Our Staff

Download our staff organization chart here!

Dr. Carol O'Donnell
Director

202-633-2972

odonnellc@si.edu

As Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), Carol is responsible for all operational activities and planning for the unit, including building awareness for P-12 science education reform among State and district leaders; conducting programs that support the professional growth of P-12 teachers and school leaders; and, overseeing all research and curricular resource development, philanthropic development, and administration. With nearly a decade of experience at the U.S. 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, 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. Read more

Teng Chamchumrus
Executive Officer, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access

As Executive Officer, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access, Teng serves as an advisor to the SSEC on strategic issues relating to business plan formulation, implementation, and marketing to ensure financial sustainability of new initiatives and existing programs that fall within education and access strategic objectives and priorities. Teng joined the Smithsonian in 2012 as Executive Officer, Office of the Under Secretary for Finance & Administration/Chief Financial Officer, where he served as the principal advisor to the Under Secretary on policies, strategy, and operations in financial management and contributed to the leadership of finance and administration functions. Prior to the Smithsonian, Teng’s professional tenure included a 10-year career with the American Red Cross with responsibilities that spanned across strategic planning, financial management, customer service improvement, business partnership, project and change management, and operational and fundraising support. Prior to the American Red Cross, Teng worked in the private sector and graduated from Harvard University with both a BA (magna cum laude) in economics from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Amy D'Amico, PhD
Division Director of Professional Services

202-633-3002

damicoa@si.edu

Amy D’Amico, PhD, joined the SSEC in 2013 as the Division Director of Professional Services. She oversees professional development and leadership development initiatives at SSEC. Prior to joining the SSEC, Amy was a member of the faculty in the biology department at Georgetown University. At Georgetown, she taught a variety of biology courses and co-directed the RISE & Teach program for biology undergraduates who complete a thesis while teaching in the District of Columbia Public Schools. In addition, Amy served as a full-time consultant at the SSEC to assist in the program development and execution of the K-12 Science Education Institutes for Leadership Development and Strategic Planning.

Amy has 18 years of experience as an educator that began by teaching middle school for the Cambridge Public Schools in Massachusetts. Amy quickly became a Middle Grade Science Teacher Leader and worked to implement the district’s five-year strategic plan based on the SSEC’s model of science education reform. While in Cambridge, she also worked on various educational and consulting projects with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the American Museum of Natural History. Amy earned her BA in Biology with a minor in Education for Certification from New York University and received a MS and a PhD in Biology from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Brian Mandell, PhD
Division Director of Curriculum & Communications

202-633-2968

mandellb@si.edu

Brian Mandell, PhD, is the Division Director of Curriculum and Communications for the SSEC. In this role, he provides support and direction for the talented Curriculum and Communication staff in the development of world-class print and digital curricular resources. This work includes our new curriculum, Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, which embeds objects and research from the Smithsonian Institution, is built to current science standards, asks students to design solutions to real-world problems, provides research-based support for common student misconceptions, and seamlessly integrates print and digital resources.

Brian joined the SSEC in 2014 as a Science Curriculum Developer, where he was responsible for developing print and digital curricular materials that were grounded in current scientific, educational and cognitive research, empowered teachers, and helped all students develop a deep understanding of science and engineering practices.

Prior to joining SSEC, Brian taught middle school science for 13 years in Virginia and Maine. In his free time, he is an adjunct professor at George Mason University teaching classes that focus on curriculum and instruction, learning theory, and instructional design. Brian earned his PhD in Educational Psychology with a secondary emphasis in Instructional Design from George Mason University in 2013. Brian also has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of Delaware and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Southern Maine.

Eric C. Nastasi, Esq.
Division Director of Advancement

202-633-2961

nastasie@si.edu

Eric Nastasi is the Director of Advancement for the SSEC, where he builds and manages a portfolio of prospects and donors to execute a program focused on high-capacity giving. His work affects the successful achievement of major programs such as the SSEC’s fundraising goal for the Smithsonian Capital Campaign, the progress of educational programs, and the funding of a substantial number of Trust positions affected by these efforts. Eric reports directly to the SSEC Director and is a member of the SSEC’s senior leadership team.

