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STEM Education Staff

Zac Ames

Zac Ames, Office Assistant

 Zac is the Office Assistant for Battelle Education. As a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, Zac has tried to balance his loves of education, non-profit work and the outdoors. Over the past 4 years he has worked as a campus campaign coordinator, outdoor educator and substitute teacher. In that time, he has developed a perspective that has made him very supportive of the future of STEM education.

Zac is very excited to continue working with Battelle after he spent time assisting the DC office during a 2017 internship program. As a policy fellow, he helped assist in office procedures that dealt with everything from budgetary research to legislative interactions. Zac brings those same skills to Battelle Education’s STEM initiatives.

Zac graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Environmental Policy and Decision Making with a minor in Biology. He was a John Glenn Policy Fellow and the President of the student coalition of the Sierra Club.

Zac spends his free time being outside as much possible either running, biking or hammocking. He also enjoys live music and exploring the city for new restaurants and thrift stores.

Becky Ashe

Becky Ashe, STEM Relationship Manager

Becky Ashe joined the Battelle team full-time in 2019 following a 30-year career in public K-12 education. She works as a STEM Relationship Manager because she believes that the outcome of education is hope; and just like the problem-solvers of Battelle, when smart people focus on an issue the needle moves. All children deserve to see momentum towards an educational system that gives them hope and provides opportunities to see their dreams come true.

Becky holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Secondary Science Education from the University of Tennessee, and an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) from Lincoln Memorial University in Administration and Supervision.She is also certified as a Specialist in Urban Education by the University of Tennessee and as a Cognitive Coach (and trainer) by the international organization, Thinking Collaborative.Becky used her education and experience to see one of her dreams come true in establishing the L&N STEM Academy, a standalone magnet STEM high school in Knoxville, TN which ranked in the Top 5% of high schools nationwide by US News and World Reports in its 5th year in operation.

In her free time Becky enjoys travel, camping and hiking with her family.She is also a prolific southern cook and holds licensure as a taxidermist in Tennessee (only natural for a former biology teacher!).

Sam Bodary

Sam Bodary, Project Specialist

Sam Bodary is a STEM Project Specialist on the Education and Philanthropy team. He previously worked in The Ohio State University’s Department of Social Change, leading after-school outreach programs in Columbus Metro Library system. His team of 20 volunteers brought weekly STEM, art, and literacy programs to K-12 students across Columbus.

Sam now supports the team’s efforts to bring STEM opportunities to students across Ohio and the nation. He works on the Army Education Outreach Project, impacting over 30,000 students every year with free STEM programming. He also runs essay contests, studies The Metro School model, and produces Battelle’s STEM podcast, Greater Than STEM.

Sam graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English Literature from The Ohio State University. He received a summer fellowship to complete his senior thesis, a study on the metafictional engagement between American novelist David Foster Wallace and J.D. Salinger.

He spends his free time making records as the singer/songwriter of an indie-folk band called Hello Emerson. Sam spends the rest of his time listening to music and helping out at the library. Right now, his favorite authors are Mo Willems and John Darnielle.

Gretchen Brown

Gretchen Brown, Project Manager

Gretchen Brown joined the Battelle team in 2011 to aid in the startup of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. She is now a Project Manager for Battelle Education, working on not only the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, but also the Ohio STEM Learning Network and STEMx National Network. Whatever kind of work Gretchen does day-to-day, she always keeps in mind that it’s all about the kids. From kindergarten to jobs, she works to ensure that students are college and career ready upon graduation.

Gretchen earned her Masters in Business Administration from Western Governors University and her BA in Mass Communication with a specialization in public relations from Wright State University. She comes to Battelle with a background in nonprofits and extensive experience in startup organizations. Gretchen is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute. She is also a graduate of the Donelson-Hermitage Leadership program, trained by the Center for Nonprofit Management in Grant Writing and Major Gifts, and is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Tennessee.

In her free time, Gretchen enjoys boating, sewing, and crafts of all kinds, including do-it-yourself interior design and home improvement. She is a proud fur-mom to three dogs and one cat and can often be found cuddling with any animal she might come across.

David Burns

David Burns, Director of STEM Innovation Networks at Battelle Education

David Burns is the director of STEM Innovation Networks at Battelle Education. He joined in 2008, doing instrumental work to establish and expand the Ohio STEM Learning Network and Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. He also helped to establish STEMx, a nationwide STEM education network linking over 20 statewide organizations across the United States.

David had a previous career in the restaurant and hospitality business, as well as working with the Disney Corporation on the EPCOT project. In his career in education, David worked as the Chief of Staff for Cincinnati Public Schools. During their restructuring project, David’s work was instrumental in opening 11 new high schools over two years.

