Our Staff

Download our staff organization chart here!

Dr. Carol O'Donnell
Director

202-633-2972

odonnellc@si.edu

Dr. Carol O’Donnell is the Senior Executive and Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), an organization of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to transforming K-12 Education through Science™ in collaboration with communities across the globe. In her role at the Smithsonian (a non-profit with quasi-governmental status), Carol serves as the US representative on the Global Council of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP), an appointment by the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and she serves on the UN Broadband Commission Working Group on School Connectivity: Hybrid Learning. Carol also represents the Smithsonian on the Subcommittee on Federal Coordination in STEM Education (FC-STEM), which advises and assists the Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) of the Office of Science and Technology Policy of the Executive Office of the President. In her role on the Program Committee for the International Dialogue on STEM Education, Carol co-authored the position paper on “STEM Education for Sustainable Development” (http://bit.ly/3a3ObkS). Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Carol was a group leader at the US Department of Education, supporting States’ and districts’ implementation of ESEA programs; she also oversaw the Cognition and Student Learning research grant program of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

Carol is the winner of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Graduate Research Excellence Award; National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity “Unsung Hero Award;” and the University of Pittsburgh Distinguished Alumni Award. She was honored to receive on behalf of SSEC the Smithsonian Innovation in Education Award for their work on the “Smithsonian Science for Global Goals” project. Dr O’Donnell is the Principal Investigator on an NSF INCLUDES and DRK-12 planning grant award for SSEC’s work in “Building Networks and Enhancing Diversity in the K-12 STEM Teaching Workforce” and PI of the grant “Integrating Inclusive/Universal Design and Accessibility Strategies into K-12 STEM Classrooms.” A former K-12 teacher and curriculum developer, Dr. O’Donnell is still in the classroom today, serving on the part-time faculty of the Physics Department at The George Washington University, where she earned her doctorate. Her TedX talk demonstrates her passion for integrating digital and physical interactions in science classrooms.

Read about the latest SSEC news in the Director's Corner.

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 over two decades 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.

Holly Bichlee Glover
Division Director of Advancement and Partnerships

(202) 633-2961

GloverH@si.edu

Holly is the Division Director of Advancement and Partnerships, where she leads partnership efforts between SSEC and its donors and funders. Holly believes firmly that it will take a diverse coalition of stakeholders to achieve educational equity, and she strives to create and foster meaningful partnerships to make a transformational impact on student learning.

Holly has over a decade of experience fundraising in support of educational equity and excellence. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Holly led Institutional Giving for Teach For America – Bay Area, where she raised $6M annually from Silicon Valley funders. She has raised multi-year, 6 and 7 figure grants in support of teacher recruitment, preparation, support, and retention by building authentic relationships, connecting supporters to a compelling vision, and using data to drive improvement. In addition to her experience at TFA, Holly co-founded Alpha Public Schools, a network of college prep, blended learning public charter schools, serving at-risk students in East San José, CA. At Alpha, Holly built and managed all non-academic functions of the organization – including raising $1M from public and private institutions and individuals in support of the school launch. Alpha’s flagship school is a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Next Generation Learning Challenges Grantee, and has been recognized as a Top School for Low-Income Latinx & Black Students in the Bay Area by Innovate Public Schools. Holly holds a BA in American Studies from UCLA, and Master’s Degree in Education Policy and Leadership from Stanford University.

Laurie Rosatone
Division Director of Curriculum and Communications

202-633-2968

RosatoneL@si.edu

Laurie Rosatone is Division Director, Curriculum and Communications, overseeing the curriculum, digital and marketing teams creating SSEC’s innovative and renowned Science curriculum and award-winning learning resources. Prior to joining SSEC, Laurie was VP, Director, STEM Education at Wiley, overseeing STEM global publishing strategy and the creation, launch, and implementation of market-leading, groundbreaking educational resources and courseware in these disciplines. Through this work, she has helped millions of STEM students to succeed and prepare for their future careers, by tapping the power of personalized learning paths and empowering communities of learners and educators with actionable data and support resources. Prior to joining Wiley, Laurie spent ten years at Pearson developing educational resources in mathematics and statistics in the higher education group. She graduated from Georgetown University with a BS in Languages and a Certificate in Latin American Studies, and spent a year studying Spanish and Latin American history, culture and politics at Universidad de Sevilla in Spain. In addition, Laurie has a certificate in wine and spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and volunteers for organizations helping to address food insecurity.

Lisa Rogers
Division Director of Finance & Administration

 

rogersl@si.edu

Lisa Rogers is the Division Director of Finance & 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.

