STEMCON Advisory Board
The names are in alphabetical order
Dr. Carmen Cioc
Dr. Carmen Cioc is an assistant professor and the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program Director of the Engineering Technology Department in College of Engineering at The University of Toledo. She received her master’s in Aerospace Engineering from The University Politehnica of Bucharest, and her master’s in Physics – Professional in Photovoltaics and Ph.D. in Engineering, in the field of Thermal Sciences, from The University of Toledo. Dr. Cioc’s research interest is divided into four major focus areas: STEM, Improving Engineering Education, Tribology, and Renewable Energy.
Dr. Carolyn Boiarsky
Carolyn Boiarsky is a Professor in the Department of English at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond, Indiana. Associated with the National Writing Project since 1978, she is presently the Director of the Northwest Indiana Writing Project, and was the founder of the Southeast Center for the Teaching of Writing at Georgia State University from 1978-81. She has authored two books related to education, Academic Literacy in the English Classroom and The Art of Workplace English, both published by Boynton Cook Heinemann. Her chapter, “Technical and Political Literacy,” appeared in the book, Expanding Literacies: English Teaching and the New Workplace, which won an NCTE award. Dr. Boiarsky has made numerous presentations at the annual conferences of NCTE and was invited to present at the Engineering Education Conference in Sheffield, England. After receiving her Ph.D. in English Education from Georgia State University in 1984, she began teaching at Sissonville High School in West Virginia and served as the coordinator of the Education Task Force for the 1970 White House Conference on Youth.
Dr. Chad Pavlekovich
An educator for 17 years, Chad has been very involved in the advancement of STEM education at the middle school level. Recognized by the First Educational Technology Conference (FETC), as having one the top 10 STEM programs in the country, Chad has present at numerous NSTA conferences, and most recently for the past two years at STEMCON and been recognized along with teammates for excellence in STEM education. As a transformational leader, Chad has been diligently working with others to help bring the Maker Movement into the educational setting. He currently serves as a board member for M4 Reactor a regional Makerspace, and as a Founding Member of Minds in Motion Children’s Museum both located in Salisbury MD. A father of two young daughters, Stevie (3) and Rowan (1), Chad spends his spare time enjoying fatherhood, building playhouses, 3D printing and roleplaying.
Dr. Carrie Launius
Carrie Launius spent over 30 years in science education starting as an elementary teacher and retiring as an assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Her passion has always been to engage students in authentic experiences creating life-long science learners. Launius has been the president of STOM- Science Teachers of Missouri and now serves as an adviser. She currently is NSTA’s district XI director. She also created and serves as chair of the NSTA – CBC Best STEM book committee.
Dr. Jen Gutierrez
Jen Gutierrez is enjoying a 28+ year career in education which has included K-4 teacher, district science specialist, and recently K-12 STEM education specialist. She is passionate about supporting educators in their science and STEM teaching and learning pursuits. Jen is a member of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) writing team, including the Diversity and Equity team. She is an endorsed trainer for the Engineering is Elementary® program, and in 2017 was selected to serve on the advisory committee for the Educator Capacity Building in PreK-12 Engineering Education with the National Academies of Science & Engineering. Jen stays active in science education leadership serving on the Arizona Science Teachers Association executive board and the National Science Teachers Association Council as District XIV Director. A California native, Jen earned a BS in Journalism and a post-degree K-8 certificate from Northern Arizona University (NAU). She received her master’s in Elementary Education from Arizona State University and an Administration certificate from NAU.
Dr. Judy Lambert
Dr. Judy Lambert is a Professor of Educational Technology in the Judith Herb College of Education at the University of Toledo. For over 20 years she has conducted training for preservice and inservice teachers on the integration of technology and STEM in the classroom. Her research focuses on the cognitive factors that affect teacher’s use and adoption of technology and STEM integration.
Dr. Juliana Texley
Juliana Texley is a past president of the National Science Teachers Association and a member of the graduate faculties of Central Michigan University and Lesley University in education and technology. She has taught all of the areas of STEM education for over four decades, from preschool through university. In recent years she has led an effort by NSTA and other organizations to enrich both the market and classroom use of high quality trade books within STEM curricula. She has also led in the development of online curricula for JASON Education and other organizations. She holds a Ph.D. in science education, and a master’s in biology/chemistry. She has been awarded a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching and is a Fellow and officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has served on the boards of the National Science Foundation, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Young Voices for the Planet and Innovation Collaborative. She is the author of five books on STEM Education for teachers and over 100 articles in science education journals.
