Pioneer Valley STEM Network Advisory Committee
Dr. Jennifer Hanselman, Dean of the College of Mathematics and Sciences at Westfield State University, is Regional Manager of the Pioneer Valley STEM network.
Dr. Hanselman has served as chair since 2016 and has taught in the department since 2008. She had a leading role in the design and planning of the Nettie Stevens Science and Innovation Center; served on several search and other committees and councils that made an impact in the Biology Department, and across the University. During her tenure, Dr. Hanselman has worked on several pivotal grants, supervised honors projects, and served as the University’s NCAA Division III Faculty Athletic Representative.
Beyond the University, Dr. Hanselman has held consultant and contract positions in the STEM fields and her community involvement has included board and other volunteer positions with local high schools and non-profit organizations. Prior to joining Westfield State University, she held teaching positions at Florida Institute of Technology, Brevard Community College, and Palm Bay High School.
Dr. Hanselman received her Bachelor of Science in education/biology; Master of Science in education/conservation biology; and Ph.D. in ecology and conservation biology, all from the Florida Institute of Technology.
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 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 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.
Michael Kerr joined the Springfield Museums as Curator of Astronomy in early 2019, following a long career in physics research. He was for many years a member of the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In 2020 he became the Principal for Innovation and Advancement in Science for the Museums
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 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 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 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