Theresa Shafer 
 
Event Organizer 

Theresa has wanted to be an engineer since middle school. As a student, airplanes caught her attention and she found her niche in aerospace engineering. After graduating with degrees from Auburn University (BS) and Virginia Tech (MS and PhD), Theresa worked for private industry before joining the civilian workforce supporting Naval Aviation at NAVAIR in 2007. Her area of expertise is leveraging high performance computing systems to perform aerodynamic analysis on a myriad of Naval aircraft. Currently, Theresa supports NAVAIR through recruiting and employee development and engagement as the director of Developmental Employees for the Air-Vehicle Engineering Department. 

Theresa has a passion for STEM education and aims to inspire students to dream, tinker, create and explore while shaping the future of STEM. She herself is inspired by today’s youth, especially her three children, and wants to be a catalyst for students in pursuing their dreams, realizing their potential and exploring the possibilities STEM knowledge brings.

Theresa enjoys supporting the community through events like STEM-ING, coaching youth soccer and volunteering. She spends her free time with family and friends, running and reading.

 

 

Crystal R. Krater
Student Outreach Chair

Crystal is a STEM Outreach Coordinator for NAWCAD’s Educational Outreach Office. She graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland as a first-generation student. Her professional background includes teaching STEM subjects for K-12 students. She is in the process of considering which STEM-related degree to pursue.

Crystal volunteered for STEM-ING in 2015 and 2016 as lead for the College Campus Coordinates workshop. In addition to STEM-ING, Crystal is Co-Lead of the STEM/Outreach sub-team for the Individuals with Disabilities Advisory Team (IWDAT), a NAVAIR Affiliation. She strives to make a difference in STEM education and career opportunities of others in spite of challenges encountered, by working diligently at making STEM opportunities easily available.

Her inspiration comes from those who overcome struggles and accomplish their goals, small and large alike. She is passionate about inspiring under-represented populations of STEM by providing exciting STEM experiences.

Crystal enjoys all genres and eras of music. In her free time, she loves to practice acoustic and electric guitar, dance, hike with her Yorkie-mix, and spend time with family and friends.

 

 

Laura Ross
Workshop Co-Chair

Laura is an Aerospace Engineer working in the NAVAIR Store Separation branch on the F/A-18 platform. She is a graduate of the Aerospace and Ocean Engineering double major program from Virginia Tech and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from N.C. State.

Laura volunteered with STEM-ING since 2016. Her inspiration comes from her mother, who has focused on STEM development for middle-schoolers throughout her career as a teacher and developmental education researcher, and also her own experiences in college and in the engineering field. Her first interest in STEM programs began with a workshop in middle school where she and a friend were the only female participants. Laura looks forward to reaching out to students through the exciting activities of STEM-ING and fostering interest in STEM to last throughout their educational careers.

She enjoys reading Sci-fi and fantasy, writing, and spending quality time with friends and family.

 

 

Kristen Finnegan
Workshop Co-Chair

Kristen Finnegan has been working at NAVAIR as a Flight Test Engineer since 2009. She supports the helicopter squadron and primarily conducts testing of military helicopters aboard Navy ships. She has a BS in Aerospace Engineering and is currently working towards a Masters in Flight Test Engineering. She has volunteered for the STEM-ING event for the past 6 years. Her inspiration to volunteer comes from her experience as a middle school student – she always preferred Math and Science classes more than English and Art, so she is excited to support the opportunity for local girls to explore those subjects now.

 

 

 

Emily Overman
Events Chair

Emily has been working at NAVAIR for almost a year as a part of the Mission Systems Test and Evaluation Division on the MH-60 program. Prior to that, she had spent 10 years in the commercial aerospace industry as a hydraulics engineer. She has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from The Ohio State University. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

She volunteered at the STEM-ING event as a facilities co-chair and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Bring Girls on the Run to Southern Maryland. She is also a mentor for the Science Fair Mentor Program where she is mentoring 2 high school girls in preparing for the St. Mary’s County Science Fair.

Her inspiration comes from a desire to see girls as excited about STEM as she was growing up and ensure they have the confidence, self-esteem and knowledge to pursue their dreams!! In her free time, Emily likes bicycle riding, reading, coloring, playing with her dogs, working out, catching up with friends, watching Ohio State football, watching movies and learning new things!

 

 

Diana Decarlo
Volunteer Coordination Chair

 Diana was born and raised in St. Mary’s County and is a graduate of Great Mills High School. After graduating from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering she joined NAVAIR fulltime in 2003. Since then Diana has been a member of the Test & Evaluation Department where she has been responsible for evaluating the latest avionics systems for all Naval and Marine Corp aircraft. Diana is also an advisor to all of the entry-level engineers and scientists that join her division.

