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Faculty Community Involvement

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) is dedicated to making Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) more accessible. In addition to NSM’s programs for K-12 students and UH students, our faculty members participate in many other STEM outreach activities.

  • Eric Bittner, Ph.D. – Department of Chemistry
    Works with the Pinhead Institute in Telluride, CO, to give presentations and simulations on ocean pollution.
  • Jakoah Brgoch, Ph.D. – Department of Chemistry
    Works with Research Experiences and Exploration in Materials Science (REEMS) through Houston Community College and the American Chemical Society’s Project SEED.
  • Ann Cheek, Ph.D. – Department of Biology & Biochemistry
    Serves as a judge for life sciences at the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston.
  • Shuo Chen, Ph.D. – Department of Physics
    Conducts demonstrations involving superconductivity, low temperature, mechanics, and electrical circuits, and hosts lab tours for K-12 students. She also serves as a guest lecturer, provides hands-on workshops, and provides lab tours for teachers participating in the STEM Teaching Equity Project (STEP). She is interested in partnering with organizations to conduct demonstrations or lectures on sustainability.
  • Tai-Yen Chen, Ph.D. – Department of Chemistry
    Serves as a judge for the chemistry division at the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston.
  • Lorenzo Colli, Ph.D. – Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
    Mentors high school students with AP capstone research projects.
  • William Dupre, Ph.D. – Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
    Works with the Houston Geological Society to give a series of public informational workshops on flooding.
  • Paige Evans, Ph.D. – Department of Mathematics, teachHOUSTON
    Works with the UH-Life Program, Chiyoda Young Innovators’ Academy, the Math Contest and STEM Teaching Equity Project.
  • Rebecca Forrest, Ph.D. – Department of Physics
    Works with K-12 students, high school teachers and the general public conducting demonstrations through various programs including teachHouston STEM Camps, UH STEM Center, Mars Rover Celebration, STEM Teaching Equity Project (STEP), Earth Day, San Jacinto Community College’s STEMtastic Adventures Summer Camp, Adventures in STEM, Girls Inc. Summer Camp, and Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS).
  • Qi Fu, Ph.D. – Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
    Presents lectures on ocean science for K-12 students in the Houston area.
  • Professor Rebecca George – Department of Mathematics
    Provides professional development for Houston-area calculus teachers through HoustonACT.
  • Gemunu Gunaratne, Ph.D. – Department of Physics
    Creates discovery experiments and mini lectures for high school and middle school teachers participating in the STEM Teaching Equity Project.
  • Kresimir Josic, Ph.D. – Department of Mathematics
    Works with fourth and fifth grade students at Roberts Elementary in Houston ISD who participate in Math Olympiad. He also contributes to the radio segment, Engines of Our Ingenuity.
  • Erin Kelleher, Ph.D. – Department of Biology & Biochemistry
    Works with 7th grade teachers who participate in an 8-week summer program conducting research with fruit flies through the STEM Teaching Equity Project. The program also hosts a one-day workshop in the spring, in addition to assisting teachers with lesson plans and providing support during the academic year.
  • Donald Kouri, Ph.D. – Department of Physics
    Mentors high school students and University of Houston Honors College students interested in in physics.
  • Professor Mariam Manuel – Department of Mathematics, teachHOUSTON
    Works with the Chiyoda Young Innovators’ Academy and Lead Houston Master Teacher Fellowship. She serves as regional lead for Texas Girls Collaborative Project, on the publication committee for education research, and as an alumni mentor with UTeach. She is the advisor for teachHouston Student Society, COOGS against Human Trafficking and COOGS against Domestic Violence.
  • James Meen, Ph.D. – Department of Chemistry
    Conducts lectures for high school seniors and undergraduate students on high temperature superconductivity, works with Research Experiences and Exploration in Materials Science (REEMS) through Houston Community College, works with the Air Force Research Lab, and opens his lab to rising juniors from Dulles High School.
