The National Fellowship Board of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement has elected Gail Simmons, Dean of Science and Technology at the College of Staten Island, as a 2008-2009 SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) Leadership Fellow.

“I am honored, and humbled,” Simmons says, “to be the member of the inaugural class of SENCER Leadership Fellows. Other members of the class are among the most engaged and innovative scholars of science pedagogy in the country, and it is a great privilege to be numbered among them. I owe a great debt of gratitude to the faculty at CSI who have explored and embraced the SENCER approach in nursing, biology, education, and SLS/Chemistry and Physics, and to the administration, which has supported these efforts. I also send my thanks to my former colleagues at The College of New Jersey, who became involved with me in the SENCER program in 2002.

SENCER is the signature program of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement, a research center that is affiliated with Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. A faculty development and science education reform initiative supported by the National Science Foundation, SENCER stimulates student engagement in science and mathematics through courses and programs focused on real-world problems. This method extends the impact of student learning across the curriculum to the broader community and society.

Fellowships honor educators for their exemplary leadership and commitment to the improvement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, and allow recipients to continue their efforts. SENCER Leadership Fellows are elected to 18-month term, following nomination and application review. A total of 76 fellows were chosen from among nominees drawn from the 1,300 eligible faculty members and academic leaders.

David Ferguson, distinguished service professor at Stony Brook University and board chair of the National Fellowship Board says, “As a SENCER Leadership Fellow, Gail will continue to coordinate CSI’s participation with SENCER and she will use her considerable communications skills and gifts of persuasion to promulgate SENCER reforms at sister institutions and through research and writing projects assessing the impact of SENCER on professional practice and teaching.”

David Burns, executive director of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement, adds, “We in the National Fellowship Board and the National Center have the highest hopes and expectations for the success of Gail’s efforts and look forward to having the benefit of her advice and counsel as we plan for the future.”