Endeavor Community
Ambassadors Initiative

U.S. Satellite is partnering with Texas State in developing and delivering online coursework for middle school educators to become NASA Emerging Stars Community Ambassadors. Three such courses that are a part of the Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project (ESTCP) will be offered each year for 20 educators in each course. Teachers are able to earn 3 hours of graduate credit for completion of the course and follow-up activities.

The professional development course blends NASA content from each of the four NASA Mission Directorates and is designed to enrich teachers’ repertoire with appropriate, effective STEM curriculum inspired by NASA’s unique assets. Participants are provided with the opportunity to learn from and interact with a number of recognized experts who participate as guest presenters in the course. The course focuses on STEM pedagogical strategies and culturally relevant pedagogical practices tailored to help STEM teachers be successful with diverse student populations. Participants are currently being recruited and selected for the second cohort of participants that will launch in September.

In the EPD online initiative, STEM teachers serving middle grade, underrepresented student populations will earn Ambassadorships after a full school year in the project. As Ambassadors, each participating teacher will impact another 10 or more school and district STEM educators.

MSI Teacher Education Network

The Minority Serving Institution Teacher Education Network (MSI TEN) is comprised of STEM Education faculty members from Texas State University and 11 faculty members from seven partner MSI universities who have specialized expertise in the field of culturally relevant pedagogy.

MSI TEN participating faculty have monthly online work sessions using Adobe connect and meet together annually for collaborative planning and work sessions. The MSI TEN are engaged in analyzing NASA resources and designing new education professional development (EPD) resources that will enable educators to provide high quality STEM education that features unique NASA content and is tailored to meet the academic needs of students from diverse backgrounds. In addition, the group is developing a white paper addressing Cultural Diversity in the Classroom. The paper is informing the development of guidelines to consider when creating a culturally inclusive lesson and this information is integrated into the framework for evaluating the NASA Curriculum activities. Also, an executive summary sheet has been developed to be utilized by the MSI Faculty to document the suggestions for NASA lesson improvement. The executive summary sheets will be used by the Education Specialist when modifying and presenting a NASA lesson reviewed by the MSI-TEN Faculty.

California State University, Northridge

Norman Herr

        Norman Herr

Norman Herr, Ph.D., is a professor of science education and educational technology at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where he helps coordinate and direct graduate programs in science education and educational technology as well as a variety of projects pertaining to STEM education.
Dr. Herr has authored the California NGSS-based frameworks for teaching physics and chemistry, numerous publications in the fields of educational technology and STEM education, and a popular series of books for science educators: The Sourcebook for Teaching Science – Strategies, Activities, and Instructional Resources, Hands-On Chemistry Activities with Real-Life Applications, and Hands-On Physics Activities with Real-Life Applications.

Susan Belgrad

      Susan Belgrad

Susan is a CSUN Professor of Elementary Education and author on formative assessment who leads the STEM Innovations Team–a collaboration among the Deans and Faculty of the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. In this role Susan engages with leading organizations such as Project Lead the Way, LEGO Education, and JPL-NASA Education as well as informal science organizations such as the Discovery Science Center Los Angeles, and REC-VEX Robotics Education and Competition, She is active in creating student achievement “pipelines” from K-12 schooling to college or career. She works to include industry leaders in area STEM Education initiatives. Susan serves on the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Advisory Board in Southern California-Los Angeles.CSUN’s Joint Endeavor STEM MA program with U.S. Satellite, which is led by Dr. Belgrad is a teacher-workforce Initiative committed to bringing robust, integrated world-class science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) literacies to the diverse students in elementary, middle and high school districts served by the University. ESTEME school networks are presently being formed and industry funding sought to become next-century centers of student STEM achievement.

Lehman College

Dr. Gillian Bayne Lehman College

      Gillian Bayne

Gillian Bayne is a tenured associate professor of science education, who has a dual appointment – at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Lehman College in the Middle and High School Education Department, and at CUNY’s Graduate Center in the Urban Education Department. At Lehman College, Gillian also serves as a program coordinator in the Science Education Program and is a CoPI of the STEMELL Noyce Program that is funded through the National Science Foundation. With over twenty-five years of science teaching experience in New York City public and private high schools, in addition to adult basic education programs and in higher education, Gillian combines her expertise and commitment to excellence with innovative teaching philosophies and practices in order to create greater equitable possibilities for students and teachers as they embark on the complex journey that is science education. Grounding her work primarily in cultural sociology, the sociology of emotions and critical pedagogy, Gillian’s research interests involve improving teaching and learning in science education through the use of cogenerative dialogues and coteaching at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. Another research focus involves examining the personal and professional trajectories of underrepresented scientists of color as a means to increase interest and strengthen competence in marginalized urban secondary science students’ academic and career pursuits in STEM and STEM related fields.

Morgan State University

Marciea Monique McMillian

M. Monique McMillian

M. Monique McMillian is a Morgan State University associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Professional Development. She teaches learning-sciences and developmental-sciences courses and serves as the assessment coordinator. Dr. McMillian’s research has included studies on how school factors relate to academic engagement and math achievement. Her most recent journal article, entitled “Can Class-Based Substitute for Race-Based Student Assignment Plans? Evidence from Wake County, North Carolina,” has been cited in The Washington Post and other media outlets. Her current multilevel study focuses on how discriminatory policies and students’ perceptions of prejudice and fairness relate to math achievement and health outcomes.

