The National Science Board (NSB) has announced that accomplished educator Jo Anne Vasquez is the recipient of its 2013 Public Service Award for an individual.
Vasquez is known nationally and internationally for her efforts to create sustainable change in teaching K-12 science.
"Jo Anne Vasquez has been and continues to be a strong and convincing voice for classroom teachers, and has learned first-hand the art and science of teaching in the K-12 classroom," says NSB Chairman Dan Arvizu. "We are proud to name her as the recipient of the 2013 NSB Public Service Award presented to an individual."
Following many years in K-12 education, Vasquez became Arizona State University's Director of Professional Development and Policy Outreach for its Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology.
Vasquez has served as President of the National Science Teachers Association, the National Science Education Leadership Association, and the International Council of Associations for Science Education.
Her leadership roles have helped her to promote professional development for K-12 mathematics and science teachers.
Throughout her career, she has mentored thousands of teachers, for which she has earned many awards, including science education's highest, the Robert H. Carlton Award.
Author of several science textbooks and books on science teaching, Vasquez's latest publication, STEM Lesson Essentials for Grades 3-8, was inspired by research she conducted while serving as a member of the NSB.
Vasquez contributed to the 2007 NSB report, National Action Plan for Addressing the Critical Needs of the U.S. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education System. She was an NSB member at the time.
"The report has been pivotal in highlighting the importance of STEM education on a national level," says Arvizu.
Vasquez holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, a Master of Science degree in early childhood education, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction.
She's currently vice president and program director of Teacher and Curriculum Initiatives for the Helios Education Foundation. Its mission is to increase undergraduate enrollment in Arizona and Florida with an emphasis on STEM.
The NSB Public Service Award honors individuals and groups who have made substantial contributions to increasing the public understanding of science and engineering in the United States.
These contributions may be in areas with the potential to contribute to the public understanding of and appreciation for science and engineering--including mass media, education, training programs and/or entertainment.
Vasquez will receive the NSB Public Service Award for an individual medal and certificate at an awards ceremony and dinner on May 9, 2013, at the U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C., along with recipients of the NSB's Vannevar Bush Award and the National Science Foundation's Alan T. Waterman Award.
About the National Science Board
The National Science Board is the 25-member policymaking body for the National Science Foundation and advisory body to the president and Congress on science and engineering issues. Drawn primarily from universities and industry, and representing a variety of science and engineering disciplines and geographic areas, NSB members are selected for their eminence in research, education or public service and records of distinguished service. The NSB has 24 members who serve six-year terms. The 25th member is the NSF director, an ex officio member of the NSB. Visit the National Science Board's website for more information.