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Our Team

Director
Ortiz, Araceli
Director
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Araceli Martinez Ortiz, Ph.D., is director of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research and assistant professor of engineering education in the College of Education at Texas State University. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering and a master’s and Ph.D. in education. She teaches and conducts research with teachers and students in engineering education as a learning context and instructional strategy. She works with traditionally underserved populations to understand challenges and solutions for improving motivation and academic readiness for students’ college and career success.


Dr. Vedaraman Sriraman
Sriraman, Vedaraman
Associate Director
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Dr. Vedaraman Sriraman, D. Eng. is a Piper and University Distinguished Professor of Engineering Technology and Associate Director of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State University. He received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Regional Engineering College in India, a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and a doctoral degree in Industrial Engineering from Lamar University, Beaumont, TX.

Dr. Sriraman has served as an Assistant Dean in the College of Science and Engineering, Interim Chair of the Department of Physics, Chair of the Department of Engineering Technology, Foundry Educational Foundation Key Professor, Presidential Fellow and Faculty Senator from the College of Science and Engineering. He developed program proposals that resulted in the establishment of the Industrial Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Concrete Industry Management undergraduate degrees at Texas State. Sriraman has served as the faculty advisor to the student chapters of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the American Foundry Society (AFS) and the founding advisor to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).


Senior Advisor
Huling, Leslie
Senior Advisor
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Leslie Huling, Ph.D. is senior advisor of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research and serves as Project Director in the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative project. Dr. Huling has directed a number of STEM-related educator professional development grants including the Mathematics for English Language Learners (MELL) project, the College and Career Readiness Initiative Mathematics Faculty Collaborative, and the Success Initiatives in Developmental Education – Mathematics (SIDE-M) grant. Her research interests include teacher induction and mentoring, teacher development, and school improvement.


Senior Advisor
Beck, John
Senior Advisor
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Dr. John Beck is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and serves as Finance & Operations Manager with the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative project. His research and writing interests include teacher education, instructional technology, and educational leadership.


Faculty

Michelle Berry
Berry, Michelle
NASA MUREP Educator
Institute Coordinator
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Michelle Berry is the NASA MUREP Educator Institute Coordinator at Texas State University.  She holds a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University and a Master of Education from Texas State University. Her experience includes organizing and supporting simlar grant funded STEM initiatives at Texas State University, the most recent of which was the state-wide Mathematics Faculty Collaborative for the Texas College and Career Readiness Initiative (CCRI).  In the CCRI grant facilitator role, she coordinated STEM faculty teams from universities across the state that engaged in an ongoing, multi-event effort to revise their STEM teacher preparation programs and to integrate CCRI resources into their instructional programs.  In this role she also coordinated numerous STEM-related professional development events, both in designing the curriculum for the event and in planning meeting and facility arrangements.  Prior to these positions she was a Mentor Teacher in both the Teacher Recruitment Induction Program and Novice Teacher Induction Program at Texas State University.  She also has 11 years of teaching experience in kindergarten,  3rdand 4th grades from San Marcos Consolidated ISD and Round Rock ISD.


MSI Network Director
Loredo, Judith
MSI Network Director
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Judith A. Loredo, Ph.D. is the Director of the MSI Network with the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative Grant (NASA STEM EPDC). Her research interest include teacher education, educational leadership, and college and career readiness.


Dr. Resta
Resta, Virginia
NASA MUREP
Evaluation Specialist
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Virginia Resta, Ph.D., serves as an Evaluation Specialist for the MUREP Educator Institute (MEI) initiative at Texas State University. She holds a BS in Elementary Education from Northeastern Oklahoma State University, a MA in Elementary Education and PhD in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of New Mexico. Prior to her retirement, she served as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education and the Assistant Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas State University. Her research interest has focused on induction, mentoring, and retention of beginning teachers.


Laura Rodriguez Cano Amaya
Rodriguez Amaya, Laura
Research Faculty
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Dr. Laura Rodriguez Amaya serves as research faculty and grant coordinator of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research supporting NASA and NSF grant funded programs.  She works with faculty in other Minority Serving Institutions to develop STEM education curriculum review tools and she is involved in various outreach efforts to support community STEM education. Her research interests include Central America, food security, and women in science with a focus on access and equity.


