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Alicia Reynolds:
ECSU Summer Intern
with Mathematics in Mind

Meet Alicia Reynolds, incoming sophomore at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) and summer intern at the UNH Joan and James Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education. Her interest in mathematics education made her a great match for this internship, funded by the NH Space Grant Consortium.

alicia reynolds

Something in Alicia has long been drawn to mathematics, from her early school years through high school advanced placement math classes, where she delighted in the extra challenge. Now, with one year of college behind her, she's sticking with her wish to someday share this love of mathematics with her own students.

Holding more than one summer opportunity, Alicia chose an internship at the UNH Leitzel Center, which includes a classroom experience with the KEEPERS (Kids Eager for Engineering Program with Elementary Research-based Science) program.


KEEPERS introduces early schoolers (grades 2-5) to engineering challenges, while at the same time introducing teachers and pre-service teachers to science and mathematics educational concepts and activities that can be implemented in their own classrooms. The weeklong half-day camp is held in a Kingsbury Hall engineering lab, taught by Matt Endrizzi, science teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas H.S., and Abby Hatfield, science teacher and science dept. head at Newmarket H.S., with guest faculty from UNH's College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

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 Leitzel Center Faculty & Staff

  Ruth Varner

Ruth K. Varner

Director, Associate Professor

Ruth Varner is an Assoc. Professor in the Earth Systems Research Center of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, and in the Dept. of Earth Sciences. She received a B.S. in Geology from Hartwick College in 1991, a M.S. in Hydrology (1993, UNH) and a Ph.D. in Geochemical Systems (2000, UNH).

Her UNH research began with developing a gas chromatography/cryo-focusing technique to quantify methyl bromide in ambient air samples. It led to the discovery of soil as a significant biological sink of atmospheric methyl bromide, and the discovery of freshwater wetlands as a source of atmospheric methyl bromide and methyl chloride.

Present work at UNH includes carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide exchange using autochamber technology in terrestrial ecosystems, with a focus on the measurement of trace gas emissions from agricultural and wetland ecosystems with funded projects from the USDA, USGS and NSF.

Ruth is also the Director of the Northern Ecosystems Research for Undergraduates program, an NSF funded REU site. She has taught Earth Sciences courses in: Watershed Hydrology, Techniques in Environmental Science, Aqueous Geochemistry and Chemical Fate and Transport.

  Erik Froburg

Lara Gengarelly

Extension Assoc. Professor/
Specialist, science Literacy

Lara Gengarelly is an State Specialist with UNH Cooperative Extension in Science Literacy. She is also an Affiliate Associate Professor with the Leitzel Center. Lara received a B.A. in Biology and Science Education from Hampshire College (1993) and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Biology from UNH (1999 & 2003). Following her graduate work, Lara was a faculty member in the UNH Education Department (2004-2014) where she taught undergraduate and graduate students, directed the internship field placements at UNHM, conducted science education research and program evaluation, designed curricular materials, and led professional development workshops for science teachers.

Lara joined the Leitzel Center as an affiliate UNH Cooperative Extension faculty member in August 2014. Her focus is to strengthen partnerships and collaborations among UNH faculty and staff who work on enhancing K-12 STEM education, secure grant funding to support statewide STEM education initiatives, coordinate and direct STEM programs for youth and educators, and carry out applied research in the field of science education.

Lara's current research investigates the underlying factors of professional development that can help educators create learning experiences that ultimately improve learners' science literacy and attitudes toward STEM disciplines. She is particularly interested in studying how to increase the integration of authentic scientific research practices in K-12 formal and informal settings.

  Stephen Hale

Stephen R. Hale

Research Associate

Steve earned his Masters degree in vertebrate morphology and evolution from Louisiana State Univ. and his Ph.D. in Natural Resources from UNH in 2001. His Ph.D. research focused on developing satellite and GIS-based habitat models for Bicknell’s Thrush.

Steve joined the Leitzel Center in 2005, increasing the enthusiasm for STEM disciplines in underserved and minority students with the NSF-funded Watershed Watch. He maintains diverse interests in ornithology and vertebrate ecology, while his professional interests have broadened toward efforts to increase all-levels of students’ interest, enthusiasm, and achievement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines.

Active projects include Transforming Earth System Science Education, Research Experience for Teachers in Engineering, Climate Education for Minority Serving Institution Faculty, the US Army's STEM Teacher Program Initiatives, and directing Workforce Development components of the NH EPSCoR project.

  Erik Froburg

Erik Froburg

Education & Outreach Specialist

Erik Froburg is an Education and Outreach Coordinator at the University of New Hampshire's Joan and James Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education. The majority of his work is directly with K-12 Science teachers, on a range of professional development activities that the Leitzel Center conducts.

