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 a retired youth services coordinator of 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 an information professional with knowledge in diverse environments including public, academic, and special libraries. Currently he serves as the Librarian Supervisor at Arlington Public Library in Virginia, where he oversees the Shirlington Branch with a focus on public services, programming, collection 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 Cheryl Juarez

Cheryl Juárez has over 25 years of experience creating professional development models and curricula. She served 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. In the early childhood space, she served as project director for Move2Learn, an international researcher-practitioner collaborative project, funded by NSF and the Wellcome Trust, investigating how interactive museum exhibits can be designed to help young children aged 3-6 years express, communicate, and develop their scientific thinking, 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 served as project director 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 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 non-profit, 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. Her published written accomplishments include the books Ethics, Gender, and Leadership in the Workplace and Today’s Inspired Latina (Volume II), as well as contributing to the Huffington Post and being featured by several media outlets including NBC Latino, Chief Writing Wolf, and the Empowered Latinas series. She serves multiple organizations on boards and in an advisory capacity, including as the appointed representative of the Poconos Region, Pennsylvania on statewide commissions on Redistricting Reform and Latino affairs (GACLA). 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.