Our Board

________________________________________________________________________

SSEC National Advisory Board

Fredericka Stevenson
Chair

Trustee
Stevenson Family Charitable Trust
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Fredi Stevenson is chair emeritus and cofounder of Summer Search Boston—an organization whose mission is to identify low-income high school youth who demonstrate resiliency in overcoming hardship and the desire to help others. She is a member of the National Summer Search Board, Smithsonian Institution National Board, NPR Foundation Board, WBUR Board of Overseers, and on the boards of The Cambridge Center for Adult Education and the Fellows of the Harvard Art Museums.

Frazier Wilson
Vice Chair

Vice President
Shell Oil Company Foundation
Director
Workforce and Community Strategic Initiatives
Shell Oil Company
Houston, Texas

Dr. Frazier Wilson oversees Shell’s corporate and foundation contributions, workforce, community, employee giving, and education outreach programs. Wilson has worked at Shell for over 20 years in accounting and community relations roles. Prior to joining Shell, he worked in education as a teacher, volunteer and mentor. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Jackson State University and a Master of Business Administration and doctorate in Educational Leadership from Texas Southern University.

Active in the community, Wilson is a graduate of Leadership Houston, American Leadership Forum, the United Way’s Project Blueprint and a mentor with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He currently serves on the boards for the Smithsonian Science Education Center; Baker Ripley Center; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He also serves on the advisory councils for the Jackson State University College of Business, KIPP Academy-Houston, and Texas Southern University College of Science and Technology. He is chairman emeritus of 100 Black Men of Metropolitan Houston, a national mentoring organization.

Simone Acha
Committee Chair, Nominating and Governance

Owner
Simone Acha Consulting

Simone Acha, owner of Simone Acha Consulting, provides IT consulting and advisory services to senior executives in the Federal Government and private industry. She is a focused, results-oriented senior executive with a 30-year record of demonstrated achievements and success in both sector.  Ms. Acha is driven in applying leadership and management skills to champion strategic direction, identify opportunities, build strong relationships, and deliver results. She has demonstrated talents in managing large projects and tactical operations for various industries.

Ms. Acha also provides leadership to several philanthropic boards.  She is currently an officer on the PAHO Foundation Board promoting public health in the Americas (formerly Pan American Health and Education Foundation). She is the Nominating and Governance Committee Chair for the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) Advisory Board.  The SSEC provides inquiry-based science curricula for grades K-8. She also serves as Membership Chair for the Virginia Tech National Capital Region’s President Leadership Council. She formerly co-chaired and is now an Advisory member of the Tiffany Circle of the American Red Cross, National Capital Region.  She serves as a member of the WashingtonExec STEM Council and mentors high school girls seeking careers in the STEM fields through the Girls in Technology organization.

She served as Vice President, Enterprise Technology Solutions at Electronic Computing Services (ECS) Federal, an IT services provider spanning multiple federal sector clients with approximately 1,200 employees worldwide and $240M in annual revenue.  Prior to acquisition by ECS Federal in August 2012, Ms. Acha was the Chief Executive Officer of iLuMinA Solutions Incorporated, a leading provider of ERP Advisory Services to the Federal Government. 

Ms. Acha is a world traveler, an avid reader, and a volunteer for the American Red Cross.  She is a graduate of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and a Minor in English.  Fully fluent in Spanish, she draws her heritage from Latin America and Europe and resides in Arlington, Virginia.

George DeBakey

President
DeBakey International
Potomac, Maryland

During his career he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Commerce and was the first person selected to serve as the Director of the Technology and Information Industries Office to promote exports of U.S. technology products and responsible for trade policy for this sector. Mr. DeBakey has been a teacher at the undergraduate and graduate level and taught international business at Georgetown Business School, University of Maryland University College and The American University.

George has degrees from Drake University (Bachelor of Science), American Graduate School of International Management (MIM), and Southern Methodist University (Master’s in Business Administration). He currently serves on the National Advisory Board of the Arab American Museum in Dearborn, Michigan which is part of the Smithsonian Affiliate Program and the board of the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy. He was the founder of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt. Mr. DeBakey was a lacrosse referee for 15 years.