Dr. Christian J. Anderson

  Christian Anderson

Dr. Christian J. Anderson is an assistant professor in Morgan State University’s School of Education and Urban Studies Department of Teacher Education and Professional Development. Dr. Anderson is a mathematics educator with over 20 years of administrative and teaching experience in the K-12 arena. Prior to Dr. Anderson’s arrival to Morgan State, he has served as a school-based and central office administrator in several school systems in the State of Maryland. Dr. Anderson earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Morgan State University, his Master’s Degree in Leadership in Teaching from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and his Doctorate Degree in Mathematics Education from Morgan State University. Dr. Anderson’s research interests include:

  • Urban Elementary STEM teacher development
  • Socio-political factors that impact the academic achievement of African American students
  • Mathematical achievement of African American male students
  • Instructional Leadership in Urban Schools
  • PRAXIS Core – Mathematics achievement for HBCU students

Norfolk State University

    Arthur Bowman

Dr. Bowman, professor of biology at Norfolk State University, received his BS and MS at Hampton University, and PhD from North Carolina State University, all within the Biological Sciences.  He has much experience in both pure science and in science education, and consults for educational institutions and governmental agencies.

Kianga Thomas

     Kianga Thomas

Dr. Kianga Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at Norfolk State University.  He also serves as the Assessment Coordinator in the School of Education.  Dr. Thomas teaches courses in elementary education, diversity, and monitors the assessment system for the School of Education.  His research interests are gifted African American students, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and teacher efficacy.  Some of his published works include problem-based learning with pre-service teachers, STEM development with pre-service and in-service teachers, and psychological factors towards academic success among high-achieving African American students.  Dr. Thomas earned his Ed.D. from the College of William and Mary and prior to joining higher education, taught elementary school in Virginia.

North Carolina Central University

C.E. Davis

        C.E. Davis

Dr. C.E. Davis has over eighteen years of teaching experience as a classroom teacher and working with classroom teachers throughout the southeast.  He is currently an associate professor of Elementary and Middle Grades Math and Science in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at North Carolina Central University.

Solomon T. Abraham

Solomon T. Abraham is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Physics at North Carolina Central University.  He is the Mathematics Secondary Education Coordinator.  He teaches graduate and undergraduate mathematics and mathematics education courses.  Solomon is actively involved in educational research, (National and International).  He earned his Ph. D in Mathematics Education and MS in Applied Mathematics and Operations Research from North Carolina State University.  He has mathematics and physics double major Bachelors’ degree.


Salish Kootenai College

Michael A. Stone

    Michael A. Stone

Michael Stone retired from the United States Army at the rank of Colonel and from the State of Montana as a STEM Educator.  In March 2015, Michael accepted a position at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana, to work on the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative.  Michael received his Bachelor of Arts in Education at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana, and a Masters in General School Administration at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.


University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

Danny Martin

     Danny Martin

Danny Bernard Martin is Professor of Education and Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he has been a faculty member since 2004. Prior to UIC, Dr. Martin served as Instructor and Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Contra Costa College (California) for 14 years. His research has focused on understanding the salience of race and identity in Black learners’ mathematical experiences. He is author of the book Mathematics Success and Failure Among African Youth (2000, Erlbaum), editor of Mathematics Teaching, Learning, and Liberation in the Lives of Black Children (2009, Routledge), co-editor of The Brilliance of Black Children in Mathematics: Beyond the Numbers and Toward New Discourse (2013, Information Age), and co-author of The Impact of Identity in K–8 Mathematics Learning and Teaching (2013, NCTM).

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Candice Ridlon

      Candice Ridlon

Dr. Ridlon has a BS in Mathematics from Florida State University, an M.Ed. in Secondary Education, Mathematics from Valdosta State University, and Ph.D. in Secondary Education, Mathematics from Florida State University. She is a state-certified mathematics and science teacher for grades 6 – 12 and has taught in every grade from kindergarten through college during her 20+ year school career. Although a native of Florida, Dr. Ridlon has lived (and taught!) in 5 other states while raising her six children: Georgia, Alaska, Maine, Utah, and Maryland.

University of Puerto Rico Arecibo

Eliana Valenzuela-Andrade

Eliana Valenzuela-Andrade

Eliana Valenzuela-Andrade holds a doctoral degree in Computing, Information Sciences and Engineering a Masters in Engineering Management Systems from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus and a BS in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad de los Andes, in Bogotá, Colombia. She has nearly fifteen years of teaching experience and seven years of research experience. The research areas of Dr. Valenzuela-Andrade are Educational Robotics, Database, Design of Experiments, among others. In the past five years, she has been interested in innovative tools to motivate young people to explore CS topics before and during the college and encourage them to continue a career in this discipline. She had participated in projects of this type with ISMuL at precollege (4-12) and undergraduate level. Some of the tools she has been used are: robotics (using Lego Mindstorms®, TETRIX® and VEX®), computing without Computers, Scratch, SNAP Alice 3 and  NASA Swarmathon among others. She is part of Latinas in Computing, FemProf and CAHSI.

University of South Florida

Eugena Vomvoridi Ivanovic

Eugenia Vomvoridi-Ivanovic

Eugenia Vomvoridi-Ivanović is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of South Florida. Her areas of experience and interest in research and teaching focus on improving mathematics education for students historically underrepresented in the field of mathematics and whose linguistic and cultural backgrounds have not traditionally been recognized as being resources for academic learning. Currently, Eugenia is studying different aspects of culturally responsive mathematics teacher preparation and culturally responsive STEM curricula/learning contexts.