NABI-ARIS transition

During Summit 2019, a vision was laid out for transitioning the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) to the Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS) that included:

  • changing from the NABI Summit to the ARIS Summit (#ARIS2020).
  • sunsetting the NABI website and listserv and shifting communication to the ARIS website and online community platform.
  • retaining our council of experts and adding new members to the leadership team from the ARIS community.
  • creating three new committees: awards, transition, and summit proposal.

After Summit 2019, a transition committee was formed, and we would like to thank them for their hard work over the last 12 months:

Oludurotimi Adetunji Ann McMahon Diane Rover
Jamie Bell Nathan Meier Dennis Schatz
Michael Gonzales Kevin J. Niemi Tom Tubon
Kania Greer Elizabeth Nysson Laurie Van Egeren
Megan Heitmann Amy Pratt Sara Vassmer
Jane Horwitz Susan Renoe Jory Weintraub
Kemi Jona Julie Risien Anahita Zare
Janice McDonnell Amanda Rosenzweig  

We are happy to report that each of those four transition tasks has been accomplished. The first ARIS Summit is scheduled for April 28-30, and we are pleased to introduce the new leadership team members:

Jennifer Fields

Jennifer Fields, University of Arizona

Jennifer Fields is the Director of Societal Impacts in the Office of Research, Innovation and Impact at the University of Arizona. As Director of this newly established office, she is tasked with broadly engaging and supporting the UA campus community in the work of societal research impacts. Jennifer brings to the leadership team more than twenty years of experience in broader impacts work. For the early part of her career, she was a BI practitioner, working with public and targeted audiences in science museums towards broadening participation in STEM, increasing public science literacy, and supporting STEM educator development. For the last decade, she has worked in higher education research administration, focusing her work on proposal development, project implementation & evaluation, with an emphasis on equitable access and inclusion at Hispanic Serving Institutions. Her experiences have led to a broad network of professional colleagues in museums, higher education, non-profits, government, K-12 and informal learning environments.


Paula Jasinki

Paula Jasinki, Green Fin Studio

Paula's passion for science communication and engaging stakeholders can be traced back to her Chesapeake Bay roots. She grew up along its shores, and serendipitously around leaders in environmental restoration and protection policy development who shaped her career path.

After obtaining her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in Biology and a Master of Science degree from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, she honed her skills with the National Park Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before launching Green Fin Studio (previously named Chesapeake Environmental Communications) in 2010.

Green Fin Studio is a Richmond, Virginia-based marketing and communications firm specializing in science communication. We work at the intersection of science and society to to increase awareness, motivate action, and broaden the diversity of stakeholder engagement.

Paula and her team combine scientific expertise with storytelling, graphic design, and compelling content. She leads innovative and award-winning projects around conservation outreach, fisheries management, coastal management, ecotourism, environmental education and science communication training courses.


Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson, Penn State University

Matt Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Science Education with the Center for Science and the Schools (CSATS) at Penn State University. In this role, he collaborates with scientists and engineers to propose and facilitate teacher professional development opportunities for K-12 STEM teachers, often as broader impacts components of research grants. He is also PI of an NSF grant focused on learning how rural teachers learn about engineering through participation in workshops and how they take that new knowledge and adapt it to be relevant for their students. His teaching interests include precollege engineering courses for undergraduates in elementary education and a graduate-level course for teachers enrolled in an online master's program.

Prior to his current role, he was a science teacher in a junior/senior high school in rural Pennsylvania. There, he taught 8th grade general science, advanced biology, microbiology, and practical chemistry. He also chaired the science club and was a co-advisor for the Envirothon team. It was through his interactions with teacher professional development opportunities that he became interested in shifting careers to one focused on teacher education.

Matt received a BA in Biology from Mercyhurst College. He then earned a BS in Education from Clarion University of PA. As a teacher, he earned an MEd in Science Education from Penn State and after starting work at CSATS, he attended graduate school part-time and earned a PhD in Science Education. His research interests include better understanding how teachers learn about teachers learn about and participate the practices of scientists and engineers in professional learning experiences and how those experiences affect their teaching.


Natalie Shaheen

Natalie Shaheen, Illinois State University

Dr. Natalie L. Shaheen is an assistant professor of special education at Illinois State University (ISU) and director of the NSF-funded Spatial Ability and Blind Engineering Research project. For over a decade, Dr. Shaheen has worked to increase blind people's access to STEM learning opportunities in formal and informal environments. Dr. Shaheen's research, which is grounded in her professional practice as well as her lived experience as a blind person, focuses on equity and access for disabled students in technology-enhanced learning environments. Prior to joining the faculty at ISU, Dr. Shaheen served as the Director of Education for the National Federation of the Blind and as a special educator and teacher of blind students in diverse K-12 school settings in the Midwest and Southwest.


Lastly, in order to become more sustainable, we are introducing a new membership plan that will help us continue to grow and offer more support to the ARIS community. Membership includes access to our new online community as well as discounts and special promotions.

Thank you for your continued support of the ARIS community, and if you have any questions or comments about the NABI-ARIS transistion, please contact us.

—The ARIS Leadership Team

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