ARLINGTON, Va.—June 12, 2020—On June 1, Dr. Elizabeth “Beth” Allan, a professor of biology and coordinator of the secondary science education program at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma, became the 2020-21 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.
“It’s an honor to be able to serve this year as the president of the National Science Teaching Association,” said Allan. “To be able to be part of an organization that provides resources, support, and advocacy for science teaching is a privilege and I look forward to working together to support teachers so that all students have access to high quality science instruction.”
Allan began her professional career as a classroom teacher in the Moore Public Schools district in Oklahoma. After 16 years of teaching science in Oklahoma, California, and North Carolina, Allan accepted a position as an educational consultant at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). In 2001, Allan left NCDPI and began working as the director of the Center for Math/Science Education at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. In 2005, Allan moved back to Oklahoma to join the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she has remained for the last 14 years. Allan has also served as president (2012–2013) and district director (2005–2008) of the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA), president (2012–2013) and college level representative (2006–2009) of the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association. She is also currently the director of the UCO Central Oklahoma Regional Science and Engineering Fair and state tournament director of the Oklahoma Science Olympiad.
“NSTA is extraordinarily fortunate to have a leader of Beth’s caliber as President of NSTA,” said Moira Fathy Baker, NSTA Interim Executive Director. “She is a thoughtful leader with great ideas that will continue to advance the mission of the association.”
An NSTA member since 2005, Allan has contributed extensively to the association. She has served as a division director (college division) on NSTA's board of directors; worked on several committees, panels, and tasks forces; is an NSTA Press author, was the post-secondary strand leader for the 2019 STEM Forum & Expo; served as a national judge for the Disney Planet Challenge; and has presented several sessions at NSTA national and area conferences.
Throughout her career, Allan has been honored for her contributions to science education. She most recently was named the Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year in 2018 (UCO chapter). Allan earned a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Oklahoma in 1983, received a master's from University of California, Riverside (UCR) in 1990, and earned her Ph.D. from UCR in 1997.
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teaching Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence in science teaching and learning, preschool through college. NSTA’s membership includes approximately 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business representatives, and others involved in science education.
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