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 ALUMNI  Dr. Talmesha Richards-Smith   Dr. Talmesha Richards-Smith is a vibrant scientist, who earned her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, while cheering professionally. Dr. Richards-Smith was an NFL cheerleader for 8 years and cheered 5 of them with the First Ladies of Football. She served as a captain of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders and during her cheerleading career traveled to over a dozen countries for military appreciation tours. Dr. Richards-Smith spent her undergraduate career at the University of Maryland Baltimore County as a Meyerhoff Scholar, where she double majored in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics. She has always been a firm believer in nurturing both her academic and artistic sides. She utilized her cheerleading career as a platform to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Currently, Dr. Richards-Smith serves as the Chief Academic and Diversity Officer for a STEM consortium. She works with leaders from corporations, higher education and non-profits developing strategies to build, attract, and retain a more diverse STEM workforce. Because she had many mentors throughout her life who encouraged her to persist in STEM, she embraces the opportunity to do the same. Dr. Richards-Smith is a dynamic keynote speaker and featured panelist both nationally and internationally. She shares her personal story to challenge stereotypes about scientists and engineers, inspires youth to pursue STEM careers and advises key decision makers on being intentional in their diversity and inclusion efforts. Dr. Richards-Smith has been featured on local and national television programs including the Today Show. She has also written for various STEM campaigns featured in publications such as USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle. She was recently recognized in Mumbai, India with the Global Diversity Leadership Award for her work and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Her continued service to the community has fostered her desire to be an avid STEM advocate. Dr. Richards- Smith believes that being an advocate assists in bringing positive change in people’s lives on a local, national, and international level, and is always excited about being a catalyst in that process. ’08-’12          WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Continued on page 92  

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