My Interest in ASCN: Martin Storksdieck

Oregon State University
Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning
Director and Professor

Prior Organizational Change Work

I will pick my time at the Board on Science Education at the National Academy of Sciences. I attempted changes in communication and stakeholder engagement, and I worked towards better internal collaboration. I succeeded only partially. With strong allies in other units I was able to create much better collaboration across units, primarily using informal collaborative structures and communication, but also by developing trust as a partner who will first give before taking. I invested resources to build that trust. Efforts to improve communication and stakeholder engagement were partially fruitful. I worked with other units to create small changes, and I made strong changes within my own unit, but at the expense of relationships with my superiors who did not understand or appreciate my strategies. I got away with it because I was planning to leave after 5 years and did not care so much about my supervisors' perspectives. Not an advisable strategy!

How ASCN Can Contribute to my Work

OSU is currently in the midst of various externally and internally supported efforts to improve undergraduate (STEM) education, and these efforts are increasingly being linked to concerns around voice, participation, belonging, discrimination and racism on campus. Right now, many different and at times conflicting priorities emerge and my own role at OSU is not only to support these efforts through research, but also through neutral convening and brokering. The Network would be a tremendous opportunity to expand my capacity and that of my Center.

How I Can Contribute to ASCN

I will bring a national policy, and a general institutional change perspective to the discussion. I will also be able to bring experiences with institutional change initiatives at OSU to the discussion. Since my Master in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government I am a firm believer in using theory wisely and critically when working towards change in the real world. I am therefore a skeptic of overly academic approaches towards change while being deeply appreciative that theories and conceptual frameworks can provide invaluable guidance in thinking through, and acting within, highly complex systems.