2020 NAGT Elections

published Jun 1, 2020 9:38am

Voting for NAGT's open positions for National Officers is officially open! This year's ballot includes Second Vice President and two Councilors-at-Large. Voting begins on June 1 and ends on July 1, 2020.

Officer Candidate Biographies

Second Vice President

Christy Visaggi is a Senior Lecturer at Georgia State University with projects focused primarily in paleoecology, geoscience education, marine conservation, and curriculum work. Her courses include introductory geology, paleontology, marine ecosystems, integrated sciences for pre-service educators, and skills/ career preparation. She relies heavily on experiential learning with course-based research experiences, field courses, and place-based methods. The impact of her approaches has resulted in 66 GSU undergraduates as co-authors and contributors to 31 presentations for 20 different conference settings over the last seven years. Teaching at a large minority-serving institution in Atlanta, Dr. Visaggi's work in education and outreach has additionally emphasized culturally responsive pedagogy in support of goals to broaden participation in the geosciences. Since being hired at GSU, she has received awards for mentoring, instruction, and undergraduate research, as well as recently gained recognition as a rising leader from the National Society for Experiential Education.

Education: B.A. Geology, Colgate University; M.S. Geology, Syracuse University; Ph.D. Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington. Teaching Experience: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Geosciences (2012-present). Administrative Experience: Director of Education and Outreach for the Georgia Geographic Alliance (2013-2018), Co-PI of NSF REU (2016-2018), Undergraduate Director in Geosciences (2016-present), Senior Faculty Associate for Signature Experiences (2019-present). NAGT Experience: Southeastern: VP (2014-2015), President (2015-2017), GA Representative (2017-present), OEST Coordinator (present) and the NAGT OEST Committee (2015). Related Service: Department Coordinator for Atlanta Science Festival (2013-present), JTPC for GSA (2013-2015), GA DOE Science Advisory Committee (2015), Education & Outreach Committee for the Paleontological Society (2017-present).


Katherine Ryker s an Assistant Professor of Geoscience Education in the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment at the University of South Carolina and proudlongtime member of NAGT. Katherine's research interests revolve around inquiry and student learning in introductory geoscience lectures and labs, the relationship between teachers' beliefs and practices, and implications for professional development. She is especially interested in innovative classroom interventions, including the use of augmented and virtual reality or hands-on physical models. Katherine has more than ten years of high school and college teaching experience, with teaching awards from NAGT, NC State and Eastern Michigan University. She enjoys putting her geoscience education research into practice in her own classes, as well as through professional development opportunities like the Earth Educators' Rendezvous and university-wide workshops on improving practices in STEM lectures and labs. She is currently the Past President of the NAGT GER Division, and served as Secretary for the division from 2014 to 2017. In these roles, Katherine has overseen the creation of the monthly newsletter and other division communications, chaired topical sessions at annual meetings, developed the annual division calendar, organized webinars, and chaired various committees (e.g. Awards, Nomination and Elections, Long Range Planning). She served as Contributed Program co-chair for the Earth Educators' Rendezvous from 2018-2019.

Education: B.S. in Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University; M.S. in Sedimentology and Ph.D. in Geoscience Education from the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University.

Teaching experience: College-level: Methods in Geoscience Education Research; Environmental Geology; Physical Geology; Earth Science for Elementary Educators; Essentials of the Geosphere for Elementary Teachers; Secondary Methods for Earth Science Education; Nature of Science; Nature of Science for Elementary Teachers; Geology of NC for Teachers for Eastern Michigan University and the University of South Carolina - Columbia. High school-level: Biology, AP Biology, Earth Science, Astronomy, Intro to High School Math, and Algebra I for Durham Public Schools; Durham, NC.

Memberships: NAGT, GSA, IAGD, NSTA, ASTE, AEG.


Aida Farough is a Teaching Assistant Professor at Department of Geology at Kansas State University (K-State) in Manhattan, Kansas. She led reactivation of the Midcontinent section of NAGT in 2017, and she served as the president of the section till 2020. One of the main topics of her research is geoscience education and she is the PI of IUSE GP-IMPACT: Geoscience Careers Ambassador Training (GeoCAT) Workshop, which is focused on familiarizing teachers and advisors in Kansas with non-academic careers in geosciences. GeoCAT is co-sponsored by NAGT.Aida teaches introductory and advanced geology courses at K-State and is a fellow and mentor of the Peer Review of Teaching Program hosted by Teaching and Learning Center at K-State. She is also the lead undergraduate advisor of the Geology department and May 2020 recipient of the Charlie Award in academic advising at K-State.

Education: BS Mining Engineering, University of Tehran, Iran; MS and PhD Geosciences, Virginia Tech. 

Relevant Service: Session chairs focused on geoscience education: EER 2019; GSA-SC 2020; GSA-Annual meeting 2020; Designing remote field experiences (Working Group Co-lead). Reviewer: JGE.