NAGT > News > News and Announcements > 2017 National Officer Elections

2017 National Officer Elections

published May 30, 2017 12:00am

It is time to vote for National Officers of NAGT. The ballot includes Vice President and three Councilors-at-Large. Voting begins on May 30 and ends on July 1, 2017.

Officer Candidate Biographies

Vice President

Karen Viskupic is the Education Programs Manager in the Department of Geosciences at Boise State University, where she focuses on geoscience education and student success. Karen works with geoscience faculty on curriculum development and assessment, advises all undergraduate geoscience students, and works on several campus-wide initiatives to improve undergraduate and graduate STEM student success. Karen has been part of the InTeGrate Assessment Team, and is a leader for the Cutting Edge Classroom Observation and Embedded Assessment projects. Karen has served as a councilor-at-large for NAGT (2014-2017), and was a co-chair for the 2016 Earth Educators' Rendezvous in Madison, WI, and the 2017 Earth Educators' Rendezvous in Albuquerque, NM.

Education: BA Geology, Washington University in St. Louis; PhD Geology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professional Experience: Assistant Research Professor, Boise State University (2003-present); Department of Geosciences Education Programs Manager, Boise State University (2006-present).


Aisha R. Morris is an Education Specialist and the Director of the Research Experiences in Solid Earth Science for Students (RESESS) internship program managed by UNAVCO. Aisha's primary area of focus is crafting strategies for recruiting, training, and retaining the geoscience workforce of the future. In her current position, Aisha is responsible for UNAVCO's Geo-Workforce Development Initiative, including managing undergraduate and graduate student internship programs and supporting early career professionals as they transition into the geoscience workforce.

Education: B.S. Geology, Duke University; M.Sc. and Ph.D., Geology and Geophysics University of Hawaii at Manoa; Postdoctoral Fellowship, Syracuse University.

Professional experience and service: Leadership Board Member, Earth Science Women's Network (ESWN); External Advisory Committee Member, Syracuse University graduate level STEM training program: "Education Model Program on Water-Energy Research" (EMPOWER) (2015-2020); Committee member, AGU Excellence in Geophysical Education Award Committee (2015-2017); NSF panelist (2013-2016).


Joshua Villalobos was recently appointed as an Instructional Campus Dean at El Paso Community College (EPCC) supervising multiple instructional programs included Geological Sciences and other STEM disciplines. During his time as a faculty member at EPCC he helped initiate several programs targeting community college students to get engaged with the geological sciences. His NSF funded program SOLARIS (student Opportunities in Learning Advanced Research in the geoSciences) helped EPCC students interested in geosciences participate in research projects that were co-run by EPCC and University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) geology faculty. The success of this program led to other programs and 2YC collaborations such as the Border to Beltway Field Exchange program between EPCC and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) with Callan Bentley. His focus has also encompassed innovative pedagogy in the classroom and has co-authored a SERC InTeGraTe Module introducing the concept of Environmental Justice into introductory geoscience classes. He was recently awarded the 2016 Geological Society of America Biggs Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching. He is currently working as a co-PI with Diane Doser from UTEP on two newly funded NSF programs targeting 2YC students in the geosciences. These programs are; a summer an internship program open to 2YC students across the US called the UTEP- ROCCS (Research Opportunities for Community College Students) and a program that initiates service learning between UTEP, EPCC, and local agencies called SLATES (Serving Learning Activities Targeting Earth Science).


Kathy Ellins is dedicated and passionate about geoscience education. She is currently Program Director for Geoscience Education Research, Geology Foundation, Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas, Austin. She has 20 years experience working to improve science learning and to promote diversity and inclusion in the geosciences at the pre-college and university level through (1) curriculum development for the Earth/climate sciences and geohazards; (2) teacher professional development; and (3) interdisciplinary projects that explore the intersection between the sciences and visual arts. This work involves multi-institutional collaboration and is supported by grants from the NSF and Texas state agencies. As a Fulbright Scholar, she collaborated with colleagues at the University of the West Indies (UWI) to establish the Jamaica Education Seismic Network (JAESN) and to teach a course on disaster management. Most recently Kathy organized the inaugural CariUSA Workgroup Conference, which brought stakeholders together to consider how national and regional priorities align with the geosciences and workforce needs in Jamaica and the Caribbean. Participants forged professional connections that transcend national boundaries and explored opportunities for scholarly exchanges between the U.S., Jamaica and other CARICOM nations. She has guided the masters-level research of geoscience students at the University of Florida and education graduate students in the UTeach program at UT Austin. She has also mentored secondary teachers as they transition from classroom teachers to geoscience education teacher leaders. Kathy is a member of the AGU Geoscience, Art and Design Engagement community. Her professional service includes serving as Chair of the EarthScope Education Subcommittee (2013 –2015) and on the U.S. Science Advisory Committee (USAC) to IODP, and the IRIS Education and Outreach Standing Committee. She participated in Earth Science Literacy Initiative (ESLI) writing workshop in St. Louis, MO in 2018.

Education: PhD, Geography, Columbia University, New York, NY. MA, Geography, Columbia University, New York, NY. MA, Science Education, New York University, School of Education, New York, N.Y. BA, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (Major: Geology)