STAR_Net STEAM Equity Project: Advisors

Kids doing activities on a STEM exhibition

The STEAM Equity Project’s Library Outreach Advisors will provide critical expertise on developing culturally responsive programming and conducting successful outreach to Latinx community members and families.

Library Outreach Advisors were selected through a national call and will serve throughout the five-year project term (2020 – 2024). In addition to Library Outreach Advisors, the STEAM Equity Project will work with Planning and Research Advisors to guide all elements of the project.

Library Outreach Advisors

Headshot of Flo Trujillo

Flo (Florencia) Trujillo is youth services coordinator at the Farmington Public Library in New Mexico. She also serves as president of REFORMA de Nuevo Mexico and twice was named an Afterschool Ambassador by the Afterschool Alliance. She was named a Día Dynamo for El día de los niños/El día de los libros, Children's Day/Book Day.

Headshot of Miguel Ruiz

Miguel Ruiz is a graduate of the University of Illinois master’s program in library and information science. He's worked in diverse information environments including public, academic and special libraries. Currently he serves as a supervising librarian at Evanston Public Library, where he oversees the Robert Crown Branch Library with a focus on management, community engagement and equity.

Headshot of Veronica Casanova

Veronica Casanova works for the Tulare County Library System’s Exeter Branch Library, her childhood library. Veronica’s passion for outreach to the Spanish-speaking community drove her to apply and obtain the California Humanities Library Innovation Lab (LIL) Grant. With the LIL grant funds, she designed and implemented programming to engage this population. Through the California State Library’s Developing MakerSpaces in Libraries Throughout California Grant, she created MakerSpace programming for her community to create, play and learn. Thanks to the California State Library, the small rural community of Exeter, California is able to experiment with robotics, 3D printing and other STEAM programming. Veronica is an active member of REFORMA de Valle Central, where she supports literacy and community efforts to improve the well-being of the Latinx community. In her free time, she likes to jog, do yoga, binge shows on Netflix, read (of course!) and spend time with family.

Planning Committee

Headshot of Alicia Santiago

Dr. Alicia Santiago has a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology, specializing in neurodevelopment, from the University of California, Davis. Her studies include research into the mechanisms involved in neuronal guidance in the peripheral and visual nervous systems. Since 2007, Dr. Santiago has been involved in the development and implementation of innovative direct and mass-media science and health education national-level programs for the Latinx community. Her expertise also includes professional development on cultural competence to assist science educators in cross-cultural understanding and teaching effectiveness, and translation of scientific and technical language and concepts for professional and lay audiences, including Spanish-speaking Latinx-audiences. Dr. Santiago is a Co-PI for the NSF-funded SciGirls CONNECT 2 and Latina SciGirls media and community-based outreach projects designed to inspire and encourage STEM learning and participation for girls and develop their interest in STEM careers. She is also a Co-PI for BRAINedu/CEREBROedu: A Window into the brain/ Una ventana al cerebro, a project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that provides Latinx students and families with bilingual resources about brain structure and function, neuroscience careers, and mental health. She was also a Co-PI on SciGirls en Español and SciGirls en la Familia.

Headshot of Cheryl Juarez

Cheryl Juárez is the senior director of professional development at the Frost Science Museum. With over 25 years of experience creating professional development models and curricula, she currently serves as PI for Children Investigating Science with Parents and Afterschool (CHISPA), an NSF-funded broad implementation project working with Latinx communities throughout the U.S, and Early Childhood Hands-On Science (ECHOS), a research-based program developed with US DOE funding, now used in 15 states, to improve school readiness. She recently directed the NSF-funded Girls RISEnet National Museum Network, which helped informal educators connect minority girls to careers in science and engineering.

Headshot of Damary Bonilla-Rodriguez

Dr. Damary Bonilla-Rodriguez is the Latina initiative project manager for Girls, Inc. and a national leading authority on leadership development, especially as it pertains to diversity and inclusion. She delivers keynote addresses and presentations drawing upon her experience from roles in the nonprofit, private and government sectors, as well as her doctoral research. Her research about Latina leadership in the United States has served as the foundation for events, conference sessions, publications and content development, all of which address the urgent need for leadership development within this fast-growing population and create a pipeline of diverse leaders. Dr. Bonilla-Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and social work from the College of New Rochelle where she received the College President’s Medal, graduated with departmental honors and was awarded the Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Award. She also holds a Master of Science degree in organizational communications and a specialized certification in corporate communications, both from the College of New Rochelle. Personal experience in overcoming statistics and accessing higher education led her to earn a doctorate in education focusing on Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College. 

Headshot of Maddie Correa Zeigler

Maddie Correa Zeigler is an educational consultant and grant proposal developer with vast experience in informal science education. Prior to her consulting career, she served as a senior education staff member at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS) for 17 years. She has served as PI and project director for major federal grant projects dealing with science education, including serving as PI for an NSF-funded bilingual project aimed at increasing science exposure/literacy for Latinx families. During her tenure at NMMNHS, she oversaw an award-winning program that provided bilingual (Spanish/English) family science workshops and teacher professional development within the context of a community partnership with K-8 schools.

Research Advisor

Headshot of Nancy Staus

Dr. Nancy Staus is a senior researcher at the STEM Research Center and is also serving an appointment in Oregon State University's College of Education. She received her Ph.D. in science education (2012) from Oregon State University and is currently leading the STEM Beyond Schools project. Dr. Staus has a strong interest in how/why people learn science (especially biology) and in improving science education both in and out of school. In particular, she is interested in pursuing research on 1) the role of emotion, interest and attitudes in learning science at the post-secondary level and/or out-of-school settings (e.g. field schools, ecotourism experiences); and 2) how out-of-school science experiences such as ecotourism support the development of ecologically responsible behaviors.

Above image courtesy of Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, Ill.