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Leadership & Team
Kimberly A. Scott, EdD, Professor and Founding Executive Director
Wilma Jackson, Office Assistant
Kimberly A. Scott is a professor of women and gender studies in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University (ASU) and the founding executive director of ASU’s Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (CGEST). Founded by Professor Scott, the center is a one-of-a-kind research unit focused on exploring, identifying, and creating innovative scholarship about underrepresented women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Center projects include the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded COMPUGIRLS; U.S. Department of Education-funded COMPUPOWER; Gates-funded project on African American Families and Technology Use; and NSF-funded Culturally Responsive Co-Robotics Program. Scott is a member of the NSF STEM Education Advisory Panel. The panel was created to encourage U.S. scientific and technological innovations in education and assembled in consultation with the U.S. Department of Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Scott is also an affiliate faculty in George Mason University’s Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity located in Fairfax, Virginia.
Trained as a sociologist of education and childhoods, Scott’s interdisciplinary work examines girls’ of color (African American, Native American, Latina) social and academic development in informal spaces and their technosocial innovations. With nearly 50 publications in outlets such as the, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, International Journal of Gender, Science, and Technology, Feminism and Psychology, Huffington Post, and Slate, to name a few, Kimberly is also co-author of the Rowman and Littlefield book Kids in Context and co-editor of the IAP published book, Research in Urban Educational Settings: Lessons Learned and Implications for Future Practice. Recently, she published Women Education Scholars and Their Children’s Schooling (Routledge) and is completing COMPUGIRLS: Becoming Ourselves in This Digital Age (University of Illinois Press).
Prior to becoming an academic, Scott worked as an urban educator with international and national institutions including a center for girls in Chiang Mai Thailand; the Educational Law Center in Newark, New Jersey; and the National Museum of African Art-Smithsonian. Having written and successfully won nearly $10 million in grant funding to support research to support research about and programs for girls of color and digital media use, Scott was named in 2014 as a White House Champion of Change for STEM Access. The same year, the publication Diverse Issues in Higher Education identified Kimberly as one of the top 30 women in higher education. Scott earned her BA from Smith College in art history and French literature, an MS from Long Island University in curriculum and instruction/elementary education and her EdD from Rutgers University in social and philosophical foundations of education, and completed the high potentials leadership program at Harvard Business School.
Wilma Jackson, Office Assistant
Wilma Jackson is a Master of Education in higher and postsecondary education student at Arizona State University. She received her BA in ethnicity, race and First Nation studies and during her undergraduate, she served as a peer mentor for first-time freshmen in her college to help make the transition from high school to college. With her bachelor's and master’s degree she hopes to work with underrepresented students to ensure their success at the university level. Wilma has been a part of the CGEST team since April 2018 as the Office Assistant.
Kalani Rice, Program Manager
Throughout her career, Kalani has worked in high education in the private and public sector. She began by serving students then moved into leadership roles in various capacities including financial, registrar, and career services. Most recently she established policy/procedures, oversight of library services and faculty credentialing. In addition Kalani has taught business and leadership courses. Kalani received her BS in human and child development from the Arizona State University. She received her Master's of Education from University of Phoenix, and Master's of Business with a focus on human resource management from Everest University.
Kalani has a passion for education and is excited to be apart of a program that provides educational opportunities to youth that might not otherwise have the same opportunity.
Laila Sarah, Assistant Director, Capacity Building
Laila Sarah serves as the Assistant Director for Capacity Building for the CompuGirls program.
Throughout her career, Laila has worked in advocacy for underrepresented populations. Her career includes work in the political, non-profit and education fields. Her work includes time with the Marguerite Casey Foundation, organizing in communities throughout Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Through her experiences, she recognized that education and opportunity were two key factors in people feeling empowered in their own lives, as well as their communities.
Laila comes to CGEST after working in early outreach at ASU, partnering with districts such as Phoenix Union to ensure students have the knowledge, resources and support to attend college. Prior to that, she was a high school teacher working with at-risk (or as she prefers, high-potential) students to ensure they were on track to graduation.
Laila received her BA in communications from the University of Arizona. She received her Master's of Administration and Leadership from Northern Arizona University, with a focus on leadership development and empowerment of at-risk/high-potential youth.
