Speakers and Awards

Congratulations to the Launching Futures 2020 Award Recipients

Sustained Corporate Support of STEM Education Award
Newport News Shipbuilding

Newport News Shipbuilding is the nation’s sole designer, builder and refueler of nuclear aircraft carriers, and it is one of only two shipyards capable of designing and building nuclear submarines. The platforms they build not only help defend our freedoms, they support and safeguard the global economy through the protection of our world’s sea lanes. The 133-year-old shipyard is 25,000 strong, making Newport News Shipbuilding the largest industrial employer in Virginia.

To build the world’s greatest ships, the shipyard needs the world’s greatest shipbuilders—and they believe in developing talent early. Newport News Shipbuilding has a number of STEM outreach programs, including Girls with Engineering Minds in Shipbuilding (GEMS) and Young Men in Engineering (YME), to encourage middle-school children who are interested in pursuing engineering and other STEM careers. In addition to taking shipbuilding to area classrooms, the shipyard recently partnered with the City of Newport News and Old Dominion University in a new state-of-the-art facility at The Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center. While they are working to implement new digital technologies into their engineering and manufacturing processes, the shipyard is also using the facility as a means to introduce kids in the Southeast community to STEM-related jobs and fields of study.

With bright minds and innovative technology, the shipyard continues to advance its ability to build the most technologically advanced ships for the world’s greatest Navy.

Small Business support of STEM education
SimIS, Inc.

SimIS is an innovative leader in the modeling and simulation, test and evaluation, autonomous vehicle, advanced distance learning and immersive gaming, software development, cybersecurity and healthcare industries. SimIS’ mission is to “provide their clients quality and innovative information technology solutions that will model the future and secure the enterprise, sustaining corporate growth and providing a challenging and rewarding environment for employee success.”

Dr. Johnny Garcia is the Founder and CEO of SimIS Inc. Inspired by his parents and grandparents, he is dedicated to a life of service for family, community, and the technology industry. Dr. Garcia is also Founder of other companies such as Nimbus Health Systems, Prasili LLC and Health Care Simulations LLC.

SimIS develops innovative technology-based approaches and solutions to support each client’s requirements and business processes to enable their mission success. An example would be the ADRT (Autonomous De-Escalation Robotic Trainer) that was developed for the Portsmouth Police Department. The trainer will allow officers to face a variety of real-life scenarios and respond with the appropriate use of force. SimIS has done work for a variety of government entities to include: the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy and the Department of Homeland Security. As of October 2019, SimIS is now appraised at CMMI Level 3 (Development). The CMMI-3 rating validates the comprehensive process that SimIS applies to management and solution-production capabilities.

SimIS Inc. was recently awarded Small Business of the Year by the Hampton Roads Chamber, and Dr. Garcia received the prestigious 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Hampton Roads Chamber. In October of 2019, Inc. magazine selected SimIS Inc No. 3401 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

SimIS serves our local communities through robust intern programs for high school, college, and graduate students. Dr. Garcia’s philosophy of making a difference permeates his many service activities; numerous board memberships (including the STARBASE Board of Directors); STEM program development; volunteer service to local, state and international organizations and mentoring newly started small businesses.

STEM Innovator Award
Dr. Angela D. Reddix

Dr. Angela D. Reddix is a visionary and innovative thinker with global perspective and entrepreneurial drive. As a passionate mentor and advisor to the next generation of young girls and women, Angela is a leading advocate for entrepreneurship as a way of creating positive transformation in the world. Her own entrepreneurial drive led Angela to found ARDX, an award-winning healthcare management and IT consulting firm dedicated to improving the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable populations.

She also serves as Chairman and Founder of Envision Lead Grow, a Norfolk-based nonprofit organization aimed at aspiring girls of all ages to chart their destinies by teaching them the critical skills and dedication it takes to accomplish their dreams through entrepreneurship.

Dr. Angela’s unique ability to inspire greatness through the lessons of her own story has earned her a coveted position on the Old Dominion University’s Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame, the Humanitarian Award presented by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, the Women of Achievement Award presented by Old Dominion University, ODU’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Founder’s Day Regional Service Awards, the Leading Ladies of Hampton Roads Award presented by Coastal Virginia Business Magazine, the Still Hope Foundation’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, the US Chamber of Commerce’s Big Blue-Ribbon Award, Inside Business’s Women in Business Award, and many other notable achievements.

As a trusted community leader, Dr. Reddix serves as a member of the CIVIC Leadership Institute, the Women President’s Organization, and Old Dominion University’s Economic Development Catalyst Task Force, as well as board member and trustee to various local organizations including the United Way of South Hampton Roads Foundation Board of Trustees, the YWCA of South Hampton Roads Board of Directors, Old Dominion University’s Educational Foundation Board of Trustees, ODU’s Friends of the Humanities Board, the Kempsville Entrepreneurship Academy Board of Advisors, Norfolk State University’s School of Business Advisory Board, Communities in Schools of Hampton Roads Board of Directors, and the Hampton Roads Chamber Regional and Trustee Board.

