Dr. Melissa Dubois named LEAD STEM Fellow to accelerate advancement of STEM education
WILSONVILLE, OR – Dr. Melissa Dubois, Executive Director of the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership (SMS STEM), hosted by Oregon Institute of Technology in Wilsonville, has been accepted as one of 22 fellows in the inaugural class of LEAD STEM. A new national leadership development experience, LEAD STEM is designed to empower and prepare individuals with high level skills to shape the future of STEM education in the U.S. Fellows met in person for the first time last week in Kansas City, MO as part of the STEM Learning Ecosystems National Community of Practice Convening.
The SMS STEM Partnership is a collaborative of community leaders, representing K-12 school districts, higher education institutions, industry partners and community and civic organizations with a vision to catalyze Oregon students to achieve STEM degrees and certificates, and reach Oregon’s education goals by increasing the access, excitement and engagement of students in STEM courses and experiential learning. Primary efforts have included developing systems to connect industry professionals with local classrooms, building leadership capacity among educators to drive great STEM learning, and advancing opportunities for high school students to earn college STEM credits. Dr. Dubois has directed the effort since 2014, and prior to that was the Director of Partnership Development for the Portland Metro STEM Partnership. She holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology, and has professional experience in both academic and industry related science. Dubois brings this background to SMS STEM to align and enhance the efforts of partners toward greater impact for our region’s students.
“Oregon has been a trail blazer in many regards with respect to cross-sector partnerships to advance STEM education in our state,” Dr. Dubois reflected. “Engaging all those voices is messy but incredibly rewarding work. I’m humbled and energized to learn from national leaders how to more effectively drive this work forward for the greatest impact to our students and our communities.”
Dr. Dubois will be joined in this inaugural LEAD STEM class by Whitney Swander, Executive Director of the Central Oregon STEM Hub, hosted by the High Dessert Education Service District. Oregon is home to 11 networked STEM Hubs, and Dr. Dubois and Ms. Swander will bring lessons back to the broader statewide STEM network.
Representing leaders and emerging leaders in corporate, education, museums and STEM-rich organizations from 19 regions, LEAD STEM fellows have agreed to invest the next nine months in intensive training and education on a variety of topics including policy change, fundraising, sustainability, relationship building and leadership.
Fellows will be charged with using design studies to bring constituents in their respective STEM Learning Ecosystems together to develop a local capstone project that addresses a community-based need. LEAD STEM faculty and mentors will guide the capstone projects through strategic planning and the identification of measurable goals and identifiable outcomes.