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Retiring President



Dr. Julie A. Luft

Distinguished Research Professor & Athletic Association Professor of Science and Mathematics Education

University of Georgia


Dr. Julie A. Luft is the retiring president of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). She is currently a Distinguished Research Professor and Athletic Association Professor of Mathematics and Science Education in the Mary Frances Early College of Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. She joined the University of Georgia faculty in 2012.

Luft comes from a family of educators. Her father was a science and mathematics teacher, and later ran a cooperative agency that provided services and materials to rural schools in the West. Her mother was a special education teacher with expertise in science. She taught middle school and high school science in the West. Two other family members are currently science teachers.

As an academic, Luft is focused on the connection of research and practice. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses focused on teaching and learning science. Her research explores novel professional learning environments and early career science teachers. Over the last few years, she has focused on understanding how out-of-field teaching constrains the knowledge and practice of science teachers, how early career science teachers build their resilience and persistence, and what the role of science leaders is in supporting newly hired science teachers. Much of her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

As an active scholar, Luft has published more than 200 research articles, book chapters, editorials, and books for teachers, teacher educators, and educational researchers. She has written articles for Science Scope and The Science Teacher. A research highlight includes co-editing the Handbook of Research on Science Teacher Education (2022).

She has been honored with several research, teaching, and service awards, including the National Association for Research in Science Teaching’s (NARST) highest honor: the Distinguished Contribution to Research Award. She is a fellow of NSTA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Educational Research Association, and she is an Owens Institute for Behavioral Research Distinguished Scholar. She was a Fulbright Research Specialist to Vietnam.

As an engaged member of the science education community, Luft has served as a board member and president of the Association for Science Teacher Education, as Research Division Director and a scholar in residence at NSTA, as NSTA’s representative to the NARST board, and as associate editor for various journals. In her work as an advocate for graduate students and early career faculty, she co-directs the NARST Early Career Institute, and has served as a mentor in several doctoral and early career institutes. She has served on many panels and advisory boards, including the Committee on Strengthening Science Education Through a Teacher Learning Continuum for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus report Science Teachers’ Learning: Enhancing Opportunities, Creating Supportive Contexts (2015).

Outside of work, her favorite time of the day is the early morning, when she enjoys a good cup of coffee and the sunrise. This is often followed by a run around a park, on a trail, or in town. When the workday ends, she enjoys walking her dogs and cooking meals with family and friends.


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