Southern Maryland Aviation & Career Camp 2016

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The Southern Maryland Aviation & Career Camp 2016 will be a week-long excursion across the regional, experiencing many of this area’s premier aviation facilities and research campuses.

The camp will host several career development sessions.  The invited featured speaker on opening day is Lieutenant Colonel Myles Caggins, III, US Army. Take a look at this young Army leader’s short Building a 

Slide1Career video which gives some insight on planning for ones future.

Caggins currently works in the White House as a spokesman for the National Security Council. His military career has taken him around the world, including two combat tours in Iraq, and his story was featured in the Army’s recent recruitment campaign (above) to increase minority representation in its officer corps. He has served in a variety of leadership and staff roles including acting as a White House Military Social Aide for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  More recently, he was the Pentagon’s spokesman for Guantanamo.

Caggin has consistently excelled in his work and service. His military awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the National Press Club, and The ROCKS, Inc., a mentoring and networking organization. He’s also a former Term Member in the Council on Foreign Relations.   The Houston, TX native holds a Bachelor Arts in History from Hampton University and a Masters of Public Relation from Georgetown, Washington, D.C.; and he worships at the Arlington Church of Christ in Arlington, Virginia.

For a taste of theatrics, culture and information, we’ll be treated with the creative talents of Ms. Dia Brown, a junior at Huntingtown High School, Huntingtown, Md.  Brown is probably most well-know for her theatrical portrayal of Harriet Elizabeth Brown, a Calvert County educator, who had a profound effect upon the Maryland teaching profession and was a  catalyst for equal teacher pay, regardless of race, in Maryland.  Her Supreme Court case against Calvert County charged a violation of the 14th Amendment and was settled in her favor in 1937.

Brown recreated the young educator’s early days and her work with famed attorney and civil rights activists, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Thurgood Marshall.  Brown will give camp attendees a look into the life of Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman, who was an American civil aviator. Coleman, internationally recognized, was the first female pilot of African American descent and is also the first Native American woman to hold domestic and international pilot licenses.

According to Brown, “I did History fair my sixth grade year, but didn’t truly know how to create a project until I met Ms. Fallica (Holly Fallica, sixth grade Earth Science & Environmental). Through years of history fair projects, I have received many awards and bloomed into the person I am today.”

She added: these experiences have been fantastic and I have learned a lot about the rich history that the world has to offer. Also, they’ve given me my love for public speaking and afforded me the confidence that I never thought I had.  My goal is to inspire others the way the stories of people like Aviator Bessie Coleman inspired me, in the hopes that one day we can all have the strength and courage to be all that we can be.


The Southern Maryland Aviation & Career Camp 2016 is also very fortunate to have Rev Jen (as she’s most often referred to) be part of our camp.  She brings a unique set of experiences that she’ll share with all camp attendees.   The recently appointed pastor of Broadview Baptish Church, Owings, MD had this to say about here journey.

Reverend Jennifer Wilder, Broadview Baptist Church, Owings, MD: (excerpts from Baptist Women in Ministry) Though I was born in North Carolina, attended college at Furman University in South Carolina, and served first in ministry in El Salvador, I was called north to New York City to attend Union Theological Seminary, a seminary that seeks to privilege the voices often marginalized from other God-talk settings. Judson Memorial Church in New York City, where I served as community minister, helped me learn and experiment with the ministry trifecta of bold and deep spiritual formation, allowed me to work for justice and community change, and gave me opportunity to explore the arts and creative life.

I’ve tended to open up frontiers, the last by serving as the first woman Protestant pastor called as campus minister at Cristo Rey New York High School in East Harlem in New York City. That school’s students come from low-income families, many of whom without the Cristo Rey experience would not graduate and go to college. The school molds, challenges, and loves the students, and most do graduate from high school, go to college, and embrace a life of service. I spent lots and lots of time wondering about and calling forth the spiritual development of fourteen-to-eighteen-year-olds. MORE!


Have you’ve Slide1ever thought about what it takes to be a pilot or even fly one of those super-fast fighter jets?  You will be surprised to know that we’ll be spending a full day with our guests at Joint-Base Andrews, MD.  At Andrews, we will prepare for a mission and experience exactly what a fighter pilot does in the run-up to flight departure.  We’ll experience his routines, the meals, and inspection of his jet as the pilot does his pre-flight checklists.  You’re sure  enjoy a full day at the home of “Air Force One” and the site of the annual Department of Defense Air Show which draws thousands people.

If you thought that the Southern Maryland Aviation & Career Camp 2016 might not interest you – think again.  Across the five days of camp, you’ll not only talk with aviation professionals, pilots, and technicians, but professionals from other walks of life will share there experiences as well.


Slide3One person who agreed to speak with camp attendees is the Honorable Robert R. Rigsby.  On March 4, 2002, Rigsby was nominated by President George W. Bush to be an Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Superior Court. The United States Senate unanimously confirmed him. Rigsby has had an exceptional career as a public servant, most recently completing his military career as an Army Judge Advocate General Officer.  Judge Rigsby is a tireless worker in his community and a strong advocate for young people.


