Science education candidates visit Kent State


Candidate for the science education position, Elizabeth de los Santos, presents a colloquium to Sonya Williams, left, and Denise Morgan on Next Generation Science Standards on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.

Hannah Wagner

Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services interviewed the final three candidates this week to fill the science education position.

Of the candidates, comprised of Shannon Navy, Elizabeth De los Santos and Jared Allen, the individual hired will begin in August.

Lisa Borgerding, science education committee chair, said this tenure-track faculty position will teach science education courses, write science education grants, work on professional development with schools and teachers and conduct science education research.

“Each candidate was here for two-and-a-half days,” Borgerding said. “They each did a research presentation, a teaching presentation and met with people around Kent — like the dean, graduate students and other faculty members.”

In the four years Borgerding has served as the chair of the science education search committee, she said this is the most talented pool of candidates she has seen. The committee narrowed down more than 45 applicants to the top three, Borgerding said after getting approval from the director and dean of EHHS.

“Every time we hire somebody, they bring their experience and their passion in their area of interest,” Borgerding said. “It provides new opportunities for our graduate and undergraduate students to get involved in new projects.”

The search committee’s main focus now is to give the director and dean of EHHS their feedback on each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their recommendation for who is best fit for the position, Borgerding said.

Daniel Nilsson, director of Academic Diversity Outreach and Development, said he tries to go to as many candidate interviews as possible to show his support for the college.

“These are the people that are going to be teaching the students that I work with,” he said.

Nilsson thinks the new science education faculty member should be someone who can stay updated with what is new and relevant in science.

“It’s one thing to teach science; it’s another thing to teach others how to teach it,” Nilsson said.

De los Santos, who is currently completing her doctorate in curriculum, instruction and teacher education at Michigan State University, spoke about how she would like to further her research in Next Generation Science Standards through her potential employment at Kent State.

“With Next Generation Science Standards, we are proposing that students not only learn content or the core ideas, but that they are also engaging in scientific and engineering practices,” she said. “They’re doing science in a meaningful way.”

The three other candidates prepared a science colloquium to present in front of the search committee, as well as faculty and students on a research topic of the candidate’s interest.

“I was excited to hear how they were doing research on not only the subject matter of science, but how to help others be good at it,” Nilsson said.

Borgerding said her goal is to fill the science education position within the next three to four weeks.

Hannah Wagner is the education, health and human services reporter. Contact her at [email protected].