Diana started volunteering with STEM-ING in 2014 where she was a member of our Events Committee. She has since volunteered every year and was even one of our Masters of Ceremonies in 2018. Diana is also a member of NAVAIR’s Women’s Advisory Group and founding board member of a local nonprofit, Tap’s Community Brotherhood (TCB), established in April 2006. Diana enjoys giving back to her childhood community and inspiring the next generation of STEM students.

In her spare time, Diana likes to gather with family and friends for a meal, workout, movie, or shop!

 

 

Shana Jefferies
Registration & Evaluation Chair

Shana Jefferies

Shana is a Flight Test Engineer at NAVAIR in Aeromechanics Branch on the P-8 and C-130 platforms. She has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University.

She has volunteered with STEM-ING since 2013. Shana is involved in several other STEM activities including Mattapany Day Camp, STARBASE Atlantis, Robotics Competitions, and Science Fairs.

Shana’s inspiration comes from her sister with Down Syndrome. The two of them were very close growing up and Shana has always been her mentor. Her sister continues to prove that you can do anything you set your mind to. Shana continues to mentor others through STEM by exposing them to new ideas and activities. She hopes to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM fields.

In her free time Shana enjoys being outdoors and staying active. A few of her hobbies include: Biking, Swimming, Hiking, Camping, Flying, and playing just about any musical instrument.

 

 

Jamaries Benitez
Facilities Chair

Jamaries

Jamaries started working with NAVAIR in 2010 as an Industrial Engineer.  She works in Manufacturing and Quality supporting the CH-53K Production Team. She is a Chemical Engineering Graduate from University of Puerto Rico and currently pursuing a MS in Systems Engineering from Naval Post Graduate School.

She is involved in various STEM activities since 2011 including but not limited to Starbase, Lunch with an Engineer, Expanding Your Horizons, STEM-ING, and STEM Day.

She strives to encourage youth to pursue STEM related careers. Her passions include travel, volunteering, reading, family and friends.

 

 

Andrew Fisher 
Publicity Chair

Andrew is an Information Systems Business Graduate from Salisbury University. He graduated Spring of 2018 and shortly started working at NAWCAD supporting the Services Acquisition Team. Andrew is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration at the University of Maryland University College and exploring options to further his academics. He has an ambition to one day be a college professor.

Andrew has participated in many community activities. Currently, Andrew is STEM-ING’s publicity lead, a member of the St. Marys County Black History Coalition, and lastly a Unified Partner for local St. Mary’s County Special Olympics sports teams.

Andrew enjoys watching Washington D.C. sports, traveling, being around friends.

 

 

Rick Mattson
Finance Chair

Rick received a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida. He has been affiliated with Naval Aviation since his graduation. He currently works at NAWCAD and performs a variety of roles, ranging from recruiting to STEM outreach.

Rick became involved with community activities many years ago as a volunteer soccer coach in Calvert County. He then took an active role in Scouting activities. Eventually, this carried over into STEM outreach activities. Rick currently plays a role in Calvert County’s Project Lead the Way program.

Rick enjoys sailing, windsurfing and SCUBA diving

 

 

 

 Cam Donohue
STEM-ING Founder

Cam is the Technical Director of the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two- Three (VX-23) at NAWC-AD. She earned a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from California Polytechnic University with affiliation to the National Aerospace Engineering Honor Society, Sigma Gama Tau. She was competitively selected to attend United States Navy Test Pilot School where she completed the Airborne Systems Curriculum and graduated Class 132.  She completed the United States Naval War College Fleet Seminar Program and received a Master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies with highest academic distinction. Cam completed the NAVAIR Leadership Development Program in 2017.

Cam’s passion for STEM was seeded during her participation of the national Expand Your Horizons (EYH) workshops that she attended as an 8th grade student. She was able to use that passion to lead a number of workshops with the China Lake EYH chapter when she was working as a propulsion engineer at China Lake, CA. She moved to Southern Maryland and wanted to inspire the local girls and she started leading the 1st EYH chapter in SoMD, which resulted in founding STEM-ING, an independent organization with similar goals.

In addition to STEM outreach, Cam is involved with the local Habitat for Humanity, St. Mary’s County soup kitchen, and served as the Events Coordinator for a local non-profit organization focused on improving the lives of low-income families and single parents in dire situations.

Cam enjoys traveling, photography, and anything active, including: snowboarding, rock climbing, surfing, backpacking, and obstacle course racing.