Committed to lifelong learning and achievement, Dr. Angela is currently an instructor of Entrepreneurship and Business at Norfolk State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Marketing from James Madison University, a master’s degree in Organizational Development with a focus on Training from Bowie State University, a graduate certificate in Healthcare Compliance from The George Washington University, and her Ph.D. in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Angela was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and has a husband and three children.

Lifetime Award for Contributions to Early STEM Education
Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, Executive Director, Elizabeth River Project

Marjorie Mayfield Jackson left a prize-winning career as a reporter at The Virginian-Pilot to co-find the Elizabeth River Project around a kitchen table in 1991. She has led the organization to become one of the largest non-profits working to restore any tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Pioneer education projects include the Dominion Energy Learning Barge, powered by sun and wind, and the 40-acre Paradise Creek Nature Park in Portsmouth, an urban oasis featuring an 11-acre restored wetland in the heart of industry. Pioneer restoration projects include Virginia’s first major cleanup of contaminated sediments, at Money Point in Chesapeake, reducing fish cancer six-fold.

Additional accomplishments under her leadership:

  • On the Lafayette branch of the Elizabeth in Norfolk, the Elizabeth River Project led a community-wide plan resulting in 2014 in removal of the Lafayette from the state list of waters impaired for bacteria. In 2018, the Lafayette became the first Virginia tributary recognized for full restoration of habitat for the native oyster after Elizabeth River Project constructed a dozen oyster reefs.
  • The Elizabeth River Project’s Learning Barge is known as America’s greenest vessel and books to capacity for 6,000 students a year.
  • Elizabeth River Project purchased the waterfront land and created unique education amenities including a River Academy and a custom green playground at Paradise Creek Nature Park, a partnership with the City of Portsmouth.
  • All four Elizabeth River watershed cities – Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach – are recognized among 130 business and government facilities participating with Elizabeth River Project as River Star Businesses.
  • A majority of schools in the Elizabeth River area participate as River Star Schools with Elizabeth River Project, documenting environmental projects.
  • The Elizabeth River Project in 2019 took on the role of regional clearinghouse for youth education on sea-level resilience as part of completing one of the country’s first Youth Resilience Plans. Elizabeth River Project invites student groups to complete resilience stewardship projects and present results at a Youth Resilience Expo.
  • Elizabeth River Project pioneered citizen stewardship on the bay, creating River Star Homes in 2011, a program recognized with a free blue yard flag that has spurred similar programs around the bay. River Star Homes now numbers more than 5,500.

STEM Teacher Award
Heather Overkamp, Portsmouth Public Schools

Heather Overkamp grew up in the Midwest with a passion for helping people, and although her dreams of becoming a doctor were squashed in college, she found another passion: the water. It was this passion that brought her to Virginia where she worked on her Master of Science degree at ODU.

Shortly after graduating, a colleague encouraged her to consider teaching. She started at I. C. Norcom High School in the fall of 2001 and taught Earth science and oceanography. Seven years later, she was hired by the Director of Science to teach in the STEM program. Heather taught students from all three Portsmouth high schools at Norcom in Experimental Design and collaborated with other STEM professionals to instruct in the middle school STEM program. Within three years, she was teaching three STEM classes at I. C. Norcom, including Experimental Design, Biotechnology, and Geospatial Technologies. The students in Experimental Design and in her after-school STEM club, have competed at the Tidewater Science and Engineering Fair, the Virginia Junior Academy of Science, the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, eCybermission, and the Elizabeth River Project’s Youth Resilience Expo.

Mrs. Overkamp has written and been awarded several grants from the Virginia Department of Education and Society for Science and the People. These grants assisted with the cost of mentoring student research. In addition, she received a Programs that Work award from the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition during the 2018-2019 school year. Rumor has it that Mrs. Overkamp is setting her sights on more grants and awards to give her students the recognition and support they need to find success as research scientists.

STEM Student Award
Trinity Allen, I. C. Norcom High School

Trinity is a junior at I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia. During her freshman year, she was selected to attend the First College program where she is currently pursuing an associate degree majoring in Criminal Justice at Tidewater Community College.

Trinity has won awards and as a participant in the STEM Club for state competitions. She is a member of the National Honor Society and participates with the tennis team during spring. Trinity is also a member of the Theater/Drama team, advanced chorus, and she is active on the debate team. A member of Teens With a Purpose, she performed during “Something in the Water”, the music festival and cultural experience sponsored by Pharrell Williams. Teens With a Purpose is a peer-led non-profit serving schools, churches and communities across the Hampton Roads region. She also performed with the Virginia Stage Company in the production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. Trinity is a member of Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church where she sings in the Impact Choir (teen choir). She is a member of Theta Chi, a girl mentoring group where she is on the Youth Media Team and has volunteered with the Leaders of Tomorrow summer camp. Trinity has a strong passion for writing and research and plans to pursue a career as an attorney.


