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The Maryland Quality Initiative (MdQI) Outreach Subcommittee


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.


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.


  • 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.


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 35 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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