Your help could further MMSA’s vision of a brighter STEM future for the State of Maine and the nation. Today, I ask you to support MMSA and become a part of the movement to support exciting new ways for our youth to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math.
The purpose of MMSA’s board of directors is to advise, govern, oversee policy and direction, and assist with the leadership and general promotion of MMSA, so as to support the organizations mission and needs. Board members serve for three years, which may be renewed up to a maximum of three consecutive terms. MMSA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
MMSA Board Members
Chair – Andrew Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor of Technology, University of Southern Maine
Dr. Andrew Anderson is currently a Professor of Technology at the University of Southern Maine. He previously served as founding dean of USMs College of Science, Technology, and Health. The college included graduate and undergraduate programs in science, mathematics, engineering, nursing, technology, and health. He also served as Associate Dean of the School of Applied Science, Engineering, and Technology and chair of the Department of Technology.
Dr. Anderson has been an active participant in several professional associations on the local and national level. He currently serves as chair of the Board of Accreditation for the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering. In addition to serving on the board of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, he served on the board of the Maine Space Grant Consortium. Dr. Anderson earned his doctoral degree at Iowa State University and master’s and undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin Platteville.
Tom Berger, Ph.D.
Dr. Thomas R. Berger is emeritus Carter Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Colby College and former Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance and member of the Maine STEM Collaborative. He is past Chair of the Mathematical Association of America Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics, past member of the American Mathematical Society Task Force on Excellence in Mathematics Education, and past Reader in the College Board Calculus Advanced Placement Examinations.
He has served the National Science Foundation(NSF) as proposal reviewer, Program Director in Education and Human Resources, member of NSF National Visiting Committees, and as a reviewer for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program. He has served as an advisory board member and principal investigator on multiple NSF projects in education. He is the author of a textbook, papers on mathematics education, and numerous papers on mathematical research in finite group theory. He has carried on research and educational activities funded through NSF and other research grants in China, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Germany.
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, York School Department
Anita Bernhardt received her Master of Education degree in Teaching and Learning Environments from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1986 after earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bates College. She joined the York School Department in 2016 as the director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Anita oversees the design of the district curriculum, instruction, and assessment system. Her work includes collaboration with administrators and teachers to implement professional learning communities at the building and district levels, and coordinate professional development that will increase learning for all students.
Prior to coming to York, Anita served for 12 years at the Maine Department of Education. She came to the Maine DOE in 2004 as a “distinguished educator” and guided the revision of Maine’s Learning Results, an undertaking that updated Maine’s standards in eight content areas. While at the Maine DOE Anita, also served as the Maine State Science Specialist, and the Director of the Standards and Instructional Support Team. In these roles, she worked with organizations throughout the State of Maine to improve teaching and learning across a broad array of programs including Science education, proficiency-based education, educator effectiveness, early childhood and higher education. She represented Maine’s Commissioner of Education on the Governor’s STEM Council and is former secretary and board member for the Council of Chief State Science Specialists, an organization that represents science specialists from the 50 state education agencies and member of the Board of Directors for the Maine Science Teachers Association and the Maine Environmental Educators Association. Anita has been recognized by the MSTA, GMRI, TEEAM and Maine Audubon for her educational leadership. She is a 2013 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and taught science in Maine and New York.
K-6 Math Specialist, RSU 54
Jim Cook is currently the K-6 Math Specialist for RSU 54/ MSAD 54 school district, providing professional development for teachers in his district. Jim taught grades 5-8 from 1983 to 2004. In 1997, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. He received a masters degree in science education from U. Maine in 1990 and is currently working toward a Masters degree in K-6 Mathematics. He served as president of the Maine Science Teachers Association and worked with Page Keeley at MMSA as the Christa McAuliffe Fellow in 1999.
Research Scientist, IDEXX
Dr. Jennifer Gagner is a native Mainer who graduated from Sanford High School in 2003 with an interest in STEM and nanotechnology. She attended MIT, graduating in 2007 with a BS in Materials Science & Engineering, and went on to receive her PhD in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2012. Her research focused on how nanoparticles interact with biological molecules, and this work drew her into a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center designing nanotheranostics. In 2015, she joined IDEXX as a Research Scientist in Corporate R&D leading a small team working on new immunoassay technologies.
