UMaine education teacher appointed NSF program director

ORONO – Asli Sezen-Barrie, Associate Professor of Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching at the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Maine, has been appointed Rotational Program Director of the Division of National Science Foundation research on learning in formal and informal settings.

Sezen-Barrie, who joined UMaine’s faculty in 2017, will hold the position for two years, during which time she will be based at NSF headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The position is designed to facilitate cooperation between government, higher education and other stakeholders. Sezen-Barrie will make recommendations on funding proposals, influence new directions and research collaborations, and mentor his junior colleagues.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work with researchers and programs across the country to improve STEM teaching and learning for people of all ages,” said Sezen-Barrie.

DRL’s mission includes promoting innovative research, development and assessment of learning and teaching in STEM fields by advancing cutting-edge knowledge and practices in formal learning contexts and informal. In addition, the division seeks to advance capacity and impact in the educational sciences by encouraging the participation of scientists, engineers and educators from across disciplines within the NSF.

Sezen-Barrie’s research focuses on providing theoretical and empirical contributions to the design of meaningful and equitable learning environments in science and engineering for all students, with an emphasis on promoting the agency teachers and students. While striving to integrate climate change and engineering into science classrooms, Sezen-Barrie explores the versatile aspects of science and engineering practices and ways in which underrepresented students can be successful in science classrooms.

She got her doctorate. in science education at Pennsylvania State University in 2011, where she worked with local college teachers to improve formative assessment practices for rigorous and responsive science classes.

Prior to UMaine, she was a faculty member at Towson University, where she led a college science major and an NSF project in two states on climate change education. She has also been a middle-level science teacher in Istanbul, Turkey, and educational activities coordinator for the Botanical Gardens in Istanbul and Oxford, England.

She sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, chairs the Research Committee of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), and chairs the Environmental Education Special Interest Group program of the American Education Research Association. Sezen-Barrie has worked with teachers on the classroom implementation of next-generation science standards in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Maine. Her work has been nominated for Early Career Research Awards at NARST and the International Society of Learning Sciences. Sezen-Barrie is a successful grants author, securing funding as a Principal Investigator or Co-PI from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Maine Space Grant Consortium.

Sam D. Gomez