Professor, Grand Valley State University
Scott Grissom is a professor of Computer Science at Grand Valley State University, in Grand Rapids Michigan. He was named 2008 Michigan Professor of the Year partly due to his leadership in computer science education. He served as National Science Foundation program officer 2009-2011. Scott is an advocate of student engagement strategies such as peer instruction and collaborative learning as an alternative to traditional lecture.
His role in STEP Central is to co-plan the annual STEP meeting, assist with project evaluation and to enhance the usability and utility of the STEP Central website.
President, Miami Dade College
An American by choice, Eduardo Padrón arrived in the United States as a refugee at the age of 15. Since 1995, he has served as President of Miami Dade College (MDC), the largest institution of higher education in America with more than 174,000 students. He is credited with elevating MDC into a position of national prominence among the best and most recognized U.S. colleges and universities.
An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. In 2009, TIME magazine included him on the list of “The 10 Best College Presidents.” In 2010, Florida Trend magazine named him “Floridian of the Year.” In 2011, The Washington Post named him one of the eight most influential college presidents in the U.S. Also in 2011, he was awarded the prestigious 2011 Carnegie Corporation Centennial Academic Leadership Award. In 2012, he received the Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service, the coveted TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, and the Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship.
Dr. Padrón’s energetic leadership extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. He is the immediate past chair of the board of directors of the American Council on Education (ACE) and is a past chair of the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). He also serves on the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Commission on the Humanities & Social Sciences.
President Padrón is widely recognized as one of the top educational leaders in the world and is often invited to participate in educational policy forums in the United States and abroad. In 1993, President Bill Clinton recognized him as one of America’s foremost educators. President George W. Bush nominated him to the National Institute for Literacy Advisory Board and the National Economic Summit. More recently, he represented the U.S. at UNESCO’s World Conference on Higher Education at the invitation of the Obama administration, and President Obama appointed him Chairman of the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. During his career, he has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by six American presidents.
Internationally, President Padrón’s accomplishments have been recognized by numerous nations and organizations including the Republic of France, which named him Commandeur in the Ordre des Palms Academiques; the Republic of Argentina, which awarded him the Order of San Martin; and Spain’s King Juan Carlos II, who bestowed upon him the Order of Queen Isabella.
Dr. Padrón’s pace-setting work at Miami Dade College has been hailed as a model of innovation in higher education. He is credited with engineering a culture of success that has produced impressive results in student access, retention, graduation, and overall achievement. MDC enrolls and graduates more minorities than any other institution in the United States, including the largest numbers of Hispanics and African-Americans. He is nationally respected for his advocacy on behalf of underserved populations in higher education, and his in-depth research report, “A Deficit of Understanding,” highlights the funding crisis that threatens access for low-income and minority students. Dr. Padrón has also championed innovative teaching and learning strategies and developed support initiatives to ensure student success.
Program Director, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation
Lee Zia co-leads the STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP) with Connie Kubo Della-Piana. He served as a "rotator" in the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education during calendar years 1995 and 1996 while on leave from the Department of Mathematics at the University of New Hampshire. Zia rejoined the NSF as a permanent staff member in the fall of 1999 and was the Lead Program Director for the National STEM Education Digital Library (NSDL) Program until 2010. From late fall 2008 through calendar year 2009 Zia served as a Commerce Science Fellow in the Office of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV. He holds degrees in mathematics from the University of North Carolina (B.S.) and the University of Michigan (M.S.), and applied mathematics from Brown University (Ph.D.).
Director for Programs and Operations, The Center for STEM Education, Northeastern University
Over the past twenty+ years Claire has been involved in the design and implementation of multiple STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) educational outreach programs. She has worked extensively to bridge connections between higher education's research community and its educational partners from K-14. Her work has led to deep understanding and respect for the partner community that Higher Education seeks to support. It has also has provided her multiple opportunities to mentor university students interested in sharing their passion for science, engineering and innovation.
Claire's continued goals are to utilize this expertise to design and implement innovative programs and partnerships that effectively engage individuals and communities currently underrepresented in these fields and to support the development of the next generation of STEM professionals, and that meet our rapidly changing regional and national technological needs.
Claire received her MPA from Northeastern University. She is the co-principal investigator on Northeastern's STEP project (NU STEP-UP), and a member of this year's STEP Central Advisory Committee.
Philip "Uri" Treisman
Professor of Mathematics and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
Philip “Uri” Treisman is professor of mathematics and of public affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is the founder and director of the University's Charles A. Dana Center. He is a senior advisor to the Aspen Institute’s Urban Superintendents’ Network and serves on the boards of the New Teacher Project, Education Resource Strategies and the Center for Community College Student Engagement. He recently served on the STEM working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and on the Carnegie Corporation--Institute for Advanced Study Commission on Mathematics and Science Education. He served on the AACC 21st -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges.
Uri was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1992 for his work on nurturing minority student high achievement in college mathematics and 2006 Scientist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation of Harvard University for his outstanding contributions to mathematics. He is currently leading the New Mathways Project, a collaboration with the Texas Association of Community Colleges to redesign the pathways to and through gateway college math courses.