STEM Lab Members

Dr. David Devraj Kumar, Director

Dr. David Devraj Kumar, Director Dr. David Devraj Kumar is a Professor of Science Education and Founding Director of the STEM Education Laboratory in the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University. He is a former Visiting Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brown Center on Education Policy, The Brookings Institution, and a Past President of The American Institute of Chemists. With an emphasis on STEM education reform in the United States, his research and scholarly activities focus on digital media-enhanced STEM teaching and learning contexts, STEM teacher supply to high need schools, problem-based learning, gaps in rhetoric and practice in science education policy, evaluation, and needs assessment. He has directed research and development projects and served as the Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator of projects competitively funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He has published books with SAGE and Kluwer Academic, and articles in refereed journals such as the Journal of Science Education and Technology, Journal of Materials Education, American Behavioral Scientist, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and Thin Solid Films, and presented papers at national/international conferences. He serves on the boards and committees of journals and professional associations, and initiated a successful student Academic Service-Learning collaboration with a local science museum. His contributions to STEM education have received several recognitions including the Sir Ron Nyholm Education Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and FAU Presidential Award for Outstanding Engaged Research. He is an elected Fellow of the International Academy of Education and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Victoria Brown

Dr. Victoria Brown Dr. Victoria Brown is currently pursuing her research interest as faculty in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Florida Atlantic University after serving as the Assistant Provost for the Center for eLearning. In her role at the Center for eLearning, she oversaw the development of online degrees, course development, faculty professional development, online student support, and provided an online student experience. Dr. Brown held leadership positions for several state and national organizations. She is a board member for the Florida Distance Learning Association, past chair of the Online Student Support for the 2025 Strategic Plan for Online Education in Florida, past co-chair of Student Support for the Florida Virtual Campus Distance Education and Student Support Members Council, past-Vice President of Information Technology Council for the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, and former President of the Missouri Learning Disability for Council of Exceptional Children. For her instructional design work in the non-for-profit sector, she received the Meritorious Service Medal from the Southeast Region Commander of the Civil Air Patrol. She has also received the Distance Educator of the Year for Higher Education by the Florida Distance Learning Association, Effective Practice Award for student support from the Online Learning Consortium, and the Best-in-Track Award for her research work in online student support services from the Online Learning Consortium. Through her research work, she co-developed the Online Student Support Scorecard available through the Online Learning Consortium. Her research interest is evaluation of factors associated with providing high quality online programs through course design and professional development within higher education, application of universal design and media literacy to improve student outcomes for low-socioeconomic status individuals, and the improvement of online student outcomes with support services. She continues to explore how to use emerging technology to design engaging learner experiences.

Robotics Day 2023 Department of Curriculum and Instruction FAU

Dr. Joseph M. Furner

Dr. Joseph M. Furner Joseph M. Furner, Ph.D. is Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter, Florida. His scholarly research includes math anxiety, the implementation of the national/state math standards, English language issues as they relate to math instruction, the use of technology/GeoGebra in mathematics instruction, math manipulatives, family math, and children’s literature in the teaching of mathematics. He is the author of more than 80 peer-reviewed papers and over 1300 Google Scholar citations for his work in mathematics education. Dr. Furner has worked as an educator in New York, Florida, Mexico, and Colombia. He was the 2011 recipient of the Florida Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators Mathematics Teacher Educator of the Year Award. Dr. Furner is the founding editor of Mathitudes Online at: Please feel free to write to him at:

Dr. Sabrina F. Sembiante

Dr. Sabrina F. Sembiante Sabrina F. Sembiante, Ph.D., is an associate professor of TESOL and Bilingual Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and doctoral coordinator of the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction program. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Miami in Teaching and Learning with an area of specialization in Language and Literacy Learning in Multilingual Settings. She also served as a postdoctoral researcher at The Ohio State University’s Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy before coming to FAU. Her research agenda looks to document the varied and complex ways teachers and children use their multiple languages and semiotic resources in pre-K12 contexts and to explore how functional language instruction can provide emergent-to-advanced bi/multilingual students with meaningful access to content area knowledge and discourse. She employs ethnographic, discourse-analytic, and statistical approaches to analyze textual and video data documenting sociocultural influences on participants’ language and literacy development.