 

Carol S. Feinberg
Committee Chair, Communications and Branding

Founder, Former President & CEO of We Do, Inc
New York, New York

Carol is a recognized marketer, executive, entrepreneur and leader who has achieved successes in the start-up and implementation of programs in fashion retail management and entertainment. Carol has held several senior-level management positions with prominent retail corporations, including Blockbuster Entertainment, We Do, Inc., The Kobacher Co., Lerner New York, Thom McAn and Woodward & Lothrop.

For the past fifteen years, Carol has brought her executive management skills to her philanthropic work: Stephen Gaynor School Board; Rodeph Sholom School Board; JCC Manhattan Finance Commission; Coop Board; Former CityArts Chairman; Former Columbus Symphony Orchestra Chairman (Ohio); InMotion Pictures, Inc. She received a Clio Award – Best Original Music Scoring – US Radio – Thom McAn Shoes – Herbie Hancock Composer & Vocalist and in 1992 was voted Top One Hundred Marketers in the US (Advertising Age Magazine).

Carol and her husband, Kenneth Gilman, have three children, Herbert, Emma, and Jordana Gilman.

Erin K. Hogan
Committee Chair, Development

Managing Director, Philanthropic Market Executive Southeast Region
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Corporation
Washington, D.C. 

Erin Hogan has more than 15 years’ experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector.  She oversees the regional philanthropic practice for U.S. Trust® clients across 12 states and the District of Columbia, working closely with philanthropic individuals, families and nonprofit institutions on all aspects of giving. 

Prior to joining U.S. Trust, Erin served as an executive director of the Philanthropy Centre at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.  There she advised on matters of mission, governance, impact and legacy. Erin has overseen grantmaking programs on behalf of private foundations in the areas of education, health and community development, and works closely with public charities on strategies to strengthen organizational capacity, leverage philanthropic partners and maximize impact.

Erin’s previous experience includes academic research and government consulting for a variety of public health and safety programs.  As a research manager at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Erin supervised research in emergency preparedness, infectious disease control and occupational health and safety.  Prior to that, she worked for a Washington, D.C. consulting firm focusing on matters of public health and environmental health and safety.

Erin currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Frameworks Institute, a national organization dedicated to improving communication and understanding of complex social issues. A former paramedic, Erin holds an MPH from Columbia University and a B.S. from The George Washington University.

 

Samuel H. Houston, Jr.

President & CEO
North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Dr. Samuel H. Houston, Jr., is President and Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center. Prior to this appointment Dr. Houston served as Vice President for Program and Policy of EdGate, Inc. and was the first executive director of the University of North Carolina Center for School Leadership Development. A former public school teacher and veteran educational administrator, Dr. Houston also previously served as executive director of the North Carolina Education Standards and Accountability Commission. In 2007, Dr. Houston chaired the North Carolina State Board of Education’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Testing and Accountability. Dr. Houston holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Appalachian State University (ASU), an Educational Specialist Degree from East Carolina University, and his Doctorate in Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Houston has served as an elementary school teacher, assistant principal and principal at the junior high and high school levels. First, he served as an assistant superintendent of the Davidson County Schools, and two years later, superintendent of the Mooresville City Schools. Houston also has held adjunct professorships at ASU and UNC-Chapel Hill.

John E. Jacobson

Professor of Elementary Education
Teachers College Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

Dr. John Jacobson, Ed.D. Ed.S. M.Ed., former dean of Ball State University (BSU) Teachers College (2009-2017), is a professor of Education at BSU.  Prior to work at BSU, he served six years as dean of education at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. He also has 15 years in P-12 education as a teacher (6 years) and principal (9 years).

Dr. Jacobson holds degrees in elementary education with a science minor, curriculum instruction, educational administration, and a doctorate in reading.  An accomplished scholar and researcher, he has published numerous articles, monographs and book chapters, and delivered over 100 scholarly papers at state, national and international conferences.  He has chaired or served on various professional, governmental, and civic boards.  He has received numerous awards for his teaching and service.

He has secured over $36 million in grant funding from foundation, state, federal, and professional organization sources including $30.8 million for the construction of an Early Childhood Research and Center and $292,000 in federal funding to support research in the newly created center.  He has been instrumental in developing online degree and licensing programs and establishing partnerships with business, government and educational partners.