David holds a BA in English and Education, and a master’s in English Literature from Northern Kentucky University. Before working at Battelle Education, he was the Executive Director of the Office of Transformation and Career Technical Education in the Ohio Department of Education. There, he pioneered state policy initiatives like STEM schools, STEM networks, credit flexibility, and stackable certificates.

David continues to create these opportunities through his work at Battelle Education. In his spare time, he enjoys working on his house and yard.

Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook, STEM Project Specialist

Sarah joined the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network in 2019 as a STEM Project Specialist. She specializes in event management and operational improvement projects. Sarah is passionate about improving equity and access in education; she also believes that strong educator professional development, student advocacy and community outreach are key factors in equitable access in education.

Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature and master’s degree in College Student Personnel from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior to Battelle, she was a Program Manager for the Tennessee Department of Education. As a Program Manager, she helped students earn college credit while still in high school through managing Tennessee’s eight early postsecondary opportunities. 

Sarah enjoys reading, hiking, and the occasional pop culture needlework project. She also loves exploring new cultures, art, and food through traveling. You can generally find her, coffee and maps in hand, planning her next adventure.

Evan Curran

Evan Curran, MakerMinded Program Manager, Tennessee STEM Innovation Network

Evan Curran is the Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Communications for the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. He manages several of the Network’s professional development programs and seeks to amplify the voices of educators through targeted marketing and communications strategies. 

Prior to joining the team at Battelle, Evan taught middle school math and science in Antioch, TN, just south of Nashville. He is passionate about providing opportunities for students to connect classroom learning to the real-world and promoting educator perspective in policy-making. 

He has a Masters of Education from Lipscomb University and a BS in Public Policy and Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University. 

Evan is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Great Britain. He loves playing tennis and spending time with his three rescue pups, Penny, Nelly, and Mabel. 

Rob Evans

Rob Evans, Battelle Education Communications Manager

Rob Evans helps people understand the complex stories that impact our world. As Battelle Education’s communication manager, he works on a variety of projects, ranging from press releases to social media. Rob shines the spotlight on exciting developments within and beyond the Ohio STEM Learning Network by managing  

Rob craves the moment when the audience really “gets it.” Whether with a presentation, video, or writing, he creates true moments of understanding, conveying the core content and feeling of a topic. Rob strives to make those moments happen every day.  

Rob earned a BA in Political Science from Capital University before working with the Ohio Board of Regents. His previous experience as a communication consultant primes him to bridge the gaps between teams, connecting innovative educators with communities that seek to do more with their school system.  

Rob is passionate about practical science in almost any form. Recently, he was thrilled with the opportunity to speak at the Kennedy Space Center. He volunteers for Columbus Science Pub and reads textbooks about rocketry and spaceflight in his spare time.

Kelly Gaier Evans

Kelly Gaier Evans, Senior STEM Relationship Manager

Kelly Gaier Evans aims to open doors and opportunities for students across the country. She started her career with the Education and Philanthropy team at Battelle in 2012 as a STEM Project Specialist. Currently, she serves as the Senior STEM Relationship Manager for Battelle and works to expand Computer Science education for students across Ohio. 

At Battelle, Gaier Evans has spent the past seven years managing STEM teacher professional development experiences for teachers across Ohio and multiple states across the STEMx network. A certified Project Management Professional, she manages and leads multiple contracts for Battelle including the regional partnership with In this role, Gaier Evans manages a team of facilitators as well as managing deliverables and the project budget. With the team of facilitators, she works to expand teacher capacity across Ohio to teach foundational computer science to Ohio K-12 students. 

Prior to joining Battelle, Gaier Evans worked both in the classroom as a high school math teacher and on state level policy at the Ohio Department of Higher Education (formerly referred to as the Ohio Board of Regents).  Kelly earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies from Capital University.  She earned her teaching license while teaching in the Delta region of Arkansas.

Kelly apologetically dominates family games of Settlers of Catan. She is also on her way towards visiting all of the national parks by foot or by kayak. She loves reading, crafting, and listening to the Delta blues.

Stephanie Johnson

Stephanie Johnson, Senior STEM Relationship Manager

Dr. Stephanie Johnson started her career with the Education and Philanthropy team at Battelle in 2012 as a STEM Relationship Manager. Currently, she serves as the Program Manager for Battelle’s work with the Army Educational Outreach Program. She developed and manages the Innovative Leaders Institute. She leads the team’s work in crafting a new business strategy to reach 1 million students by 2025 and serves as the team’s proposal manager. In addition, she is a Mission First Facilitator, serves on the Affinity Board, leads a Team Battelle project at the Community Shelter Board, participated in the Leadership Cohort program, and was named a 2018 Women’s History month honoree. 

