Dr. Araceli Martínez Ortíz

Principal Investigator, Lead

Araceli Martinez Ortiz, PhD, is Executive Director and Research Associate Professor of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State University. She is the Principal Investigator of the NASA STEM EPDC.

Her research interests include studying the role of engineering as a curricular context for mathematics and science learning in K-20 and developing research-based active-learning instructional models and assessment instruments to enhance engineering students’ learning experiences and STEM Teacher professional development. She enjoys working with teachers, families, and students from diverse communities.

As a professor and researcher in engineering education/ leadership in engineering, Dr. Martinez Ortiz leads national intervention and research efforts that explore factors related to how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is designed and delivered and how the STEM workplace impacts women and other historically underrepresented populations in engineering at all levels.

Dr. Martinez Ortiz holds degrees from Tufts University (Ph.D.), Michigan State University (MA), Kettering University (MS), and The University of Michigan (BS IOE).


Dr. Leslie Huling

Project Director
Leslie Huling, Ph.D., serves as Grant Director in the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative project. Dr. Huling has directed a number of STEM-related educator professional development grants including the Mathematics for English Language Learners (MELL) project, the College and Career Readiness Initiative Mathematics Faculty Collaborative, and the Success Initiatives in Developmental Education – Mathematics (SIDE-M) grant. Her research interests include teacher induction and mentoring, teacher development, and school improvement.

Dr. John Beck

Senior Advisor

Dr. John Beck is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and serves as Senior Advisor with the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative project. His research and writing interests include teacher education, instructional technology, and educational leadership.

Dr. Beck holds degrees from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Ph.D./Ed.S./MAT), University of Washington – Seattle (B.S.), and Southwest Texas State (B.S.). He holds Texas educator credentials in High School Mathematics and Physics, Principal, and Superintendent.


Stacey Sanders

Budget and Finance Coordinator

Stacey Sanders is the Budget and Finance Coordinator for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education & Research. She manages post-award administration, and provides project management support to grant funded programs. Her research and professional interests include higher education administration, inclusion in business practice, and organizational development.


Karen Fabac

Grant Specialist Operations Manager

Ms. Fabac has 29 years of state service, currently as a grant specialist with the NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development Collaborative. Prior to transferring to Texas State University in 2004, Ms. Fabac worked with the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation as their continuing medical education (CME) program administrator.

Ms. Fabac holds a Bachelor’s degree and (CPM) designation both from Texas State University. She holds professional memberships with the American Academy of Certified Public Managers (AACPM), Texas Society of Certified Public Managers, and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).


Dr. Virginia Resta

Evaluation Specialist

Virginia Resta, Ph.D., serves as an Evaluation Specialist for the MUREP Educator Institute (MEI) initiative at Texas State University. She holds a BS in Elementary Education from Northeastern Oklahoma State University, a MA in Elementary Education and PhD in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of New Mexico. Prior to her retirement, she served as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education and the Assistant Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas State University. Her research interest has focused on induction, mentoring, and retention of beginning teachers.


Janice Ellis

Grant Travel Assistant

Janice Ellis spent several years as a bookkeeper and accounting clerk. Later receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art at the University of Texas and a Master of Science in Visualization Science (computer animation) at Texas A&M.

Janice taught animation in Houston and Phoenix then returned to Texas to help her son in his newly inherited business. She serves as the travel coordinator for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research.


Richard Carney

Grant Specialist Information Technology

Richard Carney is responsible for supporting IT needs for LBJ the Institute for STEM Education and Research including its major grant-funded initiative known as the Texas State NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative (NASA STEM EPDC) grant. He holds a BS in Mathematics from Texas State University and certifications from Redhat, Cisco, Microsoft, and ITIL.