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Meet the Team and our Partners

  •  LaTasha T. Starr

    Described by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as the “future of interdisciplinary graduate
    training”, LaTasha T. Starr’s innovative academic and professional approach to Engineering and Science
    provided her unique research opportunities with NASA Ames, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), The
    Boeing Company and the Centro de Astrobiología (SPAIN), all before beginning her career as a Systems
    Engineer for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC). Less than a year later, LaTasha was one
    of only 15 engineers throughout LMSSC selected to participate in Lockheed Martin’s Engineering
    Leadership Development Program (ELDP). With open arms, she has embraced challenging positions,
    including a Software Systems Engineer role on the GOES-R/SUVI program, where she was responsible for
    the design, fabrication, testing and validation of solar telescopes used for monitoring the sun’s activity.
    Her next assignment as the Risk Manager on the GMD proposal effort further developed her risk and
    opportunity assessment skills as well confirmed her ability to lead in the midst of challenges.
    Mrs. Starr was also a member of the Avionics team on the Orion program, where she gained valuable
    experience during the design and testing phases of the Cockpit and Display mockups for the Multi-
    Purpose Crew Vehicle. After successfully completing the Engineering Leadership Development Program,
    she assumed the role of Vehicle Integration Systems Engineer and Systems Lead for Structures and
    Mechanisms on the P734 program. She then took on a lead role on the Targets and Countermeasures
    program as the MBRV-8 point of contact, rounding out her past experiences in proposal development,
    requirements derivation and design engineering while simultaneously providing the opportunity to
    develop new skills in areas such as Mechanical Assembly, Integration and Test. Her most challenging role
    leveraged her technical experience with new business ventures as a graduate of the Business
    Development Analyst/Business Development Apprenticeship Program (BDAP). One BDAP rotation in Air
    and Missile Defense (AMD), focused on the sale of Pac-3 missiles in Japan and proposal development
    efforts for the HARP program as a member of the AMD Advanced Programs team. Each BDAP rotation
    focused on building key customer relationships in the areas of Tactical Missiles, Combat Ground Vehicles
    and Precision Fires.
  • LaTasha graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics and a minor in Biology from Tennessee State
    University. At the University of Washington (Seattle), LaTasha earned her Master’s degree from the
    College of Engineering in Human Centered Design & Engineering with a concentration in User Interface
    Design and Astrobiology. She recently put her industry career on hold to pursue a doctoral degree in
    Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington where she
    maintains a 3.8 GPA. Mrs. Starr enjoys bridging the K-12 education gap in Science, Technology,
    Engineering and Math (STEM) throughout the U.S. and abroad, by exposing teachers and students to
    innovative learning methods yearround. Mrs. Starr is the cofounder of STEM Memphis, an organization
    in her home town that strives to improve the academic success rate of local youth by providing
    opportunities for STEMfocused summer camps, tutoring and after-school archives throughout the
    school year. Mrs. Starr is also the founder of ESTe²M Builders, an engineering education company that
    builds on the foundation established by STEM Memphis by extending the vision of academic and career
    readiness through the addition of entrepreneurship in to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
    interdisciplinary learning model. LaTasha is committed to replenishing the future workforce by inspiring
    the next generation through education and public outreach, mentoring and community service.

    Ariel Bowman

    • Ariel Bowman is a Ph.D candidate and graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Mathematics.
      Her research area is Applied Mathematics, specifically Computational Neuroscience. She is one of eleven
      Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge-to-the Doctorate (LSAMP-BD) Fellows. Ms.
      Bowman is a graduate of Texas Southern University where she received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in
      Mathematics with a minor in Health Studies. Ariel Bowman is currently an executive coordinator of the
      UNITI STEAM Summer program, which takes place at the Handley-Meadowbrook Community Center, has
      held this position for two years. She is also the graduate liaison of UTA’s chapter of the Association for
      Women in Mathematics (AWM) and former Treasurer of Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics
      (SIAM). Ariel Bowman teaches a Preparations for Calculus course and has been a Teaching Assistant for
      Calculus 2. As an undergraduate, Ms. Bowman was president of the Society of Urban Mathematicians,
      Student Ambassador for the math department, and a member of the Student Advisory Council. She was
      also a Supplemental Instructor for the Math Department, where she conducted Algebra Recitations. Ariel
      Bowman was a member of the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College and the Houston Chapter of the Louis
      Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program under the direction of Dr. Bobby Wilson. She has been
      the recipient of the College of Science and Technology Faculty and Sta3 Scholarship Award. Ariel
      Bowman truly enjoys telling others including students at local high schools about her journey through a
      career in mathematics.

    STEM Memphis

    S.T.E.M. Memphis and Memphis Entrepreneurship Academy has developed a Saturday Camp for children age 7 to 18. We have included a wide range of activities base on S.T.E.M., entrepreneur skills, coding and web development. The unique skills your child will learn can make them a better student prepared for the next level of their educational skills and more aware of the community in which they live.