Dr. Susannah Brown

Dr. Susannah Brown Dr. Susannah L. Brown, Professor, Art Education, College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, works with all ages, PreK-adults, to inspire academic excellence and a commitment to the community through arts engagement for over thirty years. She was recognized as the NAEA Higher Education Educator of the Year in 2019 and the NAEA Southeastern Higher Education Art Educator in 2018. She has published book chapters, scholarly articles, and textbooks, “Curriculum Integration in Contemporary Teaching Practice: Emerging Research and Opportunities” (2018), “The Can’t Be Seen Who Couldn’t Squawk “Teaching Art Integration in the Schools” (Cengage, 2021,2nded.), and “Creative Literacy in Action: Birth through Age Nine” (Cengage, 2018), which all incorporate creative engagement activities in teaching practice. Her recent work includes a children’s book collaboration with author Dr. Dale F. Williams entitled, “The Can’t Be Seen Who Couldn’t Squawk” published by The Brainary. Cross disciplinary expertise in the arts and STEAM education along with teaching experience with diverse learners, propels Dr. Brown forward as an engaged faculty member and mentor for her students.

Dr. Tricia L. Meredith

Dr. Tricia L. Meredith is the Director of Research for Florida Atlantic University’s on-site lab school, A.D. Henderson University School and FAU High School. She is also an Assistant Research Professor in FAU’s College of Education and Affiliate Faculty in the Dept. of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology as well at the Wilkes Honors College. Dr. Meredith has collaboratively developed and oversees four main research initiatives, including (1) the FAUHS Research Program, which guides dual enrolled students in undergraduate research, (2) the FAUHS Imaging Lab, which serves as a scientific imaging hub for research collaboration, science instruction, and mentorship, (3) the Comprehensive Educator Research Program, which supports K-12 educators in conducting school-based research projects and (4) the OPK12 Research Committee, which mediates all research collaborations with the school. As a biologist, Dr. Meredith conducts research on sharks and their sense of smell, in addition to her research on dual enrollment, undergraduate research, and STEM education. She has shared her research findings as conference presentations and publications in both disciplines as well. Her focus, which draws these different interests together, lies in hands-on, project-based, research training and the impact of mentorship.

Dr. Pilar Forero Taylor

Dr. Pilar Forero Taylor Pilar Forero Taylor, M.Ed., Ph.D(c), is a passionate educator who has impacted STEM education and student learning. Pilar is the Director of the Stiles-Nicholson STEM Teacher Academy (SNSTA) for FAU/FAU Lab Schools within the College of Education. A native of Bogota, Colombia, she was an English language learner in the US, inspired by dedicated teachers, which paved her transition from a successful international marketing career into education. She holds a B.S. in Business Management and an M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where she is also earning her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction by the Fall 2023. With over 20 years in education, Pilar has held key roles, including being a math teacher, curriculum coordinator, educational technology trainer, and cross country/track coach. Notably, she oversaw academic achievement at Florida Atlantic University’s on-site lab school, A.D. Henderson University School and FAU High School (ADHUS/FAUHS) and initiated the Henderson Scholars Program, accelerating middle school students' academic foundation. Pilar is a member of Leadership Palm Beach County's Engage Class of 2024; a highly selective and immersive professional-development experience immersing participants through important aspects within Palm Beach County.
Pilar's research focuses on improving degree attainment in underrepresented populations, using Self-Determination Theory and advocating for STEM education integration in the PK-12 classroom. As a devoted mother of three, including two high-achieving FAUHS, FAU undergraduate and graduate Computer Science alumni, Pilar's passion lies in empowering educators and inspiring students to become lifelong learners in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Her bilingualism, marketing expertise, and commitment to STEM underscore her impactful contributions to the academic community.
Visit the FAU Stiles-Nicholson STEM Teacher Academy website for details on cost-free professional development educator workshops.

