Panel Discussion: Opportunities and challenges in the funding landscape

Friday 9:30am - 11:00am Admiral

Read a summary of the panel
discussion in the ASCN blog


David Asai David Asai, Senior Director for Science Education, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

David Asai is Senior Director for Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His work is guided by three principles: (1) the dynamic demographics of the U.S. population presents an historical opportunity and compelling challenge for U.S. science; (2) all students-regardless of where they come from and where they're going-deserve a meaningful, effective, and positive experience in science through which they will better understand the process of science; and (3) making that experience meaningful, effective, and positive is the responsibility of the faculty and administrators who define the institution's culture. David's team at HHMI creates and leads grants and fellowships programs aimed at the development of students in science at the undergraduate and graduate levels. A key program is the HHMI Inclusive Excellence initiative, whose goal is to catalyze institutional change so that campuses have increased capacity for inclusion of all students, especially students from underrepresented groups. David's bachelor's degree is in chemistry from Stanford University, and his PhD is in biology from Caltech. He was: a postdoc at Caltech and the University of California, Santa Barbara; a faculty member at Purdue University for 18.5 years where he was Head of Biological Sciences; and Stuart Mudd Professor and Chair of Biology at Harvey Mudd College for 5 years. His research focused on the structural and functional diversity of dyneins. Successful "Asailum" excapees include 11 PhDs and 77 undergraduate students. David came to HHMI in 2008.

Andrea Nixon Andrea Nixon, Program Director, Division of Undergraduate Education and Co-Lead, Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Program, National Science Foundation

Andrea Lisa Nixon currently serves as a Program Director in the Division of Undergraduate Education and Co-Lead for the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Program. Nixon received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and is an educational researcher with experience in institutional transformation, cyber learning, mixed-methods research, longitudinal data analysis, and meta analysis. Her home institution is Carleton College, a residential liberal-arts college in Minnesota, where she is the Director of Educational Research. Nixon was a founding director of the Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning (LACOL), active in EDUCAUSE, and the former New Media Centers Consortium. She has served as an invited expert to President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and external advisor to MIT's Online Education Policy Initiative.


Gita circle Gita Bangera, Dean, RISE Learning Institute, Bellevue College, Washington State University

Dr. Bangera is the founding Dean of the RISE Learning Institute, developing it from concept to successful implementation to bring high impact practices such as Research, Project, and Service based learning to students across all disciplines at Bellevue College. She led a team of faculty and staff in designing and constructing a state-of-the-art transdisciplinary RISE space and hired the exceptional RISE team. She has also served as the Interim Vice President of Instruction and Acting Co-President of Bellevue College.

Obtaining more than $1M in grant funding from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Bangera was also instrumental in obtaining state funding for almost $1M in state-of-the-art lab equipment. She is one of 39 PULSE leadership fellows impacting science education at the national level. She is the director of the nationally acclaimed ComGen project that has created a community of practice for Classroom based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) with faculty from 27 higher education institutions in Washington. Her work has been recognized by leading scientific journals and has contributed a chapter to the book "Developing the Pedagogy for Classroom-Based Undergraduate Research Experience Courses".

Dr. Bangera has served Bellevue College since 2004 starting as adjunct faculty member, obtaining tenure and going on to be Program Chair in Life Sciences and Assistant Dean of Science. She was elected to multiple terms to the Executive Council of the Bellevue College Association of Higher Education (BCAHE). She is also Adjunct Professor at Washington State University, and an inventor and technical consultant for Intellectual Ventures with 46 issued patents and over 110 patent applications. She and her husband also own a restaurant, Nirmal's in Pioneer Square.

Previously Dr. Bangera was a Senior Scientist at Combimatrix Corporation and conducted Post-doctoral Research at Harvard Medical School, University of Washington Medical School, and University of Copenhagen. She received her doctorate in Microbiology at Washington State University, Master's in Biology from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master's in Microbiology from University of Mumbai.