Pioneer Valley STEM Network Advisory Committee

Kimberly Berman, Ph.D.

Dr. Kimberly Berman, Associate Professor in Biology at Westfield State University, is the Regional Manager of the Pioneer Valley STEM network.

Dr. Berman has been a member of the Biology Department since 2016. She has had a leading role in recruitment and outreach for the biology department through the Biology R.O.A.R. Committee since 2017. In the fall of 2022, she spearheaded the partnership agreement between Bioconnects New England and the Biology Department at Westfield State University. The goal of the agreement is to advance STEM in the western Massachusetts community. She serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in the biology department as well as several other committees that have made an impact in the Biology Department and the University. During her tenure, Dr. Berman has received several grants to promote student undergraduate research and has supervised several Senior Honors Projects.

Beyond the University, Dr. Berman is active in her community, both serving on the PTO of her local elementary school as well as hosting events and visiting local high schools to promote STEM in the community. Prior to joining Westfield State University, she held teaching positions at Framingham State University and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science.

Dr. Berman received her Bachelor of Science in biology from Framingham State University and her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from the UMASS Medical School.

Deborah Day

Deborah Day

Deborah Day, STEAM Outreach Coordinator: Jandon Center for Community Engagement at Smith College; Chair, Western MA Science and Engineering Fair

Deborah Day shares her expertise and passion for research and STEM Education as former Director of the Amity Science Research Program and chemistry teacher. She currently leads the STEAM Outreach program at Smith College, developing new, sustainable experiential programming and providing opportunities for Smithies to partner with a wide variety of community members.

Christine Von  Renesse

Christine von Renesse

Christine von Renesse is a professor of mathematics at Westfield State University. She uses open inquiry techniques in all her classes, believing that this is the most effective and enjoyable way of learning and teaching. In the mathematics courses for future K-12 teachers she brings her students into the K-12 classrooms, collaborating with the teachers in finding effective ways to explore mathematics together. Christine is part of the Discovering the Art of Mathematics project, and on the steering committee of the New England Community for Inquiry-Based Learning in Mathematics.

Lauren Figy

Lauren Figy

Lauren joined Westfield Public Schools in 2018 as the Supervisor of Science, Technology and Engineering for the district. Before joining WPS she was a science teacher in Springfield, MA, and Chicago, IL as a Teach for America Corp.

Larry Martin

Larry Martin

Masshire Hampden County Workforce Board-Director of Business Services and Market Research

Larry is a 15 year seasoned workforce development professional who manages industry collaborations in meeting the supply and demand requires for Hampden County. He also directs the labor market research initiatives for the workforce board.

Gabriella Wilkerson

Gabriella Wilkerson

Gabriella Wilkerson is a Senior at Northampton High School and an Ambassador Girl Scout, she is working with the Springfield City Libraries to develop science kits that can be borrowed, to increase STEM accessibility in youth across various socioeconomic backgrounds.

Beth Grady

Beth Grady is a STEM Instructional Coach for the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District. She joined the district in 2000 as a grade 6 teacher and moved into a role that would allow her to support students and teachers with their learning. Beth's passion is inquiry based, student-centered learning and she is fascinated by how students work through problems and find solutions.

Melissa Paciulli

Melissa Paciulli is currently the Director of the STEM Starter Academy at Holyoke Community College which works to increase student persistence and success. She has previously worked at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and Regional Economic Models. She is a published author and has worked in college administration for over 15 years focused on research technology transfer and educational outcomes. She is a member of the National Academy of Science, Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation Education and Workforce Development, an External Advisory Board Member for the Center of Excellence for Women in STEM at Bay Path College and the Co-Founder of the Pioneer Valley Women in STEM Network.


Melissa holds an undergraduate degree from Westfield State University in Economics, minoring in Math, a Master Degree in Civil Engineering and is a PhD Candidate at UMass Amherst where she developed a dynamic training program for younger drivers with ADHD to improve safety on the roadway for this vulnerable population. She is working on commercializing this training program so it can be widely used and is active in the Pioneer Valley Entrepreneur Ecosystem.

Additional Advisory Committee Members

Ray Radigan, Amelia Park Childrens Museum

Kellie Brown, Westfield Boys and Girls Club

Dee Ward, Girls Inc.

Sue Parker, Girls Inc.

Deidre Murphy, GCC

David Cruise, MassHire

Christine Abramoitz, MassHire

Wes Carter, West Springfield Public Schools

Mao-Lun Weng, Westfield State

Kerrie McKinistry-Jett, Westfield State

Aly Putnam, UMass