Introducing the 2023 NCAPP Plenary Speakers

Ellen Iverson

Ellen Iverson is the Director of the Science Education Resource Center (SERC), a grant-funded office of Carleton College. SERC has worked with more than 300 education projects across the STEM disciplines, engaged with more than 1,400 institutions of higher education, and hosts a website of over 6,100 teaching activities. Iverson holds a Ph.D. in organizational leadership and policy from the University of Minnesota. She has been the evaluator or education researcher on more than 40 NSF-funded initiatives, including the POGIL Building Capacity in STEM Education Research. Her research interests focus on the role of professional development and communities of practice in curriculum, policy, and programs, particularly those aimed at broadening access. She uses mixed methods to assess how theories of change are enacted in programs aimed at improving teaching practices and student learning. Recent scholarship has included assessing student literacy and attitudes related to sustainability, assessing the influence of professional development on early career faculty, and developing instruments for measuring NSF broader impact plans. Prior to her time at Carleton, she spent 14 years in industry working for IBM and as the Technology Manager for Marathon Multimedia (a Learner's Digest International business).

Jayne Sommers

Jayne Sommers skillfully weaves threads of inclusion, social justice, theory-to-practice, and leadership into her approach to teaching and facilitation, and utilizes engaged learning pedagogical approaches to help individuals apply theory effectively in their work and personal lives. Sommers guides others through the process of self-discovery related to social identity and systems of power and privilege as well as the identification of meaningful action steps toward justice unique to one’s professional and personal circumstances. A thought leader in the field of trauma-informed education, Sommers has been a key player in the development of the Minnesota Institute for Trauma-Informed at the University of St. Thomas (MN).  She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Gustavus Adolphus College and an M.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. Upon returning to the states, she began to explore her true calling as an educator, spending the subsequent decade serving as a student-facing professional at a several Minnesota institutions of higher education. She is a trained sexual assault advocate and experienced coach with an interest in the development of holistic well-being in the lives of caring professionals.

Sommers also earned an M.A. in Leadership in Student Affairs from the University of St. Thomas and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development from the University of Minnesota. She now serves as an associate professor, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, and director of the Leadership in Student Affairs M.A. program at the University of St. Thomas. She is also the faculty director of Inclusive Teaching at St. Thomas.