His particular focus has been in promoting authentic research by students, and in providing schools with more direct access to scientists and contemporary research in the geo-sciences. Other professional interests include providing STEM access and opportunity for underserved audiences, citizen science, facilitating scientific field investigations for students and teachers, and the integration of technology in K-12 sceince—particularly hand-held devices. Prior to his positions at UNH, Erik was a Special Education teacher of students with emotional and behavioral disabilities at Noble Middle School in Berwick, Maine. He is a graduate of the UNH Masters in Environmental Education program.

  Annette Scj;pss

Annette Schloss

Faculty Fellow

Annette Schloss earned a BA in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Southern Maine and her Masters and PhD degrees in Zoology with an emphasis on aquatic biology here at UNH. She has research and teaching experience in aquatic and Earth System Sciences, modeling, and remote sensing and has co-authored several journal articles on global biogeochemical cycles and modeling.

For the past 15 years, her focus has been on education and outreach programs that provide opportunities for non-scientists to make use of research data for their own projects. An outgrowth of these efforts has been the Digital Earth Watch Picture Post Network, which is an open project for citizens, students, science centers, and community groups to monitor their local landscape using repeat digital photographs taken with a camera or smartphone that they share on the Picture Post website. She also collaborates with planetarium professionals to create Earth Science themed programs for digital planetariums and portable Discovery Domes. Annette is excited to bring these projects to her work at the Leitzel Center.

  Sandy Coit

Sandy Coit

Program Support Assistant

Sandy came to the Leitzel Center in 2012 as Program Support Assistant. In this position, she wears many hats…from providing logistical arrangements for program participants to budgeting responsibilities for the many grant programs to general office management and administrative support for the staff.

Sandy also coordinates the hugely popular summer camp – KEEPERS (Kids Eager for Engineering Programs with Elementary Research-based Science) for kids entering grades 2-5. For three weeks in July, she works with an amazing team—including 2 local high school science teachers and many UNH CEPS faculty—who bring engineering and science to KEEPERS campers in a hands-on, minds-on summer experience.

Kristi Donahue

Graphic Design & Website Communication
  Kristi Donahue

As Sr. Graphic Designer at the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, Kristi has been the creative lead for numerous NASA-, NOAA-, and NSF-funded initiatives—project websites, posters, scientific illustrations, scientific reports and educational materials. She also serves as Assistant Director for NH Space Grant and NH NASA EPSCoR.

Her work at the Leitzel Center includes website development and the design of informational materials representing Letizel Center collaborations and initiatives.

Kristi's previous career experience includes print production for Houghton Mifflin Company's Educational Software division, graphic designer and pre-press supervisor at UNH Printing Services, and graphic design, website, and print production for New Hampshire Public Television.

  Karen Graham

Karen J. Graham

Director Emeritus

Karen Graham is Professor of Mathematics in the UNH Department of Mathematics and Statistics. She was appointed as the inaugural director of the Leitzel Center in January 2003. Dr. Graham has served as the project director of many state and federally funded projects and has presented numerous workshops at local, state, regional, and national conferences.

She has served as a documentation consultant on several national research projects designed to explore mathematics education reform efforts, the QUASAR (Quantitative Understanding: Amplifying Student Achievement and Reasoning) Project, the R3M (Recognizing and Recording Reform in Mathematics Education) Project, and the CCH Evaluation and Documentation Project.

At present, Dr. Graham is excecutive director of the UNH ADVANCE Insitutional Transformation project funded by the National Science Foundation. Read More...


Faculty / Staff Partners

Leitzel Center Strategic Planning & Implementation Council

Sept. 2002 - June 2007
  • Eleanor Abrams: Education, UNH
  • Christopher Bauer: Chemistry, UNH
  • Richard Blakemore: Microbiology, UNH
  • Gale Carey: Nutrition & Animal Science, UNH
  • Kelly Clark: Education Director, NHPTV
  • Karen Graham: Director, UNH Leitzel Center
  • Nancy Hamer: Director of Administrative Services, UNH
  • Yeping Li: Mathematics Education, UNH
  • Wendy Lull: Executive Director, Seacoast Science Center
  • Sharon Meeker: Marine Education Specialist, UNH
  • Dawn Meredith: Physics, UNH
  • Subhash Minocha: Plant Biology, UNH
  • Lorraine Patusky: NH Dept. of Education
  • Judith Robb: Education, UNH
  • Barrett Rock: Natural Resources, UNH
  • Julie Williams: Sr. Vice Provost, Engagement & Outreach, UNH
  • Tom Zarnowski: Supt., Oyster River Coop. School District
  • Note: Affiliations are listed as of time of service on the council

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