Donna M. Cassidy-Hanley, PhD

Primary Institution:
Cornell University
Microbiology and Immunology
Senior Research Associate
Current SEPA Project

I have managed the ASSET educational outreach program for over 10 years. During that time, I directed the development of ASSET modules and materials, worked with staff members to ensure the scientific validity of all ASSET materials and to facilitate successful development of methodologies that insured successful classroom implementation of ASSET modules. I also acted as a liaison between the external evaluator and program personnel to insure an effective, timely evaluation at each stage of module development, and maintained open, effective communication among all members of the ASSET team. I am experienced in local and national teacher recruitment, including recruiting teachers from schools serving demographic groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, and have experience integrating teachers’ perspectives into the development of K-12 educational materials. I have organized and run local and distance teacher workshops, as well as co-curricular workshops involving both science and co-curricular approaches, and am proficient in providing long-term local and long-distance teacher support beyond the initial workshop experience. As part of my ASSET program activities, I have acquired extensive experience in working with an external evaluator to collect and evaluate the educational data necessary for effective evaluation of teacher and student outcomes following classroom use of ASSET materials, including the use of student pre- and post-testing, teacher surveys, and classroom visits to provide information for analysis and external evaluation of the ASSET program. I have also worked extensively with an external evaluator to determine the effectiveness of teacher workshops and have utilized formative evaluation results to improve both the ASSET modules and teacher workshops. I am also an active, experienced Tetrahymena researcher, well versed in all aspects of the use of Tetrahymena as a model research organism, and co-Director with Dr. Clark of the national Tetrahymena Stock Center. I believe that partnerships between research and education are vital to sustaining the future of science, and I consider the ASSET program a unique and important mechanism for increasing interest in STEM and STEM careers, especially among students traditionally underrepresented in STEM.

Associated SEPA Project(s)