Steven Smith
Smith, Steven
EPDC
Education Specialist
Email

 

Steven housed at the LBJ Institute of STEM Education and Research at Texas State University. His primary role is to support Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in developing, packaging, and delivering STEM curriculum that translates the work and discoveries of NASA for use in the classroom and helps teachers to make STEM more accessible and relevant to all students. He is working with university pre-service educators, in-service, pre-service, and informal teachers to help them create culturally responsive lessons that will create engagement with students that may have previously felt left out. Steven worked in K-12 education for nearly 20 years, most recently as Life Sciences Chair at a minority serving inner city school in Georgia.

He holds degrees from the University of Washington-Seattle (MIPM), Georgia College and State University (BS), and Macon State College (AS)


Dr. Talley
Talley, Kimberly
Maker Space Co-Director
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Dr. Kimberly G. Talley is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, Senior Research Fellow and Maker Space Co-Director for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State University, and a licensed Professional Engineer. She received her Ph.D. and M.S.E. from the University of Texas at Austin in Structural Engineering. Her undergraduate degrees in History and Construction Engineering and Management are from North Carolina State University. Dr. Talley teaches courses in the Construction Science and Management Program, and her research focus is in student engagement and retention in engineering and engineering technology education.


Sara Torres
Torres, Sara
EPDC
Education Specialist
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Sara Garcia-Torres currently serves as an Educational Researcher for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research supporting NASA grant funded programs. She worked for public schools for the past 16 years as a bilingual and inclusion teacher, Gifted & Talented Facilitator, and as a STEM teacher.  She works with educators, families, and community members to support STEM efforts in public schools, homes, and communities.  Her research interests include STEM education, both the delivery to the underrepresented students and the preparation of the teachers. 

Holds degrees from Texas State University (MEd), and University of Texas at San Antonio (BA).  Sara is also pursuing PhD studies at Texas State University.


Staff

Stacey Bennett
Bennett, Stacey
Research Coordinator
Email

Stacey Bennett is the Research Coordinator for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education & Research. She manages post-award administration, and provides project management support to grant funded programs. Her research and professional interests include higher education administration, inclusion in business practice, and organizational development.


Janice Ellis
Ellis, Janice
Administrative Asst II /
Travel Coordinator
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Janice spent several years as a bookkeeper and accounting clerk. Later receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art at the University of Texas and a Master of Science in Visualization Science (computer animation) at Texas A&M.

Janice taught animation in Houston and Phoenix then returned to Texas to help her son in his newly inherited business. She serves as the travel coordinator for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research.


Grant Specialist
Fabac, Karen
Grant Specialist
Email

Ms. Fabac serves as a grant specialist of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research, providing specialized, technical assistance work, as well as, professional supervision and support to NASA and NSF grant funded programs.  She holds professional memberships with the American Academy of Certified Public Managers (AACPM), Texas Society of Certified Public Managers, and the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA).


System Support Analyst
Gomez, Edgar
System Support
Analyst
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Mr. Gomez is responsible for supporting all IT system’s needs for LBJ the Institute for STEM Education and Research including its major grant-funded initiative known as the Texas State NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative (NASA STEM EPDC) grant. Serves as technology liaison between vendors and the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research. Performs a variety of specialized tasks associated with training local and remote users.


Doctoral Students

Orlando Hinojosa
Hinojosa, Orlando
Doctoral Research
Assistant
Email

Supports data management and faculty research efforts under the NSF Grant. Currently co-leading a STEM mentoring pilot program and a STEM-Student Advisory Council in order to help increase STEM participation among 1st-generation minority students at Texas State University.


Jocabed G. Márquez
Márquez, Jocabed G.
Doctoral Research
Assistant
Email

Jocabed is a PhD student in the CLAS department with a focus on research methods. Her main focus is to perform statistical analysis of survey implementation and data with NSF Rising Stars and NASA EPDC. Jocabed currently employs Excel, SPSS 24.0 and MPlus 7.0 for analysis.


Undergraduate Research Students

Natalie Cazares
Cazares, Natalie
Undergraduate Student 
Research Assistant
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Natalie supports the NASA FAMA grant with Family Nights and Family Learning Seminar's and teacher professional developments. 


Eusebio Mata
Mata, Eusebio
Undergraduate Student 
Research Assistant
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Eusebio supports the NASA FAMA grant and our Maker Space.


Lucia Ondarza-Wier
Ondarza-Wier, Lucia
Undergraduate Student 
Research Assistant
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Tutoring, FAMA AEL coordinator and student research assistant at the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research.


Undergraduate Student Research Assistant
Ramirez Sanchez, Mariela
Undergraduate Student
Research Assistant
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Mariela supports the NASA FAMA grant with Family Nights and Family Learning Seminar’s, and translations.