Richard Duschl

A headshot of Richard Duschl, Lyle School of Engineering.

Executive Director of the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education
Texas Instrument Distinguished Chair


Richard Duschl has been President of NARST – International Association for Science Education Research; served as Director, Division for Research on Learning, NSF; Chaired the NRC research synthesis report Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8 (National Academies Press, 2007). Past academic positions, in reverse order include the Waterbury Chair at Penn State University; Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University; Chair of Science Education at King’s College London Vanderbilt University, University of Pittsburgh, Hunter College-CUNY and University of Houston. So, he is no stranger to Texas. He taught high school earth science in Charles Co. MD and middle school science & math in East Lansing, MI..

In 2014 Richard was awarded the NARST Distinguished Career in Research Award. In 2007 he received the ‘Distinguished Alumnus of the Year College of Education’ award from the University of Maryland Alumni Association where he completed his BS in Earth Science Education and Ph.D. in Science Education.

He served for 10 years as the editor Science Education, an international journal of research and scholarship and was editor of the Teachers College Press book series “Ways of Knowing in Science”. His involvement in informal science education has included being Co-PI of the NSF Center for Informal Learning and Schools, serving on the advisory boards of the NJ Liberty Science Center and the Cumberland Science Center, Nashville, TN and as curator for science exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Houston.


DeeDee Conway

A headshot of DeeDee Conway, Lyle School of Engineering.

Associate Dean of Operations, Research Assistant Professor

DeeDee Conway serves as the Associate Dean of Operations at the Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University and Research Assistant Professor in the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education. Her research focuses on higher education organizational theory and administrative structures as well as faculty development and preparation.

Prior to joining the Dean’s Office, DeeDee worked in accounting in both University and Corporate settings. DeeDee holds a BBA from American Public University, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Ed.D. in Higher Education from Southern Methodist University. A notary public in the State of Texas, DeeDee also holds memberships in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO. In addition to these memberships, she currently serves as a conference reviewer for ASHE, ASEE, AERA, and NACUBO.


Kelyn Rola

A headshot of Kelyn Rola, Lyle School of Engineering.

Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Kelyn Rola is a Research Assistant Professor in the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education in the Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Prior to her appointment in the Caruth Institute, Dr. Rola served as a Lecturer in SMU’s Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness in the Simmons School of Education & Human Development. Her professional experience includes teaching Anatomy & Physiology, Exercise Physiology, and Personal Responsibility & Wellness courses.

Dr. Rola’s career at SMU began in 2010. Prior to joining SMU, she earned her B.A. with honors in Kinesiology from Southwestern University, in Georgetown, TX. Dr. Rola later received her M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. At TCU, she taught and assisted a variety of kinesiology classes. She also assisted in data collection for a number of performance and training studies; however, her own research investigated molecular responses and adaptations to performing exercise in the heat. 

Due to her continued interest in research and higher education, Dr. Rola successfully completed a Doctorate in Education Policy & Leadership at SMU in 2018. Her research interests include factors that contribute to and facilitate student success. Specifically, she is interested in improving equity and inclusion on university campuses, as well as supporting student well-being through curricular interventions. Her most recent research has explored social justice outcomes following participation in an undergraduate diversity course, and her additional research interests include the impact that rigorous STEM coursework has on student wellness, how to integrate diversity and inclusion content into STEM coursework, creating a more inclusive environment for female faculty in the sciences, and promoting equity and access for underrepresented populations in higher education.


Alisha Bailey

A headshot of Alisha Bailey, Lyle School of Engineering.

Program Manager

Alisha Bailey is joining the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education team at SMU Lyle School of Engineering after working for the government in the environmental health field as an Environmental Compliance Specialist for several years in Atlanta, GA. Specifically, she worked in public drinking water compliance and regulations, regularly leading audits and inspections.

Alisha has a B.S. in Chemistry from Spelman College and holds a M.S. in Environmental Sciences from Alabama A&M University. Through her master’s program, her knowledge and focuses were fisheries, aquaponics, and water management research and by studying abroad in Nanjing, China, she gained skills in GIS. Alisha has presented her research at various nationally and locally recognized conferences.

Previously, Alisha served as a middle school mathematics teacher in Houston, TX. As a teacher, she collaborated across grade levels with other STEM teachers in curriculum instruction, modification, and adjustment. She designed and implemented lesson plans and visual supports to reach all student learners. Alisha has many years of experience working with K-12 students, teachers, and staff in Houston, TX; Huntsville, AL, and metro Atlanta areas.

A native Louisianian, Alisha enjoys cooking new recipes, listening to podcast, and spending time with family.


Alain Mota

A headshot of Alain Mota, Lyle School of Engineering.

Program Manager

Alain Mota is the STEM Development and Implementation Coordinator at RME and a Program Manager at the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education. In this role, he works across schools supporting the research and implementation goals of several projects at the unit and the institute. As a coach he supports campus leaders and science teachers in the delivery of classroom lessons that focus on the integration of STEM and active learning techniques through individualized coaching, co-planning, facilitating and co-facilitating Professional Learning Communities, and actionable feedback after classroom observations. One of the coaching roles is part of the STEM Academy for Science Teachers & Leaders initiative that is intended to increase student achievement in science, student interest in STEM careers, and students' persistence in STEM coursework by supporting teachers' professional knowledge, skills, and campus administrators' instructional leadership skills. Through coaching he has also supported teachers implementing intensive intervention of Algebra readiness through Project STAIR: Supporting Teaching of Algebra Individual Readiness in middle school. His collaboration on the project has allowed him to contribute to a multi-University effort to increase teacher efficacy support of students. Alain has also supported projects through his experience with design thinking. He has collaborated in the conception and facilitation of workshops aiming to understand the usability of assessment prototypes in the MMaRS project: Measuring Early Mathematical Reasoning Skills.

