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National Science Foundation INCLUDES Conference
Multi-Scale Evaluation in STEM Education

Speaker Bios

Pamela Bishop is Director of the National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research (NISER) and Associate Director for STEM Evaluation at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement Program in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Through NISER, Bishop and her team provide high quality, responsive external evaluation services to the STEM research and education sector. As Associate Director for STEM Evaluation at NIMBioS, Bishop evaluates interdisciplinary scientific research groups, K-16 and graduate-level interdisciplinary educational programs, and outreach events aimed at promoting teaching, learning, and research at the intersection of mathematics and biology.

David Bressoud is Director of the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences and DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics at Macalester College, former President of the Mathematical Association of America, and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He taught at Penn State for 17 years and chaired the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Macalester from 1995 until 2001. Bressoud has received the MAA Distinguished Teaching Award (Allegheny Mountain Section), the MAA Beckenbach Book Award for Proofs and Confirmations, and has been a Pólya Lecturer and a Leitzel Lecturer for the MAA. He has published over sixty research articles in number theory, combinatorics, special functions, and mathematics education. Bressoud has served as Director of the FIPSE-sponsored program Quantitative Methods for Public Policy and PI for two NSF- sponsored national studies of Calculus: Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus (NSF #0910240) and Progress through Calculus (NSF #1430540).

Byron Greene of Florida A&M University has a career spanning more than 15 years in higher education, where he utilizes keen business insights to successfully build relationships and collaborative partnerships; a skill developed during career in corporate and partnership tax at Coopers & Lybrand, L.L.P. During his 15 years in higher education Byron has served as senior level personnel responsible for securing more than $20,000,000 to support STEM programming in higher education. Using the power of partnership to create value for organizations is at the forefront of Byron's work. Through excellent communication skills Byron has the unique ability as a consensus builder to bring people from diverse backgrounds and interests together for collaboration. This provides a platform to create stakeholder value and assess outcome potential through strategic alliances. Also effective utilization of leverage as a means to achieve greater outcomes is one of the hallmarks of Byron's success. Currently, Byron serves as Associate Director for a National Science Foundation grant alliance of 14 institutions of higher education. Additionally, he consults and advises on independent projects that focus upon human capital development in STEM and university research and commercialization initiatives.

Louis J. Gross is a James R. Cox and Alvin and Sally Beaman Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics and Director of The Institute for Environmental Modeling at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is also Director Emeritus of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, a National Science Foundation-funded center to foster research and education at the interface between math and biology. He completed a B.S. degree in Mathematics at Drexel University and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at Cornell University, and has been a faculty member at UTK since 1979. His research focuses on applications of mathematics and computational methods in many areas of ecology, including disease ecology, landscape ecology, spatial control for natural resource management, photosynthetic dynamics, and the development of quantitative curricula for life science undergraduates. He led the effort at UT to develop an across trophic level modeling framework to assess the biotic impacts of alternative water planning for the Everglades of Florida. He has co-directed several Courses and Workshops in Mathematical Ecology at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, served as Program Chair of the Ecological Society of America, as President of the Society for Mathematical Biology, President of the UTK Faculty Senate, Treasurer for the American Institute of Biological Sciences and as Chair of the National Research Council Committee on Education in Biocomplexity Research. He is the 2006 Distinguished Scientist awardee of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served on the National Research Council Board on Life Sciences and was liaison to the NRC Standing Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions.

Melvin Hall is a Professor of Educational Psychology with Northern Arizona University whose background includes focused study in program evaluation, psychological assessment, and comparative inquiry methodology. Hall teaches courses in developmental perspectives of human diversity, research design, and human relations supporting the M.Ed. in Human Relations Program as well as a course meeting the program evaluation requirements across all doctoral level programs in the department. He has experiences in diverse applied settings comprised of evaluation consultations with federal, state and foundation project sponsors. As a thought leader in the conceptualization of program evaluation, his affiliations have included extensive work with the National Science Foundation, American Evaluation Association, Association of American Colleges and Universities and the University of Illinois Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA).

Barbara P. Heath is the Managing Member and Lead Consultant for East Main Evaluation & Consulting, LLC; a company she started in January 2004. Heath received her Ph.D. in Science Education (Physics) from North Carolina State University. She has been actively involved with several STEM education and related projects from inception through funding, development, and implementation. Past and current projects include CyVerse (formerly the iPlant Collaborative), multiple state level Math and Science Partnership programs, ChemTechathon, Grid and Parallel computing courses, and the iLumina Digital Library. Additionally, Heath has provided consulting support to the SC Conference Organization, Watson College of Education, and the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. These experiences provide her with insight into different facets of program development and collaboration.