Dr. Kimberly Clayton-Code
Kimberly Clayton-Code is a professor in the College of Education and Human Services at Northern Kentucky University and Director of the Institute for Talent Development and Gifted Studies. She received the Faculty Excellence in Sustained Outreach and Public Engagement (2010) and the Faculty Excellence in Teaching (2007) awards from Northern Kentucky University. Other activities have included editing and authoring the national award-winning Entrepreneurs in Kentucky and Pathways to Home Ownership curriculum projects. Dr. Clayton-Code has degrees from the University of Louisville (Ph.D.), Northern Kentucky University (M.Ed.), and Purdue University (B.A.).
Nancy Ledbetter, M.Ed.
Nancy Ledbetter is the STEM Specialist and Instructional Technology Facilitator at the International School at Gregory, a K-8 language immersion magnet school. She has been in education for 30 years and during that time has taught at the community college, high school, middle school, and elementary school levels. Her degrees include an A.S. in Computer Engineering, a B.S. in Journalism and Political Science, a master’s in Secondary Education, a master’s in STEM K-8, and is currently a doctoral candidate with Nova Southeastern University. Presentations and workshops she has given include those for social studies, mathematics, instructional technology, and STEM. She has also written articles on STEM published in the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics Transformations Journal.
Dr. Nicolle Karantinos
Dr. Nicolle Karantinos directs academics and innovation for ASU Preparatory Academy, a PreK-12 charter school system that has a track-record of bringing its progressive model into schools to successfully serve students from all geographic locations and socio-economic backgrounds. Nicolle has spoken nationally and served on numerous statewide panels on successful educational STEM models and has written and directed multiple grants. Prior to ASU, Nicolle spearheaded the Advanced STEM Program where 100% of the students realized one-of-a-kind personalized learning plans leveraging Move On When Ready. She serves as a board member for Si Se Puede and education committee member for ASU Women and Philanthropy. Dr. Karantinos received her Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision at ASU and has served as a K-12 curriculum director and an elementary and high school teacher and administrator.
Dr. Paul Semendinger
Dr. Paul Semendinger has been an educator for close to thirty years. In that time, he has served with excellence at every level of education from elementary school through the collegiate level. Dr. Semendinger is currently the principal of Hawes Elementary School in Ridgewood, New Jersey — a high performing school recognized for its child-centered approach, outstanding teaching, creativity and innovation. Dr. Semendinger is also a sought-after public speaker on a plethora of subjects including motivating others. A published author, Dr. Semendinger brings energy, a positive approach, a love of life, and happiness to his work each and every day. Dr. Semendinger is also the proud father of three college-age sons who all make him, and his wife Laurie, very very proud!
Stephanie Stern-Protz, M.Ed.
Stephanie Stern-Protz is a STEM Specialist and Coordinator of Experiences for the North Bergen STEM Academy in New Jersey. Stephanie holds a master’s degree in education with a cross-categorical study in special education. In addition, Stephanie holds a STEM Education Certificate (with Leadership Distinction) through the NASA Endeavor Teacher Fellowship from Teachers College at Columbia University. She is a teaching assistant for Endeavor’s Methods of STEM Education online course. In the spring of 2012, Stephanie, through NASA Endeavor, Stephanie was invited to Capitol Hill to present her STEM lessons at a NASA-sponsored Lunch and Learn. Since that time, Stephanie has curated successful learning units featuring NASA’s educational resources. Since 2014, Stephanie has been a teacher-researcher with Goddard Space Flight Center, and in 2015, Stephanie was awarded a teacher internship with Goddard’s CCRI – Climate Change Research Initiative. She works with Dr. Dorothy M. Peteet, a renowned paleoclimatologist and senior scientist. In 2017, Stephanie served as a Grand Award Judge in Earth and Environmental Science for the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, California. Stephanie is most grateful for the support from her husband Edward and her daughter Miranda.
Toni Stith, M.Ed.
Toni Stith is the STEM Professional Development Coordinator at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA. She works with school districts and educational organizations across the country to improve STEM education through the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway. She has over 15 years of experience in teaching and coaching math in multiple schools and states. Toni has had the privilege of being a Japanese Teaching Scholar in the summer of 2008 and was awarded the Milken National Educator award in North Dakota that same year.