  • Mark Meier, Ph.D. – Department of Physics
    Works with STEM Teaching Equity Project (STEP) providing lectures and hands-on experiments for high school physics teachers, and serves as the faculty advisor for APPARALL, a student organization focused on enhancing quality- of-life by ensuring that those in need obtain proper clothing.
  • Richard Meisel, Ph.D. – Department of Biology & Biochemistry
    Works with STEM Teaching Equity Project to conduct a one-day workshop for middle school science teachers and campus science coordinators.
  • Donna Pattison, Ph.D. – Department of Biology & Biochemistry
    Works with Spring Branch ISD’s Elementary Science Program, participating in the Girls in STEM Program and doing a strawberry DNA extraction lab with 5th grade students at Spring Branch Elementary. She also hosted students from Yates, Austin, Hastings and Northside High Schools who participated in a college-level beet membrane permeability lab at UH and discussed how to succeed in college with a panel of undergraduate students.
  • Steven Pennings, Ph.D. – Department of Biology & Biochemistry
    Works with GCE Schoolyard, through the Georgia Coastal Ecosytems LTER Education Program, to immerse K-12 educators in inquiry-based science while working as research assistants.
  • Cathy Poliak, Ph.D. – Department of Mathematics
    Provides professional development for Houston-area statistics teachers through HoustonATS.
  • Claudia Ratti, Ph.D. – Department of Physics
    Works with the STEM-E Youth Career Development Program, serves as a judge for middle school and high school science fairs, provides internship opportunities for high school students, and maintains the NSM Women in Physics webpage.
  • Andrew Renshaw, Ph.D. – Department of Physics
    Creates discovery experiments and mini lectures for high school and middle school teachers participating in the STEM Teaching Equity Project.
  • Joel Saylor, Ph.D. – Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
    Organizes and facilitates a field trip for 6th grade students at Western Academy to state parks in central Texas. Students get hands-on experience as they explore Earth science on a 3-to-4 day excursion.
  • Jinny Sisson, Ph.D. – Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
    Works with Baylor College of Medicine Academy Middle School to present at careers days, teaching students about geology and how to become a college professor.
  • Donna Stokes, Ph.D. – Department of Physics
    Works with K-12 students, high school teachers and the general public conducting demonstrations through various programs, including teachHouston STEM Camps, UH STEM Center, Mars Rover Celebration, Earth Day, San Jacinto Community College’s STEMtastic Adventures Summer Camp and Adventures in STEM, Girls Inc. Summer Camp, and Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS). She also serves as the faculty advisor for the Astronomy Society at UH, Society of Physics Students, and Sigma Pi Sigma.
  • Tom Teets, Ph.D. – Department of Chemistry
    Works with the Welch Summer Scholars Program and presents to student organizations explaining the importance of undergraduate research and the how to seek undergraduate research opportunities. He also has served as a consultant for local news channels and done televised interviews.
  • Mark Tomforde, Ph.D. – Department of Mathematics
    Works with middle and high school students in the community around the University of Houston providing tutoring in math and SAT/ACT preparation (CHAMP Program).
  • Rakesh Verma, Ph.D. – Department of Computer Science
    Works with CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service and S-STEM Scholarships for Undergraduates and serves as the faculty advisor for the Ethical Hackers Club.
  • Anna Vershynina, Ph.D. – Department of Mathematics
    Works with CHAMP, a mathematics and STEM outreach program for high school and middle school students in communities surrounding the University of Houston.
  • Julia Wellner, Ph.D. – Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
    Presents seminars on glacial and climate change, focused in part on her work in Antarctica, at Houston-area schools, museums, business and charity functions, and in other public forums. She also engages with professional organizations, like AAPG and NASA, for in-service teacher training. In Fall 2018, she will teach Antarctica: An Earth Scientist’s Guide in Rice University’s Continuing Studies program.
  • Lowell Wood, Ph.D. – Department of Physics
    Presents mini lectures for high school and middle school teachers participating in the STEM Teaching Equity Project.
  • Jerry Yang, Ph.D. – Department of Chemistry
    Works with the Greater Houston Section of the United States National Chemistry Olympiad.