UMass Boston News

UMass Boston and Wipro Announce Fellowships to Enhance Science Education

Office of the Vice Provost for Research & Dean of Graduate Studies | June 26, 2013
Picture of Arthur Eisenkraft

Harry Brett

UMass Boston Distinguished Professor of Science Education and Director of COSMIC Arthur Eisenkraft


In the face of increasing global competition, there is a growing need for quality science and math education. In support of that mission, the University of Massachusetts Boston Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC) has, along with experienced science teachers in greater Boston schools, begun implementing a five-year project for fostering teaching and leadership skills.

On May 21, nineteen teachers from five greater Boston school districts (Boston, Braintree, Cambridge, Malden, Pembroke) were inaugurated as Wipro Science Education Fellows. The Fellowship Program is supported by a $3.3 million grant from Wipro (NYSE, WIT), an India-based IT corporation.

UMass Boston Distinguished Professor of Science Education and Director of COSMIC Arthur Eisenkraft says, “The fellows will engage in a two-year intensive professional development program. The program goals are to build and support a corps of teacher leaders, institute a culture of continuous improvement of instruction, and increase student achievement by making connections between subjects, between grades, and between districts.”

The fellows are from elementary, middle, and high schools, and they teach biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science. They will participate in a comprehensive set of activities designed to improve their science knowledge and the knowledge of how to best teach science.

“The districts were chosen on the strength of their applications, enthusiasm, and the diversity of their student populations,” says Allison Scheff, associate director of COSMIC. “The project is being replicated at Montclair State University. Both UMass Boston and Montclair State will collaborate throughout the life of the initiative. And teachers from both programs will gather annually for an end-of-year conference.”

According to Eisenkraft, by the end of the two-year program fellows will lead professional workshops for science teachers in their districts. “The Wipro Science Education Fellowship is both recognition of excellent work, as well as commitment to excellence in science education.”

The list of participating school districts and Wipro Fellows appears below. For additional information, contact Allison Scheff at allison.scheff@umb.edu.

Boston:  Superintendent Carol R. Johnson; District Science Coordinator Pam Pelletier; Fellows George Papayannis (Fenway High School); Josephine Tavares (Mason Pilot School); Kathleen Carroll (Harbor Pilot School); Robert Cho (James P. Timilty Middle School); Sarah Colella (George Conley Elementary School); and Victor Pereira (Excel High School).

Braintree:  Superintendent Peter Kurzberg; District Science Coordinator Dianne Rees; Fellows Adam Smith (Braintree High School); Jessica Passeggio (Braintree High School); and Meaghan Germain (Braintree High School).

Cambridge:  Superintendent Jeffrey Young; District Science Coordinator Lisa Scolaro; Fellows Catherine Murphy (Kennedy Longfellow School); Desiree Phillips (Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School); Karma Paoletti (Maria Baldwin School); and Michelle Frazier (Maria Baldwin School).

Malden:  Superintendent David DeRuosi; District Science Coordinator Diane Perito; Fellows Kathleen Sullivan (Salemwood School); Katrina Bryant (Linden STEAM Academy); and Laura Degelmann (Linden STEAM Academy.

Pembroke:  Superintendent Frank Hackett; District Science Coordinator Joan LaCroix; Fellows Emily French (Pembroke High School); and Lauren Devane (Hobomock Elementary School). 

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