Transforming science education through research-driven innovation

Jeffrey Rozelle

CEO and President, Knowles Teacher Initiative

Jeffrey Rozelle, Ph.D., joined Knowles as a Senior Program Officer for Teacher Development in 2013. In this role, he had primary responsibility for supporting Teaching Fellows in their third and fourth years of the organization’s signature program, the Knowles Teaching Fellows Program. One year later, he was promoted to Director of the Program. In 2018, Jeff was promoted to Vice President of Programs. With responsibility for the Knowles Teaching Fellows Program, the Knowles Senior Fellows Program, and the Knowles Academy, Jeff led efforts to expand Knowles’ impact through the launch of free and discounted online and in-person professional development offerings for teachers and customized professional development offerings for schools and districts. While in the role, he also increased the breadth and depth of opportunities available for Senior Fellows to grow their leadership capacity. Jeff was appointed President and CEO in January 2022.

He began his career in the Cincinnati Public School District, where he taught science for nine years. While working with student teachers from local universities and leading district-wide professional development, he developed an interest in teacher education. In 2005, Jeff enrolled in a doctoral program in curriculum, teaching, and educational policy at Michigan State University. At Michigan State, he taught courses on secondary science methods and worked as a graduate assistant on a National Science Foundation grant that studied science and math teacher induction at the Exploratorium Teacher Institute. His dissertation focused on the ways student teachers develop a practice as they navigate teacher education and their field placements; it was awarded the National Association for Research in Science Teaching’s Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in 2011.

Most recently, Jeff worked at Syracuse University, where he coordinated the secondary science education program and served as an assistant professor of science education. During his tenure at Syracuse, he served as the co-principal investigator on two grants valued at over $2 million dollars, and was published in the Journal of Teacher Education, Teaching & Teacher Education, and American Biology Teacher. Notably, Jeff has presented his research findings at nearly 20 conferences.

He holds a B.S. in chemistry and secondary education from the University of Cincinnati, an M.Ed. in secondary education from Miami University and a Ph.D. in curriculum, teaching and educational policy from Michigan State University.

Originally from the Midwest, Jeff currently resides in Moorestown, N.J. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, hiking, reading, playing poker and spending time with his wife and their two daughters.

Dr. Rozelle joined the the BSCS Board of Directors in 2023.

President, Southern Regional Education Board

Stephen Pruitt, Ph.D, currently serves as the President of the Southern Regional Education Board. He started his education career as a high school chemistry teacher in Fayette County, Georgia. During his career, Pruitt has amassed education policy, assessment and instructional background at the local, state and national levels.

Before coming to SREB, Pruitt was Kentucky’s state commissioner of education. At the national level, he had worked closely with state agencies and educators around the country to improve policy and practice in science education. In Georgia, Pruitt served as science and mathematics program manager, director of academic standards, associate state superintendent for assessment and accountability and chief of staff for the Georgia Department of Education.

Pruitt also served as a board member to the Council of Chief State School Officers, as president of the Council of State Science Supervisors and as a member of the writing team for the College Board Standards for College Success for science. In addition, he was named to the National Research Council’s Board on Science Education and served on the National Academies of Science Committee on Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards that developed the Framework for K-12 Science Education.

A native of Georgia, Pruitt holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from North Georgia College and State University, a master’s degree in science education from the University of West Georgia and a doctorate of philosophy in chemistry education from Auburn University.

Pruitt and his wife are the parents of two children. Their son is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder; their daughter attends the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Pruitt joined the BSCS Board of Directors in 2022.

Associate Professor, Social Research Methodology Division Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

José Felipe Martínez Fernández, Ph.D., currently serves as an Associate Professor, Social Research Methodology Division of Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Martínez Fernández joined the BSCS Board of Directors in 2023.

Professor of STEM Education, University of Colorado at Boulder

Erin Marie Furtak, Ph.D., is Professor of STEM Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. A former high school science teacher, Erin transitioned into a career studying how science teachers learn and improve their daily classroom practices through formative assessment. In a series of multiple studies, Dr. Furtak has been partnering with teachers, schools, and districts to learn how teachers can design, enact, and take instructional action on the basis of classroom assessments that they design. Her recent publications have examined the ways in which the design and enactment of classroom assessments can promote more equitable participation in science learning.

Dr. Furtak joined the BSCS Board of Directors in 2021.

Director of Secondary Education Content and Science in the Secondary Education and Pathway Preparation Division at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Olympia, Washington

Dr. Ellen Ebert is the Director of Secondary Education Content and Science in the Secondary Education and Pathway Preparation Division at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Olympia, Washington. She is past president of the Council of State Science Supervisors. Ellen is a Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Science Education and a recipient of the Valerie Logan Leadership in Science Education Award. She is currently focused on managing the statewide initiative called ClimeTime and two ESSER projects which provide professional learning for secondary science educators as they work to address student learning acceleration and recovery in post-pandemic classrooms.  

Dr. Ebert joined the BSCS Board of Directors in 2021.

