ITEEA 2022 Conference

Keynote Speakers

Program Excellence General Session; Thursday, March 10, 2022; 9:00-10:50am

Dr. Larry Robinson
President, Florida A&M University
Director and Principal Investigator, NOAA Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

Minority-Serving Institutions and STEM at Both the K-12 and Post-Secondary Levels

Conf - 2022 - ProgrammingKeynote1Larry Robinson serves as Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) 12th president and as a distinguished service professor at the University. Additionally, he is the Director and Principal Investigator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (CCME).  The CCME is a five-year, $30 million cooperative agreement and multi-institutional partnership designed to recruit and educate the next generation of underrepresented minorities in NOAA-related science and policy. 

Dr. Robinson is a member of the U.S. Congress authorized STEM Education Advisory Panel which was established “to provide advice and recommendations to the Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CoSTEM)” among other responsibilities. 

In May 2010, Robinson took a leave of absence from FAMU to serve in a U.S. Senate-confirmed position as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation and Management at NOAA. While there, he supported NOAA's coastal and marine programs, including marine sanctuaries for preserving areas of special national significance, fisheries management, and preparation of nautical charts. He also supported NOAA's participation in addressing the BP oil spill crisis, and served on the Ocean Policy Task Force and the Gulf Coast Restoration Task Force during his tenure.   

In 2007-2009, Dr. Robinson served as Senior Scientific Advisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. In 2008, Robinson was selected to serve on the Oceans Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP) and as a member of the National Science Foundation’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Science Technology Education Advisory Committee.  

Robinson has served as chair of the Council of Academic Vice Presidents for the State University System of Florida; chair of the Biology and Medicine Division of the American Nuclear Society; and charter member of the National Council for Science and the Environment’s Council of Environmental Deans and Directors. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy; the National Science Foundation’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Education Tiger Team; the International Advisory Board to Florida Center for STEM (FCR-STEM); the Leon County Research and Development Authority; the Leon County Water Resources Committee; and Florida A&M University’s campus coordinator for Florida Sea Grant.   

Robinson served on the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on the Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem; the NRC Committee on Mine Placement of Coal Combustion Waste; and the NRC Committee to Review the Florida Aquifer Storage and Recover Regional Study Technical Data Report. From 1984–1997, Robinson served as a research scientist and group leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). His responsibilities at ORNL included trace element analysis in environmental science, epidemiology, forensics, material science and paleontology. His expertise also includes environmental radiochemistry, nuclear safeguards, and non-proliferation. 

Dr. Robinson attended Lemoyne-Owen College, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry (summa cum laude) from Memphis State University and a doctorate in nuclear chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. 


International/PATT Luncheon, Thursday, March 10, 2022; 12:00-1:30pm (ticket required)

Dr. Ronald D. Todd
ITEEA Fellow and Senior International Ambassador
Coordinator of the US/UK Design, Engineering and Technology Collaborative Initiative

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A 75-year Perspective on Implementing Technology and Engineering Education as a School Subject

This keynote presentation will examine selected efforts, activities and approaches that have proved to be successful in enhancing the professional consideration and adopting of technology as a subject and Design, Engineering, and Technology (DE&T) as an approach that supports Integrative STEM teaching and learning.

This presentation is shaped by a two over-arching ideas: (1) Technology as an arena of human endeavor places value on and demands for innovation and change, and (2) the evolution of Technology Education as a profession has often been slowed and shaped more by the anchor of its past than by the power of innovation and change. Attention will then be given to how we might use what we have learned through international collaborations to benefit in our ongoing professional development efforts.

Ron currently serves as Coordinator of the US/UK DE&T Collaborative Initiative for developing design, enginering, and technology materials, products, and approaches to enhance Integrative STEM teaching and learning. He brings to this role several decades of managing and developing K-12 DE&T programs for public schools as well as related teacher professional development programs. In the mid-1980’s he played a lead role in the New York State’s vanguard initiative for the Training of Technology Teachers. In 2007 he played a similar role in helping to establish an international collaboration to train teachers for the Engineers of the Future Program. Ron has traveled to support projects and speak internationally with extensive work throughout the UK.

