Spring 2020 STEM Lecture Series presents Valiant Women in STEM Fields

Date: March 4, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Location: MLK : Heritage Room

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Join us for our Spring 2020 STEM Lecture Series on March 4, 2020 in the MLK - Heritage Room at 10 AM! Refreshments will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.


Dr. Adena Williams Loston

Dr. Adena Williams Loston serves as the 14th President of St. Philip's College our nation’s only Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution. She assumed the reins on March 1, 2007, on the occasion of St. Philip’s 109th anniversary.

She previously served as the Director of Education and Special Assistant for Suborbital and Special Orbital Projects Directorate for the Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility and Chief Education Officer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at its Headquarters in Washington, DC. Her initial appointment at NASA was as the Associate Administrator for Education on October 28, 2002, and prior to joining the Agency, she served as the NASA Administrator’s Senior Education Advisor starting in September 2002. As NASA’s senior education official, she was responsible for structuring the Office of Education, providing executive leadership, policy direction, functional management, and guidance in coordinating the Agency’s overall efforts to organize and enhance its education investments and portfolio nationally and internationally for its Headquarter operations, mission directorates and 10 field centers. Dr. Loston was responsible for a $230 million budget (including earmarks) and directed policy for $1.3 billion.

Dr. Loston has served as President of San Jacinto College South, Executive Dean/Provost in the El Paso Community College District, Dean of Vocational Education, Budgets and Facilities, and Dean Professional Programs at Santa Monica College, and has also served in other administrative educational capacities for the past 39 years.


Dr. Stacie Koonhow

Dr. Stacie Koonhow is a native of San Antonio with a B.S. in Biology from Prairie View A&M University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is a trained Neuroscientist and Associate Professor at St. Philip’s College where she teaches Biology.  Her doctoral research focused on adult neurogenesis which occurs in the hippocampus, a brain structure involved with memory consolidation. These studies were exciting because they revealed mechanisms that caused the survival of new cells which is important for finding cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Her passion for neurobiology developed from personal and professional experiences.

Dr. Koonhow has management experience in an industry where she was a supervisor in the Department of Genetic Testing at Qualtex Laboratories. She also has taught secondary education. She has a desire to bring awareness to STEM topics while serving as a leader in her community.

Dr. Koonhow’s favorite quote to live by is “If there is no struggle, there is no progress” by Frederick Douglass.


Edith Orozco

Edith Orozco, born in Saltillo, Coahuila Mexico, immigrated to the United States to pursue her education.  She completed her high school diploma from San Antonio Independent School District, Fox Tech High School.  She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Incarnate Word and Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Assurance and Security from Texas A&M University, San Antonio.

Ms. Orozco has over 25 years of computer networking and cybersecurity experience and holds several information technology (IT) certifications that include, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, CompTIA Security + and Certified Ethical Hacker.  Ms. Orozco is currently Dean for Academic Success-Applied Science and Technology and adjunct faculty for the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense at St. Philip’s College.

Karen McGill, EIT

Karen McGill, EIT, is a Service/Repair Development Engineer StandardAero where she provides technical support to the Rolls-Royce T56, AE2100, AE1107C, and AE3007 turboprop engines as well as work with the US Air Force and US Navy to develop repairs.  Previously, Karen worked with Alliance Spine as a Product Development Engineer designing and developing spine and cranial implants and has worked with St. Philips College teaching mathematics.
She is from El Paso, TX and earned her BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from UT San Antonio.  Growing up in the beautiful deserts of west Texas influenced Karen’s passion for science, the outdoors, and engineering.

Roxanne Perez

Through many years of service at St. Philip’s College, Roxanne Perez has supported various areas across the college including providing math-tutoring support in MathWorld, serving as the Coordinator providing science-tutoring support in the Byrd Sanctuary and subsequently supporting the Math Bridge program working with trade’s students. Most recently, Perez worked with a group of graduated high school senior students who participated in the summer pilot program of the AlamoPROMISE at SPC.

Currently, Perez heads the SPC HealthMatics program, which provides math-tutoring support to the nursing students as it directly relates to subject-specific course content.

Maria Rodriguez

Maria Rodriguez is the Director for the Center of Excellence for Mathematics at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas. She earned her BS in Mathematics from the University of Texas at San Antonio and Master of Arts in Education, Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Mathematics. She has found her passion for helping students reach their goals through mathematics. Maria lives the best of both worlds; she gets to work with high school students by helping them explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) career fields with hands-on activities so they themselves can see and understand the importance of mathematics and continues to teach mathematics as an adjunct professor.

  • Maria has developed seven STEM outreach programs reaching 390 students yearly.
  • Ms. Rodriguez participated in writing a $200,000 HBCU-UP NSF Grant.
  • Maria had an opportunity to represent St. Philip’s College at the Capitol Hill Building in Washington DC.