Coming from a family of public educators, Jennifer understands the importance of strong public education in all subject areas, but particularly in STEM. Throughout her career she has volunteered extensively to interest students in STEM, with a particular focus on encouraging young women considering STEM careers. Jennifer participated in the MIT HKN/Microsoft Women’s Initiative Program educating 5th and 6th grade girls about engineering, and gave several lectures as part of Nanodays, an initiative to interest 1st-3rd graders in nanotechnology. For five years, she led sections of RPI’s “Design Your Future Day,” a program targeted at 11th grade women interested in pursuing STEM, and also volunteered as part of TWC’s Connect a Million Minds Initiative. For two consecutive years, she led sections in the Rensselaer Nanotechnology Curriculum Development Summer Institute, assisting high school STEM teachers in developing hands-on experiments to help students understand the science and impact of nanotechnology.
Jennifer is excited to be back in Maine, and directing her energy to helping the evolution of STEM education in Maine. She currently volunteers with the Falmouth/Gorham FIRST Robotics program and in her free time, she enjoys hiking, running, and fiddling.
Vice Chair – Jeffrey Hecker, Ph.D.
Provost, University of Maine
Jeffrey Hecker received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UMaine in 1986 after earning the B.S. degree (Phi Beta Kappa) in Liberal Arts and Sciences (Psychology) from the University of Illinois. He joined the UMaine faculty in 1986 as director of the Psychological Services Center, the training clinic for UMaines doctoral program in clinical psychology.
Dr. Hecker is a clinical researcher whose work focuses on understanding and treating anxiety, and more recently on risk assessment for people who have committed sexual offenses, including adolescents. He is the author of two books and scores of journal articles and presentations. A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Hecker has extensive experience in providing research and clinical consultation to the Maine Department of Corrections, Division of Juvenile Services; and as mental health consultant to the Penobscot Job Corps Center and Penquis CAP Head Start, both in Bangor.
He advanced through the academic ranks to Professor of Psychology, chairing the Department of Psychology from 2002-07. In 2007, he was named Interim Dean and, a year later, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Hecker became the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost in September 2013. As Provost, Dr. Hecker is responsible for all academic programs. He is primarily concerned with creating rich learning experiences for all UMaine students both in and out of the classroom. He is responsible for advancing UMaines research and public service missions as well and believes that the universitys tripartite mission is best accomplished when student learning, creation of new knowledge, and public service are fully integrated.
Treasurer – Kevin London
Fairchild Semiconductor (Retired)
Kevin recently retired from Fairchild Semiconductor as SVP of human resources after 34 years in the semiconductor business in a range of responsibilities. Fairchild has 9000 employees in 25 countries.
Camden Hills Regional High School
Margo is a teacher at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport. She currently teaches freshman in Global Science, an integrated core science class aligned with NGSS and an elective course focused on sustainable agriculture, horticulture, and gardening. She also serves as advisor to an active group of students, the Windplanners, that are focused on moving their school campus towards becoming carbon neutral. Margo has served on numerous local and state committees, and Academies Teacher Advisory Council. In 2003, she became a national board certified teacher in earth science, and she received the presidential award for excellence in mathematics and science teaching in 1994.
Secretary – Janet Sortor, Ph.D.
Southern Maine Community College
Dr. Janet Sortor is the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at Southern Maine Community College, in South Portland, ME. Dr. Sortor has worked in higher education for over 30 years beginning her career in Boston, MA. She holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts; a masters degree from Boston University; and bachelors degree from Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Sortor served as a Vista Volunteer in Kansas City, KA prior to graduate school, during which time she taught math to drop out and push out students from the Kansas City Schools, and developed an early awareness of the importance of math literacy and the consequences of the lack thereof. Throughout her career she has worked to strengthen math and science preparation and the general education foundation of all students as critical skills for success in STEM and technical fields. She serves on the board of the Friends of Casco Bay and MMSA. Dr. Sortor enjoys fly fishing and is an ardent cook and gardener.