Communities of Practice

STEM Learning Ecosystems Names 16 to New Leadership Coordinating Council

New Appointments Part of Bid to Bolster Expansion of STEM Education Opportunities

The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice is laying the foundation for growing global STEM education opportunities by appointing 16 leaders from around the world to its new Leadership Coordinating Council, the organization said in a news release.

Supported by the community’s founding organization Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, the Leadership Coordinating Council will lead all aspects of the work of the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice as it enters its seventh year.

The SLECoP brings together leaders from business and industry, education, museums, nonprofits, philanthropy, and government to provide more meaningful STEM opportunities for all.

The U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy has cited as a top priority forming more STEM Learning Ecosystems as part of the federal office’s goal to drive meaningful STEM gains for communities across the nation.

The Leadership Coordinating Council will “move the SLECoP to new heights of leadership, recommending and implementing efforts to best support 100 global communities working to connect the diverse partners who recognize the power of STEM to improve the lives of individuals, families and entire communities,” the organization said.

"The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice has been an agent of change for reimagining STEM experiences in large urban communities like New Orleans, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Tulsa or more rural communities like upstate New York and Idaho,” said new Leadership Coordinating Council Chair Judd Pittman, who formerly served as a special consultant to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education and is currently the director of K–16 Initiatives at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. “Leaders in STEM Learning Ecosystems across the Globe are organizing cross-sector partners to expand opportunities for and increase the inclusion of marginalized scholars in STEM, shining the spotlight on the diverse talent within each and every community across an Ecosystem's footprint.”

Reginald McGregor, engineering manager at Rolls Royce, will serve as vice chair of the leadership council and as liaison to the Strategic Advisory Council. “The Leadership Coordinating Council will shape the future of this country by defining STEM as a skillset and diversifying the participants leading and those they are serving,” said McGregor, who also works with the Indiana STEM Ecosystem Community of Practice.

Also appointed to the new Leadership Coordinating Council were:

  • Vice Chair of Equity, Access and Opportunity Willonda McCloud, Lancaster County (Penn.) STEM Alliance
  • Vice Chair of Learning Frank Creech, NC STEM Ecosystem
  • Vice Chair of International Relations Tal Hakim Dromias, Beit Hakerem Cluster, Be'er Sheva (Israel) STEM Ecosystem
  • Vice Chair of Communications LaTrenda Sherrill, Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem
  • Vice Chair of Policy Jeremy Babendure, Arizona SciTech Ecosystem
  • Vice Chair of Events Lori Fillipin, Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance
  • Levi Patrick, Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance
  • Donna DeSiato, East Syracuse Minoa Central School District STEM Learning Ecosystem
  • Natasha Smith Walker, Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative
  • Deb Bailey, Oregon's Statewide Regional STEM Hub Network
  • Lisa Blank, North Country STEM Network
  • Jo-Ann Coggan, STEAMecosystemBC (Canada)
  • Graciela Rojas, Ecosistema STEAM (Mexico)
  • Kathleen Schofield, NE Florida STEM2 Hub

Leadership Coordinating Council members were selected based on their “demonstrated leadership at the STEM Learning Ecosystem level with brilliance in understanding the importance of STEM and the alignment with workforce and economic development,” the organization said.

STEM Learning Ecosystems encompass schools, community settings such as after-school and summer programs, science centers and museums, and informal experiences at home, businesses/industry, higher education including community colleges and in a variety of environments that together constitute a rich array of learning opportunities for young people. Learn more about the global initiative at

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].