STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

Welcome to our new STEM Central!

Greetings and Welcome to our new STEM Central!

On behalf of the community and staff of Project Kaleidosope and AAC&U, I’m very proud and pleased to announce that STEP Central is now STEM Central! We invite you to visit our new website (, which has only a slightly new look, but immense promise for making connections and making a difference in STEM higher education reform.

The evolution of STEP Central into STEM Central marks an important moment in STEM higher education transformation. Cutting edge education and social science research, a deeper appreciation and respect for advanced teaching methods, and an imperative to ensure global preeminence of our nation’s STEM enterprise have all contributed to a watershed of possibility for deep and pervasive reform.  But, no reform movement is ever possible without an empowered and well-connected community, or the contributions of a dynamic leader.

It has been said that, “…the challenge of leadership is to be strong but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly…” Since meeting Dan Udovic (or “Dan the Man” as I kindly refer to him) last year, I’ve carefully watched his quiet, yet effective, leadership style. And what I’ve learned from him is this: care of self and care of one’s community go hand-in-hand, it takes so much more than a village, and trusted leadership is an earned privilege, not a right.

With that, as the new director of STEM Central, I look forward to interacting with our founding STEP community in ways that both honor its accomplishments and challenge all of us to learn from their lessons. With our newly expanded community of STEM higher education reformers, which includes PKAL and others, we are now poised to extend best practices and research findings to all 214,000+ STEM faculty in the United States…yes, all of them. Through our newsletters, webinars, and blogs, STEM Central will demystify the components of quality undergraduate STEM teaching and forever change how we communicate with each other and with the world.

Going forward, as we thoughtfully revise and update our STEM Central working groups to better serve our broader needs and interests, I invite you to not only provide us with feedback, but also consider recommending new avenues for your involvement and that of your colleagues…perhaps you could even initiate your own working group. The possibilities are absolutely endless!

Yours in STEM,