BE STEM Center Leadership Team

Faculty and staff from several academic and administrative units comprise the center’s multidisciplinary collaborative team, leveraging academic and professional expertise centered around broadening equity work.

Photo of Alison Slinskey Legg

Alison Slinskey Legg

Co-Director of the BE STEM Center, PI: NSF INCLUDES Alliance ”The STEM PUSH Network”, Senior Lecturer for the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences

Alison Slinskey Legg, PhD, is founding Co-Director for the Broadening Equity in STEM Center and PI of the NSF INCLUDES ALLIANCE: STEM PUSH Network. She is faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences . She has focused much of her effort on designing and developing K-12 STEM education outreach and research programs that provide equitable access to university STEM.

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Alaine Allen

Co-Director of the BE STEM Center & Director, Educational Outreach and Community Engagement in the Swanson School of Engineering

Alaine Allen, EdD, is a collaborative and strategic leader whose work focuses on building an equitable and inclusive culture in STEM education environments. She brings to the team many years of experience coordinating and directing programs for both precollege students and undergraduates from groups historically underrepresented in engineering. She also contributes her knowledge of diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives within engineering education. She serves as a founding Co-Director of the Broadening Equity in STEM Center and a Co-PI for the NSF INCLUDES Alliance: STEM Pathways for Under-represented Students to HigherEd Network.

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Mackenzie Ball

Director of Outreach and Alumni Engagement for the School of Computing and Information

Mackenzie Ball is responsible for the strategic planning, implementation, and management of the school’s outreach and alumni engagement. Also, she oversees diversity programs and the recruitment of under-represented students. She is a collaborative and engaging leader who brings both diversity and inclusion knowledge and communications expertise to her school and to the BE STEM Center. She is the Director of the school’s Technology Leadership Initiative, Advisor to the Women in Computer Science Organization, and Chair of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Western/Central PA Affiliate. As part of the BE STEM Center and the STEM PUSH Network she will work with the precollege programs and lead communications.

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David Boone

Assistant Professor, Director of CoSBBI and Executive Director of the UPCI Academy for the School of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Informatics

David Boone is faculty in the Department of Biomedical Informatics in the School of Medicine. His research centers on the role of lncRNAs in breast cancer initiation and development. He is committed to providing pathways for underrepresented youth into research fields by facilitating authentic research experiences under the mentorship of University of Pittsburgh faculty. He is the Director of the Hillman Academy for high school students and iBRIC for undergraduates. Within the STEM PUSH Network, Dr. Boone will lead the longitudinal research examining the impacts of precollege STEM programming on undergraduate persistence and attainment.  

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Dominique Briggs

Project Manager - BE STEM Center

Dominique Briggs is the Project Manager for the BE STEM Center and has successfully managed diverse projects for over 10 years.  As the team's PM, she will assist in managing the Network's programming and budget, and act as a primary contact for outreach and partnerships.

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Lori Delale-O'Connor

Assistant Professor of Education for the School of Education, Center for Urban Education

Lori Delale-O’Connor, PhD, brings expertise in race, equity and culturally sustaining pedagogy and practices to the STEM PUSH Network. She is faculty at the Center for Urban Education at Pitt’s School of Education. Lori’s research focuses on examining the connections between families, communities, and education across spaces with a particular focus on fostering equity and justice for children and youth in urbanized educational systems. Within the STEM PUSH Network, she leads the work on connecting equity across the network, as well as designing the work around culturally sustaining practices for members of the Networked Improvement Community.

Photo of Becky Gonda

Becky Gonda

Director of Outreach for the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences

Becky Gonda has been working with Pitt Biology Outreach since she received her PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology in 2011. She is currently the Director of Pitt Bio Outreach, which includes running the summer Gene Team research program. As part of the STEM PUSH team, she coordinates the precollege STEM programs and will be involved in the Networked Improvement Community (NIC) work.

Photo of Jennifer Iriti

Jennifer Iriti

Co-PI for the NSF INCLUDES Alliance: STEM PUSH Network, a project of the BE-STEM Center

Jennifer Iriti, PhD brings to the STEM PUSH Network expertise in continuous improvement processes, networked improvement communities, evaluation, and the learning sciences. She has focused much of her work on supporting powerful program design and routines for evidence-based improvement in service of equitable access and success in postsecondary education. Within the STEM PUSH Network her primary role is to design the tools and routines that will organize precollege STEM programs, ecosystem leaders, and other partners so that we can accelerate our learning together.

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