Laila is a proud native of Tucson who believes that it takes a community effort to ensure that young people see their potential and have the opportunities to pursue their goals. She is excited to work in capacity building with the CompuGirls program and looks forward to bringing CompuPower to even more students.
Matthew Ruf, Executive Coordinator
Matthew Ruf serves as the Executive Coordinator for the CompuPower program.
He was born and raised in Wisconsin and loves his hometown teams – Packers, Brewers, Bucks and Badgers. Matthew began his college education at St. Cloud State University where he earned his BA in social studies education. After graduating, Matthew accepted a full-time position in Colorado Springs, CO teaching 7th and 8th grade social studies and serving as his school’s Athletic Director.
As a teacher, Matthew learned that there is no excuse for poor quality instruction and that every student is capable of success. Recognizing the importance of leadership in education, Matthew earned his Master's of Educational Leadership from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs with the goal of helping his students and staff reach their full potential.
Matthew looks forward to joining the CompuPower team and is excited to work with all the amazing people involved in the program.
Steve Elliott, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar
Steve Elliott studies the relations between science and society. He's especially interested in the conceptual foundations of research design, in the use of qualitative and quantitative methods to study science itself, and in how people develop their capacities for scientific and computational thinking. At CGEST, he helps to mentor student researchers, to secure research funding, to design research, and to disseminate results to academic audiences. As a Flinn-Brown Fellow, he's also involved with Arizona civic leadership. For more information, see his Academia Profile, LinkedIn profile, and current CV.
Sabrina M. Weiss, PhD, Assistant Research Professor
Sabrina M. Weiss specializes in developing theoretical models that represent the ethical and social dimensions of issues at the intersection of science, technology, and society. Topics of interest include gender and sexuality, discourse theory, bodies and cyborgs, bioethics, food ethics, and innovative pedagogies, as well as the institutional and change dimensions affecting those areas.
Currently, Weiss supports CGEST’s mission by developing curricula for students, mentor-teachers, and parents in the CompuPower program.
Weiss earned a BS from Stanford’s science, technology, and society program, an MS in bioethics from Albany Medical College, and a PhD in science and technology studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a former U.S. Naval Officer (ROTC) who served overseas in Japan and at Office of Naval Research. An interdisciplinary and international scholar, Weiss has taught at Rochester Institute of Technology, which houses the National Institute for the Deaf, and at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. Weiss is a coauthor of Worlds of ScienceCraft: New Horizons in Sociology, Philosophy and Science Studies (2009).
Nicol Turner-Lee, PhD, Visiting Scholar/Researcher
Nicol Turner-Lee is a Fellow in Governance Studies for the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. In her former role as Vice President and Chief Research and Policy Officer for MMTC, Turner-Lee designed and implemented a research and policy agenda that supported MMTC’s mission, and advocated for telecom and Internet policy reform through legislation, rulemaking, executive orders, public-private partnerships, and best practices. In 2011, she was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age by former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski of the Federal Communications Commission, where she chairs the subcommittee on the use of unlicensed devices to increase minority innovation and entrepreneurship. Nicol graduated with honors from Colgate University and has a doctorate in sociology from Northwestern University and a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Oliver Dean, Management Intern
Oliver Dean is a graduate from the University of Winchester, England and holds a double Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Communication. Oliver has been part of the CGEST team since September 2018 and is dedicated to help shape a world in which gender equity becomes the social norm. His passion for sociological approaches to entrepreneurship and practical use of media platforms contribute to building a sustainable future for CGEST. The culmination of past experience within communities in England and current placement within his local area, he is commited to advocating for underrepresented individuals within STEM.
Chun Tao, Graduate Research Aide
Chun is a doctoral student in counseling psychology at Arizona State University. She holds a MS degree in psychology from Arizona State University and a BS degree in psychology from Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Chun's research interests include examining disparities in marginalized individuals’ experiences in career and relationship contexts. Chun is passionate about empowerment of women and advocacy for gender equity in professional development opportunities.
Kori Dowell, Practicum Student
Kori Dowell is currently working on her Master of Education in higher and post secondary education at Arizona State University. She received Bachelor of Science degrees in forensic science and anthropology from ASU in 2017. As a practicum student with CGEST, Kori hopes to assist in planning and programming events and opportunities for underrepresented communities in STEM fields. Kori has worked in event management and operations as both an undergraduate and graduate student and hopes to continue in her future endeavors.