Marlena L. Jones, M.S.
Marlena Jones, Acting Director of CASE, oversees all CASE programs. Throughout the school year she provides a variety of services to teachers, administrators, and students, including enhancing and implementing options within the biotechnology academy career pathway. Ms. Jones founded the CASE STEM kits program and she is responsible for the development and management of these free science inquiry based kits for classroom use. She serves as the instructor for several CASE teacher and student programs, including the Summer STARS, STEM Teacher Leader Cadre, AP Biology Collaborative.
Prior to joining CASE, she was the Director of The Discovery Center for Cell and Molecular Biology at Catholic University of America. The Discovery Center is a science training facility for junior high and high school students and teachers. Since 1993, Ms. Jones designed and implemented several of their programs – including the “What If?” Laboratory afterschool program for students, the Gene Search Project for rising high school seniors, and was editor-in-chief of the newsletter, The Biology Discoverer. She was instrumental in the training of almost 20,000 student participants in the Discovery Series and Outreach Biotechnology Loaner Laboratory.
Ms. Jones received her Master of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Catholic University. In addition, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and a Bachelor of Science degree in General Biology with high honors from the University of Maryland College Park where she became a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She has extensive experience in teaching laboratory science at the college and high school levels.
NaDaizja Q. Bolling
As the Program Associate for CASE, NaDaizja Bolling manages the day-to-day operations of all CASE programs. NaDaizja is a dedicated education professional with proven leadership, organizational, and communications skills. NaDaizja believes that helping youth gain access to hands-on science learning is crucial in preparing them for a successful and meaningful future, and in generating STEM equity. NaDaizja’s ability to work well with people across various backgrounds positions her to successfully build partnerships that strengthen educational equity in DC communities.
NaDaizja previously worked at Harvard Business School where she proactively managed the efforts of the 50th-anniversary celebration of the founding of the African American Student Union at Harvard Business School, a key inflection point in the School’s history. She has additional experience in both quantitative and qualitative research practices, international development, and mentoring.
NaDaizja holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health and African American Humanities, with a minor concentration in Medical Anthropology, which she received from Syracuse University.
Physical Science Educator
Stephanie Williams is the Lead Physical Science Instructor for the First Light program. She is also a current undergraduate student at the University of Maryland (UMD) studying astronomy and physics. At UMD, she serves as the President of the Society Of Physics Students chapter, Vice President for the UMD Physics MakerSpace, and as an undergraduate researcher with the Physics Education Research Department. Stephanie has had previous experience in quantitative research with the LZ Dark Matter Detector experiment, and determining exoplanets with the KELT-FUN database.
Stephanie’s true passions are science education and outreach. Working with the University’s Physics department she has helped to develop and plan outreach events reaching thousands of people in the community. Shaw has also worked with the American Institute of Physics and their Women and Minorities Teaching Guide project to bring physics curricula about underrepresented groups to people all over the world.
After earning her Bachelors of Science in Physics and Astronomy in May 2019, Stephanie plans to continue a career in science education and outreach, with a focus of program and curriculum development.
Nefertiti Lyles-Myers serves as the Lab Technician for CASE. Using her laboratory skills, Nefertiti assists with preparing lab kits and providing professional development to teachers in the DC area through the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE). She is sharpening her leadership skills as she helps to lead various ABE-centered outreach activities and supervise high school and summer interns. Nefertiti hopes that the Amgen Biotech Experience professional development institutes and kit loan program help boost science education for the youth in DC public schools.
Throughout Nefertiti’s childhood, she always found herself intrigued by the sciences and has used her creativity, gifts, and strengths to help others. During her transition from Prince George’s county high school system to University of Maryland, it became apparent to her that her high school lacked the resources that would have allowed her to benefit from earlier exposure to scientific tools. Nefertiti determined that this was a public health issue and decided to learn more about how to mitigate it. Her passion for environmental health and justice has given her the drive to want to see improvements in under-served populations.
Nefertiti will graduate from University of Maryland December 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health Science with a citation for College Park Scholars. She plans to continue to work in roles that will allow her to use science to help improve under-served populations.