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August 24, 2015

APL Staff Members to Receive Women of Color Technology Awards

APL staff members Xiomara Calderón-Colón, Gina  Marshall-Johnson, and Deanna Green

APL staff members Xiomara Calderón-Colón, Gina Marshall-Johnson, and Deanna Green

Three staff members from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory will receive 2015 Women of Color Technology Awards for their accomplishments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related fields. Xiomara Calderón-Colón, Gina Marshall-Johnson and Deanna Green will be among those honored in October during the 20th Annual Women of Color STEM Conference in Detroit.

Calderón-Colón, who will receive the Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution – Industry, is a senior materials scientist who works across disciplines, including nanomaterials and biomaterials, spectroscopy, microscopy and mechanical/optical/chemical characterization.

She has been lauded for her expertise and technical leadership in designer collagen-based hydrogels, a biomaterial with applications in corneal prostheses and wound healing. She has been a leader on the Army-funded Eye PATCH project, which is focused on developing biomaterials for ocular repair.

“Feedback from the [project] ophthalmologists about Xiomara’s material is incredibly positive,” said Jim Schatz, who heads APL’s Research and Exploratory Development Department. “Eye injury affects a large number of wounded warriors, and success in this field could significantly restore quality of life for those who have suffered these traumatic injuries.”

Calderón-Colón has authored or coauthored more than a dozen journal publications and has presented her work at many national scientific conferences. She holds one patent, has four patents pending, and has disclosed 20 new ideas in just five years at APL. Additionally, she volunteers her time in a variety of educational outreach efforts.

Calderón-Colón holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao and a Ph.D. in applied science and engineering from the University of North Carolina.

Marshall-Johnson, an electrical engineer and program manager, will receive an Award for Technical Innovation – Industry. She manages homeland security-focused programs that address cybersecurity research and development, architecture, systems engineering, and testing and evaluation.

Marshall-Johnson has led several key projects established under the National Security Presidential Directive to secure the United States in cyberspace, including a major effort to test and evaluate an intrusion-detection system for protecting all federal departments and agencies.

“Since joining APL in 2009, Gina has applied her expertise in communications technology and computer network operations and is tackling some of the nation’s toughest problems in homeland security cyber defense,” said Donna Gregg, head of APL’s Asymmetric Operations Sector.

Marshall-Johnson frequently mentors high school and college students and judges Maryland Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) competitions. A member of the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association, she has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Howard University and a master’s in engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.

Green, a senior software engineer, project manager and section supervisor, will receive a Technology All-Star award. She develops innovative software that provides graphical user interfaces, critical access to data and real-time processing of high-capacity datasets — applying her skills across multiple domains to support programs for the departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

Green, who joined APL in 1996, has extensive experience in Java programming and writes software in a variety of programming languages. She also integrates software packages and provides fully functional toolkits and user-friendly interfaces; her core expertise is in the development of human-machine interfaces and data visualization.

“Deanna has mastered programming languages that span 45 years of software engineering and openly seeks and embraces new mastery opportunities as they become available,” said Dan Tyler, former head of APL’s Force Projection Sector, in nominating Green for the award. “She is a member and leader of several teams that conduct cutting-edge research that make significant contributions to challenging problems of national importance.”

Green mentors APL interns and is also a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Towson University and a master’s in computer science from the Johns Hopkins University.

Media contact: Margaret Brown, 240-228-5692,

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit

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