Greetings from the CIESE Team!

Since 1988, CIESE has collaborated with K-12 school districts to improve science and mathematics achievement and the meaningful use of technology. Our focus is on systemic educational reform through long-term partnerships. Current K-12 efforts in curriculum and professional development have been extended to encompass higher education, especially innovation in engineering through working more closely with Stevens’ faculty and researchers.

CIESE Leadership

Gail Baxter

Co-Director, Research and Evaluation

Gail P. Baxter is responsible for all aspects of CIESE research and evaluation including proposal writing, instrument design (assessments, questionnaires), data collection, and analysis of qualitative (focus groups, interviews, site visits) and quantitative data. Before joining CIESE, she was a Senior Survey Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Senior Research Scientist at Educational Testing Service, and an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Michigan. In addition, she served on National Academy of Sciences Committees on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment and Evaluation of National and State Assessments of Educational Progress. She earned a PhD in Educational Psychology from UC Santa Barbara.

Mercedes McKay

Co-Director, Programs and Services

Mercedes McKay leads several national and statewide K-12 STEM curriculum development and teacher professional development programs that involve multi-institutional partnerships and collaborations. McKay also oversees the development of curricula for K-12 STEM education that have been recognized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and which reside on the National Science Digital Library. She has served on advisory boards of national K-12 engineering programs and as a reviewer for K-12 STEM curricula. She earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a graduate certificate in Technology Applications in Science Education from Stevens Institute of Technology. Before joining CIESE, Ms. McKay was a practicing engineer and also taught high school science and mathematics.



Greg Bartus

Adjunct Teaching Professor | Senior Curriculum & Professional Development Specialist

Greg Bartus is responsible for developing and maintaining Internet-based curriculum materials as well as assisting with teacher training. Previous to joining CIESE, he taught high school science for five years. In addition, he has participated on a number of research projects at the university level as well as worked in Alaska as a marine observer. He graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering and a M.A.T. in Science Education.

Brian Blackmore

Curriculum and Professional Development Specialist

Brian Blackmore is responsible for conducting teacher training and workshops; and developing Internet-based curriculum materials for Math Science Partnerships with K-12 school districts. He was a practicing aerospace engineer on inertial navigation systems, and prior to joining CIESE he was a high school math and science teacher for 6 years in the Paterson public school district. He has both a BS in Applied & Engineering Physics and an AB in English from Cornell University; an MBA from the University of Chicago; and a teaching certificate from Montclair State University.

Lorraine Dean

Office Manager

Lorraine Dean provides professional administrative support for CIESE that includes coordinating financial, logistical and administrative needs of awarded projects and contracts and overseeing all of the center’s daily operations. Ms. Dean is majoring in Human Resources Management at Ashford University. Her expected graduation is October, 2019.


Katheryn Kennedy

Manager of Professional Development Services

Kathy Kennedy is responsible for coordinating with school district administrators and other organizations to address requests for professional development programs and workshops. She also conducts workshops and develops STEM curriculum materials for K-12 education. Prior to joining CIESE, she taught biology at the high school and college level and has taught earth and physical science at the middle school level. Kathy received a B.S. in Biology from Siena College, a M.S. in Biomedical Science from Baylor University, and a PhD in Education from Walden University.

Kate Soriano

Curriculum and Professional Development Specialist

Kate Soriano is responsible for conducting teacher training and workshops. Before joining CIESE, she worked as a professional geologist, a classroom science teacher at the middle school and high school levels, an informal science educator for preK-12 school groups, and a developer of STEM programs for students and teachers. Kate holds a B.S. in Geology and Geophysics from Boston College, a M.S. in Geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a M.A. in Education from Humboldt State University.

Affiliated Faculty

Frank Fisher

Associate Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Frank Fisher is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and co-Director of the Nanotechnology Graduate Program at Stevens. He earned BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Learning Sciences (School of Education and Social Policy) and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University. He is the Director of the Nanomechanics and Nanomaterials Laboratory at Stevens, which studies the behavior of advanced material systems at the nanoscale. He has been awarded the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Mechanics Division Ferdinand P. Beer and E. Russell Johnson Jr. Outstanding New Educator Award, the 2009 Outstanding Teacher Award from the Stevens Alumni Association, and the 2006 Harvey N. Davis Distinguished Teaching Assistant Professor Award from Stevens. He was recently added to the Fulbright Specialist Roster (2011-16) by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, which is supported by the US Department of State.

Robert Harari

Industry Associate Professor, College of Arts and Letters

Robert Harari has versatility in the field of audio and music with alternating roles as a music producer, educator, composer, sound designer, audio engineer, and musician. Over a 30-year career in music, Harari has been fortunate enough to work on multiple Grammy nominated albums, Emmy Award winning programming for children educational content on PBS and musical themes for major sporting events, composed songs individually and collaboratively for albums ranging from rock, pop and jazz to spoken word. He contributed soundtracks to multiple TV shows and documentaries. Most recently as the first artist to collaborate with Bell Labs since the 1960’s as part of Experiments in Arts and Technology (E.A.T.), Harari authored and produced “The Shannon Effect”, a celebration of Claude E Shannon, the father of Information Theory. Harari formalized his teaching role in the Fall 2005 as an Industry Associate Professor for the Music and Technology Department at Stevens Institute of Technology. 
Taking the decades of experience creating and mixing sound in a variety of venues, and combining that with an appreciation of how the audience reacts in any particular venue, has led to the exploration of how sound inherently causes physiological reactions in our bodies.

Patricia Holahan

Associate Professor W.J. Howe School of Technology Management

Patricia Holahan is an Associate Professor of Management in the Howe School of Technology Management, where she teaches graduate courses in the management of technology, and organizational design and theory. Dr. Holahan’s research interests focus on implementing and diffusing technological innovations, and managing product development teams. Her work has been work published in several leading academic journals including, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, and Journal of Product Innovation Management. She has served as a consultant to Fortune 500 companies, and directed evaluation and research activities for several major NSF funded demonstration projects. She is a past recipient of the Alexander Crombie Humphreys Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor Award. Dr. Holahan is a graduate of the University of Maryland and obtained her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Purdue University’s Krannert Graduate School of Management.

Rainer Martini

Optical Scientist

Rainer Martini is an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at Stevens and heads a newly formed laboratory studying ultrafast laser spectroscopy and high-speed communication. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the RWTH in Aachen Germany.

Keith Sheppard

Professor of CEMS/Associate Dean of SES-Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Dr. Keith G. Sheppard is Associate Dean in the Charles V. Schaefer School of Engineering & Science and a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Material Science. His research interests have included electrochemical aspects of materials synthesis and environmental degradation of materials. His education in the U.K. included B.Sc. (University of Leeds) and Ph.D. (University of Birmingham) degrees in Metallurgy and a Diploma in Industrial Administration (Aston University). He was the recipient of the Henry Morton Distinguished Teaching Professor Award in 2009. As Associate Dean, Prof. Sheppard has had a leading role in the development of the undergraduate engineering curriculum at Stevens, including innovations in design education and initiatives to include entrepreneurship, sustainability and global competency for undergraduate students. He also leads the teaching professional development program. Sheppard is the Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded PISA2 Math & Science Partnership program of CIESE to enhance physical science content knowledge of K-12 teachers.