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UMES Hosts Lower Eastern Shore STEM Team

STEM Team 3 PRINCESS ANNE, MD – (April 22, 2014) - The University of Maryland Extension office at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore hosts it first ever 4-H Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) team.  Charged with engaging area youth in the many program areas within the STEM fields, the team has established offices in each of the tri-county areas of the lower Eastern Shore. 

“Engaging more young people within the STEM fields is a national priority and it is a priority of the University of Maryland Extension and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  We are, therefore, very excited about having a team that’s reserved for making STEM its priority,” said Dr. Henry Brooks, UME-UMES Extension administrator. 

Team leader Jocelyn Koller is stationed at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore campus and has joined the team as a 4-H STEM associate agent.  She is a graduate of Towson University, where she earned a Master of Science degree in biology with an interest in molecular biology and forensics.  Having taught at the middle, high school, and college levels, she brings to her position a wealth of knowledge about the value of education in the sciences.  In addition to teaching, she has served as a biology program manager for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth and as a STEM education and outreach specialist with Towson University’s Bioscience and Outreach Program. 

“I expect that this new STEM initiative will result in more youth being excited about STEM and having a greater understanding of it,” said Koller.  “I believe they will take their newly acquired knowledge beyond the four walls of their classrooms and into their communities and careers.” 

John Kotz has joined the team as a 4-H STEM faculty extension assistant in Somerset County. He is a graduate of Salisbury University, there earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.  In August 2013, he received his master’s degree in school leadership from Wilmington University and is certified to teach technology education.  He has worked as a high school technology education teacher in Salisbury for six years and has served as dean of students on both the middle school and high school levels.  John wants to use STEM to promote life-long learning to youth on the Eastern Shore. 

Lisa Murphy, also a 4-H STEM faculty extension assistant, is stationed in Worcester County.   She is a native of Salisbury and a graduate of the University of Maryland in College Park.  She has earned a Bachelor of Science in horticulture with an interest in horticultural therapy and has continued her education by taking graduate courses in agricultural education at UMES.  She has worked as an agricultural technician at UMES, a branch executive director of the Maryland Chapter Arthritis Foundation, assistant director of the SU Fund at Salisbury University; a community relations director for a retirement community and chief of Senior Centers with MAC, Inc. 

Celine Pastore is the 4-H STEM faculty extension assistant for Wicomico County.  An honors graduate from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts in math, Pastore has worked as a pre-calculus, geometry and algebra II teacher at the Massanutten Military Academy, a second-chance boarding school located in rural Virginia.  Having also worked as a teacher and volunteer in programs through Westfield Youth Detention Center and Habitat for Humanity, Celine has had the opportunity to teach and mentor youth from many diverse backgrounds and experiences. She is eager to apply her experience to helping youth on the Eastern Shore gain confidence and interest in all aspects of STEM. 

For more information about the UME-UMES 4-H STEM team and their STEM initiatives on the lower Eastern Shore, please contact Jocelyn Koller at jckoller@umd.edu. 

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Suzanne Waters Street, agriculture communication specialist, UMES – University of Maryland Extension, 410-651-6084, sstreet@umes.edu


Photo Caption:  Pictured left to right are Jocelyn Koller, Celine Pastore, Lisa Murphy and John Kotz.

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