Chief Philanthropy Officer, Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism

Bill Warren currently serves as the Chief Philanthropy Officer at the Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism. He was previously the Associate Vice President for Institutional Partnerships within the Division of University Advancement at The Catholic University of America. In that role, Bill oversaw the University’s efforts to secure funding from all types of institutional donors and organizations, including corporate, foundation, and government sources. Bill oversaw federal advocacy efforts and the build-out of a government relations strategy for the institution. He also led the revenue generation efforts for one of the priority areas within Catholic’s comprehensive campaign, around Faculty Excellence and Research. He and his team were responsible for raising $10 million annually from sponsorships and institutional grants.

Prior to February 2020, Bill’s tenure at Catholic included co-management of establishing the University’s school-based fundraising efforts, including direct work with the following schools: Arts and Sciences, Engineering, the National Catholic School of Social Service, the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art, and Theology and Religious Studies. His areas of oversight also included Advancement Communications and Corporate and Foundation Relations.

From March 2018 to February 2020, Bill’s role also included formal leadership of the University’s comprehensive campaign, Light the Way: The Campaign for Catholic University, as Campaign Director.

Prior to his return to higher education fundraising, Bill worked to build a substantial development office and program at the nonprofit National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., most recently serving as Vice President of Development developing revenue opportunities and sharing the Society’s nonprofit mission with foundation donors and high-net worth individuals.

Over the course of his 13-year career at the Society, Bill helped cultivate some of the Society’s most important and substantial donor relationships, building a team of professionals who interface with institutional funders and secure major grant funding for the Society’s programs and initiatives. He was an integral part of a philanthropic effort at the National Geographic Society that grew tenfold in the last decade-plus, predictably raising in excess of $30 million annually.

Bill spent the first part of his career working for his alma mater, The Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, and Maret School in Washington, D.C. He transitioned into institutional giving with The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the YWCA of the National Capital Area before joining the National Geographic Society in December 2002. He holds a B.A. in psychology from The Johns Hopkins University. He and his wife and two boys make their home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Mr. Warren joined the BSCS board of directors in 2020.

Senior Vice President for Strategic Programs, Pacific Science Center

Dennis Schatz is the Senior Vice President for Strategic Programs at the Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Washington, where he has played a leadership role for 36 years. During his tenure, he served as co-director of the Washington State LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform) program, and as a principal investigator for Portal to the Public, an initiative that engages scientists in working with public audiences to enhance the public’s understanding of the current science research and its application. He also served as a program director in the Advancing Informal STEM Learning program for the National Science Foundation.

He is the author of 23 science books for children that have sold almost 2 million copies worldwide and is also the co-author/editor of several curriculum resources for teachers.

Mr. Schatz joined the BSCS Board of Directors in 2014.

Head of Product Management, Zurich North America

Nate Root started his career as a property and casualty actuary in Chicago and achieved his designation of Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society. After spending over 20 years in the commercial insurance industry with a leading commercial carrier leading actuarial, information, and large-scale technology transformation efforts, he moved to strategic partner consulting. He then served as the Insurance Data Lead for Capgemini and worked with insurers on solving data, information, and analytics related challenges to improve the industry. Currently, Nate is Head of Product Management for Zurich North America. He is a graduate of Grinnell College (B.A. in Mathematics) and University of Michigan (M.S. in Mathematics).

Mr. Root joined the BSCS Board of Directors in 2018.

Professor, Department of Biology, Stanford University

H. Craig Heller, Ph.D., is a Lorry Lokey/Business Wire Professor of Biological Sciences and Human Biology at Stanford University.

Dr. Heller’s research focus for over 40 years has been in the areas of physiology and neurobiology of temperature regulation, hibernation, sleep, circadian rhythms, and most recently learning and memory. Currently he is studying neural mechanisms controlling arousal states and arousal state transitions, the function of sleep, and the neural mechanisms of circadian rhythms. Research on human exercise physiology focuses on the effects of body temperature on physical conditioning and performance. The focus on Down syndrome is exploring the mechanism whereby reduction of GABA activity restores learning and memory in DS mice and also in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.

He has also contributed to science through science education. He co-authored a leading biology majors book that is going into its 11th edition, as well as a similar book that was intended for AP Biology courses. He led a project that produced a two-year curriculum in Human Biology for the middle grades. And for over 40 years at Stanford University, he has taught physiology and neurobiology.

Dr. Heller originally served on the BSCS Board of Directors from 1988-1992. He rejoined the Board in 2019.

Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA

Louis M. Gomez, Ph.D., Professor of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. His primary involvements at UCLA are Learning Sciences, The Principal Leadership Institute, and the Urban Schooling Division.

He also serves as senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He is dedicated to collaborative research and development with urban communities to bring advanced instruction and support for community formation to traditionally underserved schools. His focus is on research and development organized around high-leverage problems of practice that are embedded in the day-to-day work of teaching and learning.

Dr. Gomez joined the BSCS Board of Directors in 2011.