Our Board

Fredericka Stevenson

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
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, Governance and Nominations

Simone Acha Consulting
Arlington, Virginia

Simone Acha recently retired as the Vice President of Enterprise Technology Solutions at Electronic Computing Services (ECS) Federal, Inc. to pursue her next career focused on social change. She is actively engaged in programs focused on increasing the number of women and minorities pursuing careers in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She is also currently serving as an Executive Coach and providing strategic IT consulting services on selected engagements.

Ms. Acha serves as Chair of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Foundation Board of Directions. She joined the PAHO Foundation Board in 2013 (formerly Pan American Health and Education Foundation). In addition to her service on the Executive Committee, she participates on the Marketing and Communications Committee, and is an inaugural member of the PAHO Foundation Salud Society.

Previously, Ms. Acha served as Chief Executive Officer of iLuMinA Solutions Incorporated until it was acquired by ECS in the fall of 2012. She is a focused, results-oriented senior executive with a 27-year record of demonstrated achievements and success in both the commercial and federal sector. She 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 tactical operations for various industries.

Ms. Acha is a world traveler, an avid reader, and a former docent at The Corcoran Art Museum in Washington D.C. Additional memberships include: Smithsonian Legacy Society, Virginia Tech SERGE Board, Washington Exec STEM Council and Founders Circle, Women in Technology, AFCEA, American Red Cross’ Tiffany Circle and Salute to Society Gala Committee, and one of the Million Women Mentors. Ms. Acha draws her heritage from Latin America and Europe and resides in Arlington, Virginia.

She is a graduate of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and holds a Minor in English.

George DeBakey

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.

Morad Fareed

Founder and CEO
Square RootsTM
New York, New York

Morad Fareed is a New York-based entrepreneur and former professional athlete. He is the Founder and CEO of Square Roots™. Square Roots™ is a mission-driven company focused on pregnancy health and wellness. By integrating new technology and scientific findings with intelligent partnerships from medicine to policy to maternal care takers, Square Roots™ brings needed solutions and resources to the most critical period of life: our beginning. Morad was the co-founder of Delos, the pioneering Wellness Real Estate™ Company that focused on improving health and well-being through the integration of health features into the built environment. Delos partnered with an array of the finest medical, scientific, design, and philanthropic institutions to create the first building standard focused exclusively on improving health. Introduced by President Clinton in September 2012, the WELL Building Standard™ has quickly become regarded as the most advanced method of designing and building wellness in the world. Counting alliances with the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, the US Green Building Council, the Clinton Global Initiative, the US Conference of Mayors, and Columbia University School of Medicine, amongst others, Delos has created a national portfolio of healthy homes, offices, hotels, schools, and health care facilities, and was featured in over 1.4 billion media impressions in 2013 alone.

Prior to co-founding Delos, Fareed worked at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, where he worked on more than $2 billion in hotel development projects including co-creating the hotel industry's first green, LEED-certified hotel brand, Element by Westin™. His previous experiences include the Equities division at Goldman Sachs & Co as a Summer Analyst, the Fixed Income division at Goldman Sachs & Co as a Summer Analyst, a Senior Analyst at management consulting firm First Manhattan Consulting Group, as well as Co-Founder of a successful technology startup, International Communication Systems, which he conceived in 2000 while at Goldman Sachs to focus on establishing VoIP telecommunications throughout the developing world.

Midway through his career, Fareed took time to tryout and eventually join the Palestine National Soccer Team in its efforts to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Germany. He played with the team for 2 years winning 3 Caps from FIFA. He was featured in two documentaries, BBC’s Frontline Football which focused on the team’s effort to qualify for the World Cup, and Goal Dreams, the award-winning feature documentary which showcased several players’ efforts to make the team, including Fareed’s. He was also featured in Nike’s first ever film on New York City soccer, called Nike NYC: Futbol. Fareed later joined his alma mater, New York University, as an Assistant Soccer Coach, helping guide the team in his two seasons to its winningest back to back years, first league title, and first Final Four birth in school history.

