Mary Slowinski is an educator/consultant specializing in collaborative learning research and design. She received her M.Ed. in Learning Science from the University of Washington and is currently completing her PhD with a dissertation on communities of practice for educators. A co-PI on a National Science Foundation research grant focused on industry/education partnerships, she has worked extensively with the NSF's Advanced Technological Education program in a variety of consulting capacities including serving as learning coordinator for two international faculty learning projects, collaborating as an innovation coach to assist with scaling up innovations in technical education, developing curricular and learning materials based on learning science, and facilitating groups in a variety of settings. In addition, Mary is tenured faculty at Bellevue College where she chairs the Digital Media Arts program.
Dr. Walz completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in Environmental Chemistry and Technology, while conducting electrochemical research on lithium-ion batteries with Argonne National Laboratory and Rayovac. His studies also included research with the University of Rochester Center for Photo-Induced Charge Transfer.
Since 2003, Dr. Walz has taught chemistry and engineering at Madison Area Technical College, and he is also an adjunct professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. He has served as teacher for the UW Delta Center for Integrating Research, Teaching and Learning, and has mentored several graduate students who completed teaching internships at the technical college while creating new instructional materials for renewable energy and chemical education. Dr. Walz is also an instructor with the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education and the K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP), delivering professional development courses in energy science for K-12 school teachers.
Since 2005, Dr. Walz has been director of the Consortium for Education in Renewable Energy Technology (CERET). With funding from the National Science Foundation, CERET pioneered some of the first online renewable energy courses available in the United States. Through a series of Train the Trainer Academies, CERET has provided professional development for over 300 high school and community college instructors in photovoltaics and biofuel technology. These instructors have used CERET content and pedagogy to deliver their own renewable energy programs in over 40 U.S. States and Territories.
Over the past eight years, Dr. Walz has led multiple groups of study abroad students engaged in renewable energy service learning projects in Central America. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education and Department of State, Dr. Walz created the Renewable Energy for International Development class that provided the backbone for the formation of the Community Colleges for International Development Network (CCSDN). Instructors from twenty-four U.S. colleges have participated in study abroad immersion experiences led by Dr. Walz, and these activities have resulted in numerous new study abroad programs at two-year campuses across the United States. As a result of this effort, CCSDN recently received the prestigious Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education.
Dr. Walz is an alumnus of the Department of Energy Academies Creating Teacher Scientists (DOE ACTS) Program, and he spent three summers as a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducting research in renewable fuels and electrochemical materials. He continues his work with the NREL outreach office, serving as an instructor for the Summer Renewable Energy Institute for middle and high school teachers. Dr. Walz has been recognized as Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and as the Energy Educator of the Year by the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education.
Kathleen Alfano has a Ph.D. from UCLA in Higher Education with a cognate in administration and evaluation. Her B.S. is in chemistry and she worked as an analytical chemist in industry before pursuing a career in education. She served as founder and Director of the California Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technological Education (CREATE) based at College of the Canyons from 1996 to 2016. Retired from College of the Canyons in November 2016, she is an Emeritus Professor and also former Dean of Professional Programs and Academic Computing. She currently acts as co-PI for the CREATE NSF ATE Renewable Energy Support Center and as PI of a NSF ATE targeted research project. Dr. Alfano served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation and co-lead of the ATE program in 2007-2008. Dr Alfano also was the only community college representative on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries which released their report in March 2013.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper? Visit the ASEE document repository at peer.asee.org for more tools and easy citations.