March in Review

Spring 2020 Advisory Board Dinner & Meetings

The Smithsonian Science Education Center held its Spring 2020 Advisory Board meetings and dinner March 4th- 5th in Washington, DC. On Wednesday, March 4th, SSEC held a joint meeting between the board and its Ad-Hoc Committee on Higher Education Center. The group was welcomed by the interim Associate Provost for Education & Access, Ruki Neuhold-Ravikumar. This was the final meeting of the Ad-Hoc Committee, whose members include:

  • Greg Kelly (Chair)
  • Terry Bergeson
  • Robin Davisson
  • Brenda Fisher
  • Marilyn Irving
  • Mary Ann Ottinger
  • Charles Trautmann
  • Christos Zahopoulos

We thank them for their service.

Dinner was held that evening at the National Museum of American History (NMAH). Dinner began with opening remarks from NMAH Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs, Benjamin Filene. SSEC Director, Carol O’Donnell, and SSEC Director Emeritus, Doug Lapp, sat on a panel led by former SSEC Advisory board Chair, Kristin Richardson, and discussed SSEC over the past 35 years. The board meeting was held on Thursday, March 5th at SSEC Offices. The meeting opened with welcoming remarks from SSEC Advisory Board Chair, Fredi Stevenson.


STEM Education Summit: Building a Coalition for Attracting and Retaining a Diverse STEM Teaching Workforce

On March 6-8, the Smithsonian Science Education Center, supported by Shell Oil Company, hosted its fourth summit and second at Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana. The STEM Education Summit convened 19 teams of educators from across the nation to create plans for attracting or retaining a diverse STEM teacher workforce in their schools, districts, or regions. Teams were paired with a mentor to support the creation of their logic model and each group will continue to work together over the next eighteen months to implement the activities outlined in their plans and move the work forward. O’Donnell and Acting Under Secretary for Education Ruki Neuhold-Ravikumar provided remarks.


South Caroline Science Education Leadership Association

On March 13th, O’Donnell provided the keynote at the South Caroline Science Education Leadership Association (SCSELA) meeting. The purpose of SCSELA is to enhance the quality of science education for elementary, middle, and secondary students in South Carolina through the improvement of science supervision. O’Donnell presented to the group, virtually, on Smithsonian Science for the Classroom using the Sunrise on the National Mall app.


Distance Learning Guidance

In collaboration with CSSS Community Repository, O’Donnell worked to produce Distance Learning Guidance for CSSS teachers, students, and parents.




Images courtesy Anne Kaiser

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About the Author

Kate Echevarria
Human Resources Liaison



Kate Echevarria is the Human Resources Liaison for the Smithsonian Science Education Center. She is responsible for handling recruitment, internships, performance management, and all aspects of human resources at the Center. She was previously the Executive Office Manager at SSEC for 10 years. 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.