To further his philanthropic and futbol passions, Fareed co-founded and runs Project Phoenix, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that he launched at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative, which is committed to building sports facilities in impoverished communities globally, beginning with a Carlos Zapata-designed futbol stadium and academy in Haiti’s red zone, Cite de Soleil.

Fareed graduated from New York University’s College of Arts and Science where he studied Philosophy and Economics, was an Academic All American, Arthur Ashe Award Recipient, Soccer Team Captain and MVP. He is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Business Council, and is Chairman of the Leadership Council of the Clinton Foundation’s 2030 Initiative™, focused on the 20 and 30-year old members of the Clinton Foundation. Additionally, Fareed serves on several advisory boards, including the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute, musician Will.I.Am’s I.Am.Angel Foundation, and Soccer for Peace. He is a native of New York and lives in Manhattan.

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

Senior Vice President, Philanthropic Specialist
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
Washington, D.C. 

Erin Hogan is a Senior Vice President at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Corporation, where she is the Philanthropic Market Executive for the Southeast region. In this role, Erin oversees the regional philanthropic practice for U.S. Trust® clients across the Southeastern U.S., working closely with philanthropic individuals and families and nonprofit institutions on all aspects of giving.

Erin joined U.S. Trust having spent more than 12 years as a senior philanthropic advisor with J.P. Morgan Private Bank, where she advised individuals, families and institutions on matters of mission, governance, impact and securing a philanthropic legacy. Erin also 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 and leverage philanthropic partners.

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 initiatives 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 for government agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Erin is currently active in numerous philanthropic initiatives throughout the Southeast region. A former paramedic, Erin holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science degree 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., is currently a professor of Elementary Education at Ball State University (BSU).  He served as dean of the BSU Teachers College from 2009 to 2017.  Prior to joining BSU, he served six years as education dean at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

John holds degrees in elementary education with a minor in science, 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 and governmental committees and boards at all levels.  He has received numerous awards for teaching and service.  Prior to his career in higher education, he served 16 years in the public schools- 6 years as teacher and 10 years as principal.

He has been very successful in securing grants and private donor funding for numerous research and development projects.  One of his most recent being $30.8 million for the construction of an Early Childhood Research and Development Center, along with obtaining $292,000 in federal funding to foster research in the new center.  He has been instrumental in developing online degree and licensing programs and establishing partnerships with business, government and educational partners.

Gregory Kelly

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

Dr. Greg Kelly is a professor of science education and the Associate Dean for Research, Outreach and Technology in the Penn State College of Education. He was a physics and mathematics teacher and served for four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His research explores issues of knowledge and discourse in science education settings. Greg teaches courses on teaching and learning science in secondary schools and uses history, philosophy, and sociology of science in science education. Recent research includes development of theories of epistemic cognition and analysis of engineering classrooms.

Jeff Martin

Founder and CEO
Tribal Planet, Inc. 
San Mateo, CA

Coming Soon

Michelle Moore

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.

Kristin Richardson

Education Committee
Smithsonian National Board
Community Volunteer
Denver, Colorado

Kristin Richardson is a community leader in the Denver area. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Denver Public Schools Foundation, and currently serves as an active board member of the Colorado Children’s Hospital, Colorado Children’s Hospital Foundation, TBD Colorado, the National Science Resources Center, and BBVA Compass Bank. She joined the Smithsonian National Board in 2008. She also serves on 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.

Dennis Lee Schatz

Technical Advisor—Informal Education
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 boards of NSTA and BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Studies).

A research solar astronomer prior to his career in science education, 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 Uncover a T-Rex, the Fossil Detective series of four books and the popular “Totally” series of six books (Totally Dinosaurs in 2000 to Totally Sea Creatures in 2003. His most recent book is When the Sun Goes Dark, published in time to prepare families to observe the upcoming All-American total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.