Prior to joining the SSEC, Eric practiced law as an international transactions attorney. He held the positions of Co-Chair of the Cyber Security and Information Privacy practice at Whiteford, Taylor, and Preston, COO and General Counsel for Bitek International, senior associate at Keller and Heckman, Vice President and General Counsel at Cascadent Communications, and Director of Regulatory and Legal Affairs at FaciliCom International.

Eric began his practice as a litigator at William J. Cook and Associates. He has served on several Boards, including the SSEC Advisory Board, Artisphere, the Arlington Arts Center, and the Journal Editing Board for the U.S. Navy Medicine Journal of Healthcare, Science and the Humanities. Eric received his BA in Philosophy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and his JD from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Lisa Rogers
Division Director of Finance

 

rogersl@si.edu

Lisa Rogers is the Division Director of Finance and Administration for the SSEC. Lisa is responsible for the financial and administrative operations and financial compliance for the organization. Before assuming this position, she was the Program Specialist for the SSEC’s Professional Development Center. Lisa has over 20 years of experience in finance, grants administration, program management, and development. Prior to joining the SSEC, Lisa was the Program and Grants Administrator for the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, a Development Officer with the Navy League of United States, and worked with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian, and the Smithsonian Associates. Lisa holds a BA in History from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and studied at the American University of Rome. She has been an adult literacy tutor and received her certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Kate Echevarria
Executive Office Coordinator

202-633-2959

echevarriak@si.edu

Kate Echevarria is the Executive Office Coordinator and is responsible for handling all projects, contracts, events, etc., associated with the Executive Office. Prior to SSEC, Kate was in Human Resource Management having worked for an international hotel chain, the U.S. Government, and a science non-profit. 

Katherine P. Blanchard
Professional Services Program Specialist

202-633-2978

blanchardkp@si.edu

Katherine Blanchard is a Program Specialist in the Professional Services division of the SSEC, where she has managed and supported a variety of programs across the United States, including STC™ professional development workshops, leadership institutes, and the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers. The main focus of her work has been supporting teachers, schools, and districts in building support and awareness for science education in their communities and working to expand the SSEC’s reach both in the United States and internationally. Prior to coming to the SSEC, Katherine worked for theatre companies in both Belgrade, Serbia, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and completed a Fulbright Fellowship teaching English at the University of Belgrade and studying theatre. Katherine graduated from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with a BA in Theatre Arts and Political Science. She has completed an MA in International Education from The George Washington University.

Ashley Deese
Digital Media Specialist

202-633-2970

deesea@si.edu

Ashley Deese is a digital media specialist with the curriculum and communications team where she drives the production and distribution of digital media and products such as websites, games, interactives, video, and print materials. Ashley has been actively involved in digital media since she taught herself how to code in first grade. Since then, Ashley has published a variety of work in digital media. Most notably, the short film she produced was selected as a finalist in the United Nations International Film Festival. Her other work has appeared in national magazines, advertisements, on NPR, and can be seen on the Internet.  Ashley earned her BS in Biology with a concentration in micro- and cellular biology from Methodist University and received an MA in Interactive Media from Elon University. In her free time, Ashley can be found laughing in the background of pointless Snapchat stories featuring her cat, Oliver Puff. 

Irina Dreyvitser
Office of Advancement Development Assistant

202-633-2985

dreyvitseri@si.edu

Irina Dreyvitser is currently an Advancement Assistant with the SSEC, focusing on building awareness of science education among the leaders of corporations, foundations and academic institutions and securing grants and private donor funding for numerous educational projects. In this role she provides administrative and management support to all aspects of the advancement program, including research, data and gift processing, donor relations and events management. She received the Smithsonian Unsung Hero Award in 2011 and the Smithsonian Certificate of Accomplishment for taking a leadership role to organize the Round Table discussions with the Smithsonian Leadership during the 2013 Mentorship Program. Before joining the Smithsonian in 2009, Irina worked as a travel and sales manager with several agencies in Washington DC and Virginia. In addition, she held Real Estate licenses for Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland and worked as a realtor for several years providing a full range of services. Irina graduated with a B.A. in Marine Biology from the State University in Kaliningrad, Russia and worked as a scientist at the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas in Sevastopol.