While at the College of New Jersey, he served as project director and principal investigator for projects totaling more than seven million dollars. This included funding by the National Science Foundation to support the K-6 oriented Project UPDATE (Upgrading Practice through Design and Technology/ Engineering Education) and the UPDATE/ Teacher Enhancement Initiative.  The work of the US/UK Collaborative Initiative continues with a focus on helping teachers implement programs that use a DE&T approach to integrate and apply STEM subjects. He directed the Exploring Design and Engineering Project, supported by the New Jersey High-Tech Workforce Grant. He also led the effort to establish TIES Magazine (The Magazine for Design and Technology Education).

His work with the US/UK DE&T Collaborative Initiative Team continues with a current focus on helping K-6 teachers implement age-appropriate materials, activities and programs that use a DE&T approach to integrate and enhance STEM subjects across the school curriculum.


ITEEA Foundation/Maley Spirit of Excellence Breakfast; Friday, March 11 2022; 7:00am-8:50am

Conf - 2022 - Watson Dr. Allyson L. Watson
Dean, Florida A&M University

Director and Principal Investigator, NSF FL AGEP Grant, Advancing Women in the STEM Professoriate

Advancing the Future, Igniting the Passion: Making STREAM a Priority in K-20 to Career

Dr. Allyson L. Watson serves as Dean for the College of Education at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Prior to her arrival at FAMU, Dr. Watson served as interim chief academic officer and dean at USF St. Petersburg, and at Northeastern State University assistant dean and the first-named endowed chair. Her educational background includes a master's (M.Ed.) and doctoral (PhD) degree in educational administration, curriculum, and supervision from the University of Oklahoma. Her baccalaureate degree is from Bethune-Cookman University in Elementary Education. Dr. Watson served as assistant director at the University of Oklahoma-Center for Educational & Community Renewal (now K-20 Center). Additionally, her educational career and experience include teaching Grades 1-8 in urban areas.

Dr. Watson has focused her research on urban education, faculty of color in higher education, and urban school and university partnerships. She is a full professor and tenured graduate faculty with a substantial amount of teaching experience in courses such as educational research, advanced educational measurements and statistics, public school relations, and instructional strategies. In 2010, Dr. Watson founded Teaching & Urban Reform Network (TURN), a program to prepare pre-service teachers in urban education and encourage effective pedagogical practices. This work has served as a platform for successful acquisition of grants, research presentations, journal articles, and a book chapter. Dr. Watson is a 2014 Pinnacle Woman of the Year awardee from the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women, a recipient of the “40 under 40 Most Influential People in Oklahoma” award from Oklahoma Magazine and the 2012-2013 recipient for the College of Education Outstanding Faculty in Service award from NSU.

In 2015, Dr. Watson coordinated a team of educators from across the US to help establish the first-ever robotics lab for girls in north Haiti. This sustainable work has empowered girls and women in STEM. Through this innovative initiative, Haiti sent the first competitive girls team in the history of the nation to compete in the VEX World Championship Robotics Competition. In the Summer of 2018, USFSP College of Education launched an inaugural STEM robotics camp for students in 5th through 8th grade to enrich academic and experiential learning within the St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay region.

Dr. Watson was named the Girls, Incorporated STEM Woman of the Year for 2018. Following that prestigious recognition, USFSP’s College of Education celebrated the grand opening of a state of the art innovative STEM lab for all future educators, educational leaders, and organizational partners to engage and experience creative and innovative discovery first hand. In 2020, FAMU College of Education designed a state-of-the-art STEAM Lab to prepare urban educators and leaders in STEAM integration. Dr. Watson was the recipient of the 2019 Legacy Award in Education at the Legacy Gala in St. Petersburg, Florida. Additionally, was a 2019 Woman of Distinction from the St. Petersburg, Florida community. Dr. Watson is an inaugural alumnus of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, former (2010-13) national alumni president and 2014 past president of the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association. She is actively involved in the local community and is a Leadership Tallahassee Class 38 alumna, serves on the Challenger Learning Center Board of Directors, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, and is program co-chair for the Tallahassee Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.

Teacher Excellence General Session; Friday, March 11, 2022; 9:00-10:50am

Launching the Next Generation of Space Explorers, A Fireside Chat

How does space exploration impact all of us here on Earth? In this keynote, the presenters will discuss why NASA is returning to the moon, how the expansion of commercial space helps NASA accomplish its long-range goals, and how you can help prepare your students for the future space STEM workforce.