Gregory Kelly

Senior Associate Dean for Research, Outreach and Technology
Pennsylvania State University
Science Education

Dr. Greg Kelly is a Distinguished Professor and the Senior Associate Dean for Research, Outreach and Technology in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University. As a faculty member in science education, he teaches courses on teaching and learning science in secondary schools and uses history, philosophy, and sociology of science in science education. His research explores issues of knowledge and discourse in science education settings. Recent research includes development of theories of epistemic cognition, identity, and learning in science and engineering classrooms. His interest in these topics developed while physics and mathematics teacher and a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa.

Jeff Martin

Founder and CEO
Tribal Planet, Inc. 

Through the marketing and development of groundbreaking technologies, Jeff Martin has spent his career applying innovation to multimedia product design. Martin continues to build new mobile commerce channels by changing the way consumers engage with entertainment, industry and philanthropy.

In 2001 and 2008, Martin founded Tribal Brands and Tribal Technologies, respectively. Tribal Brands developed mCommerce solutions for a variety of consumer brands and was one of the first companies to drive more than one billion dollars in mobile-based sales for the entertainment industry through 17 global carrier alliances.

Tribal Technologies created one of the first intelligent databases behind mobile applications that predicted consumer behavior and interactions, powering unique mCommerce channels, and providing incentive programs for consumers. The extensive mobile analytics platform captured actionable, psychographic data highlighting user tastes and preferences collected through mobile devices. In 2014, Tribal Brands and Tribal Technologies were combined to create Tribal Planet.

In 2013 Martin founded mPowering, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that transformed the way philanthropic causes collaborated and utilized mobile technology to fight global poverty; this helped change century-old behavior by building mobile rewards systems that provided instant, positive reinforcement for consumers that performed philanthropic actions around education, medicine and local commerce.

Martin was a founding member of the Verizon board of developers, served as a voting member of The National Recording Academy of Arts & Sciences / GRAMMY Awards, and was appointed by the Under- Secretary-General of the United Nations to the UNFPA Global Advisory Board for Innovation. Martin is a former international consultant for digital imaging technologies at the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), through which he taught at Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA). Martin has also taught at the Haas’ Executive Education Program at the University of California, Berkeley.

Prior to Tribal Planet, Martin helped pioneer the entertainment and new media markets divisions at Apple in the early 1990s for 9 years and was a direct report to Steve Jobs after the NEXT acquisition.

Terry Mazany

Former President and CEO
The Chicago Community Trust

Terry Mazany has enjoyed careers in archaeology, public education, and philanthropy.  Constant throughout these roles is his commitment to improving educational opportunities for all students.

He has served as President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, with assets of more than $2.6 billion and was appointed as the interim chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools serving 400,000 students.

Prior to philanthropy, Terry enjoyed a career in public education with the California School Leadership Academy and then as Associate Superintendent for the Oakland Unified School District in California. 

Terry is past chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board that oversees the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), and was Principal Investigator for metropolitan Chicago’s Clinical Data Research Network, one of thirteen research centers that form the Patient Centered Outcomes Research network (PCORnet). He is a former member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. 

He has graduate degrees in Anthropology, Business, and Education. He is a member of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA). He has also been awarded Honorary Doctorate degrees from DePaul University and Lewis University.

Karen E. Nelson, Ph.D.

President
J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI)

Dr. Nelson received her undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies, and her Ph.D. from Cornell University. She has authored or co-authored over 180 peer reviewed publications, edited three books, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Microbial Ecology. Dr. Nelson is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and serves on their Board of Life Sciences. Other honors include being named ARCS Scientist of the Year 2017; a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology; an Honorary Professor at the University of the West Indies; and a Helmholtz International Fellow.

Kristin Richardson

Co-Chair of the Alumni
Smithsonian National Board
Community Volunteer
Denver, Colorado

Kristin Richardson is a community leader in the Denver area. She is the Past Chair of the SSEC, as well as the Past Chair of the Denver Public Schools Foundation.  She currently serves as an active board member of the Colorado Children’s Hospital, Colorado Children’s Hospital Foundation, the SSEC, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and BBVA Compass Bank. She joined the Smithsonian National Board in 2008 and now serves as Co-Chair of the Alumni.   She also participates in numerous committees that support the Denver community. Through the Blair and Kristin Richardson Foundation, Ms. Richardson and her husband Blair support philanthropic initiatives devoted to children and education.

