Dr. Hiller A. Spires is a Distinguished Graduate Professor of Literacy and Technology in NC State University’s College of
Education. She received her Ph.D. in literacy education from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Spires served as the founding director of The William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation from 2002-2006 and currently serves as FI Senior Research Fellow. Her research focuses on the effects of digital literacies on learning, including emerging literacies associated with gaming environments, and on inquiry-based disciplinary literacy for middle and high school teachers and students. Her publications have appeared in the Journal of Educational Psychology, Cognition & Instruction, Journal of Educational Computing Research, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Literacy Research & Instruction, Computers and Education, and Journal of Research in Technology Education.Dr. Spires led the development of the New Literacies & Global Learning graduate program and co-directs the Friday Institute’s New Literacies Collaborative (www.newlit.org). For her ongoing work with teachers in China, Dr. Spires received the Jackson Rigney International Service Award in 2011 from NC State University for her work with teachers in China.
Erin Lyjak is a research associate at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, working with the New Literacies Collaborative. She received her Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from Radford University and a project management certificate from NC State University. Ms. Lyjak has been in the field of educational research for over 15 years. She has worked a wide range of educational studies (digital literacies, disciplinary literacy, standardized testing), MOOC-Ed course development (Disciplinary Literacy for Deeper Learning), and worked with students and teachers both nationally and internationally (New Literacies Teacher Leader Institutes, Summer/Winter Camps). Ms. Lyjak is currently the project manager for Suzhou North America High School: Connecting to the Future project.
Marie Himes is a research associate at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, serving as the curriculum specialist for the Suzhou North America High School: Connecting to the Future Project and as the coordinator for the PBI Global initiative. She received her bachelor of arts in international politics and international studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 2008 and a master of education in curriculum and instruction from Penn State in 2012. Prior to graduate school, Marie taught English as a second language in Germany as a Fulbright Grantee and interned as a policy and communications aide on Capitol Hill. After earning her master's degree, Marie taught high school social studies and middle school English language arts and social studies in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
David Schwenker is the principal at Wake STEM since June of 2014 after two years as the principal at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School: Center for Leadership and Technology, a National Magnet School of Excellence. While at Raleigh Magnet High School, David was awarded the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America Outstanding Administrator Principal Award. Prior to his high school experience, David served as principal at Carnage Gifted and Talented AG Basics Middle School and Hunter Gifted and Talented AG Basics Magnet Elementary School, both of which earned National Magnet Schools of Excellence Awards. David completed his undergraduate work in elementary teaching at Houghton College in New York, his master’s degree in educational administration at North Carolina State University, and his superintendent’s certification from East Carolina University.
Andrea Gambino is the lead teacher coordinating the PBI Global collaboration between Suzhou North America High School and the Wake STEM ECHS. Ms. Gambino received her M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in new literacies and global learning. Mrs. Gambino is presently teaching Honors English III and Honors Civics & Economics.
Evelyn Baldwin is a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescent and Young Adulthood Science, Kenan Fellow, and a recipient of the Dr. John Park, Memorial Outstanding Service Award in Science Education. She received her BS degree in Secondary Science Education and her Masters of Education degree in Science Education from North Carolina State University. She has been a science educator in the Wake County Public School System for twenty five years. At Wake STEM Early College High School she teaches honors chemistry and honors physics, is the science department chair, and the school's mentor coordinator. Mrs. Baldwin sponsors the STEM Science Olympiad team and a junior chapter of NCSU's Women in Science and Engineering.
Nicholas Fortune, starting in August 2018, will be an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Western Kentucky University. He received his PhD in Mathematics Education from North Carolina State University and his masters and bachelors in Applied Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research centers around instructional change in undergraduate mathematics and how mathematics faculty can collaborate on pedagogy and student learning to support their instructional change.
Casey Medlock Paul is a Ph.D. student at NCSU. She earned her B.A. in English and Spanish from Samford University and then went on to obtain her M.A. in Spanish Secondary Education from the University of Alabama. Afterwards, she taught high school Spanish for 3 years. She moved to Raleigh to attend NCSU, where she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in literacy. Her research interests are varied, but include digital and information literacy and disciplinary literacy.
Ted Richardson is a photojournalist and filmmaker based in Chapel Hill. He has taught courses in photojournalism and multimedia journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill, and his video and photo assignments have taken him to Napel, Afghanistan, Cuba, and Mexico. Richardson graduated from Davidson College with a B.A. in English, and from UNC- Chapel Hill a Master's in Journalism. He directly and produced a feature film, The Last Barn Dance, and currently covers assignments for editorial clients to include the Washington Post, The New York Times & the Associated Press.
Leon Godwin is a photographer, videographer, editor, and musician from Mebane, NC. He completed his bachelor’s degree at UNC-Chapel Hill in communication and media studies in 2001 and runs his own production company, Lion Nerd. A talented musician, Godwin was a founding member of the band Bus. These days you're likely to find Godwin either working in his well-equipped home office/studio, out shooting photos or video in the field, or in his backyard working on the family garden with his wife and children.