As part of his goals to contribute across the University Alain also supports Engineering and Science undergraduate students as they serve as camp counselors in his work at the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education. He directly manages the deployment of STEM integrated activities that surface Engineering to Middle and High School students in the Dallas area in an informal learning environment through the Hamon Engineering camps. He is also engaged in outreach programs that are seeking to serve underrepresented populations in Engineering. In his program manager role at the Institute, he contributes in fostering relationships and developing STEM activities for Voices of Hope and Jubilee Park. He is also part of the Maker Education project as his previous experiences developing teachers at the STEM academy leveraged the SMU Maker Truck as part of the training and outreach, one of the major goals to make Engineering accessible for the institute.

Before joining the University, Alain worked at the Dallas Independent School District as both a mathematics and science instructional coach for elementary and middle schools. He served as the inaugural STEM department head for the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy and was a science campus coordinator for Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary. Prior to becoming an Educator Alain worked in Environmental consulting. In this space his experiences ranged from aquaculture management and research for an aquatic toxicology firm to doing statistical analysis for the nutrient criteria standards at the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality. Alain has a Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies with a focus on Environmental Engineering, Geophysics and Public Health. His research doing microbial risk assessment of import products from Mexico is published on the Journal of Food Safety. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Design and Innovation at Lyle.


Sandra Garcia

A headshot of Sandra Garcia, Lyle School of Engineering.


Sandra Garcia is joining the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education at SMU Lyle School of Engineering. While obtaining a BS degree in electrical and computer engineering from UTEP, Sandra worked at Boeing’s Space and Missile Division in El Paso.  After completing her undergraduate degree, Sandra moved to Dallas and worked 7 years at Nortel Networks as a product support engineer. During her employment at Nortel and due to her continued interest in telecommunications, Sandra obtained an MS degree in engineering from SMU.  .

Transitioning to education, Sandra became a Certified Texas Educator through Collin College’s Alternative Certification Program.  Sandra worked as a bilingual teacher for over 15 years in Wylie ISD.   During her years at Wylie ISD, she served as the 2nd Grade Department Chair, PLC Teacher Lead, Vertical Team Lead and UIL Math coach. Sandra collaborated with other teachers across grade levels to improve the academic achievement of dual language students.  Most recently, she taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at Collin and Grayson College. 

Sandra is a lifelong learner who loves spending time with her husband and 3 children, volunteering at church, cooking, and creating digital photo albums.



Senior Fellows / Advisory Board

Name Title Phone Email
Carrie Allen Assistant Professor, Dept. of Educational Psychology, University of North Texas 940-565-4646
David Deggs Associate Director of Academic Programs, College of Innovation and Design, Texas A&M Commerce
DeeDee Conway Associate Dean of Operations, Research Assistant Professor, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-1771
John Easton  Senior Lecturer, Assistant Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-1721
Kathy Hubbard Director, Hart Center for Engineering Leadership, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-3033
Koshi Dhingra Founder and Director of talkSTEM
Leanne Ketterlin Geller  Texas Instruments Chair in Education; Professor, Education Policy & Leadership; Director, Research in Mathematics Education, Simmons School of Education and Human Development 214-768-4947
Scott Douglas  Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-4595
Seth Orsborn Director, Deason Innovation Gym, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-8797
Richard Duschl Executive Director, Caruth Institute for Engineering Education, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-3093


CIEE Fellows

Name Title Phone Email
Kevin Brenner  Assistant Professor, Computer and Electrical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
Joseph Camp  Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-8541
Nicos Makris  Addy Family Centennial Professor in Civil Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-1929
Katrina Martinez, M.Ed   Program Manager, West Dallas STEM School; Simmons School of Education and Human Development 214-768-1488
Rob Rouse  Clinical Associate Professor, Departmen of Teaching and Learning, Simmons School of Education and Human Development 214-768-1017
Janille-Smith Colin  Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-3110
Brett Story  Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-1991
Candace Walkington  Associate Professor, Department of Teaching & Learning, Simmons School of Education and Human Development 214-768-3072
Jessie Zarazaga  Clinical Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; Fellow, Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity 214-768-4960
Jennifer Dworak  Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering 214-768-1092
Anthony Petrosino  Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Outreach, Department of Teaching and Learning, Simmons School of Education and Human Development 214-768-4303
Jeanna R. Wieselmann   Assistant Professor of STEM Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, SMU 214-768-4824


CIEE Associate Fellows

Name Title Email
Nathália Helena Azevedo Pereira Ph.D. candidate in Science Teaching, University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil
Mandy Biggers Science Education Program Coordinator; Faculty Member, Department of Biology, Texas Woman's University
Jenny Christian STEM Science and Wellness Director, Dallas ISD
Hyat Hokayem Associate Professor, Texas Christian University
Danielle Keifert Assistant Professor, Dept. of Educational Psychology, University of North Texas
Meagan Pollock Founder & Chief Inclusion Engineer, Engineer Inclusion
Victor Sampson Associate Professor of STEM, University of Texas Austin
Jared Tavares Elementary Instructional Supervisor, STEM Science Department at Dallas Independent School District
Ladye Welpman STEM Director, Temple Christian School