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Secretary Sam Malhotra Introduces the 6 Newest Inductees to the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame

ANNAPOLIS, MD – (March 13, 2015) On Thursday, March 19th, the Department of Human Resources Secretary, Sam Maholtra joins the Governor, the Maryland Commission for Women and the Women Legislators of the Maryland General Assembly to induct six women into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Senate Miller office building in Annapolis.

Established in 1985, the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame is a joint initiative of the Commission for Women and the Women Legislators aimed at recognizing and honoring Maryland women who have made unique and lasting contributions to the state. A significant part of the recognition is to compile an archive of their biographies. //

Sam Maholtra, Secretary of the Department of Human Resources said “I would like to congratulate each of the six 2015 inductees and thank them for the valuable work that they do – and have done to contribute to our great state. Individuals like these dynamic women are a true credit to our state and their participation in their respective fields of expertise makes Maryland a wonderful place to live and thrive.”

Since 1985, more than 150 Maryland women have been inducted into the Hall of Fame including Rachel Carson, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Billie Holiday, Henrietta Lacks and former Congresswoman Connie Morella. This year, the six honorees are:

  • Beverly B. Byron, U.S. Congrosswoman (MD-06, 1978-1992)
    After winning the election to fill the seat of her late husband, Byron went on to have a 14-year career in the House of Representatives. She used the experience she acquired as an unpaid aide to her husband and her family background to assert herself as an influential member of the Armed Services Committee.
  • Gail de Planque, Ph.D., Nuclear Engineer, Posthumous
    Planque served as a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Association of Women in Science, and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. She served as president of the ANS (1988-89) and Health Physics Society; and was the co-chair of the Committee for International Inter-comparison of Environmental Dosimeters.
  • Mary S. Feik, Aviation Engineer
    Feik used her expertise to design high-performance and jet fighter pilot transition trainers and aircraft maintenance trainers. The pilot training manuals and technical engineering reports she authored were distributed throughout the Armed Forces. Her deployable design of “Captivair” rigs allowed aircraft procedures and limits to be tested with running engines on the ground.
  • Katherine O’Brien, M.D., Pediatric Epidemiologist
    Following her residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric infectious disease at Johns Hopkins, O’Brien joined the bacterial Respiratory Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She returned to Johns Hopkins in 1998 where she leads the Center’s Infectious Disease group conducting clinical trials of vaccines for diseases of importance to American Indian tribes.
  • Major General Linda L. Singh, Adjutant General, Maryland National Guard
    Major General Singh serves as the 29th adjutant general of Maryland. As the adjutant general, she serves as the official channel of communication between the governor and the National Guard Bureau and serves as a member of the governor’s cabinet. She is responsible for the readiness, administration, and training of more than 6,700 members of the Military Department with an annual budget of more than $314 million.
  • Sue Fryer Ward, Secretary, Maryland Department of Aging (1998 – 2003) Posthumous
    Ward was hired in 1982 to direct the Department of Aging (DOA) in Prince George’s County. She held that position until 1991 and became director of the county’s Department of Family Services in 1992. Three years later, she became director of the state’s Department of Aging.

Prior to the ceremony, Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. and First Lady Yumi Hogan will host a reception in the Government House in honor of the 2015 inductees. Please note that advance registration is required for this event. You can register online at: //

Jaymi Sterling, Esq., daughter of the First Lady and Governor Hogan will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies of the Induction Ceremony which is open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. at the Senate Office Building, Conference Room East, 11 Bladen Street in Annapolis.

Anyone interested in more information about the event should contact the Maryland Commission for Women at 301-610-4524.


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