Meredith G. Stevens

Vice President, Strategy & Deployment
Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain

Meredith (Meri) Stevens is currently the Vice President, Strategy & Deployment, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain responsible for leading end-to-end strategy and transformation to enable Johnson & Johnson to meet the needs of patients, customers and consumers in today’s dynamic healthcare market.  In this role, Meri drives the deployment of leading practices in the areas of Supply Chain Innovation, Digitalization, Value Chain Management, Planning and Performance. 

Prior to J&J, Meri was the Chief Supply Chain Officer at Newell Rubbermaid.  Before Newell Rubbermaid, she spent several years at Tyco International as VP, Global Operations.  Meri has also held previous positions at General Electric, Bertelsmann, Inc. and Knoll Inc. 

Meri is an active member of the Smithsonian Science Education Center and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Supply Chain Advisory Boards. 

Meri holds a B.S. in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Industrial Management, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  She has been recognized in Supply & Demand Chain Executive and the Profiles in Diversity’s Women Worth Watching lists.

Edward M. Swallow

Senior Vice President
Civil Systems Group

Edward M. Swallow directs all civil, commercial, and international business at Aerospace. Key customers include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a wide number of other civil, commercial, and international organizations, including allied space agencies and ministries of defense. In addition to his responsibilities in CSG, Swallow is corporate director of government relations. Prior to joining Aerospace, he was vice president, Business Development for the Federal and Defense Technologies Division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. He holds degrees from Syracuse and SUNY-Oneonta, a master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and has served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a flag officer.

Jennie Ward-Robinson

Chief Executive Officer
Uniting for Health Innovation (formerly PAHO Foundation)

Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson has 15 years of executive leadership within academic, nonprofit and for-profit communities. She founded the Institute for Public Health and Water Research, a private-public initiative; served as Director, Medical and Scientific Affairs-Alzheimer’s Association, Associate Professor at Texas A&M Health Science Center, and as Assistant Professor at University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago. A Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, she has led initiatives nationally and internationally and served on various Boards, including the US EPA National Drinking Water Council. Dr. Ward-Robinson holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

________________________________________________________________________

Ex-Officio Members

Patricia Bartlett
Ex-Officio Member

Associate Provost for Education and Access and Senior Advisor to the Secretary
Smithsonian Institution

Patricia Bartlett is the Associate Provost for Education and Access and Senior Advisor to the Secretary for the Smithsonian Institution. She is responsible for defining the Smithsonian’s education program and reports directly to the Secretary of the Smithsonian. She concentrates her efforts on Institution-wide educational initiatives, assessment strategies and funding for programs that benefit learners of all ages. A significant focus of her work is programs and resources for K–12 teachers and students.

Patricia Bartlett oversees the staff and the five units that formerly made up the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access—Smithsonian Affiliations, Smithsonian Associates, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and Smithsonian Science Education Center—which have been detailed to the Office of the Provost/Under Secretary for Museums and Research.  Patricia currently serves as the Senior Advisor for Higher Education Initiatives. She leads the development of innovative and strategic approaches to academic and university relations and partnerships. From 2008 to 2015, Bartlett served as Chief of Staff to Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough and Acting Secretary Albert Horvath, where she managed the Office of the Secretary, supported leadership with policy and operations matters, and led special initiatives.

Dr. Carol O'Donnell
Ex-Officio Member

Director
Smithsonian Science Education Center

Dr. Carol O’Donnell, as Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (Smithsonian Science Education Center), is responsible for all operational activities and planning for the unit, including building awareness for K-12 science education reform among State and district leaders; conducting programs that support the professional growth of K-12 teachers and school leaders; and, overseeing all research and curricular resource development, philanthropic development, and administration. In this capacity, Carol also serves as the US representative on the Global Council of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP), the global network of the science academies. With nearly a decade of experience at the US Department of Education and 20+ years of science teaching in K-16 classrooms, Carol has expertise in education policy, professional development, cognition and student learning, curriculum development, and education research.

Carol earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, her Master of Science in Geosciences from Mississippi State University, and her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on science education from The George Washington University (GWU). Carol began her career as a K-8 teacher and is still in the classroom today, serving on the part-time faculty of GWU's Physics Department.