Katie Fancher
Program Specialist

202-633-2219

fancherk@si.edu

Katie Fancher is a Program Specialist with the SSEC. Before joining the SSEC, Katie was an educator at McWane Science Center in Birmingham, AL where she created and presented informal science education for the public, students, and teachers.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her Master’s degree in Instructional Design and Development from the University of South Alabama. 

Jean Flanagan
Science Education Research Specialist

202-633-2969

flanaganj@si.edu

Jean Flanagan is the Science Education Research Specialist on the Curriculum and Communications team. She works on the design and development of SSEC’s digital and print learning materials with a focus on research, standards, and best practices. She came to the SSEC in 2013 from a previous position as a Research Associate at AAAS Project 2061, where she contributed to federally-funded research and development projects exploring the design of high-quality curriculum materials and assessments, tightly aligned to national science standards. Of particular interest in her work were student misconceptions, conceptual change, and developing teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Through this research she worked closely with students and teachers in diverse classrooms around the country. Jean has a passion for better connecting research and practice. 

Katie Gainsback
Professional Services Program Manager

202-633-2960

gainsbackk@si.edu

Katie Gainsback is a Program Manager in the Professional Services division at the SSEC. Katie coordinates events promoting inquiry-based learning and STEM education across the United States for science teachers, administrators, and community partners. Through her role designing and executing leadership and professional learning opportunities, Katie has reinvigorated her passion for working with teachers and grade school love of hands-on science. Before joining the Smithsonian in 2012, Katie worked at the National Geographic Museum planning and facilitating drop-in programs for visitors of all ages on exhibits ranging from the Anglo-Saxon Hoard to Animal Grossology. Prior to that Katie was part of the Education Team at the National Archives and Records Administration, supporting school and public programs while in graduate school. Katie earned her BA in History from the College of William & Mary and received an MA in Museum Education from The George Washington University.

Sarah Glassman
Science Curriculum Developer
Bernadette Hackley
Senior Administrative Assistant

202-633-2964

hackleyb@si.edu

Bernadette Hackley is the Senior Administrative Assistant for the SSEC and has been with the unit since 2001 in its previous iteration as the NSRC. Since joining the Smithsonian, she has been responsible for coordinating the national and international travel for the SSEC Director and the SSEC’s National Advisory Board. Bernadette is also instrumental in the planning of various annual and biennial events for the SSEC in coordination with The National Academies. She has also effectively assisted in the transition required between interim and permanent SSEC Directors. Prior to coming to the Smithsonian, Bernadette was the Administrative/Financial Assistant and Construction Inspection Assistant for two locally renowned architectural firms. In these capacities, she had the responsibility for providing research; assisting in drafting, preparing, and editing promotional and marketing documents, project contracts, and technical architectural specifications; reviewing project change orders; managing office payroll, accounts payable, receivable; and performing all banking and miscellaneous financial transactions. She also managed an on-site construction administration office to handle and assist in construction project management by processing change orders and reviewing contractor's requisitions and construction change orders. Bernadette holds a BA in English from the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Anne-Marie Kom
Finance Specialist

 

komam@si.edu

Anne-Marie Kom is a Finance Specialist for the SSEC and works with the Director of Finance to make sure that all grants and gifts financial compliances are followed. Before joining the organization as a permanent employee, she worked with the Smithsonian Office of Sponsored Project as a Financial Analyst, where she oversaw the financials of multiple grants across the whole institution. She received a BS in Finance from George Mason University and has been working in finance since then. She is originally from Cameroon, a country in central Africa, and moved to the United States 15 years ago. She is fluent in French and her native language called Bayangam. She has two children and enjoys spending time with her family and watching movies and tennis in her spare time.