His books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 23 languages. His Uncover a T-Rex book was a 2003 Parents Choice Award Winner, and his Fossil Detective Woolly Mammoth received a 2006 iParenting Media award. He is also co-author/editor of several curriculum resources for teachers, including Astro-AdventuresUniverse at Your Fingertips and More Universe at Your Fingertips. His most recent teacher resource book, Solar Science, is published by NSTA and includes an Eclipse Observing Guide for the August 2017 eclipse.

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

Meri holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Industrial Management, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She has been recognized in Supply & Demand Chain Executive (2014) and the Profiles in Diversity’s 2014 Women Worth Watching list.


Ex-Officio Members

Patricia Bartlett
Ex-Officio Member

Acting Assistant Secretary for Education and Access
Smithsonian Institution

Patricia Bartlett is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Education and Access 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.


Bartlett oversees two of the Smithsonian’s educational organizations—Smithsonian Science Education Center and the Smithsonian Center for Digital Learning and Access—and coordinates the efforts of 32 education offices in Smithsonian museums and science centers. Bartlett also oversees the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Smithsonian Affiliations and Smithsonian Associates.  Bartlett currently serves as the Senior Advisor for Higher Education Initiatives in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access. 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.


Before joining the Smithsonian, Bartlett was the director of federal relations at the Georgia Institute of Technology for more than 11 years. Before joining Georgia Tech, she maintained a government affairs and communications consulting business that included higher education institutions, technology-focused companies and nonprofit organizations. During the Carter Administration, she served as a staff assistant to the assistant secretary for conservation and solar energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. Before that position, she worked on the staff of the Office of Energy Resources for the state of Georgia.


Acting Assistant Secretary Bartlett holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Agnes Scott College, a master’s degree in urban affairs from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Carol O'Donnell
Ex-Officio Member

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.


Functional Advisors

Peter Vesterbacka
Digital Education

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.


Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Higher Education (AGHE)

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.

Brenda Fisher

Assistant Dean, Workforce Development/CE
Raritan Valley Community College

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 state wide Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) initiative.

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

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. She has served as a catalyst in science education and the participation of under-represented minorities. She has been 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. She has been the recipient of the “Researcher of the Year” and “Exemplar in the Field of Education” awards. Recognized as a faculty of distinction, Dr. Irving continues to shape the next generation of science leaders.

John E. Jacobson

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

Dr. John Jacobson is currently a professor of Elementary Education at Ball State University (BSU).  He served as dean of Teachers College at Ball State University from 2009 to 2017.  Prior to joining BSU, he served six years as education dean at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

John holds degrees in elementary education with a minor educational administration.  An accomplished scholar and researcher, he has published numerous articles, monographs and book chapters.  John has received numerous awards for teaching and service, and prior to his career in higher education, he served 16 years in the public schools as teacher or principal.

He has been instrumental in developing online degree and licensing programs and establishing partnerships with business, government and educational partners.

Gregory Kelly

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

Dr. Gregory Kelly is a professor of science education and the Associate Dean for Research, Outreach and Technology in the Penn State College of Education. He was a physics and mathematics teacher and served for four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His research explores issues of knowledge and discourse in science education settings. Greg teaches courses on teaching and learning science in secondary schools and uses history, philosophy, and sociology of science in science education. Recent research includes development of theories of epistemic cognition and analysis of engineering classrooms.

Carolyn Landel

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

Dr. Carolyn Landel is 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 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

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Houston
Associate Vice President for Research for University of Houston
American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow

Dr. Ottinger has a long-standing history of research, teaching, administrative and mentoring excellence. She has earned international recognition for her research in neuroendocrine systems, development and aging supported by both funding from NIH, NSF, EPA, USDA-NRI and DOI. Dr. Ottinger has mentored over 50 graduate students and postdocs, over 50% of whom were female. 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. Dr. Ottinger has over 30 years of experience in teaching and curriculum development. Since coming to University of Houston, she has been appointed as the chair of the University Advisory Committee for the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas.

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
Boston, Massachusetts

For close to 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, on the Next Generation Science Standards 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.