Dr. Ann Musgrove

Dr. Ann Musgrove Dr. Ann Musgrove is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University. Her research interests include technology integration in K-12 classrooms and how higher education faculty use technology to benefit learning. Ann was part of a small group that created the first Center for eLearning at FAU.
Ann has extensive experience designing professional development programs for instructors transitioning into online and blended learning environments. She enjoys working with faculty and administrative teams to create, administer and deliver meaningful, flexible, learning environments. She embraces the philosophy of “Pedagogy before Technology”. Currently Ann teaches instructional technology courses online and face to face at both the graduate and undergraduate level and has been teaching online for over 15 years. She is actively involved with both the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and Quality Matters (QM).

Dr. Bryan Nichols

Dr. Bryan Nichols Bryan H. Nichols is an associate professor of science and environmental education, and FAU's Environmental Education Coordinator. He has a PhD in science education and master's degrees in marine science and science journalism. He is passionate about nature and wildlife; his science research focused on behavioral ecology and he has been involved in field research on species including wolves, bears, orca, and goliath grouper. He currently studies the importance of scientific and environmental literacy, the affective and moral implications of science education, and the use of animals, especially wildlife, in formal and informal education. He also works with FAU Harbor Branch on marine science outreach and education.

Dr. Ronald C. Persin

Dr. Ronald C. Persin Ronald C. Persin, Ed. D.
College of Education, Florida Atlantic University
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning
Professional Memberships: AAPT, IEEE, ACM, ACS, Linkedin

Teaching Experience

  • Florida Atlantic University: Teaching Science with Inquiry
  • United World College USA: Physics Professor
  • Nova Southeastern University: Methods of Teaching Mathematics

Science Consulting

  • Allegro Productions: Science Screen Report (SSR) Review Panel
  • The Chemist: Journal of the American Institute of Chemists Editorial Board

Recent Publications

  1. Published e-book, Java Programming,
  2. Published e-books, Physics Simply Put (Vol. I), Mechanics with Calculus, and Physics Simply Put (Vol. II), Electricity and Magnetism with Calculus,
  3. Analysis of Teacher-authored, High School Physics Websites
  4. Web-Assisted Instruction (WAI) in Physics
  5. Web Design and NSES Content/Process Standards
  6. Ozone in the Stratosphere: Accumulation and Flow
  7. Website:

Current Research Interests: History and Philosophy of Science, Team-based Learning, BSCS 5E Teaching Model, How Students Learn Science, Computer Supported Teaching, Brain-Computer Interface, Programming in Python, Java, and Rust, Asteroid Mining

Dr. Jillian Powers

Dr. Jillian Powers Dr. Jillian Powers is an Associate Professor of Instructional Technology at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) for the College of Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. Dr. Powers teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in instructional technology and design. Her research focuses on teachers’ adoption and integration of technology, preparing pre-service teachers to integrate technology, and STEM education. In 2019, she was selected to be an FAU Woman Leader in STEM and in 2022, she was the recipient of the FAU College of Education Researcher of the Year award at the Associate Professor level. Her research has been published in journals such as Educational Technology Research and Development, Computers in the Schools, and the Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Dr. Powers has also presented at numerous conferences and currently serves on the editorial review board of Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education.

Community Engagement

The Development of Computational Thinking Skills through Robot Design Activities with St. Vincent Ferrer School, Delray Beach, FL

Florida Atlantic University Community Engagement Grant
Principal Investigator: Jillian Powers
Award Amount: $1,000.00 (funded October 2019)

Dr. Ashley Rivera

Dr. Ashley Rivera Not known for being a wall-flower, Dr. Rivera believes in the power of a positive attitude and a smile. She started her health care journey as an EMT, but came to love nursing for the continuation of care aspects. She has a strong love for community health and nursing education at all levels. Her primary practice experience includes Pediatric Hospice, Liver Transplant, Medical Surgical, High Risk Pregnancy, Diabetic Education and Telemetry. Currently she is an Assistant Professor for Florida Atlantic University on tenure-track and her research is primarily focused on the intersection of masculinity and fatherhood as it relates to health promotion, wellness activities, and suicide prevention. Her theory, Caregiving in Fathers, was published in 2023. Dr. Rivera also serves as the Director of Communications for the Southern Nursing Research Society and is the Co-Chair of the Communications Committee for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Network (DEILN).