Hyunju Lee, EdD
Program Specialist

202-633-2998

LeeHy@si.edu

Hyunju Lee, Ed.D. is a program specialist in the Professional Services division of the SSEC. Before joining the group, Hyunju was a research fellow at Utah State University and at the University of South Florida. Hyunju participated in NSF-funded longitudinal PD projects that science and mathematics teachers learned to implement technology in science inquiry pedagogy. Hyunju received the NASA HST Education & Public Outreach grant, and a postdoctoral fellowship from the Science Education Center at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) of the Caltech. Hyunju’s research has focused on teacher learning of technology professional development, student learning of science, and astronomy education.

Hyunju earned her doctoral degree in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. And, she received a MS in astronomy from Seoul National University, and a BS in physics with a science teaching certificate from Ewha Womans University in South Korea. Hyunju had previously worked for STEM education programs, taught students, and translated children’s science books. Hyunju likes to travel, likes to look at the night sky, and to spend time with her kids.

Patricia Marohn
Managing Editor

202-633-2992

marohnp@si.edu

Patricia Marohn is the Managing Editor with the Curriculum and Communication department at the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC). She has a BA in Journalism from Loyola University Chicago. She worked for two major television networks, WGN and Fox, during her time in Chicago. She transitioned into publishing in Washington, DC, training as a copy editor with the American Geophysical Union and editing the Journal of Geophysical Research and Geophysical Research Letters. She joined the SSEC in 2013. She has developed and managed the editorial style that the SSEC uses for all of its publications, including print and online material. She also writes content for SSEC products. 

Tamara McDonald
Denver Regional Coordinator

 

mcdonaldt@si.edu

Tami McDonald is the Colorado Regional Coordinator at the SSEC. Her office is located at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Her main responsibilities include: 1) building awareness for science education among leaders, 2) helping develop science education leadership among groups from school districts and states, 3) conducting professional development programs to support the professional growth of teachers, and 4) developing and disseminating information about exemplary science instructional materials. Prior to joining SSEC, she was an elementary and middle school teacher in both rural and urban public schools in Colorado. Tami earned her BA in Elementary Education from Regis University. She earned a MA in Curriculum and Instruction with a STEM emphasis as well as a Math Interventionist Certificate, both from Adams State University. She earned a STEM certificate from Teacher’s College of Columbia University through the NASA Endeavor Teaching Program.

Martha Mulugeta
Finance Manager

mulugetam@si.edu

Martha Mulugeta earned her MBA and Graduate Certificate in Financial Management from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her BA in Business Management at Addis Ababa University. Martha has over 12 years of experience in accounting, finance, and business administration with international non-profit organizations and for profit companies. Martha is serving as a Finance Manager at the SSEC. She oversees budget formulation and execution, financial management, and contributes to the organizational procurement functions. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Martha was a Program Analyst at Children's National Health Systems, where she managed the day-to-day financial and administrative activities of the Infectious Diseases division, including analysis, budget formulation and execution, and reporting. She was responsible for review of the division's periodic financial performance reports and departmental budget development as well as maintenance of a system of expense records. She also served as Human Resources Officer with Save the Children US and as an Accountant with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in their Ethiopia delegations.

Eva Muszynski
Program Assistant

202-633-2999

muszynskie@si.edu

Eva Muszynski is a Program Assistant in the Professional Services division of the SSEC where she supports a variety of programs including the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers, professional development workshops and leadership institutes. Prior to coming to the SSEC, Eva worked as an environmental educator in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Eva graduated from the University of Miami with a B.S. in Marine and Atmospheric Science. In her spare time, Eva can be found coaching volleyball, sailing and hiking.

