women as well as connect with their peers of similar talents, they will see the vast arena of career potentials out there for them,” Poinsett added.

Students will explore careers through workshops led by women working in these areas, followed by group activities and a panel discussion.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Brianna Bowling, president of Zekiah Technologies, a woman-owned information technology and software engineering firm in La Plata.

Bowling is a graduate of Charles County schools and Goucher College in Baltimore. She is a previous recipient of the Leading Edge Award in recognition of outstanding businesses in the tri-county area. In 2005, she received the Pioneer Award for Women Advancement from the Charles County Women’s Fair.

What Bowling says started as a part-time venture to keep busy while raising her three young children at home has now blossomed into a 30-person high-tech company completing technical projects for the Department of Homeland Security and the Navy.

Bowling recognizes the impact of networking for women as they pursue technical careers. She served in a leadership position as a charter member of DCWebWomen, a professional organization that promotes women in technology and provides opportunities to Washington area women. She now serves on the organization’s executive board.

CSM’s Women and Math workshop is free to young women in high school as well as high school math teachers.

The workshop begins at 8:30 a.m. in room BI-113 with a continental breakfast. Lunch will be provided. Students and teachers who register by Oct. 10 will be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Hollister’s clothing store.

For information on Women and Math: Infinite Options, call 301-934-7808 or 301-870-2309, Ext. 7808 for Charles County; 240-725-5499, Ext. 7808 for St. Mary’s county, or 443-55-0-6199, Ext. 7808 for Calvert County, or visit www.csmd.edu/Women&Math/.


The College of Southern Maryland will feature a diverse group of successful women in their respective fields as part of the Women and Math: Infinite Options program beginning at 8:30 a.m., Oct. 18 at the La Plata Campus.

Presenters will include:

Brianna Bowling – Keynote Speaker

Cristina Campbell – Health Science

Renee Jenkins – Computer Science

Jackie Dvorak – Avionics

Diane Kaufman Fredette – Architecture

Dr. Chris Michienzi – Chemical Engineering

Daphne Powell – Computer Science

Mary Sherlock – Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Ellen Wilson – Pharmacist

Christine Parker – Financial Services

Wendy Todd – Anthropometry

Meredith Mayes – Geographic Information Systems

Jennie Eustace – Software Engineering

Felicia L. Jones-Selden – Astrophysics

Amber Rust – Parent/Teacher Workshop.

For more information, visit www.csmd.edu/women&math