Susan Brown, research professor and director of the STEM Outreach Center at New Mexico State University, has been named interim dean of the NMSU College of Education, NMSU President John Floros announced Tuesday.
Brown, who has also served as the college's interim associate dean of research, will head the college as the university searches for a permanent dean to succeed Donald Pope-Davis, who left the university last month to become dean of The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology.
"I look forward to a productive year as we implement the first phase of our college reorganization. I am honored to have been chosen for this position," Brown said.
Brown earned a doctorate and a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from NMSU. She has received several professional awards including the NASA Innovation Program Award, NMSU Research Achievement Award, NASA Trailblazer Award, NASA Pipeline Award, NASA Partnership and Sustainability Award, Outstanding Science Engineering Mathematics and Aerospace Academy Presidential Star Award, and the NASA Explorer Award. Brown has also been recognized as Who's Who Among America's Teachers and is a Fulbright Scholar. She received the Outstanding Teacher Achievement Award from the New Mexico Legislature in 1996 and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 1994.
"She is renowned for her work, serving as principal investigator or co-principal investigator for three grants from the National Science Foundation, seven grants from private foundations, three grants from NASA and several state awards," Floros said. "Her focus is on the under representation of minority students and females in the fields of science, math and engineering."
During her 19 years at NMSU, Brown has been awarded nearly $23 million in research grants. Most recently, the STEM Outreach Center received a nearly $12 million four-year grant to fund out-of-school time STEM programs in the Las Cruces, Hatch and Gadsden school districts. The grant was awarded by the New Mexico Public Education Department's 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.
According to a recent study, the STEM Outreach Center at New Mexico State University has had an overall economic output of $15 million since 2009, generating more than 200 jobs and contributing positively to Doña Ana County. The center has offered after-school STEM programs to more than 8,000 students in the past year alone.