Candidates & Positions

Ballot

Candidates for ASTE President-Elect

John Pecore

ASTE has a rich history of supporting and developing science educators committed to preparing and developing science teachers. My acceptance of the nomination for your consideration as ASTE president is motivated by a desire to continue the great work of past presidents and executive board members.

As an active member of ASTE for the past 17 years, I have supported scholarship and collaboration through my attendance at every conference since 2006, served on the publications committee and editorial review board for JSTE, reviewed for and published in both JSTE and Science Scope, and served as president of SASTE. Recently, I was honored with the John Schrum Award for lifelong commitment to science education and participation and leadership with SASTE. I am currently serving as local program co-chair for the 2024 ASTE conference.

Beyond ASTE I have valuable leadership experiences as president of AATC and associate editor for the journal Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue. I have served on the board of several organizations and journals. Having received multiple NSF funded grants for researching innovative technologies for preparing science educators, I am interested in furthering collaborative research initiatives with ASTE members. Working with the executive board, my goal is to continue efforts for mentoring early career science educators and supporting the graduate student forum.

Having been promoted to professor several years ago, I find it time to give back to ASTE; an organization that has given so much to so many professionally. It would be my honor to serve as your president.

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David Sparks

I welcome the opportunity to serve as President-Elect for the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE). After working as a K-12 teacher for 21 years, I began my career in higher education in 2013 at the University of Texas at Arlington and presented at my first ASTE Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Since then, I have participated in numerous ASTE international conferences, been active in Southwest ASTE, served on the ASTE Equity, Professional Development, and Publications committees, and as a conference thread coordinator, presider, and reviewer. My work with the ASTE Professional Development committee included helping to choose high quality workshops for the yearly conferences. I also contributed to the development of ASTE’s newest publication, Innovations in Science Teacher Education, in my duties on the Publications Committee. Since 2018, I have served on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Science Teacher Education (JSTE). My career as an educator has always been about innovation, quality, and program improvement. I have served as a secondary education program coordinator, member of equity and diversity committees at two universities, and on the board of directors for the UTeach STEM Educators Association (USEA). I am currently associate professor at the University of Texas Permian Basin and Co-Director for the UTeach Permian Basin program. I understand the importance of the President-Elect in setting the direction and focus of the organization, and I am up for the challenge. Thank you for this opportunity, and if elected I will serve diligently, faithfully, and without hesitation.

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Candidates for Board Member at Large

Ingrid Carter
Karl Jung
Amanda Townley
Stephen Thompson

Ingrid Carter

I am pleased to be considered to serve as a Board Member at Large for the Association of Science Teacher Education (ASTE)! I am a Professor in the Department of Elementary Education and Literacy at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a diverse student body including many first-generation college students and veterans. I have been a member of ASTE since 2010 and have demonstrated a record of scholarship and consistent service within the organization. I have served on the Elections Committee (2020 – 2022), Equity Committee (2019 – 2022, 2014 – 2017), and Oversight Committee (2016 – 2019) and as a STEM Thread Co-Coordinator (2021) and an Equity and Diversity Thread Co-Coordinator (2020, 2019, 2017-2015, 2013). I have reviewed for ASTE conferences and served on the Editorial Review Board for Innovations in Science Teacher Education (2022) and the Journal of Science Teacher Education (2014).

If elected as an ASTE Board Member at Large, I commit to collaboration and innovation and will place diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice at the center of my role. I commit to communicating promptly and professionally, being actively engaged, and continuing to grow as a representative of ASTE membership as the Board supports innovations in policy, practice, and scholarship. Serving on the Board would be an honor and privilege. It is a post into which I will delve deeply and offer my active attention. I look forward to the possibility of further serving this organization from which I have learned so much.

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Karl Jung

I am honored to be on the ballot and considered for a board member at large position for ASTE. From the first time I attended ASTE as a graduate student, I have found my academic and scholarly home at ASTE in my colleagues who care deeply about preparing high-quality science teachers. As such I have sought out many ways to get involved with the organization and have served in numerous roles to support the growth and mission of the organization, serving as graduate forum president, editorial review board member, director-elect of the North Central region, committee member, thread coordinator, and conference proposal reviewer, presider, and volunteer. My goal in joining the board of directors is to continue this service by providing leadership within the organization to ensure that there is clear communication across the members, support the work of committees by chairing/co-chairing them, and by participating in board member business to ensure that the organization is moving forward in a way that increases member participation and the organizations advocacy for high-quality science teacher education. If elected to the board, I will continue to push the organization to consider issues of equity and inclusion within the organization. ASTE must be an organization that continues to strive for accessibility, community, and equity as we work to shape the future of science teacher education, and I very much want to be a part of keeping ASTE moving in that direction by serving in this capacity.