And, for those who are aware of the growing role that STEM (science, technology, engineering,

FullSizeRendermathematics) is having in our ever-changing world, then many of you might know Dr. Yovonda Kolo.  The Virginia native is Calvert County’s Supervisor of Science and STEM.  Kolo holds Bachelor of Science, Biology Education, Virginia State University; Masters – School Administration and Supervision, Bowie State University; and a Doctor of Philosophy – K-12 Educational Leadership, Walden University.  Among other duties, she annually organizes the Calvert’s STEM Expo; and this year’s expanded-edition had over 1,500 people attend.  The EXPO is a family event that engages students in science and engineering activities.  Kolo is passionate about promoting STEM for all students.

She will share with the camp attendees recent research on the vital need for role models in youth development and careers (titled: “The Power of the Presence of Role Models”), particularly as it relates to STEM and its broader need in education.


On Monday, July 11, the first day of camp, the guy immediately out-of-the-box is a young man, named: James Hughes. Born on February 28, 1994, he is young and a native Washingtonian who now lives in Charlotte, NC.  Growing up in the DC area, at the tender age of 5, James became hooked on flight after watching the annual Andrews AFB air show.

He soon became a Civil Air Patrol cadet at the age of 12 and an Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Cadet
(AFJROTC) in high school.  At an early age, he began a career in aviation by performing duties like search and rescue operations and soloing a glider aircraft.

Being our first pilot to speak, Hughes will bring his full repertoire of skills to our camp, instructing us on a full range of aviation fundamentals, to include overseeing a team flight competition.

Currently, Hughes holds a student-pilot certificate and is in the final stages of earning his commercial pilot license. He’s also a member of the NC Army National Guard, working as Image-1.pngan UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Crew Chief and repairer.  The crew chief is responsible for the maintenance and reliability of these airships; and, with hundreds of Army missions depending on this equipment, he ensures that his team is safe and ready to fly.  In his spare time, Hughes is pursuing his commercial aircraft mechanic license.

His military decorations include the Army Aviation Badge, Sharpshooter Badge, and Grenade Expert Badge.  He is a graduate of Army Basic Training and the 14-week,  Army Individual Training School for Aviation, at Fort Eustis, VA.


Our senior aviator is retired U.S. Air Force pilot, Lt. Col. Marc Branche, who will join us on Thursday, July 14.  The University of Maryland graduate holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiological Sciences and a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, graduating in 2006.  He currently is the  Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Oxon Hill High School, Oxen Hill, MD.

Branche received his wings in February 1992, and was assigned to fly C-130Es (a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft) with the 41st Airlift Squadron at Pope AFB, Fayetteville, NC.  While at Pope, he served as Chief Pilot Scheduler and Tactics Officer.

His next assignment took him to Flying Training Squadron Ten (VT-10) in Pensacola, FL, as a T-34C Instructor Pilot for Joint Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training.  While in VT10, his additional duties were VT-10 Academic Training Officer and Wing Deputy Director of Academics.

In 2000, Branche accepted a position as a pilot in the 201st Airlift Squadron, D.C. Air National Guard at Joint Base Andrews, MD, where he flew the C-38A, Gulfstream 100 (a six passenger business jet) and worldwide VIP missions in the C-40C (a variant of the Boeing next generation 737-700).

In 2005, he accepted a position on the Joint Force Headquarters as the Joint Strategic Plans and Training Officer.  In 2008, he was appointed as the Director, Joint Strategic Plans, Policy and Interoperability, and Joint Training, Exercises, and Education.  Branche was involved in planning the 56th and 57th Presidential Inaugurations which employed a historically large number of local National Guard guard members support to District and Federal agencies.

New James Webb Space Telescope Replaces Hubble

On July 12, meet Nobel Prize for Physics Winner, Dr. John C. Mather, who is a Senior Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. He is also a Senior Project Scientist on the new James Webb Space Telescope.

Physics Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. John C.  Mather

As Senior Project Scientist (1995-present) for the Webb telescope, Dr. Mather leads the science team, and represents scientific interests within the project management.

He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania as well as a doctorate in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Mather’s research centers on infrared astronomy and cosmology.

As winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physics, chosen by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Dr. Mather shares the prize with George F. Smoot of the University of California for their work using the COBE satellite to measure the heat radiation from the Big Bang.

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST or Webb) will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror.  The telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in October of 2018.

JWST will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

JWST is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is managing the development effort. The main industrial partner is Northrop Grumman; the Space Tele8539691559_1cd72ebfb1scope Science Institute will operate JWST after launch.
Several innovative technologies have been developed for JWST. These include a primary mirror made of 18 separate segments that unfold and adjust to shape after launch. The mirrors are made of ultra-lightweight beryllium. JWST’s biggest feature is a tennis court sized five-layer sunshield that attenuates heat from the Sun more than a million times. The telescope’s four instruments
– cameras and spectrometers – have detectors that are able to record extremely faint signals. One instrument (NIRSpec) has programmable microshutters, which enable observation up to 100 objects simultaneously. JWST also has a cryocooler for cooling the mid-infrared detectors of another instrument (MIRI) to a very cold 7º K so they can work.


Well that’s all for now, more to follow.
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