________________________________________________________________________

Smithsonian Science Education Center Advisor

Douglas Lapp
Founding Director, Emeritus

Smithsonian Science Education Center
Washington, DC

Douglas Lapp was the founding director of the National Science Resources Center (NSRC), a center for the improvement of K-12 science education that was established as a collaborative effort of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academy of Sciences. He served as Executive Director of the NSRC for seventeen years, during the period 1985-2001. In 2012, the NSRC became the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC).

Prior to his work at the Smithsonian, Dr. Lapp served for fifteen years as Science Coordinator and, later, Director of Program Development for the Fairfax County, (Virginia) Public Schools, the nation’s tenth-largest school system. His involvement in science education began in 1962, when he enlisted as a science and mathematics teacher in the first Peace Corps project in Cameroon, and throughout his career he has maintained a continuing interest in the improvement of science education in developing countries. After completing graduate school, he returned to Africa for two years to establish the African Primary Science Program Center at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He later conducted studies of science education in sub-Saharan Africa for the United States Agency for International Development and was a member of the Advisory Board of the Rockefeller Foundation’s African Forum for Children’s Literacy in Science and Technology (AFCLIST) in Durban, South Africa.

Lapp has a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in biophysics from the University of Washington, and a doctorate in science education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 1994, he was designated a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

________________________________________________________________________

Functional Advisors

Peter Vesterbacka
Functional Advisor – Digital Education

Founder
Slush
Helsinki, Finland

Peter Vesterbacka is the Founder of Slush and the former Mighty Eagle of Rovio Mobile, the creator of the wildly successful Angry Birds franchise and over 50 other games, where Peter managed the company’s marketing and business strategy, including expanding Angry Birds into a broader entertainment franchise. He is also the founder of Some Bazaar, a new approach to building and growing new businesses. Prior to Rovio, Peter worked for HP in several communications industry related roles.

While at HP, Peter founded the HP Mobile E-Services Bazaar, a global innovation and corporate partnership program that Booz Allen Hamilton declared an industry benchmark. Peter is also Co-founder and the original initiator of MobileMonday.

In 2011 Peter was named one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine.

Michelle Moore
Functional Advisor – Organizational Capacity

CEO
Groundswell
Washington, D.C.

Michelle Moore is CEO of Groundswell, a nonprofit that builds community power to bring economic equity to the energy sector.

A social entrepreneur and former White House official with roots in rural Georgia, Michelle is a relentless agent for change. Her accomplishments range from helping build the global green building movement to leading the sustainability team for the Obama Administration.

Dennis Lee Schatz
Functional Advisor – Informal Education

Senior Advisor
Pacific Science Center

Dennis Schatz is Senior Advisor at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington. He is also Field Editor of a new journal, Connected Science Learning, which highlights links between in-school and out-of-school learning. The journal is a joint effort of NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) and ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers). In addition, he is on the board of NSTA (recently elected to be President-Elect) and BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Studies).

He worked at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, prior to moving to Seattle in 1977. At Pacific Science Center he has held a broad range of positions, from Director of the Planetarium in his early years to VP for Exhibits and VP for Education to Senior VP in more recent years. From August 2010 to February 2011, he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, followed by four years as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

He is the author of 24 science books for children, including the popular Explore the T-Rex, which has sold more than 1 million copies and has been translated into 23 languages. His most recent book, When the Sun Goes Dark, was published in time to prepare families to observe the All-American total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.

He is also co-author/editor of several curriculum resources for teachers, including Astro-Adventures and Universe at Your Fingertips. His most recent teacher resource book, Solar Science, is published by NSTA.

 

________________________________________________________________________

Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Higher Education 

The charge of the Smithsonian Science Education Center′s Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Higher Education is to recommend research-informed practices for establishing and promoting partnerships with higher education institutions′ scientists and science educators that provide practicing teachers with content and pedagogical professional learning experiences aligned with the needs of school districts, with a focus on science and connections to math, engineering and technology.

 

John E. Jacobson
Committee Chair, Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Higher Education

Professor of Elementary Education
Teachers College Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana

Dr. John Jacobson, Ed.D. Ed.S. M.Ed., former dean of Ball State University (BSU) Teachers College (2009-2017), is a professor of Education at BSU.  Prior to work at BSU, he served six years as dean of education at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. He also has 15 years in P-12 education as a teacher (6 years) and principal (9 years).

