New voices, perspectives join Iowa’s STEM crusade

Newest STEM Council Members
Kemin Industries President and CEO Dr. Chris Nelson, co-chair of the STEM Council, (second from left) welcomed new STEM Council members present at September’s Council meeting, including (from left to right) Sue Mattison, David Van Horn and Kasey McCurdy.

STEM Council member turnover is a bittersweet necessity as Iowa’s nationally-acclaimed statewide STEM program evolves in a cycle of continuous improvement. Exiting members leave indelible records of contribution on the trajectory of Iowa STEM, while entering members bring new perspectives and prized organizations to the table.

Introducing our new members:

J. Bruce Harreld, President, The University of Iowa

“Being able to gather data, form hypotheses, test alternatives and make informed decisions rest at the core of our society. Therefore, the more educated our citizens are in STEM-related areas, the better citizens they will be.”

Sue Mattison, Provost, Drake University

“[I am passionate about] creating opportunities for all students to be successful in STEM majors and in their chosen careers, including first generation college students, women and students of color. [I look most forward to] working together with others who have a commitment to providing outstanding educational opportunities and seeing an impact for students and their communities.”

Kasey McCurdy, Vice President for Engineering, Bunchball

“When I think of my children’s education, I want them to have a forward-thinking mindset thanks to an agile education grounded in research and reflection instead of unchanging tradition and tired processes.  I’m passionate about STEM in Iowa because we have an amazing place to foster the creativity, curiosity and passion that many STEM-based careers and projects require.”

David Van Horn, Educational Administrator, Green Hills AEA

“It's all about our students and the need for them to be ready for an ever-changing work environment. Ensuring that our schools are prepared and able to deliver STEM related offerings will significantly increase our students' opportunities to prepare for their futures.”

Jim Wohlpart, Interim President, University of Northern Iowa

“It is an honor to serve on the Governor's STEM Advisory Council because we will be able to work collectively to forge an innovative future for the STEM disciplines. Our role in assisting the state to think forward about critical areas cannot be taken lightly.”

And, Mary Meisterling, Community Relations and Economic Development Manager, Alliant Energy

Welcoming back our re-appointed members:

  • Dr. P. Barry Butler, Executive Vice President and Provost, The University of Iowa
  • Kacia Cain, Science Educator, Central Campus, Des Moines Public Schools
  • John Carver, Superintendent, Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools
  • Dr. Robert Denson, President, Des Moines Area Community College
  • Mary 'Beth' Hochstedler, Education/Outreach and STEM Director, State Hygienic Lab, The University of Iowa
  • Jordan Lampe, Director of Communications and Policy, Dwolla
  • Valerie Newhouse, President, Iowa Lakes Community College
  • Dr. Mark Putnam, President, Central College
  • Dr. Jonathan Wickert, Senior Vice President and Provost, Iowa State University

And finally, honoring our former members:

  • Dr. Mark McDermott, Clinical Associate Professor, The University of Iowa
  • Macenzie Rubin, Research Scientist, Monsanto
  • Gail Wortmann, Instructor/Developer, Iowa Learning Online
  • Dr. Isa Zimmerman, Consultant, IKZ Advisors, Boston, MA