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Science and math educator to lead Lawrence Hall of Science
15 January 2003

By Linda Schneider, Lawrence Hall of Science

Berkeley - Elizabeth K. Stage, an educator and leader with a national and international reputation in teacher development, student assessment and educational equity, has been named the new director of Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS), the University of California, Berkeley's public science center.

Stage currently directs the Mathematics Professional Development Institutes at the University of California Office of the President. As LHS director, she will return to an institution where she served throughout much of the 1980s in mathematics and computer education.

Elizabeth K. Stage
Elizabeth K. Stage

"I've spent 30 years of my professional life working on one goal-to increase opportunities for all students to learn worthwhile mathematics and science," said Stage, who holds a doctorate in education from Harvard University. "Lawrence Hall of Science played an important role in providing me with the background and skills that I have developed to promote educational equity."

In making the announcement of Stage's appointment, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Affairs Genaro M. Padilla said, "I am confident that Dr. Stage will sustain and enhance the excellence for which LHS is known."

Stage's national service includes director of critique and consensus at the National Research Council's National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment. She is president-elect of the National Center for Science Education, an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a former member and chair of the California Curriculum Commission. She serves as an expert in student assessment with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international organization helping governments tackle the economic, social and governance challenges of a global economy. In 1996, she won the Smith College Medal, awarded to "those alumnae who, in the judgment of the trustees, exemplify in their lives and work the true purpose of a liberal arts education."

While taking the reins during a state budget crisis and a weak overall economy will be a challenge, Stage points to the strong foundation in place at Lawrence Hall of Science because of the current director, Dr. Ian Carmichael, and LHS staff. During fiscal year 2001-2002, LHS raised more than $10 million in grants to fund the organization's role in professional development, curriculum development and public science education. Projects underway for the museum component of LHS include cutting-edge exhibits on Bay Area earth science, nanotechnology and modern astrophysics.

Stage will begin her tenure at the science center in February. Carmichael is retiring from the directorship to return to teaching and research in UC Berkeley's Department of Earth and Planetary Science. He will be honored for his contributions to Lawrence Hall of Science on May 13 at a public event celebrating LHS's 35th anniversary.