Hannah Osborn
Publishing Assistant

202-633-3006

osbornh@si.edu

Hannah Osborn is a Publishing Assistant for the Curriculum and Communications division where she is the contact for general operational responsibilities, manages and administers budget, procures vendors and contractors, and supports the writers, editors, and subject matter specialists within the division. Prior to coming to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Hannah worked in healthcare as a Prosthetist and Orthotist, where she provided braces and artificial limbs to patients. In her free time, Hannah loves to travel anywhere and everywhere. She also enjoys watching and participating in sports, attending theater performances, and being outdoors hiking or camping. Hannah earned her MA from Georgetown University in Liberal Studies and her BA from the University of Michigan in Psychology and Classical Archeology.

Angela Pritchett
Human Resources Liaison

  

pritchetta@si.edu

Angela Pritchett, PHR, SHRM-CP, has been the Human Resources Liaison for the SSEC since 2008. Her role as the internal expert on a variety of HR-related themes regarding leave administration, recruitment and selection, employee relations and performance management ensure the SSEC’s greatest asset, the people, keep the organization running smoothly and effectively. Angela also manages the internship and volunteer programs. Her 10 years of HR experience started when she worked for The National Academies. Before joining SSEC, Angela also held HR positions at a Federal credit union and a communications firm. She received a BS in Business Administration from Bowie State University.

Andre Radloff
Science Curriculum Developer

202-633-2976

Radloffa@si.edu 

Andre Radloff is a Science Curriculum Developer on the Curriculum and Communications Team. He joined SSEC in 2017 to begin the development of freely accessible, internationally-focused, problem-based curriculum modules on topics such as mosquito borne diseases, climate change, deforestation, and clean water. Through the development of these digital curriculum modules, teacher resources, and innovative implementation strategies, he hopes to provide equitable education resources that motivate, inspire, and empower teachers and students around the world to work together towards a more sustainable future. 

Prior to joining SSEC, Andre was the Instructional Designer for a five-year research project looking at professional development and problem-based learning at George Mason University. He has also spent time developing curriculum and professional development programs within The JASON Project at National Geographic. But, his career in education really began in public school classrooms throughout Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Virginia where he taught science and math for six years. Andre earned his BS in Science Education from the University of Iowa and received an MS in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He can be spotted regularly strumming a guitar around a campfire and having existential conversations with his Siamese cat, Elliot.

Melissa Rogers
Science Curriculum Developer
Katya Vines, PhD
Senior Science Curriculum Developer

202-633-3003

vinesk@si.edu

Katya Vines, PhD, is a Senior Science Curriculum Developer at the SSEC. Katya is responsible for writing new science publications for elementary and middle school students. Her journey to SSEC has spanned three continents and involved teaching 5 year olds up to undergraduates! After completing a BS and PhD in Chemistry at the University of Liverpool, Katya took up research positions at the University of Barcelona and Oxford. While in Oxford she tutored undergraduates studying chemistry. After a brief period teaching middle school science she joined the academic publisher John Wiley and Sons as an Acquisitions Editor for Analytical Chemistry. She then moved into educational publishing, where she has been for 14 years with a short break in the middle to teach elementary science in Kenya. Prior to joining the SSEC in 2014, Katya worked at the International Baccalaureate, where she was responsible for developing inquiry-based resources for K-12 teachers and students. In her spare time Katya enjoys running (slowly), playing Mahjong, and making cocktails.

Inola Walston
Advancement Associate

202-633-2911

Walstoni@si.edu

Inola Walston is the Advancement Program Specialist for the SSEC. Inola has over 22 years of fundraising and non-profit experience. As the Advancement Program Specialist, Inola composes and drafts detailed proposals and correspondence to donors and prospects; prepares reports and marketing materials; participates in solicitation and stewardship activities; and assists in the planning, management, and execution of special events and educational experiences to maintain donor engagement. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Inola was the Organizational Advancement Officer for the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), an economic development non-profit organization in Washington, DC. While at CFED, Inola was primarily responsible for a variety of grants management and fundraising activities such as grant writing, reporting, stewardship, and prospect research. Over her professional career, Inola has been employed at such venerable organizations as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, where she helped to raise funding during the museum’s capital campaign. Ms. Walston earned her BS in Interior Design from Louisiana State University.