Keynote Speaker: Tina Manglicmot, Ed.D

Tina Manglicmot, Ed.D., is the Director of STEM and Innovation for the Virginia Department of Education and serves as an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary.  In conjunction with her team at VDOE, she ensures instructional alignment of all work to the State Standards of Learning in the STEM+C disciplines.  She is also responsible for policy and practice surrounding teacher microcredentials and the development of the Computer Science Online Modules.  As the leader of STEM education in the Commonwealth of Virginia, her experiences in the classroom and as a leader inform her pedagogical vision for integrated instruction throughout the Commonwealth.

Dr. Manglicmot is a former secondary science teacher, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, building administrator and Supervisor of Instructional Technology and Innovation.  For more than a decade, she has led professional development activities in project-based learning, integrated course development and classroom integration, division innovation, performance assessment, inquiry learning, and technology integration. She has also been involved since 2002 in the development and delivery of online learning courses for both students and teachers.

After receiving her MS Degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University, Dr. Manglicmot continued her education by receiving her Doctor of Education (Ed.D), in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership from The College of William and Mary where she was honored as a Chandler Scholarship Recipient in 2012.

Dr. Manglicmot is driving the future of STEM education in the Commonwealth.  You will enjoy hearing her perspectives.


Dr. Julian M. Earls

Dr. Julian M. Earls serves as Special Advisor to the President of Cleveland State University (CSU) in Cleveland, Ohio.
In that role, Earls provides leadership and direction for institutional initiatives and special projects, advises on institutional policies and departmental operations and serves as a key liaison with diverse internal and external constituencies. He previously served as CSU’s interim vice president of engagement and chief diversity officer and as an executive-in-residence in the Monte Ahuja College of Business.

Dr. Earls currently serves on many community and corporate boards. He also serves on the board of an organization that performs analysis of
alternatives, including cybersecurity, for the US Department of Homeland Security in Washington DC.

Dr. Earls is also President of Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing educational instruction, curriculum, mentoring and other information that helps develop the entrepreneurial, economic, business, and scientific literacy of students and the community.

In January 2006, Dr. Earls retired as Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Glenn Research Center (NASA GRC) at Lewis Field in Cleveland, Ohio, after a career spanning more than 40 years. As Director of GRC from 2003 to 2006, he managed a budget in excess of $700 million and a workforce of over 3,000 employees. He was responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the activities required to accomplish the Center’s mission that included research, technology, and systems development programs in aeronautical propulsion, space propulsion, space power, space communications, and microgravity sciences in combustion and fluid physics.

He was also Co-Chair of the Science and Mathematics Education Policy Advisory Council (SAMEPAC) for the State of Ohio. In 2007, SAMEPAC developed findings and made policy recommendations for improvements in mathematics and science education in Ohio
to the Ohio Board of Regents, Ohio Department of Education, and the Ohio Governor. In 2010, Dr. Earls enabled the
creation of the Campus International School, a partnership between CSU and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District,
incorporating the curriculum of the International Baccalaureate program, internationally recognized for its academic rigor.

Dr. Earls holds eleven university degrees. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Norfolk State University, a Master of Science degree
in radiation biology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and a doctorate in radiation physics from the University of
Michigan. He also completed the equivalent of a master’s degree in environmental health at the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the
Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School. He has also been awarded seven honorary doctorates. Dr. Earls is the author of
31publications and has been a Distinguished Honors Visiting Professor at numerous universities. As a NASA executive, he received NASA medals for
outstanding leadership, exceptional achievement, and distinguished service. He received the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award from
President Clinton in 1999 and from President Bush in 2004.

Dr. Earls has received many humanitarian awards and founded an organization (The Development Fund for Black Students) that provides college
scholarships to black students who attend historically black colleges and universities and major in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
As a mentor, he has guided many students through college and the professions. Recognized internationally for his oratorical skills, Dr. Earls is a
motivational speaker in high demand around the country, speaking on a wide range of topics including higher education models of excellence, as well
as equality of opportunity and inclusiveness in the corporate workplace. In 2011 he was the recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community
Service Award awarded by the Cleveland Orchestra and the City of Cleveland in cooperation with the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

In addition to his many scholarly and work-related accomplishments, Dr, Earls is an athlete. He has completed 27 marathons, including the Boston
Marathon, and was honored to carry the Olympic Torch on its route through Cleveland for the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

Dr. Earls and his wife Zenobia, reside in Beachwood, Ohio. They have two married sons, Gregory and Julian, Jr.