Joseph A. Dant
Chief Safety and Mission Assurance Officer (CSO)
Launch Services Program - John F. Kennedy Space Center

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Joseph A. Dant is the Chief Safety and Mission Assurance Officer (CSO) for the Launch Services Program (LSP) at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Appointed to this position in January 2020, Dant is delegated Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) Technical Authority under the NASA governance model and represents agency S&MA for the LSP. He is responsible for integrating safety, quality and mission assurance engineering practices, policies, procedures and standards across LSP and the LSP fleet of commercial launch service vehicles. He provides technical insight and approval for S&MA areas for all LSP missions and gives the S&MA “go/no go” position on day of launch.

Dant began his career with NASA in 2005 as a mission assurance engineer in the Launch Services S&MA Division at Kennedy, developing technical expertise in several areas such as liquid propulsion, ordnance and vibration analysis. There, he built the foundation of his expertise in commercial launch vehicles and worked on a variety of critically important science missions, including Pluto/New Horizons, Kepler and Dawn. In 2009, he began working as a mission assurance manager, integrating all aspects of S&MA for his assigned missions, including the Mars Science Lab (Curiosity Rover) and OSIRIS-REx. During his years in the Mission Assurance Branch, he became well versed in identifying, documenting and mitigating mission assurance risks and making recommendations to Program Management on mitigation plans and acceptability of risks.

In 2016, Dant was promoted to Deputy CSO of LSP under longtime mentor Rick Boutin. Dant performed the role of the CSO when delegated and provided technical assistance to the CSO for numerous NASA science missions, including Parker Solar Probe, GOES-S, InSight, TESS and ICON. In his 15 years supporting Launch Services S&MA, Dant has contributed to the flight readiness and successful launch of 45 LSP missions and the certification of six launch vehicles.

In addition to his experience with uncrewed commercial launch services, Dant spent 14 months, spanning 2018 and 2019, developing S&MA requirements for the Gateway Logistics Element at Kennedy. During this time, he enhanced his understanding of crewed spaceflight S&MA and human rating requirements for end-to-end commercial space services.

He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering and later earned a master's degree in space systems from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2008. 








Cindy Hasselbring
K-12 Education Advisor, Next Gen STEM, Office of STEM Engagement - NASA Headquarters

Cindy Hasselbring currently serves as K-12 Education Advisor for the Next Gen STEM project in the Office of STEM Engagement at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. In this role, she advises in K-12 STEM education related activities and serves as the product owner for NASA’s new online community of practice for educators, CONNECTS (Connecting Our NASA Network of Educators for Collaborating Together in STEM).

Most recently, Cindy served Senior Policy Advisor and Assistant Director for STEM Education at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Cindy co-chaired the Federal Coordination in STEM Education Subcommittee with NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF).  As a co-chair, she provided leadership and guidance to 18 federal agencies offering STEM programs and led development of reporting progress to Congress.  Additionally, she co-chaired four other interagency working groups and tiger teams and served as a subject matter expert in STEM education to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). 

Previously, Cindy led the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) High School Aviation Initiative as Senior Director and led its efforts to build a four-year aviation STEM curriculum to inspire more students to enter careers in aviation and aerospace. In addition, she developed and planned AOPA’s annual High School Aviation STEM Symposium, which hosted more than 350 educators, administrators, industry representatives and government officials at the United Airlines Flight Training Center in Denver, Colorado in 2019.  She also served on the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) Board of Trustees.

Cindy led STEM initiatives as Special Assistant to the State Superintendent at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) which included the expansion of computer science, development of a youth apprenticeship program, and conducted STEM education workshops for approximately 300 Maryland educators. Prior to working at MSDE, Cindy completed two years as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia where she worked in the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics in Science Teaching program during her first year. In her second year, she supported the Assistant Director of NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate and contributed to the development of the former Federal STEM education strategic plan.

As a 16-year veteran mathematics teacher at Milan High School in Michigan, Cindy was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and earned National Board Certification during her tenure. As a teacher, she was heavily involved in NASA’s Network of Educator Astronaut Teacher program and participated in numerous teacher workshops and two reduced gravity flights.  Cindy was one of 120 applicants invited to interview for the NASA Astronaut Candidate program in 2013.  She enjoys flying as a private pilot and has her seaplane rating.  Cindy has enjoyed volunteering for the last 11 years at a high school girls summer aviation camp in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Cindy is a member of many aviation organizations and STEM educator associations, including ITEEA.