Cindy Kern, Ph.D

Cindy is an assistant professor of education and director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Center for Science Teaching and Learning at Quinnipiac University. The BMS Center for Science Teaching and Learning is a network of scientists, engineers and educators collaborating to support and enhance the educational experience for kindergarten to the university level in science, technology, engineering and math.

Her goal is to support pre-service and in-service science teachers as the Connecticut transitions to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS are transformational in terms of how Connecticut teachers will teach and how students will learn science. As a QU School of Education faculty she works with pre-service teachers to develop science education leaders prepared to usher science teaching based on the NGSS. As the director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning she focuses on supporting beginning and veteran classroom teachers as they transition to teaching and learning grounded in the NGSS.


Amanda Bozack, Ph.D

Amanda Bozack is an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Radford University in Virginia. Her research interests include understanding how induction practices impact beginning teachers’ perceptions, experiences, and teaching practice. She lead the 2013 external program evaluation of Connecticut’s Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) program and, with Amy Nicole Salvaggio she is the author of Impactful Mentoring within a Statewide, Comprehensive Induction Program, a chapter in L. Searby & S. Brondyk (Eds.) Best Practices in Mentoring for K-12 Teacher and Leader Development. 


Rosemary Whelan, Ph.D

Rosemary is Coordinator of both the Biology, and the Genetics and Biotechnology Programs in the Department of Biology and Environmental Science at the University of New Haven. She also coordinates and teaches the Introductory Biology for majors course. In addition she teaches Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology. Her focus is on student-centered learning, and she uses multiple approaches (including POGIL, case studies, peer tutoring and clickers) in her classes. In 2016 she was the recipient of the University of New Haven Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

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Courtney McGinnis, Ph.D
Courtney is an Assistant Professor of Biology at QU and primarily teaches Anatomy and Physiology. Courtney is also the K-12 outreach liaison for the Northeast Chapter of the Society of Toxicology and is passionate about teaching and getting students excited about science and understanding the interdisciplinary nature of science.

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Jesse DeFrancesco
Jesse DeFrancesco is from North Branford, CT. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Roger Williams University and is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with a Human Resources concentration at University of New Haven. His goal is to work within an innovative organization and create a positive impact on the employees and organization as a whole.

Emily Sparago

Emily Sparago is from Cheshire, CT.  She is a student at Quinnipiac University, currently working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Master’s Degree in Secondary Education.  Her goal is to motivate high school students to excel in biology and help establish a love for science.

Former Leadership Team Members 

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Beth Markello (2014-2016)
Beth is from Houston, TX. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Denver in 2010 and her Master’s Degree in Forensic Science – Criminalistics with a concentration in Forensic Chemistry at the University of New Haven in 2016. Her thesis work was about the Speciation of Shark Fin Cartilage by Chemical Techniques.  She is now working as a Product Specialist for HPLC instrumentation at Shimadzu Scientific Instruments.

Audri Wagner (2015-2016)
Audri is from Burlington, WA in the Pacific Northwest. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Pacific University in Oregon in 2013 and her Master’s Degree in Forensic Science – Criminalistics with a concentration in Trace Evidence/Microscopy at the University of New Haven in 2016. Her thesis work was on the Forensic Characterization and Degradation of Nail and Gel Polishes by Microscopy and Spectroscopy.

Namrata Sheth (2015-2016)
Namrata Sheth is from Wethersfield, CT. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology and General Management from Michigan State University in 2014. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Molecular and Cell Biology at Quinnipiac University. Her goal is to attend dental school and serve the community.