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Amanda Townley

Over a decade of membership and involvement in the Association for Science Teacher Education, I worked alongside a dynamic, diverse, and growing number of mentors, colleagues, and friends to support and promote science education globally. My voice advocating for science literacy for all and increasing representation in science teacher education is largely impacted by ASTE through engaging with and learning from remarkable people, attending forums, and volunteering for service across the organization.

If elected a member of the Board of Directors, I plan to advocate for my colleagues and the science teachers we develop, bolstering support and opportunities for grad students and junior faculty, increasing inclusivity and diversity across demographics, and combatting science denialism and anti-science efforts. During the three-year term, I will actively engage in all meetings and push for greater representation of needs and perspectives relative to changes and decision-making for the growth and sustainment of our association. I will advocate for growing diversity in perspective and membership as we discuss appointments and opportunities for leadership, ensuring member voices are heard and shared formally and informally. I will continue to serve as a mentor and amplifier in support of potential and new members, working with others to create opportunities for engagement and encourage discussions that will keep ASTE moving forward and growing in strength and commitment to the cause of science teacher education. Furthermore, I will accept the responsibilities of the committees I may chair with conviction, focusing on the changing needs of 21st-century science teacher education.

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Stephen Thompson

I am seeking election as a Board Member at Large because I would like to continue to serve ASTE. The organization’s focus on policies and practices that promote equity in science education and related outcomes align well with my professional efforts. The ASTE community has also supported my growth as a science teacher educator since I was a doctoral student. I became a member of ASTE in 2002 and began presenting at ASTE conferences the same year. Since then, I have consistently volunteered as a conference proposal reviewer and session presider. I have also served on the ASTE Awards Committee (2012-2014), the Professional Development Committee (2015-2018), provided leadership as a Conference Proposal Review Strand Coordinator (Student Learning [2020-2023] and Science Teacher Professional Development-Elementary [2023-2025]). I provided additional leadership service via my efforts on the ASTE 2022 Conference Planning Committee and the 2008 Southeast ASTE Conference Planning Committee. My professional history also reveals consistent service to ASTE journals, I have been on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Science Teacher Education (JSTE) since 2015. In addition, my publication history demonstrates dedication to sharing educational research with practitioners, including two articles in JSTE, one article in Science and Children, three articles in Science Scope, and two articles in the Journal of College Science Teaching. As a Board Member, I would enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to promote communication between the Board of Directors and the ASTE membership and will commit wholeheartedly to the related service commitments.

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Candidates for Elections Committee

Jonah Firestone

I wish to work to provide leadership and support for professionals involved in the education and development of teachers of science from preK to graduate school. To do so ASTE must continue its mission to contribute to a more just and equitable outcome for teachers of science. This has become paramount as anti-science and anti-equity movements gain traction in statehouses and school board across the US and abroad. To that end, while ASTE promotes scholarship, collaboration, and innovation in science teacher education, I feel that I can do more to help contribute to the support of science education and science teachers regionally, nationally, and internationally. I also believe that ASTE is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between student, teacher, and researcher. This is already being done through partnerships such as the NSTA/ASTE committee on which I serve, but more can be accomplished with outreach across organizations, states, districts, and schools. I feel that ASTE can act as an advocate for current issues facing science teachers and science learners by leveraging its position as a fosterer of science educators and supporter of fundamental, practical, research in science education across all ages.

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Yohanis De La Fuenta

I am seeking election to the Elections Committee because as an active member of the ASTE community, I want to continue serving our members. Since 2015 when I became a member, my interest in providing leadership and support to science educators has been supported by learning from serving the community in various ways. I have volunteered as a conference proposal reviewer, session presider, thread coordinator, and to the Conference Planning Committee in organizing the electronic component of the conference since 2021. I was appointed to the Professional Development Committee and served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Innovations journal (2020-2026). This work allowed me to promote innovative teaching and scholarship among our members through selecting high impact research to present in the conference and publications.

Committing to work for the election committee will expand my contribution to the ASTE community. I bring strengths such as an impartial personality, attention to details, and adeptness to promote diversity, including diversity of ideas. I always look for opportunities to turn my passion for service into efforts that solve problems and convert educators into advocates for science education. I also actively seek ways to contribute to science teacher education at all levels. Therefore, if elected, I will commit with enthusiasm to advance the mission of ASTE by collaborating with other members to maintain a streamlined and ethical process in the completion of the duties of the elections committee.

