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UNI STEM Staff

Joel Haack, Professor of Mathematics
Joel Haack, Professor of Mathematics
Mathematics


Favorite STEM Websites


My research area includes History of mathematics and the relationship of mathematics to the arts and humanities. I'm interested in mathematics generally and gender equity.
I've loved mathematics all my life, having written a paper in ninth grade on being a pure mathematician as a career.
Kyle Gray, Assistant Professor of Earth Science and Science Education
Kyle Gray, Assistant Professor of Earth Science and Science Education
Earth Science Department, Science Education


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Dr. Gray's research interested include Geoscience Education. Current projects include changes in student self-efficacy after taking an Inquiry into... course, Misconceptions of Mass Extinctions, and curriculum development.
I've always loved science. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and had several experiences as a kid that shaped my interest in science. As a kid I loved dinosaurs, then when I was 13, Mt. St. Helens erupted and I became interested in volcanoes. My dad and I used to spend a lot of time in the summers in the mountains near our house, which got me of doors and interested in the natural world. Going into college, I wanted to be an engineer but went to a school that did not have a formal engineering program. After taking chemistry, I found geology and fell in love with the subject, especially volcanoes. After earning my BS degree, I went on to earn an MS in geology where I studied volcanoes. After working in industry for several years, I went back to school and earned a teaching certificate and taught middle school and high school for six years. I then earned my PhD in science education and came to UNI after that.
Larry Escalada
Larry Escalada, Professor
Science Education, Physics


Favorite STEM Websites


Dr. Escalada's research interests are in the fields of physics and science education. As an educator and researcher, he has focused on making science, especially physics, more accessible and relevant to all students while increasing the quality of teaching and learning within the subject. He has adopted the equitable and effective integration of technology with activity-based, student centered instructional strategies in the courses he teaches and the instructional materials he develops. His emphasis is in developing and evaluating high school activity-based physics and physical science curricula that utilize inexpensive materials and interactive instructional technologies to develop proficiency in science inquiry and reasoning skills and to develop and reinforce conceptual understanding of the topics being introduced for all students especially those students who do not have strong backgrounds in mathematics and science.
Dr. Escalada hasn't told his STEM story yet.
Leigh Zeitz, Associate Professor, Coordinator of Instructional Technology Division
Leigh Zeitz, Associate Professor, Coordinator of Instructional Technology Division
Curriculum & Instruction


Favorite STEM Websites


My research areas include, Rube Goldberg invention creation in elementary classrooms, Effective Keyboarding Strategies in the classroom, and using 21st Century Learning Strategies in Learning.
I taught students at all levels from 1st through 12th grade over my 13 year career teaching in K-12 schools. At the elementary level, I taught math and science as part of our daily curriculum. At the high school level, I taught math and science as separate subject areas. In 1992 I earned my Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Instructional Technology. I was the Instructional Technology Coordinator at the Price Lab School for 6 years. After spending a year as a visiting professor in Malaysia where I taught Instructional Technology, I returned to UNI where I have been in the Instructional Technology program for the past 15 years.
Lori Seawel, Instructional Designer and Technology Coordinator, ITS Educational Technology
Lori Seawel, Instructional Designer and Technology Coordinator, ITS Educational Technology
Information Technology Services


Favorite STEM Websites


I'm interested in a broad range of STEM topics, as I'm involved in the Title II funded, IMPACT project, working with K12 teachers to integrate science inquiry, the STORM program, the GLOBE program and educational technology into their teaching. I also work significantly with UNI faculty from all disciplines.
My career started out as a K12 teacher. As an elementary teacher, I taught all primary subject areas. I began to integrate technology into teaching and learning in the mid-1980s. Shortly thereafter, I got my Master of Arts Degree in educational technology. I moved on to teach computer exploratory classes to middle school students. I also pursued a second Master of Arts degree in educational administration in the mid-1990s. In the late '90s, I worked as a District Technology Coordinator for a K12 school district. In 2000, I began working at UNI, supporting faculty with technology integration and implementation efforts. Additionally, I've served on the Project Management Team for the IMPACT program for a number of years, ever since the first year it was funded. The IMPACT program is a STEM-based program with technology integration for K12 teachers.
Marcy Seavey, UNI STEM Coordinator
Marcy Seavey, UNI STEM Coordinator
Academic Affairs


Favorite STEM Websites


My STEM interests are citizen science, integrated STEM, ecology, earth science, environmental education, and field biology/environmental monitoring. My STEM hobbies include geocaching, 3-D modeling, nature photography, and gaming.
I can't remember a time when I didn't want to have a STEM career. One of the first careers I remember being interested in was technical illustrator. In 4th grade, I discovered an error in a drawing of a human ear in my science textbook. My teacher told the class that people drew the images in our textbooks and that there were probably not enough people in the world who had a degree in both art and biology. I was very sad that this error in a textbook might mean that some students would learn the parts of an ear incorrectly. I wanted to become a technical illustrator and specialize in science and math books for elementary students so no other students would learn something incorrect from the books that were supposed to help them. Other careers that interested me were NASA Mission Specialist, Marine Biology, Zoologist, and Ceramic, Material, or Environmental Engineer. Today I think my career is the BEST because I get to work with people who do all of the different kinds of STEM research that interests me and help others learn more about STEM.
Megan Balong
Megan Balong, Instructor, Teaching
Mathematics, Curriculum and Instruction


Favorite STEM Websites


Mir Ashfaquzzaman, UNI STEM Graduate Assistant
Mir Ashfaquzzaman, UNI STEM Graduate Assistant, Communications
Academic Affairs


Favorite STEM Websites

When I was still an undergraduate student, I started working as an apprentice at The Daily Star, one of the leading English-language dailies in Bangladesh. That was the beginning. Over the next 23 years or so, I worked for three other English-language dailies. Yet, I never planned to be a journalist. I wanted to be a teacher; I still do. That’s why, I am here at UNI. After getting my master’s degree in communication studies, I plan to go back and start teaching at one of the private universities in Bangladesh.
Roberta Roberts, UNI STEM Secretary and N.E. Iowa Regional STEM Hub Secretary
Roberta Roberts, UNI STEM Secretary
Academic Affairs


Favorite STEM Websites


Roberta joined UNI STEM and the STEM hub because she thought it would be interesting and challenging to work with STEM Grants and was interested in working on STEM programs. She has been with UNI for 15 years. Roberta enjoys traveling to see her grandchildren and reading her many books on Kindle.
Vicki Oleson, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Mathematics
Vicki Oleson, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Mathematics
Mathematics Department


Favorite STEM Websites


Dr. Vicki Oleson is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Mathematics, serves as the Project Director of Student Online Achievement Resources (SOAR), and is the Principal Investigator of Making Sense Professional Development courses. In addition to her leadership responsibilities, Vicki spends a great deal of time connecting the talented people at the University of Northern Iowa and Cedar Valley with projects that help people learn. She provides leadership for the design of projects that deliver quality learning experiences.

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