Prior to joining Battelle, Stephanie managed the education program at the Ohio State University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Before returning to Ohio, Stephanie managed school-based nutrition and physical activity research projects in the Los Angeles Unified School District for the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Stephanie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Family Relations and Human Development from The Ohio State University. She also earned her Master’s in Public Health and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her teaching license from the University of Texas, Pan Am while teaching and serving as a Teach for America in the Rio Grande Valley.  

Regina Schofield

Regina Schofield, Director of Corporate Engagement & Education Outreach for Battelle Education

The Honorable Regina B. Schofield is the Director of Corporate Engagement & Education Outreach for Battelle Education. Based in the Washington D.C., she leads Battelle’s east coast STEM education initiatives in addition to regional philanthropy efforts.  

Nominated by the President, she served as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs at the U. S. Department of Justice. In that position, she oversaw programs like Project Safe Childhood, the Prisoner Reentry Initiative, and the White House Initiative on Helping America’s Youth, among many others. 

Regina attended Mississippi College for a BS in Business Administration, then attended Jackson State University, earning an MBA in Business Management. She currently serves on the boards of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, Excelsior College, Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, and the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence.  

Her wide-ranging career has placed her in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Awarded Alumna of the Year by Mississippi College’s School of Business in 2014, she enjoys knitting and reading when she has the time.

Heather Sherman

Heather Sherman, Director of the Ohio STEM Learning Network

As a STEM Relationship Manager for Battelle Education, Heather Sherman uses her insatiable curiosity and genuine love of people and problem solving to bring about solutions to important problems. When dealing with complex issues, she sees patterns and connections between people and ideas to find creative avenues to optimize results. 

Heather loves to find creative ways to bring people together to optimize results. She is particularly proud of her work with the Geauga iSTEM Early College High School from its inception. Seeing the school develop thanks to the commitment of the founding team and the trust that the community had was one of the most rewarding moments of her career.  

She has a BA in English from Roanoke College and an MBA from Franklin University. Recently she finished facilitating a highly selective professional development program for high school teachers, focusing on implementing blended learning in the classroom, known as the Trailblazer Teachers. She also received two teaching excellence awards from Franklin University, her former place of employment.  

Heather likes reading, hiking, and treasure hunting for antiques. She’s also convinced that she is going to be one of the last people on earth who uses the telephone for talking.

Brandi Stroecker

Brandi Stroecker, Director, Tennessee STEM Innovation Network

Brandi Stroecker is the Director of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. A veteran educator, she has spent over a decade teaching 6-12th grade Science and STEM in high poverty, urban schools. In 2012, the Tennessee Science Teachers Association honored her work with an Excellence in High School Science Teacher Award.

Throughout her career, Brandi has worked to expand STEM learning opportunities for economically disadvantaged communities, both urban and rural. From 2009-2016 she served as Lead Teacher/Program Manager for the Shelby Scholars Summer Institute, a two-week summer STEM camp open to local students grades 5-9. This program approached student learning through project and inquiry-based activities that reflect real-world problem solving, helping non-math/science teachers to integrate STEM into their disciplines.                                                        

Brandi holds a BS from the University of Memphis, a Masters in K-12 Education from the University of Tennessee, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Christian Brothers University. A child of rural Arkansas, her family had limited access to STEM and Science disciplines, as well as higher education. She hopes to help provide STEM and Science opportunities for all children across Tennessee.

Brandi loves adventure: anything from skydiving to spelunking. As a mom of three boys, the outdoors is always a part of any free time they spend together.

Leslie Vesha

Leslie Vesha, Manager of Philanthropy and STEM Learning at Battelle Education

Leslie Vesha has been a manager of Philanthropy and STEM Learning at Battelle Education since 2011. A proud mother of three, she is passionate about improving education opportunities for students in early grades, setting them up with a solid foundation for success on their educational journeys. 

Leslie is passionate about challenging and innovative ideas in education. Earlier in her career, she was a Program Assistant at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working to ensure that students graduate high school with the skills they need to succeed in college. 

Leslie earned a BS in Business Administration from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, majoring in Operations Management with a focus in Purchasing. Her knowledge and experience with nonprofits and project management shine through, focusing the team each and every day.  

Leslie is a huge fan of Game of Thrones. She will not hesitate to jump into a conversation at a moment’s notice, regaling the office with the latest happenings from Westeros to Essos.