ARLINGTON, Va.—June 22, 2022—On June 1, Dr. Elizabeth Mulkerrin, Vice President of the Omaha Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska, became the 2022–2023 President of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.
At the Omaha Zoo and Aquarium, Mulkerrin creates and designs zoo exhibit educational materials and interpretative content, works to provide positive visitor experiences, partners with local leaders to engage the community, develops unique partnerships to drive the zoo’s mission, raises funds through donors and corporate relations, and has crafted a five-year strategic plan for the zoo. In 2020, during the pandemic, she created and implemented innovative events and programs that generated revenue during the zoo’s closure from March to August 2020.
A committed leader in science and STEM education, Mulkerrin served on the executive board and as president of the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA). She was a division director for informal science for both the NSTA and NSELA Board of Directors. She also completed the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Executive Leadership Development Certificate Program in 2019. Mulkerrin is active with a number of national science and informal education associations, including the AZA, the National Science Olympiad, and the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC).
“My whole career has been focused on advocating for science education. I am excited to have this opportunity to work with NSTA in advocating and communicating the importance of science in our country. It is the perfect time for all science educators to use their voice to make science education a priority in all states,” said Mulkerrin.
In Nebraska, Mulkerrin works with districts on curriculum development and strategic planning. She has served in leadership roles for the Nebraska Junior Academy of Science; the Nebraska State Science Olympiad Board; the Nebraska Next Generation Science Standards Review Committee; the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science; the Department of Education Math Science Partnership Board; and the Nebraska Building a Presence for Science/Science Matters Advisory Board. Mulkerrin has also published works on a myriad of topics, including STEM careers, job shadowing, professional learning, and collaborative initiatives between informal and formal education.
“Dr. Mulkerrin’s unique background, which spans both formal and informal science education, makes her the ideal advocate for NSTA’s members. Her visionary leadership will be invaluable as NSTA begins to realize its new strategic plan,” said Erika Shugart, Ph.D., executive director, NSTA.
The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high-quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators can grow professionally and excel in their careers. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field.
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