Katya Vines, PhD
Assistant Division Director for Curriculum

202-633-3003

vinesk@si.edu

Katya Vines, PhD, is the Assistant Division Director for Curriculum at the SSEC. Katya is responsible for managing the talented team of curriculum developers and, when she has the time, writing herself! Her journey to SSEC has spanned three continents and involved teaching 5 year olds up to undergraduates. After completing a BSc 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 20 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 around the world. In her spare time Katya enjoys running (slowly), playing Mahjong, and making cocktails.

Katherine Pedersen Blanchard
Senior Program Manager

202-633-2978

blanchardkp@si.edu

Katherine Pedersen Blanchard is the Senior Program Manager for Leadership Development and International Programs at the SSEC where she has managed programs and led initiatives across the United States and around the world. Katherine works with teachers, schools, districts and communities to build support for science and STEM education that intersects with social issues and sustainable development. She is passionate about connecting people who are doing this work across geographic borders, disciplines, and generations. During her time at the SSEC, Katherine has led professional development workshops, leadership institutes, and has worked on the development of new initiatives including the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals project. Prior to joining the SSEC in 2012, Katherine worked in theatre production for companies in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Belgrade, Serbia, and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Belgrade. She holds a BA in Theatre and Political Science from Coe College, and an MA in International Education from The George Washington University.

Reuben Brenner-Adams
Interactive Developer

202-633-2996

Brenner-AdamsR@si.edu

Reuben Brenner-Adams is an Interactive Developer at the Smithsonian Science Education Center, focusing on creating games and other interactive digital media for use in the unit’s science curriculum and beyond. Reuben joined the SSEC as a full-time employee in 2018, but was part of the development of Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game, a Webby-nominated digital strategy game, as a Digital Media Intern at the SSEC in 2016. Before joining the organization, Reuben worked at Dig-It! Games as a developer of educational and commercial games. Reuben is a voting member of both the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, a member of the Federal Games Guild, and a member of the Washington, DC chapter of the International Game Developers Association. He earned a combined BS/MS degree in Game Design & Development from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Sofia Elian
Graphic Designer

202-633-2957

elians@si.edu

Sofia Elian is the Graphic Designer at the Smithsonian Science Education Center where she develops illustrations and graphics across multiple platforms for digital projects such as apps, e-books, games, interactive/simulations, and web. Before joining the team, Sofia was a full-time student at American University receiving a BA in Graphic Design. She also worked at her student-run campus coffee shop as both a barista and their graphic designer, as well as interning at The Federal Reserve as a graphic design intern. On top of working and studying, Sofia was the art director for her University’s 2018 Design Show, creating and developing the show’s content, visuals, and exhibition. She has received two awards during her time as a student, a Design Show “Best in Show” award in 2018 for a UI/UX app design and a Visions Award for a scientific explainer animation. In her free time, Sofia enjoys painting, drawing, and longboarding around DC.

Kate Echevarria
Executive Office Manager

202-633-2959

echevarriak@si.edu

Kate Echevarria is the Executive Office Manager 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. 

Kat Fancher
Program Specialist

202-633-2219

fancherk@si.edu

Kat Fancher is a Program Specialist with the SSEC. Before joining the SSEC, Kat 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.

Katie Gainsback
Senior Program Manager

202-633-2960

gainsbackk@si.edu

Katie Gainsback is a Senior Program Manager for Leadership Development in the Professional Services division at the SSEC. In this role, she coordinates events promoting inquiry-based learning and STEM education across the United States for science teachers, administrators, and community partners. Before joining the Smithsonian in 2012, Katie worked at the National Geographic Museum, planning and facilitating programs for visitors of all ages and on the Education Team at the National Archives and Records Administration, supporting school and public programs. Through her role designing and executing leadership and professional learning opportunities at the SSEC, Katie has rediscovered her passion for working with teachers and grade school love of hands-on science. Katie earned her BA in History from the College of William & Mary and received an MA in Museum Education from The George Washington University.

Heidi Gibson
Science Curriculum Developer

202-633-2992

GibsonH@si.edu

Heidi Gibson is a Curriculum Developer on the Curriculum and Communications Team. Heidi joined SSEC in 2020 to support the writing of Smithsonian Science for Global Goals community research guides. This followed her prior work as an SSEC Research Fellow helping to develop the structure of the guides and aligning it to ideas from socio-scientific, place-based, participatory action, civic, and global learning research. Heidi is passionate about engaging young people to realize their own power to transform the world. She has a MA in International Education and has held roles researching and directing global education programs. Diverse perspectives and experiences are exemplified by Heidi’s background which includes serving as a US Foreign Service Officer, teaching experiential civics to middle and high school students, and receiving a BS in Biology focused on molecular genetics. She loves to travel to new places, grapple with new ideas, and learn new skills.

