Initial Publication Date: January 16, 2020

NSEC 2020 National Conference

Conference Proceedings are Here »

Guidance for Presenters is here»

Submit your Poster Abstract by May 31»

June 9, 2020 Update

We learned about #ShutdownSTEM on June 6, and in an effort to be responsive to a need to address racism and anti-Blackness in our communities, we collectively agreed to make changes to our current NSEC 2020 program in order to move our efforts forward, while being supportive of diversity, equity and inclusion. Initially, we considered changing the date of the conference. However, being respectful of time constraints, and increased demands to make institutional changes as a result of COVID-19, we agreed to honor the time allocated.

On Day 1 of our conference (June 10), it will not be business as usual. We will explore how centers can act locally while thinking globally to address racism and anti-blackness. For our opening session, we have allocated time to engage in critical conversations and reflections. Particularly, we invited Shadra Smith, the Associate Dean of Students at The College of Wooster, to open our conference and facilitate conversations of means to address racism. We also asked speakers to amplify how they attend to diversity, equity, and inclusion within their presentations, and allocated time at the end of the meeting for further community reflection. Therefore, we sought to explicitly address the issue throughout the conference.

For the Concurrent Sessions and Showcases, we have invited the community to share how diversity, equity, and inclusion is embedded in their work and how we might further advance these goals. We appreciate the positive responses received and for the spirit of comradery to make these modifications to their presentations.

The plenary sessions are designed to give us tools that can be used to help us serve as change agents in our communities. Additionally, we encourage everyone during the breakout discussions to consider what leadership moves/actions we can take to impact policies, practices, and cultures to end oppressive practices, racism being one of the most pernicious that is embedded in our culture.

With full and transparent humility, we know that this is not enough, but we have tried to be thoughtful and supportive of the calls to action in the #ShutdownSTEM movement.

We are educators. Let's educate ourselves and our communities. We are change agents on our campuses. Let's use our voice, our organizing ability, and our bridge building to help our communities end systemic oppression and racism. Let's honor the spirit and intention of the #ShutdownSTEM movement by actively and intentionally using our collective voices to make change. Let's do this together.

June 7 2020 Update

In February, we decided to transition the NSEC meeting from an in-person to virtual meeting due to COVID-19. At that time, we decided not to cancel the meeting because it is important to share and highlight the work that you do to advance STEM education. COVID-19 is only one of the pandemics that we face. Racism is another pandemic that impacts our students, staff, faculty, families – our whole community.

Recently we were notified that June 10 will be used by the #ShutdownSTEM movement, a call from academic activists to give Black academics a day of rest from carrying the load of educating their community about the ways we can end racism. #ShutdownSTEM is calling on the rest of the community to not do business as usual on June 10 but to use the day to learn about and reflect on racism and anti-Blackness in our communities and commit to actions we can all take to make our profession better.

The NSEC community is a community of campus leaders who strive on a daily basis to make their institutions better and improve the lives of students, faculty, and staff. We are advocates. We are change agents. NSEC supports the end of systemic oppression and racism, and we are committed to providing space and time at NSEC 2020 to address these issues. The STEM education reform community can learn from one another and engage the broader community on these issues. Centers can be leaders in advancing the critical work of diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campuses and in our communities.

Immediate request for the community:

  • If you are scheduled to speak on June 10, does the work that you are sharing advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)? If so, can you commit to highlighting and sharing that during your session and engaging in discussion with your colleagues about how to accelerate this work?
  • If your session does not have a DEI component, let us know. We may move your session to Day 2 (if needed to accommodate the rich discourse on DEI).
  • If you are scheduled to speak on June 11 on DEI, are you willing to switch to June 10 to center the conversations around DEI?
  • Please let us know if you intend to participate in local activist initiatives that will hinder your ability to attend the event.

Let us know your preference in the google form you received via email.

If possible, please let us know by 1:00 pm ET on Monday, June 8. We recognize the short deadline and ask for your understanding as we try to create the space and time for these critical conversations and actions.

For registrants, check your email for the Welcome page that has the most up-to-date information.


We invite you to the NSEC 2020 National Conference on June 10-11. For our eighth national conference, don't miss out on hearing from other STEM Education Centers making impressive strides on their campus. The theme for this year's conference is Facilitating Change: Transformative Education Practices and Assessment.

Due to the global constraints of COVID-19, NSEC 2020 will be a virtual conference. We are excited to explore new opportunities for STEM education center leaders to engage in productive dialogues, share promising practices and challenges, build community, and to reflect on ways to advance the field. Even in these challenging times, we seek to provide a convening space and community where you can access and share the skills and knowledge needed to be effective within your local communities. We believe that STEM education centers, Centers for Teaching and Learning, and STEM education programs can help the broader community engage productively in these new modes of conversation.

Show More

  • Start Time for NSEC National Conference 2020: 11:30 am ET - June 10, 2020.
  • End Time for NSEC National Conference 2020: 4:30 pm ET - June 11, 2020
  • Location: virtual conference [Details on joining us will be shared via registration.]
  • Audience: The conference is designed for representatives from campus STEM Education Centers, Centers for Teaching and Learning that have a STEM agenda, those who work closely with these centers, and/or representatives considering implementing a center. We welcome interested faculty, staff, administrators, and colleagues from disciplinary societies, associations, and national projects that want to learn about the newest innovations in improving undergraduate STEM education.
  • Purpose: The focus is specifically on centers engaged in improving undergraduate STEM education, including teacher preparation and broader impacts in STEM. It is opportunity for center staff to learn from one another.
  • Theme: Facilitating Change: Transformative Education Practices and Assessment

Speakers for NSEC 2020 National Conference

At NSEC 2020, we are excited to have the Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN) join us to share the Change Dashboard, a tool that they have developed to advance STEM education projects. In this presentation, participants will be introduced to the Dashboard and how it can enable change agents to organize and align information about their project goals with their change strategies, tactics, and project activities. Attendees will learn more about drivers for change, theories and frameworks of change and the logistics of managing change projects. The presentation will be led by Andrea L. Beach, Charles Henderson, and Kate White.

The Keynote Address will be given by Susan Elrod, Chancellor at Indiana University South Bend, who will share emerging work on building leadership capacity for systemic institutional change projects. A change leadership system model will be presented along with information and resources about what leaders at all levels can do to facilitate the success and sustainability of change initiatives on campuses. This interactive session will engage centers in highlighting the ways that they lead change and work together with other leaders in a systems model approach.

Our third and final plenary session will be led by Lee Zia, Deputy Division Director for Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Zia will present on NSF's midscale infrastructure program.

Conference Proceedings are Here »

Registration for NSEC 2020 National Conference

Registration is now open.

Registration is $50.00. If the registration fee poses a difficulty to you or your organization click here. We are offering scholarships for those in need.


NSEC 2020 Conference Planning Committee

  • Cynthia Ghent (co-chair), Towson University
  • Ken Griffith (co-chair), Texas Tech University
  • Ruthmae Sears (co-chair), University of South Florida
  • Adrienne Bentz, Texas A&M University
  • Theresa Hopkins, University of Tennessee
  • Laird Kramer, Florida International University
  • Donna Llewellyn, Boise State University
  • Timothy Scott, Texas A&M University
  • Gwen Shusterman, Portland State University
  • Alice Steimle, The University of Mississippi
  • Zipangani Vokhiwa, Mercer University
  • Kacy Redd, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
  • Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado at Boulder

For questions about the conference or working meeting, contact Kacy Redd at