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AMSER Advisory Board

AMSER was privileged to have the following people as members of its Advisory Board.

Norma Kent is Vice President of Communications at AACC, where she is responsible for the association's news media relations, publications, marketing, corporate program and endowment program. She works regularly with national news outlets - including CNN, PBS (NewsHour with Jim Lehrer), New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the Associated Press and education trade publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. She routinely provides background information for press coverage about community colleges to both national and regional news media. She interacts regularly via monthly meetings with peers in the six largest higher education associations, and is the staff liaison for the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR), an AACC affiliated council whose members are public information officers in community colleges throughout the nation. In addition to her over 10 years of service to AACC, Norma was an executive and principal in marketing agencies in San Diego (CA) and Jacksonville (FL). She also worked as a development office manager for the San Diego Zoo, where she supervised priority fund-raising campaigns. Immediately prior to joining AACC, she was media relations manager for the seven-college, Dallas County Community College District, Texas' largest undergraduate institution.

Richard F. Alvidrez is currently Manager of Community College Initiatives within the Education Office at the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. His responsibilities include developing and administering teacher training programs, educator conferences, education materials, and providing education support to JPL's activities such as National Engineers Week, the Education Gateway for Education and Outreach programs, and other programs in JPL's interest. In 1997, he helped develop a program for 30 community colleges, the JPL Undergraduate Scholars (JPLUS) Program, the largest such program among NASA field Centers. He is equally experienced in both K-12 and higher education programs, and has facilitated research fellowships and internships for community college students with JPL or Caltech researchers. Richard entered the engineering profession immediately after a tour of duty with the US Air Force, where he received his first exposure to engineering. He attended Northrop University, and later graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara. He later added a BA degree in mathematics from California State University, Los Angeles, as his interest changed from engineering to teaching. He recently completed an MS degree in Education with an emphasis on Instructional Technology, from the University of Southern California. Richard has been involved in education for the past 32 years, including teaching mathematics at the middle school, high school, community college, and university levels. For twelve years prior to his current position at JPL, he was Director of the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program at California State University, Los Angeles, where he was responsible for encouraging students from historically underrepresented groups to enter math- and science-related fields of study, such as engineering. Richard is a member of the Executive Steering Committee of the Charter College of Education at California State University, Los Angeles. He remains active in teaching mathematics as an Adjunct Faculty member at Pasadena City College. He has designed and developed assessment tools and taxonomies, and designed a Quality Assurance Rubric for Education for NASA products and programs. He was awarded the first Wilbur H. Somerton award for his work with the MESA program in 1989, and the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award for Precollege Education in 1991. He is a Fellow of the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering, awarded in 1996. Richard Alvidrez is a third-generation Californian and a native of Los Angeles, born in a low-income housing project. He attended Belmont High School in Los Angeles. He has three adult children.

Wade Ellis is currently the department Chair of Mathematics at West Valley Community College. He has been an instructor there for 27 years. He currently teaches Pre-Calculus Algebra and Trigonometry, Intermediate Algebra, Intermediate Algebra Review and Math 10, which is a statistics course. He received his B.A. in Mathematics from Oberlin College and his M.S. from Ohio State University. In addition to instructing at West Valley Community College he has also been a visiting research professor at University of California-Santa Barbara, a visiting professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, as well as a guest lecturer at Ohio State University.

Dr. David Stanislawski is currently a professor of Chemistry, specializing in Physical Organic Chemistry, at Chattanooga State Technical Community College where he has been since 1994. He also is the State Director of the Tennessee Science Olympiad. The Science Olympiad is an international nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. Events in the Science Olympiad have been designed to recognize the wide variety of skills that students possess. While some events require knowledge of scientific facts and concepts, others rely on science processes, skills or applications. Dr. Stanislawski received his H.B.A. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his PhD at Xavier University.

Dr. Jeanette Mowery joined the faculty of the MATC Biotechnology Program in 1994 and is currently serving as program director. Prior work experience included a research background in cell biology (cell adhesion molecules) and industrial experience in protein purification and product development at a start-up biotechnology company in San Antonio, Texas. Current professional interests include providing biotechnology workforce education for students with Bachelors degrees in the life sciences, using computer technology to support hands-on instruction in biotechnology, and incorporating bioinformatics and genomics/proteomics into biotechnology program courses.

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