Sarah Glassman, PhD
Senior Science Curriculum Developer

202-633-2967

GlassmanS@si.edu 

Sarah Glassman, PhD, is a Senior Science Curriculum Developer at the SSEC. She develops innovative curricula to support teachers to implement the science education reforms of the Next Generation Science Standards. Prior to joining the SSEC, Sarah taught middle and high school and worked in education research at AAAS Project 2061. As a teacher, Sarah taught life, earth, and physical science to middle and high school students in Virginia and New York State. At Project 2061, Sarah worked on assessment alignment to the NGSS and on an NSF-funded project identifying linguistic factors associated with differential student performance on science assessments. Sarah has taught science methods to pre-service elementary teachers as an adjunct faculty at George Mason University.

Sarah earned her doctoral degree in Education from George Mason University in 2016. Her research focused on the relationship between middle school science instruction and student engagement. Sarah has a Master’s degree in Biology Teaching from Union Graduate College and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Brown University.

Cara Hackett
Marketing & Communications Specialist

202-633-3562

Cara Hackett is the Marketing and Communications Specialist for the Smithsonian’s Science Education Center. As a graduate of American University’s MA in Journalism and Digital Storytelling program, she’s immersed herself into various forms of multimedia storytelling by sharpening her print, audio, and video production skills. She also holds a bachelor's degree from Florida A&M University in public relations where she served as editor-in-chief of the university’s award-winning newspaper. Cara spends her spare time baking, learning the violin, and reading book by her favorite author, Toni Morrison.

Hyunju Lee, EdD
Research Scientist

202-633-2998

LeeHy@si.edu

Hyunju Lee, Ed.D. is a research scientist in the Professional Services division of the SSEC. Before joining the SSEC, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Utah State University and at the University of South Florida, and a visiting scholar at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She 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. She has participated in several NSF-granted studies in science education, and her research has focused on teacher learning of technology, professional development, student learning of science, and astronomy education. She received her doctoral degree in Science Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in US, and 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. She had previously worked for STEM education programs, taught students, and translated children’s science books including Magic School Bus series from English to Korean. Hyunju likes to travel, to look at the night sky, and to spend time with her kids. More information about her research can be found at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hyunju-Lee

Sherrell Lewis
Program Manager

LewisSM@si.edu

Sherrell Lewis is the Program Manager for Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion (DEAI) within the Professional Services Division of the Smithsonian Science Education Center.  Sherrell manages the SSEC’s  programs that support educators in identifying, and removing, barriers that discourage students, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, from pursuing pathways to STEM education and STEM careers.  In this role, she is able to support the work of educators to connect and create lasting impact in their school communities, and education systems. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she managed school-based family programs at Turning the Page, where she fostered relationship-building between school staff and families to increase meaningful family engagement in Washington, DC public schools.  Her work in continuing conversations around DEAI stems from a teaching career, where she successfully led as a mentor teacher and implemented schoolwide initiatives to address lack of diversity in parent involvement.  Sherrell earned a BS in Health Management from Norfolk State University and a M.Ed. in Education Policy and Leadership from American University.

Nejra Malanovic
Program Assistant

202-633-2965

MalanovicN@si.edu

Nejra Malanovic is a Program Assistant in the Professional Services division of the SSEC where she supports a variety of programs. Prior to coming to the SSEC, Nejra worked at World Learning where she supported the US Department of State’s professional exchange program, International Visitor Leadership Program. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Biomolecular Science and a minor in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian (BCS) Language, Literature, and Culture.

Tamara McDonald
Special Projects Coordinator

mcdonaldt@si.edu

Tami McDonald is a Program Specialist in the Professional Services division of the SSEC. Tami coordinates special projects and programs promoting inquiry-based learning and STEM education. Prior to joining SSEC, she was an elementary and middle school teacher in both rural and urban public schools in Colorado. Tami received a 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. Through the NASA Endeavor Teaching Program, she earned a STEM certificate from Teacher’s College of Columbia University.

Alexa Mogck
Program Assistant

202-633-2997

MogckA@si.edu

Alexa Mogck is a Program Assistant in the Professional Services division of the SSEC where she supports a variety of domestic and international programs. Prior to joining the SSEC, Alexa worked and volunteered with many youth-facing science organizations in the Santa Barbara and Minneapolis greater areas and completed a Fulbright Grant teaching English in Terengganu, Malaysia. Alexa graduated from Westmont College with a B.S. in Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Natural History and a minor in Anthropology.

