Natasha Smith-Walker is the Executive Director of Project Exploration and serves as the PI for Project SYSTEMIC. She works to ensure that there is equity, access and opportunity to broaden participation. In addition, her efforts have positioned Project Exploration to lead the STEM Learning Ecosystem initiative for Chicago.
Dean GrosshandlerLiz Lehman joined UChicago STEM Education in February 2009 and works with the Direct Services, Tool Development, and Research and Evaluation teams. Liz brings much science content expertise with her, having earned a PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior in 2006 from Indiana University and a BA in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago in 2000. Liz was previously with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, where she conducted many professional development programs for K-12 teachers and informal educators in Phoenix, AZ. In the Education Department at the Desert Botanical Garden, Liz educated K-8 students and teachers, and developed and taught Botany and other courses to volunteer docents.
Jameela has spent nearly 18 years in the field of science education, starting as a high school science teacher and then transitioning into the nonprofit sector. Her career has focused on developing programs and opportunities for youth from communities traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, especially girls. For five years at Project Exploration, a small nonprofit science education organization on Chicago’s South Side, Jameela directed girls programs and trained STEM professionals to do outreach with middle and high school youth. Through her work at Project Exploration, Jameela designed, implemented, and evaluated numerous youth out-of-school time programs.
Pamela Sydelko is President of Fat Node Consulting and a systems scientist with nearly 30 years working for Argonne National Laboratory. As the director of the Systems Science Center at Argonne, Ms. Sydelko ran Argonne’s Systems Science Center, a group of talented systems analysts and engineers. During her career, she has led the design and development of numerous integrated systems applications spanning such diverse domains as national security, environmental sustainability, and critical infrastructures. As president of Fat Node Consulting, Ms. Sydelko continues to practice systems science with a focus on systems thinking approaches to extremely complex “wicked” problems. Her passion is the use of systems thinking by governments, communities, private industry and other organizations to help them better understand and manage complexity in their environments.