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Natalie King

In alignment with ASTE’s mission “to promote scholarship, collaboration, and innovation in science teacher education”, I hope to serve on the Elections Committee to develop a slate of nominees for elected positions that represent the diversity of this organization. I will work with the committee to ensure that the process remains equitable and transparent while also encouraging participation from international members and groups who have traditionally been underrepresented. I became a member of ASTE as a graduate student and have grown as a science educator and scholar through my involvement in the regional meetings, national conferences, and service to the ASTE publications. I am an associate editor for the Journal of Science Teacher Education (JSTE), reviewer for the Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education in Science Education (CITE) and served a two-year term on the editorial review board for Innovations in Science Teacher Education (ISTE). I had the privilege of being a member of the ASTE Conference Planning Committee for the 2019 annual meeting in Savannah, GA where I organized and moderated a session reexamining bridges in today’s climate of diversity. Most recently, I was a panelist for ASTE’s Call to Action and Reflection Retreat to raise consciousness about justice equity, diversity, and inclusion in science teacher education. I look forward to continuing my service with the Elections Committee and am ready to fulfill the roles and responsibilities required to build this organization.

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Jamie Mikeska

I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for ASTE’s Elections Committee. In 2009, I began attending and presenting at ASTE’s annual conference as a graduate student and have continued my participation in this organization for the last 14 years. In addition to preparing and presenting at the annual conference, I have also served as a conference proposal reviewer several times and as an editorial board member for the Innovations journal for three years. In 2021, I began serving on ASTE’s Publications Committee; I have reviewed several rounds of applications and provided recommendations for editorial board members for multiple journals (JSTE, CITE, and Innovations). In 2022, I accepted a position on an ASTE committee to support revisions to the Professional Knowledge Standards for Science Teacher Educators position statement. In addition, I have authored publications in JSTE, CITE, and Innovations and am currently serving as an editorial board member for JSTE. If I am selected to serve as a member of ASTE’s Elections Committee for a two-year term, I agree to attend the committee’s annual meeting, apply the rubric criteria consistently to review and rank nominees, and actively participate in collaborative meetings to determine which nominees to recommend to the board. In this role, my goal will be to advocate for and encourage a diverse group of members who have varied perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences to be nominated and apply for the various organizational positions; ideally the group of nominees would represent a range of stakeholders across the ASTE membership.

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Theresa Shume

I appreciate being nominated for the ASTE Elections Committee, and will enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to undertake this committee’s important work if elected. I received my 25-year membership pin in 2023, and have served as proposal reviewer, session presenter, session presider, and workshop facilitator. I was part of the North-Central team that organized the 2011 conference in Minneapolis, serving on sub-committees for registration and publicity. In recent years, my ASTE service has focused on equity and inclusion: Co-chair of the Inclusive Science Education Forum, and Panel Member for Revision of ASTE’s Position Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice in Science Teacher Education. Additionally, I am currently serving in a newly created role, Chair of the Forum Chairs.

The Elections Committee is tasked with developing a slate of nominees for all elected positions, which is paramount to our organization’s effectiveness and vitality. It follows that Elections Committee members must approach their duties with diligence and a complete understanding of their responsibilities delineated in the ASTE Operating Procedures; I am prepared to do so. An important function of the Elections Committee is to solicit nominations that reflect a diverse array of interests, talents, and experiences in science teacher education. Strong organizational leadership depends on nominations of open-minded members from a variety of backgrounds, willing to work collaboratively and engage in active listening and respectful communication. If elected, I will strive to fulfill these duties to the best of my ability.

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Jesse Wilcox

My name is Jesse Wilcox and I am an assistant professor in Biology and Science Education at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I am honored and excited to be considered for the ASTE Elections Committee position because this organization has meant I great deal to me. I have met wonderful colleagues and have been supported and encouraged by the members of ASTE since I joined in 2009. If elected to the committee, I would focus on three key areas. First, I would strongly support ASTE’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within the organization and science education overall. My efforts would be to recruit a diverse group of candidates for various ASTE positions. I believe our continued efforts to make ASTE welcoming for everyone is an essential part of our success as an organization. Second, I would support ASTE’s recruitment efforts to ensure our organization is represented broadly by professionals involved in the education of teachers of science. I believe my experiences at a regional comprehensive university and at a small, liberal arts institution could be an asset as we look to recruit new members to ASTE positions from a variety of institutions. Third, I would support ASTE’s ongoing efforts to enhance the science education of elementary children and elementary education. Therefore, I would strive to ensure we have representation from our elementary colleagues throughout ASTE. In closing, I would be honored to serve on the ASTE elections committee.

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