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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

Dr. John Beck 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
Institute Coordinator

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
Administrative Asst II /
Travel Coordinator

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

Ms. Fabac, CPM, has 27 years of state service, currently serving as a grant specialist with the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research supporting NASA grant funded programs. Prior to transferring to Texas State University in 2004, Ms. Fabac served as the continuing medical education (CME) program administrator with the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

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
Data Analyst

Ms. Uribe is responsible for analyzing data for research grants at the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research. She has 10+ years experience as a mathematics educator. She holds a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from Universidad Autonoma de Nueva Leon and holds a Texas teaching certification.

Pablo Garcia
Garcia, Pablo
Summer Intern and
Makerspace Coordinator

Pablo supports NASA FAMA grant with developing and implementing programming for summer camp high school fellow students.  Pablo also coordinates the LBJ Bobcat Made Makerspace.