Noyce Faculty

Johnson_pictureHeather J. Johnson, Ph.D., PI, is an associate professor of the practice of science education. At Vanderbilt, Dr. Johnson designs and instructs the secondary science licensure coursework. Her research interests focus on supporting science teachers in centralizing student thinking in their practice, often through the use of video analysis.

teresaTeresa K. Dunleavy, Ph.D., Co-PI, is an assistant professor of the practice in mathematics teacher education. Her research interests focus on equitable teaching and learning practices. Specifically, Dr. Dunleavy’s focus is to support teachers to strive toward equitable discursive practices in the secondary mathematics classroom. Follow Teresa on Twitter @teresakd

thompson_thrustIsaac Thompson, Co-PI, is the executive director of the THRUST/GUSTO/PCSI Math & Science Enrichment programs at Fisk University. He has enthusiastically and constantly worked to bolster the pipeline to the STEM and Youth Development fields, as well as leadership/productive citizenry. He will help recruit STEM majors from Fisk University into the Noyce program and serve as a mentor for students who transition from Fisk to Vanderbilt.

Jan-23-2018-brownbkg-DAW3-web-size-no-jacketDavid Weintraub, Ph.D., Co-PI, is a Professor of Astronomy at Vanderbilt University within the Department of Physics and Astronomy. His research interests focus on star and planet formation. He is the Director of the Program in the Communication of Science and Technology and co-Director of the Program in Scientific Computing.  He is the author of Is Pluto a Planet?(2006), How Old is the Universe? (2011), and Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal With It? (2014). As Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dr. Weintraub is instrumental in recruiting STEM undergraduate and graduate students, and planning and implementing the physics and astronomy pedagogical seminars.

Marcelo_Disconzi_headshotMarcelo Disconzi, Ph.D., Co-PI, is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Vanderbilt University. Relevant to this project are his experiences with interdisciplinary research, his position on the teaching committee at the Mathematics department, and his on-going collaboration with Fisk University faculty intended to increase opportunities for STEM majors from a minority background. He will be the liaison between the School of Education and the Mathematics Department at Vanderbilt University and will serve on the STEM Candidates Planning and Recruitment Group to assist with the recruitment of mathematics majors into secondary education.

jennifer-ufnarJennifer Ufnar, Ph. D., is the current director of the Scientist in the Classroom Partnership Program at Vanderbilt University within the Department of Teaching and Learning. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology, and has recently joined the Department of Teaching and Learning from a faculty position at Southern Vermont College. Dr. Ufnar has over a decade of experience in teaching at the K-16 level and implementing and directing programs in the science education arena. Dr. Ufnar is a member of the Peabody-MNPS Steering Committee for the program, and recruits and mentors graduate students in the program.

JBerryJennifer Berry, Ph. D., is the is the Director of STEAM and Science for Metro Nashville Public Schools. As a former science teacher and administrator, Dr. Berry has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for her work supporting science and STEM instruction.


Taylor MacTaylor McMahan is the current Graduate Assistant for the Noyce scholars program. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human and Organizational Development in 2017. Since graduating, she has taught high school mathematics in New Orleans, LA. Realizing how her interest in organizational development intersected with her passion of exploring diversity, equity, and inclusion in urban education led her back to Vanderbilt to the Master’s in Leadership and Organizational Development program. As a STEM educator herself, she is enthusiastic about being a part of the Noyce team and helping to facilitate the scholars’ success!