Dr. Lizanne DeStefano is a Professor of Psychology, and the Executive Director of the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, & Computing (CEISMC) at Georgia Institute of Technology. She served as co-chair of the NSF STEM Education Advisory Committee, which provided oversight and input for the National STEM Education Strategic Plan. She is also an invited founding member of the College of Reviewers for the NSF’s Big Idea: Growing Convergence Research (GCR).
Her research interests include the evaluation and sustainability of innovative educational programs in STEM, STEAM and other disciplines; multi-site initiatives; and programs serving special populations, such as students with disabilities or those at-risk for academic failure. She is engaged in efforts that improve the quality of teaching and the student experience, such as the Commission on Creating the Next in Education, and as an invited guest at the inaugural White House Summit on STEMM Equity and Excellence in 2022. Dr. DeStefano is a former special education teacher and a clinical and school psychologist.
Dr. DeStefano’s work has been funded by numerous agencies and foundations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Education. She provides evaluation services for numerous STEM programs, including a number of multi-institutional centers/programs. In addition to serving as the evaluator for the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines (CBMM), she co-directs education and evaluation activities for the NSF-funded Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems Science and Technology Center and serves as the evaluator for the Center for Sustainable Nantechnology. She also previously served as the evaluator for XSEDE’s (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) Technology, Education, Outreach, and Services (TEOS). She now serves as a co-principal investigator of the NSF-funded OpenCI grant that helps support the ACCESS (Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem Services and Support) program -- XSEDE's successor project.
Dr. DeStefano evaluates numerous other NSF-funded projects, including Blue Waters Supercomputer educational programs; Program in Digital Forensics; the Children’s Environmental Health Center’s Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC); and Centrality of Advanced Digitally ENabled Science (CADENS), a project that uses data visualization of computational data to create educational materials. Dr. DeStefano also evaluates other NSF-funded programs, including a number of REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) sites, Nano@Illinois RET (Research Experience for Teachers), two IGERTs (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship), and an S-STEM grant (the Merit Fellows Scholarship Program).
Dr. DeStefano earned her B.S. in Physiological Psychology and Statistics, M.Ed. in Special Education, and Ph.D. in Educational/School Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.