Eva Muszynski
Lead Program Assistant

202-633-2999

muszynskie@si.edu

Eva Muszynski is a Lead Program Assistant in the Professional Services division of the SSEC where she coordinates and supports a variety of professional development workshops and leadership institutes. The main focus of her work is guiding teachers, schools and districts engaging in systemic change efforts around STEM education, with an emphasis on developing programing around diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; ensuring all students have access to a high-quality science education. Eva graduated from the University of Miami with a BS in Marine and Atmospheric Science. In her spare time, Eva can be found coaching volleyball, sailing and hiking.

Hannah Osborn
Lead Product Specialist

202-633-3006

osbornh@si.edu

Hannah Osborn is a lead product specialist for the Curriculum and Communications division where she is the contact for general operational responsibilities, manages and administers budget, procures vendors and contractors, creates content, 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, 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 15 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.

Agnes Robine
Finance Specialist

RobineA@si.edu

Agnes Robine is the Finance Specialist at SSEC, which she joined in 2021 following nearly six years with Smithsonian’s Office of International Relations. A graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Agnes worked in a variety of financial management positions in the private sector prior to joining the Smithsonian Institution in 2016. Agnes maintains a number of certifications in federal acquisitions, and is committed to integrity and transparency in the expenditure of public funds. She studied at the John Felice Rome Center during her time at Loyola University Chicago, and has completed numerous continuing education programs through the Smithsonian Institution and Graduate School USA. Agnes has previously served on the Smithsonian Institution’s Learning and Development Council. In her spare time, she enjoys game nights, leisurely reading, movie nights, recreational powerboating, and being a mother of two.

Melissa Rogers
Senior Science Curriculum Developer

202-633-2956

RogersMJ@si.edu

Melissa Rogers is a Senior Science Curriculum Developer on the Curriculum and Communications Division. She joined SSEC in 2017 to support the writing of the NGSS-aligned Smithsonian Science for the Classroom modules for elementary classrooms. Melissa completed a BS and MS in Geophysics at Virginia Tech, with a focus on earthquake seismology. Following that, rather than studying the vibrations of Earth, she applied her data analysis skills to understanding the microgravity environment of Earth-orbiting spacecraft such as the US Space Shuttles. After explaining microgravity to researchers for several years, she started to develop microgravity educational materials for NASA and to design and facilitate related teacher professional learning opportunities. That led to (earth systems, environmental science, engineering, physics) classroom teaching at the high school, community college, and four-year college levels. For four years prior to joining SSEC, Melissa created in-person, on-line, and hybrid climate change professional learning workshops for educators. In her spare time, she enjoys perusing cookbooks and testing out new recipes.

Logan Schmidt
Science Curriculum Developer

202-633-2984

schmidtl@si.edu 

Logan Schmidt is a Curriculum Developer on the Curriculum and Communications Division. Logan learned at an early age that the only thing she liked better than science was communicating with people about science, and she has spent the last twenty years pursuing that passion. Logan began her career as a teen volunteer in the rainforest and aquarium exhibits of Discovery Place Science Museum, and went on to hone her educational skills at museums, aquariums, wildlife refuges, penguin colonies, publishing companies, and the classroom. She has a B.A. in Biological Sciences and Classics from Wellesley College and a Masters of Science in Teaching with a concentration in Secondary Biology from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. Logan began her tenure at SSEC writing life and earth science modules for the Smithsonian Science for the Classroom series. She has since pivoted to the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals team and is proud to write freely available, globally relevant community research guides that engage students in meaningful action on socioscientific issues in their own communities.

Beth Short
Science Curriculum Developer

202-633-2969

ShortM@si.edu

Beth Short, is a Science Curriculum Developer in the SSEC’s Curriculum and Communications division.  Prior to working with SSEC, she worked in both formal and informal educational settings.  Her experience includes working as Associate Director of Nature’s Classroom Inc. where she developed standards-aligned environmental education curriculum, coordinated with schools across the New England region, and served on the board of directors for the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society.  As a classroom teacher, Beth taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grade where she continued to share her passion for the natural world with her students.  Most recently, she worked in education research at George Washington University where she is currently enrolled as a doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction.  Beth’s research includes the NSF funded Arctic PIRE project for which she developed and implemented a global sustainability curriculum.  Her research explores students’ perceptions of global environmental issues.  She also taught Evaluating Museum Learning at GWU. Beth earned her Master of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning in 2011 from Lesley University and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater from the University of Detroit-Mercy.

Inola Walston
Advancement Program Specialist

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 Acting Division Director for Advancement & Partnerships, 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.