Karen Wosczyna-Birch

State Director, CT College of Technology; Executive Director & Principal Investigator, Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, USA.

Dr Karen Wosczyna-Birch has been a champion of engaging women in nontraditional careers that include engineering and technology education for the past 30 years. Since 1995, she has been the state director of the CT College of Technology where through her leadership she has been instrumental in creating a nationally recognized seamless pathway in engineering and technology programs between all 12 public community colleges in CT with eight universities and over 30 high schools. She is also the Executive Director of the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence and a Professor at Tunxis Community College.

She serves on numerous boards including the International Honor Society EPT, the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Center, and Hartford High's Academy of Engineering and Green Technology. In 2014, she was invited to the White House College Opportunity Summit where educators across the U.S. were recognized for their dedication and commitment to educating the future workforce.

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Kelly Mack

Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education and Executive Director of Project Kaleidoscope, Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)

Prior to joining AAC&U, Dr. Mack was the Senior Program Director for the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Program while on loan from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) where, as a Professor of Biology, she taught courses in Physiology and Endocrinology for 17 years. 

 Dr. Mack earned the BS degree in Biology from UMES and, later, the PhD degree from Howard University in Physiology.  She has had extensive training and experience in the area of cancer research with her research efforts focusing primarily on the use of novel antitumor agents in breast tumor cells.  Most recently, her research focus has involved the use of bioflavonoids in the regulation of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast tumor cell proliferation.

Dr. Mack has served as a member of the Board of Governors for the National Council on Undergraduate Research and is a current member of the National Institutes of Health Review Subcommittee for Training, Workforce Development and Diversity.  She also recently completed a brief stint as Executive Secretary for the NSF Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, which is the Congressionally mandated advisory body that focuses on efforts to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in the STEM disciplines.


Ivory Toldson

President & CEO, Quality Education for Minorities (QEM)

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson is the president and CEO of the QEM Network, professor of counseling psychology at Howard University, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education and executive editor of the Journal for Policy Analysis and Research, published by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. Previously, Dr. Toldson was appointed by President Barack Obama to devise national strategies to sustain and expand federal support to HBCUs, as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Since 2016, as QEM principal investigator, Dr. Toldson has been awarded more than $4.5 million from federal agencies including NSF and NASA, to support capacity building efforts for STEM programs at Minority Serving Institutions.

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Yvette Pearson

Associate Dean for Accreditation, Assessment, and Strategic Initiatives, Rice University

Dr. Yvette E. Pearson is Associate Dean for Accreditation, Assessment, and Strategic Initiatives in the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University.  A Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), she is recognized for more than two decades of contributions to engineering education focused largely on students from excluded identities in STEM.

 Prior to joining Rice, Dr. Pearson was a program director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation where she was co-lead of the Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program.  She has been PI on multiple S-STEM projects, including a workshop grant that supports proposal development for faculty at predominantly undergraduate and/or minority-serving institutions, emphasizing those in Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) jurisdictions. In 2017, she founded The Pearson Evaluation and Education Research Group, which serves as a consultant on STEM education projects.

Among Dr. Pearson’s awards and honors are ASCE’s Professional Practice Ethics and Leadership Award, University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, UT Arlington’s Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and recognition as one of the Top 25 Women Professors in Texas. 

Dr. Pearson holds a B.S. in civil engineering and M.S. in chemistry from Southern University, a Ph.D. in engineering and applied science from The University of New Orleans, and a Graduate Certificate in educational research methodology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She is a registered Professional Engineer in Louisiana and a Program Evaluator for the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. 

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David Brown

Professor of Chemistry, Southwestern College

For more than 25 years, Dr. David R. Brown has focused his professional efforts on broadening the participation of students underrepresented in the STEM enterprise. He is a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at Southwestern College, one of the 115 California community colleges, situated 8 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico international border in Chula Vista, CA.  A native of the Mississippi River Valley region of southern Illinois, Brown holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, earned a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and undertook postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Diego. David has been a Principal Investigator on several National Science Foundation (NSF) grants that have supported projects in curriculum and program development, faculty professional development, science outreach to the public and undergraduate research.

 From August of 2012 through August of 2015, Brown served as a Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the NSF. While at NSF his activities included serving as Co-Lead Program Director on the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program, and he enjoyed assignments on the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE), the NSF Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) and the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) programs, while also participating in various committees and working groups.

 In 2007 his efforts to broaden participation in STEM were honored with the Stanley C. Israel Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences from the American Chemical Society Western Region, and in 2012 Brown received the Award for Incorporating Sustainability into Chemistry Education from the American Chemical Society Committee on Environmental Improvement.

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Iris R. Wagstaff

AAAS STEM Program Director, S-STEM Symposium Lead

Dr. Iris R. Wagstaff is a scientist, educator, mentor, researcher and STEM advocate. She currently serves as a STEM Program Director in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Department of AAAS where she manages programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels focused on broadening participation in STEM and workforce development.  She served as a 2015-2017 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the DOJ National Institute of Justice Office where she led an agency-wide diversity and inclusion initiative.  She is a native of Goldsboro, NC with a BS and MS in Chemistry from UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T State Universities respectively; and a PhD in Science Education from North Carolina State University. She worked as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company for 15 years where she led analytical project teams and company-wide diversity initiatives. She has over 20 years of STEM outreach and advocacy developing informal science programs, mentoring, resourcing parents, coaching K-12 science teachers, and building strategic partnerships between industry, academia, and community organizations.

Iris is also a social scientist with a research focus on examining factors that predict science self-efficacy, science identity, and STEM career intent.She serves on the Boards of several organizations that include the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), the Chemical Society of Washington (CSW), and Science, Engineering, and Math Links (SEM). She also serves as an adjunct chemistry professor at UNC-Greensboro. She has received several honors that include the 2017 Women of Color in STEM K-12 Promotion of Education Award, the 2018 NOBCChE Presidential Award for Mentoring, and the 2019 BEYA Science Trailblazer Award


Kate Winter

Kate Winter Evaluation, Evaluator

Kate Winter, PhD, leads the team at Kate Winter Evaluation, LLC (KWE), which is conducting the external evaluation of the AAAS Supporting Low Income Students in STEM Education and Workforce project. KWE is currently the external evaluator for several NSF-funded initiatives to broaden participation in STEM, as well as two five-year long consortia-based projects funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education and an NIH IPERT grant. Dr. Winter has worked with major NSF initiatives (e.g., ADVANCE, HBCU-UP, S STEM) since 2003. She is an accomplished external evaluator and higher education researcher with over 15 years of experience and expertise in: policy and program development and assessment; leadership and leadership development; teaching and learning; student access, retention, and success; diversity in academic STEM; faculty development; and, faculty productivity and satisfaction. She has presented research findings and policy recommendations nationally and internationally, published numerous journal articles, and authored or co-authored book chapters on teaching and learning, efforts to support faculty, and strategies for broadening participation in STEM.


Dr. Winter is a member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and other national and international research societies. She is a WWC certified reviewer for group designs. She teaches research methods courses in Creighton University's Doctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Leadership, where she is Senior Associate Faculty and course director for the quantitative and qualitative research design courses. She received her Ph.D. and M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington and her B.A. in English from the State University of New York at Geneseo.