About Us

The Maryland Quality Initiative (MdQI) Outreach Subcommittee

Goal:

Improve awareness of career opportunities and the technology used in transportation engineering and highway construction in order to increase the pool of qualified candidates for related positions.


Objective:

Raise the level of awareness of at least 1,000 Maryland high school students as well as their counselors and teachers annually, through interactive presentations.


Strategies:

  • Host at least 3 engineering outreach events annually for middle and high schools with strong math and science programs.
  • Promote career opportunities, scholarship and internships available in the transportation industry through the MdQI Students website and social media.
  • Collaborate with other transportation industry outreach programs.


MEET THE TEAM!

Name: Kurt Walcott

University: Florida Institute of Technology

Committee Role: Co-Chair

Fun Facts:

  • I am a motorcycle enthusiast.
  • I know how to sail
  • I have a unique tie collection

How I discovered Civil Engineering: I have worked summer jobs in residential and commercial construction since I was 14 years old. One of the projects I worked on when I was 16 was a hospital annex in my hometown, St. Croix of the U.S. Virgin Islands. When working on that project, I was intrigued with what it took to put such a large project together. I made the decision that day that I wanted to be a civil engineer. The rest is history.


Name: Dionna Tunstall

University: University of the District of Columbia

Committee Role: Content Manager and Student Liaison

Fun Facts:

  • I was a college basketball athlete for 3 years
  • I graduated Magna Cum Laude
  • I am a member of the BEST sorority in the world, the Devastating Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated

How I discovered Civil Engineering: I discovered engineering from my dad who is an electrical engineer. When I was younger he use to take me to the different towers he worked on and designed for Verizon. I went on to attend a technical high school where we had the opportunity to try 4 potential majors. With my father’s encouragement one of the majors I chose (was told) to explore was Pre-engineering. During the Pre-Engineering class we explored all the branches of Engineering and I learned that I did not like electrical engineering AT ALL. Yet, I fell in love with Civil Engineering. The ideas, the opportunities, and of course the money 😊 intrigued me. After high school, I had 3 internships over the summers that allowed me to explore transportation and structural engineering. My Junior year in college I took my transportation engineer course which solidified for me that I had found my calling.


Name: Bashan Prah-McLeod

University: Morgan State University

Committee Role: Branding Manager

Fun facts:

  • I played the clarinet in my high school marching band for 4 years
  • I bought a star in space for my birthday and named it after myself
  • I have traveled to over 30 countries and states, visiting every continent except Antarctica and Australia

How I discovered Civil Engineering: My dad is an architect and I always used to hang out with him when I was younger at his job sites. I became intrigued with the way things were built, but when I got to college and majored in architecture, I hated it! I didn’t know what to change my major to, but my parents always taught me, a great way to be successful in life is to find a problem and solve it. Reflecting on this, I knew that I never liked the transportation system in Baltimore, where I was born and raised. So, I decided to major in something that would help me to fix this. I found that transportation engineering was a passion of mine, and this introduced me to Civil Engineering. I went on to receive my Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees from the illustrious Morgan State University. Two years after graduation, I applied to become a Transportation Engineer at the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration and the rest is history!


Name: Tania Stewart-Brown

University: Morgan State University

Committee Role: Logistics Manager

Fun facts:

  • I own a photography business
  • I am a home owner
  • I used cryptocurrency investing to pay for our wedding

How I discovered Civil Engineering: Growing up, math was my favorite subject. My mom would always put me in STEM camps. Originally, I wanted to be an Accountant because that's what most of the women in my family were. One camp called "Girls in Engineering" changed my mind and I wanted to be an Engineer. Originally, I wanted to be an Environmental Engineer but the schools I got accepted into didn't have that discipline so I studied Civil Engineering with a concentration on Environmental Engineering. I graduated in May 2014 from Morgan State University. Afterwards I worked for a few private engineering firms in Virginia and Maryland. January 2018 I became a State Employee with Maryland State Highway Administration.



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