Dr. Jacobson holds degrees in elementary education with a science minor, curriculum instruction, educational administration, and a doctorate in reading.  An accomplished scholar and researcher, he has published numerous articles, monographs and book chapters, and delivered over 100 scholarly papers at state, national and international conferences.  He has chaired or served on various professional, governmental, and civic boards.  He has received numerous awards for his teaching and service.

He has secured over $36 million in grant funding from foundation, state, federal, and professional organization sources including $30.8 million for the construction of an Early Childhood Research and Center and $292,000 in federal funding to support research in the newly created center.  He has been instrumental in developing online degree and licensing programs and establishing partnerships with business, government and educational partners.

Teresa “Terry” Bergeson

Interim Dean of Education and Kinesiology
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, Washington

Dr. Terry Bergeson, previously with the San Francisco School Alliance as Executive Director, is currently Pacific Lutheran University Interim Dean, School of Education & Kinesiology. Terry has an impressive background in education. She was one of the country’s first Head Start teachers, and served as a high school counselor in Tacoma, WA, where she created and implemented an experimental program for at-risk students that retained 60 potential dropouts. In 1993, as Executive Director of the Washington Commission on Student Learning, Terry drove the development of new learning standards and a new assessment and accountability system, which led to the acceptance of statewide academic standards for K-12 students. In 1997, Terry was elected Washington State Superintendent where by 2008, over 91% of high school seniors in Washington met or exceeded the state’s graduation requirements. During her tenure as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Terry secured state funding and political support to expand the SSEC LASER Science program across Washington State.

Terry holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Guidance from Western Michigan University, and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education from the University of Washington.

Robin L. Davisson

Andrew Dickson White Professor of Molecular Physiology
Cornell University
Adjunct Professor of Medicine
Georgetown University

Robin L. Davisson, Ph.D., the Andrew Dickson White Professor of Molecular Physiology since 2012, has been on the faculty of Cornell University since July 2006. She holds a joint appointment in the College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca and in the Weill Cornell Medical College in NYC. She is also Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington. 

Dr. Davisson is an expert in cardiovascular disease, investigating the molecular genetic basis of both obesity-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia. She is widely published national and internationally, and has given invited presentations throughout the world. She was recently elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the highest honors in science.

Dr. Davisson is a leader in the extracurricular education of young people in science through cultural institutions. She was Chair of the Board of the Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY, an internationally recognized regional science center aimed at early childhood through teen STEM education. She also participates in the Smithsonian Institution Secretary’s Youth Advisory Council.

Professor Davisson earned her bachelor’s in biopsychology from the University of Iowa in 1988 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a master’s in psychology (1991) and her doctorate in pharmacology (1994), also from the University of Iowa. She won a Norwegian Marshall Fund Award for Graduate Study Abroad. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Iowa Cardiovascular Research Center and the Center for Hypertension Genomics before joining the UI faculty as an assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology in 1998. She was promoted to associate professor with tenure at Iowa in 2004 and full professor at Cornell in 2006.

 

Brenda Fisher

Director
Early College Programs
Raritan Valley Community College
Branchburg, NJ

Ms. Brenda Fisher is currently employed at Raritan Valley Community College. She has over 20 years of experience in program development in areas that include business, education, occupational and apprenticeship programs. Ms. Fisher serves on the Sustainability Committee, Professional Development Committee, Safety Committee, STEM Committee and serves as co-chair for the Association of Black Faculty and Staff. She is responsible for administering budgets, and strategic planning for programs and positions, in the Office of Academic Programs and Partnerships. Ms. Fisher is an active participant with the NJ Council of County Colleges, Center for Student Success, and served as a representative to the statewide Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) initiative.  Raritan Valley Community College recently established a new K-12 partnership department based on a suggestion initiated and fully supported by Ms. Fisher.

She is an alumna of Rutgers University and later received a Master of Education degree, with a concentration of course and curriculum development from American Intercontinental University.

