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Our Team

Martinez Ortiz, Araceli
Executive Director

Araceli Martinez Ortiz, Ph.D., is executive director of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research and Research Associate 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.

Senior Advisor
Huling, Leslie
Senior Advisor

Leslie Huling, Ph.D., is senior advisor of the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research and serves as Grant 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

John Beck, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and serves as Finance & Operations Manager for the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC). His research and writing interests include teacher education, instructional technology, and educational leadership.

Michelle Berry
Berry, Michelle
Education Specialist

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.

Dr. Resta
Resta, Virginia
Evaluation Specialist

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.

Stacey Bennett
Sanders, Stacey
Research Coordinator

Stacey Sanders 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
Grant Travel Assistant

Janice Ellis 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
Operations Manager

Ms. Fabac has 29 years of state service, currently as a grant specialist with the NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development Collaborative.  Prior to transferring to Texas State University in 2004, Ms. Fabac worked with the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation as their continuing medical education (CME) program administrator.

Ms. Fabac holds a Bachelor’s degree and (CPM) designation both from Texas State University. She holds professional memberships with the American Academy of Certified Public Managers (AACPM), Texas Society of Certified Public Managers, and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

Monica Uribe
Uribe, Monica
Engagement Coordinator

Monica serves as the NASA STEM Engagement Coordinator for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León with a concentration in Industrial Engineering. Monica also holds a Texas teaching certification in Mathematics for grades 4-12, has 10+ years of experience as a mathematics educator, and at the moment she is pursuing a doctorate in Mathematics Education at Texas State University.

Allessa Reyes
Reyes, Allessa
Undergraduate Research
Student Employee

Allessa Reyes supports various department grants with program logistics.

Richard Carney
Carney, Richard
Grant Specialist
Information Technology

Richard Carney is responsible for supporting IT 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. He holds a BS in Mathematics from Texas State University and certifications from Redhat, Cisco, Microsoft, and ITIL.