Eurmon Hervey, Jr. (Research Fellow, Clemson University; National VP, Catapult Learning, LLC.) is an accomplished educational executive with a comprehensive blend of nonprofit, government, and academic management experience. Most of his professional career has been in senior leadership positions like Campus CEO, Executive Vice President & Provost, and Assistant Professor in colleges and universities. He has also held the titles of Assistant Superintendent and Deputy Chief State School Officer in the K-12 education sector. Further, he is a community educator and has done pioneering work in establishing two not for profit community organizations, a private elementary school and even a county library. As an evaluator, he served on a team to assess Baltimore City Public Schools' adherence to its strategic plan, led corrective action planning for District of Columbia Public Schools and the DC Office of the State Superintendent. He has also assessed teacher effectiveness in Tunica County (MS) Public Schools, evaluated community development projects in MS Delta for major foundations and federally-sponsored initiatives. He served as licensing, regulatory, and accreditation officer for 100+ post-secondary institutions operating in Washington DC, oversaw the closure of three institutions and the licensing approval of the University of Phoenix in Washington DC. He served as accreditation liaison at Edward Waters College, the University of the District of Columbia and currently for Catapult Learning, LLC., the nation's largest education service provider working with over 200 school districts nationwide. Further, he currently serves on external review teams for AdvancED/SACS, as consultant for non-profit organizations and as a Research Fellow with the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University. Hervey's work in education spans the globe having traveled to Egypt, Singapore, Austria, and Taiwan (Republic of China) to make presentations as a guest of those nations. He has also traveled to Spain, Thailand, Morocco, and Malawi for study and leisure. He holds a doctorate in education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and a master's degree in education from Harvard University. He also earned two degrees in pure mathematics: a master's degree from Clark Atlanta University, and a bachelors degree from Edward Waters College.

Ashanti Johnson is the CEO/Superintendent of Cirrus Academy, a state-wide STEAM charter school system in Georgia and an Associate Professor of Education at Mercer University. Immediately prior to serving in this role, Johnson was an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Assistant Vice Provost at the University of Texas at Arlington and Executive Director of the Institute for Broadening Participation. She has also been a faculty member at the University of South Florida, Georgia Institute of Technology and Savannah State University. Johnson received her B.S. in Marine Science (1993) and her Ph.D. (1999) in Oceanography from Texas A&M University. Her areas of research include: 1) environmental aquatic radiogeochemistry, 2) professional development of students and early career scientists, and 3) STEM diversity-focused initiatives. Her radiogeochemistry research activities focus on the utilization of various biogeochemical indicators to interpret past events that have impacted the marine, estuarine and freshwater environments. Her professional development and diversity-focused activities facilitate the advancement of students representing diverse socioeconomic, cultural, gender, racial and academic backgrounds. During her professional career she has served as PI and/or Co-PI for numerous NSF and NASA funded projects, totaling more than $15 million, including the highly successful MS PHD'S in Earth System Science Professional Development initiative that facilitates the advancement of underrepresented minorities throughout Earth system science and related fields. Among her extensive board service includes the National Academies Gulf Research Advisory Group, the NSF Advisory Committee on Environmental Research and Education, AGU Committees on Ethics, Education and Human Resources and Subcommittee on Diversity and the Savannah River Environmental Sciences Field Station Advisory Board. She is well published in both scientific and education journals and has received numerous honors and awards, including a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring at the White House, a 2016 American Geophysical Union Excellence in Geophysical Education Award, a 2016 American Geophysical Union Ambassador Award, Conferred as an American Geophysical Union Fellow in 2016, recognized by, an NBC product, as one of 100 History Makers in The Making and profiled in the Black Enterprise Magazine March 2011 Issue's "Women In STEM" Feature Story. In addition in 2016, Johnson was interviewed as part of the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC) Science Engineering & Technology Channel's "Women and Girls at the Intersection of Innovation and Opportunity: A Webcast Series on Harnessing the New Career Potential of STEM + Arts," a Nobody In Particular podcast entitled "Swimming with the Sharks," and a Sigma Xi Google Hangout session on engaging more African Americans in STEM. She was also featured in one of four 2016 Black History Month celebration segments on Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends show.

Kirk Knestis is CEO of Hezel Associates, an 11-person research and evaluation firm in Syracuse, NY, that specializes in studying education innovations. During his tenure with the firm, the Hezel team has served as external evaluator or research partner for more 20 NSF projects across 11 programs. Knestis has been a small business owner, STEM classroom teacher, university program administrator, and education researcher. He holds a doctorate in education policy and evaluation from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, and a Master in Teaching from Seattle University.

Frances Lawrenz is the Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Minnesota and a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. Her specialization is science and mathematics program evaluation and she received the international Myrdahl award for outstanding evaluation practice, the international Distinguished Contributions to Science Education award and the AERA sig award for Research on Evaluation. She has conducted numerous evaluations of NSF projects and programs and has twice served at NSF in a rotator position. She is currently working on several federally funded projects and has a substantial record of publications.

Sondra LoRe is Evaluation Manager for the National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research (NISER) at NIMBioS, where she assists with both internal and external evaluations related to STEM programs and projects. She has nearly 20 years of experience in education, instruction, educational leadership, and evaluation with pre-K-20 programs and STEM schools. She has served as a Tennessee state teacher evaluator and curriculum and assessment coach for 16 years. Sondra has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement Program in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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