STEM Visionary Awards Honor APG Efforts
March 4, 2014
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD - The Deputy to the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command has earned recognition from the Northeastern Maryland Technology Council for his leadership in developing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives in the region.
Mr. Gary Martin received the 2014 Visionary Award Thursday night from the Council because of his efforts in advancing STEM education and specifically for creating the "STEM Forum," a collaboration of representatives from government, industry and academia who are expanding the pipeline of students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"His leadership influenced key industries to establish this regional STEM initiative, giving it the status it now enjoys today -- touching tens of thousands of students in Cecil and Harford counties, said John Casner, Executive Director of the NTMC. "He is a community role model in advancing STEM education and technology to benefit the community. His significant contributions to the well-being of our total community have been displayed through a personal commitment to the advancement of STEM education and technology with demonstrated qualities of enlightened leadership over a remarkable period of time."
More than 300 leaders in industry, government, non-profit, and education arenas attended the evening event. "We are honoring remarkable people who are playing key roles in moving our region forward in the areas of education and technology," said NMTC Board President Michael Parker. "These are individuals who selflessly donate their time and talents to make a difference in their community."
In his acceptance remarks, Martin emphasized that STEM education plays a critical role at Aberdeen Proving Ground because it provides the expertise necessary for the installation's centers of expertise in research and development, test and evaluation, communications-electronics, chemical-biological defense, and medical science. "STEM is what we do," he said. And, despite declining budgets, Martin emphasized that these are still areas of significance to the Department of Defense; therefore, he said, "We will continue to need the nation's best and brightest."
Ten other award winners were recognized for their roles in various STEM initiatives in the region to include four others from Aberdeen Proving Ground. Suzanne Milchling, director of Program Integration for the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, earned a leadership award for playing a critical role in expanding innovative STEM initiatives that engage students and teachers with organizations at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Suzanne Procell, a quality manager at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center received a mentor award for founding "Kids & Chemistry," a program that teaches hands-on chemistry concepts to hundreds of fifth grade students each year. Dr. Robert Lieb, a retired research physicist from the Army Research Laboratory was recognized for mentoring numerous students in the region and for helping to create the Senior Science Society. Carmen Kifer, a chemical engineer with the US Army Chemical Materials Activity was honored as a "rising star" who helped organize the county's first STEM Night which then launched STEM Nights across the region.
"I haven't seen anything like it (STEM education) anywhere I've been before, Martin stated. I'm
humbled to be amongst this team.
Casner summarized the positive impact that the awardees provide by saying, "We are grateful to these individuals for helping our region grow to the next level. Northeastern Maryland has grown and changed and our economic infrastructure is increasingly focused on research and technology development," said Casner. "These are the individuals who are building the foundation for the future of our region."
NMTC is a technology council with more than 200 businesses members who participate in networking, workshops, speaker series, and collaborative programs.