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Management Team

The CeMaST Management Team is comprised of the CeMaST Director, CeMaST Associate Directors, and CeMaST Assistant Directors. The CeMaST Management Team is led by the CeMaST Director, while the CeMaST Associate Directors assist in carrying out the mission of CeMaST and extend the reach of the Center into their respective colleges. The appointed Assistant Directors lead CeMaST's efforts in their respective areas.

The members of the CeMaST Management Team have been successful in obtaining and leading funded projects within science, technology and mathematics education and are able to assist those interested in pursuing funding opportunities.

CeMaST Director

CeMaST Associate Directors

  • Dr. Jeffrey Barrett - CeMaST Associate Director for Research, Publications & Research Grants Development
  • Dr. Chris Merrill - CeMaST Associate Director for Community and University Relations & Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration
  • Dr. Tony Lorsbach - CeMaST Associate Director for STEM Ed Faculty Development and Graduate Programs/Students
  • Dr. George Rutherford - CeMaST Associate Director for Undergraduate Programs

CeMaST Assistant Directors

Management Team Biographies

Dr. Jeffrey Barrett

Title: (CAS- Mathematics)  Associate Director for Research, Publications & Research Grants Development

College and Department: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Mathematics

Contact Info: Phone Number: (309) 438-7849; Email:



Research Interests:

My primary research interests focus on children's learning of measure and geometry and on the instructional contexts and teacher strategies that facilitate children's understanding of measurement; I also investigate the use of computers to model mathematical ideas, especially topics in geometry. I am currently Principal Investigator of a four-year project, A Longitudinal Examination of Children's Developing Knowledge of Measurement: Mathematical and Scientific Concept and Strategy Growth from Pre-K to Grade 5 in collaboration with Douglas Clements at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. This project is part of the Discovery Research K-12 Program funded by the National Science Foundation.

During the period from 1999 to 2003, I co-directed a teacher development project funded by the National Science Foundation: PRIME Mathematics K-5 Project. The project engaged over 300 teachers learning to teach with the Investigations in Number, Data and Space curriculum. See Reports on this project at:, a web site of Horizons Research, Inc. I often teach undergraduate and graduate courses on: geometry, elementary mathematics learning and teaching, and human cognition.

Funded Projects:

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Dr. Rebekka Darner

Rebekka Darner Title: Assistant Director for Underrepresented Groups

College and Department: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Biological Sciences

Contact Info: Phone Number: (309) 438-3071; Email:



Research Interests:

Dr. Rebekka Darner is a science education researcher, and she conducts research along several lines of inquiry, all with the over-arching goal to improve the quality of science education at the post-secondary level. Her two general areas of research are motivation and scientific discourse.

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Dr. Chris Merrill

Chris Merrill image Title: (CAST) - Associate Director STEM Teacher Professional Development

College and Department: College of Applied Science and Technology, Department of Health Sciences

Contact Info: Phone Number: (309) 438-7862; Email:



 Research Interests:

Dr. Chris Merrill Technology & Engineering Education, STEM education, and standards-based teaching and learning are Merrill's primary teaching and research interests.

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Dr. William Hunter

Title: CeMaST Director, Professor of Chemistry

College and Department: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry

Contact Info: Phone Number: (309) 438-3708; E-mail:

Vita: Dr. Hunter's Vita


Research Interests:

In the past five years, my research and scholarship has been centered within three strands: Inquiry, Scientific Literacy, and Action Research in the chemistry classroom. These three strands are interrelated and are essential for achieving scientific literacy among citizens. These strands are also consistent with the Science for all Americans theme accentuated in the current science education reforms (see Project 2061).

For example, inquiry instruction in science facilitates the understanding of science content knowledge, and development of scientific process skills and critical thinking among students. Action research is all about helping teachers to pay attention to various forms of data available to them as they make changes in their pedagogical approaches. Therefore, I believe research on these strands contributes to effective science teaching and learning and the development of scientific and chemical literacy among citizens.
[Expanded Research Interests]

Current/Recently Funded Projects:

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Dr. Tony Lorsbach

tony imangeTitle: (COE) Associate Director for STEM Ed Faculty Development and Graduate Programs/Students

College and Department: College of Education, School of Teaching and Learning

Contact Info: Phone Number: (309) 438-3567; Email:

Research Interests:

Dr. Tony Lorsbach's research interests have been broadly in the area of science teacher education. In the last few years he has been interested in the use of natural history to promote interest in ecology, evolution, and environmental awareness; using primary sources in the teaching of science, specifically the correspondences of Charles Darwin to teach the nature of science; and teachers perceptions of social class and how it influences beliefs and teaching practices.

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Dr. George H. Rutherford

Title: (CAS- Science)  Associate Director for Undergraduate Programs and Community Relations

College and Department: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics

Contact Info: Phone Number: (309) 438-2934; Email:



Research Interests:

Dr. Rutherford is an experimental physicist in atomic and molecular physics. His research program currently centers on electron polarization studies and the use of spin-labeling techniques.

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2018-11-07T10:54:12.379-06:00 2018