I have been affiliated with STEM education since 1990. I currently serve as the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Michigan Technological University. Before that I served as the Associate Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School. I began my career in higher education at Michigan Tech when I joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1990.
From 2003-2005, I served as the Program Officer for Diversity and Education in the Geoscience Directorate at the National Science Foundation. In that role I delivered workshops and provided feedback to prospective awardees to help them prepare competitive proposals and collaborated with other federal grant-making entities to leverage resources.
Since 1997, I have been involved with STEM teacher education. I designed the nation’s first geology field camp for practicing teachers. Through those intensive field experiences, I made strong connections with STEM teachers that profoundly influenced my subsequent career. I learned that my strengths in STEM content (particularly geoscience) coupled with the teachers’ strengths in pedagogy could result in powerful gains for students’ engagement and learning outcomes.
More recently, I have been involved with numerous projects designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning. I am currently working with a group of scientists, engineers, curriculum designers, assessment experts, education researchers, teachers, and administrators to develop a new curriculum and associated professional learning program known as Mi-STAR (Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform). Through Mi-STAR, I have become keenly aware of many of the challenges faced by practicing teachers in our State, the nature of Michigan’s new science standards, and the complexities of developing and administering standards-based assessments.
I received the Mallinson Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2019 from the Michigan Science Teachers Association in recognition of my work. I was also named a Notable Woman in STEM by Crain's Detroit Business in 2019.