Marilyn M. Irving

Professor
Associate Dean for Research and Sponsored Programs
Howard University

Dr. Marilyn Irving is Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Sponsored Programs at Howard University, a Doctoral/Research-Intensive university located in Washington, DC. For more than twenty years, she has directed a wide range of science initiatives to help improve the academic performance and increase the participation of under-represented minorities in science and mathematics.  She has served as principal and co-principal investigator on funded projects for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, General Electric and U.S. Department of Education. Her research has focused primarily on professional development of secondary science teachers and increasing the number of teachers to teach science.  She is currently the executive director for the Research Association of Minority Professors that seeks to address educational and health disparities through their research findings.  She currently serves as a consultant curriculum specialist for the National Society of Black Engineers.   Dr. Irving continues to shape the next generation of science leaders.

Gregory Kelly

Senior Associate Dean for Research, Outreach and Technology
Pennsylvania State University
Science Education

Dr. Greg Kelly is a Distinguished Professor and the Senior Associate Dean for Research, Outreach and Technology in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University. As a faculty member in science education, he teaches courses on teaching and learning science in secondary schools and uses history, philosophy, and sociology of science in science education. His research explores issues of knowledge and discourse in science education settings. Recent research includes development of theories of epistemic cognition, identity, and learning in science and engineering classrooms. His interest in these topics developed while physics and mathematics teacher and a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa. 

Carolyn Landel

Managing Director
Charles A. Dana Center
University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Carolyn Landel is the managing director of the Charles A. Dana Center, a math and science research unit at The University of Texas at Austin that works to dismantle barriers in education systems to ensure that all students—especially those from diverse ethnic backgrounds and from low-income families—have equitable access to an excellent education. She directs the day-to-day mobilization of personnel and programs to develop innovative and practical solutions to the persistent institutional policy and practice problems these systems face in raising student achievement. 

Dr. Landel was previously chief program officer for Washington STEM, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing science, technology, engineering, and math education in Washington state. She created innovative partnerships with districts, higher education institutions, and state and national STEM education organizations and agencies. Dr. Landel was also project director of the North Cascades and Olympic Science Partnership at Western Washington University, supporting science and science education faculty from two- and four-year campuses, administrators from regional education service districts, and teacher-leaders and their principals and district administrators. This partnership generated annual student learning increases in undergraduate courses and K–12 classrooms, significantly outpacing demographically matched counterparts.

Mary Ann Ottinger

Professor of Endocrinology 
American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow

Dr. Ottinger has a long-standing history of research, teaching, mentoring and administration. She has earned international recognition for her research in neuroendocrine systems, development and aging supported by funding from NIH, NSF, EPA, USDA-NRI and DOI. Dr. Ottinger mentored over 50 graduate students and postdocs, over 50% of whom were female during her tenure as a Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). She has extensive experience in recruiting and retaining URM trainees in the research pipeline as a faculty member and former associate dean of the graduate school and was awarded both campus and community mentorship awards at UMD.  Since coming to University of Houston in 2013, she served as Associate Vice President/Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, chaired the University Advisory Committee for the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas and the Oversight Committee for the Gulf Coast Consortium.  Her current research focus is on the comparative biology of aging and One Health, with emphasis on adverse impacts of exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors as they impact health, developmental processes and aging. 

Christos Zahopoulos

Associate Professor, Grad. School of Education,
Dept. of Physics & Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership
Founder & Former Executive Director, Center for STEM Education
Northeastern University

For nearly 30 years, Professor Christos Zahopoulos has been actively involved in STEM Education at the national and state levels, especially in the area of improving teaching and learning in K-20. In addition to the Center for STEM Education, he founded numerous STEM Partnerships and Programs for which he received (as a PI or co-PI) close to $30 million in grants and gifts. One of these, RE-SEED, is a unique program that recruits and trains retired STEM professionals to support teachers and students in the classroom as volunteers.

Professor Zahopoulos has received numerous honors and awards, including being appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts to serve in his STEM Advisory Council (2010-15), co-chairing the state’s “K- 12 STEM Education Frameworks/Standards, Curriculum and Assessment” Subcommittee. He is the recipient of IEEE’s Professional Achievement Award for Individuals and was selected as a 2011 Massachusetts Academy of Sciences Fellow. He has also served on the statewide STEM Operations Board, in the NGSS State Advisory Group and on the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Advisory Board (2011-17).

Professor Zahopoulos received his Ph.D. degree in Physics from Northeastern University and was Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Division of Applied Sciences at Harvard University.