Groundbreaking technological strides are being made regularly by Baltimore professionals working to promote the scientific advancement of our nation. Enter Roxanne Charles, a Trinidad-born, Baltimore-bred program manager at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Thanks to continuing education opportunities, Ms. Charles was able to translate her rich liberal arts background into a lucrative ‘numbers’ career. For Roxanne Charles, technology transfer is an exciting field where skilled Baltimore communicators from a variety of educational backgrounds can flourish.

(Photo courtesy of Roxanne Charles)

(Photo courtesy of Roxanne Charles)

“Barnard College – English (attended), University Maryland University College – B.A., Business.”

How has your education helped you to achieve your career goals?   

“It was a great combination because technology transfer [T2] is such an interdisciplinary field. A good part of it includes marketing new technologies, analyzing and negotiating business documents, as well as community outreach about specific research at our labs.”

Do you feel that continuing education is helpful in your leadership position?

“Continuing education is essential because it keeps leaders abreast of developments in the technology transfer community. Sharing information and tools keeps professionals relevant in a field where peer relationships are almost as important as outreach to potential technology developers.”

What role has community service played in your leadership?

“Personally, I sometimes feel like I’m always ‘on’ in a field where community relationships are a key to success. Simple [community] outreach like discussing how an essential technology was developed through “baby” science research at my daughter’s ‘take your child to work’ day is as important as a meeting with high [ranking] technology developers of early research. [Both acts] plant seeds of inspiration to fight cancer, multiple sclerosis and build our national defense, among others.”

What advice do you have for others that would like to follow in your professional footsteps? 

“Any type of education is up for grabs in T2. Specific technology education is great for the research field, but core experience in marketing, business, law and liberal arts are also relevant because any gaps can be filled with higher and continuing education.”

Keisha Oduor is a professional writer and entrepreneur who resides in Baltimore, Maryland. She has a degree in Communications and French from New York University with work experience in publishing, nonprofits, healthcare administration and program management. Her work can be found on


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