To prove that this initiative is run by real-life human beings and not animatrons, we thought we would take a moment to introduce our STEM team here at SMU’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education. First at bat is the founder of STEM Works, Dr. Delores Etter.
Dr. Delores Etter is an engineer, scientist, innovative leader and the director of SMU’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education and the Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Engineering Education. Originally from Oklahoma, Dr. Etter has held high level, appointed positions with the Department of Defense as well as teaching positions at the U.S. Naval Academy, Stanford, and the University of New Mexico. And if you weren’t impressed yet, the Navy’s annual Top Scientists and Engineers award is even named after her! Her many initiatives are aimed at ensuring all young people are able to have fun, interesting and challenging experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We are so lucky to have Dr. Etter leading the mission and vision of this STEM portfolio.
Next at bat is our fearless leader, Lindsey Gates Groark. Lindsey is the SMU Caruth Institute for Engineering Education STEM Program Director and provides strategic guidance and leadership for the Institute’s STEM portfolio including the Kids Ahead and STEM-Works websites and CSI Camp programs. Prior to joining SMU, she was a defense contractor where she worked as an analyst supporting strategic communications, collaboration, and strategic planning initiatives. Although this was a great gig and she met a lot of amazing people, Lindsey decided that she wanted to focus more of her attention on social and educational issues which is how she ended up here at SMU. Originally from Washington, DC, she received a BA from Virginia Tech and will graduate later this month with her M.A. in Community Leadership from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT (round of applause!). She is excited about all of the possibilities for what to do with her extra time!
Candice R. Lawrence is the SMU Caruth Institute for Engineering Education STEM Assistant Program Director. Candice comes to us from the classroom, where she taught adult education and middle school science, math, and reading for 15 years. After working with us as a teacher for our SMU CSI Summer Camp program for two years, she made the transition to our team and now manages the CSI camp program. Candice loves to apply her knowledge of education to come up with new ways to implement CSI curriculum into current classroom curriculum. She holds a Master of Education-Adult Education and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.
Danielle Caldwell is the Social Media Communications Director here at the SMU Caruth Institute for Engineering Education. For many years Danielle was convinced she was allergic to the terms “science” and “math”, but after joining our team she describes herself as a former-sciencephobe-turned-enthusiast! After initially joining the team to develop and execute the Cool Jobs feature on the Kids Ahead and STEM-Works websites, Danielle now runs the social media and community engagement aspects of the STEM team. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing a Master of Strategic Communications from Westminster College.
Yeah, we’re a pretty small team, but we also have some amazing SMU undergraduate research assistants helping us keep our STEM portfolio afloat. These students study a variety of disciplines ranging from political science to engineering, but all share an interest in teaching youth about the vast world of STEM. They are also always willing to lend us their mug shots and serve as crime suspects for our CSI program! Thanks guys!