12:00 AM

Kathryn Sullivan to lead new math, science education policy center

COLUMBUS – Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., the first American woman to walk in space, has been named the first director of the new Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy housed at The Ohio State University's John Glenn School of Public Affairs. The announcement of Sullivan's appointment was made today by Ohio State President Karen A. Holbrook and Battelle President and CEO Carl F. Kohrt.

In May, Holbrook and Kohrt announced the formation of the center through a $4 million gift from Battelle. The center will address the country's global competitiveness and its clear link to math and science education by developing policies and practices that will increase the number of students in the STEM fields and prepare them to be leaders.

"Dr. Sullivan's incredible background and personal enthusiasm, energy, and commitment to innovation, science, and education will guide the Battelle Center to its full potential as a place for educators, business and government leaders to debate and formulate policies that enhance STEM education in this country," Holbrook said.
"Kathy Sullivan is an excellent choice as the first director for the new Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy," Kohrt said. "She brings unmatched real-world experience from her days with NASA as well as a great feel for science education from her leadership at COSI. She is currently vice chair of the National Science Board and played a key role in the development of the board's recent '2020 Vision' for the National Science Foundation, one of the nation's key players in science education. I'm excited to see her bring that expertise to bear on some of the important discussions that will take place at the Center."

Sullivan, who will begin her new role at Ohio State on Nov. 1, serves COSI, the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, as science adviser, providing strategic counsel on science and education policy matters. Sullivan will continue to support COSI as a science advisor in a volunteer capacity once she begins her position with the Battelle Center. Her appointment is subject to approval by the Ohio State University Board of Trustees.

Sullivan also served as president and chief executive officer of the science center from 1996 through 2005, leading COSI through a period of major growth and change. During this period she managed the construction and launch of a $125 million new facility and a major expansion of the science center's contribution to science education reform.

From 1992 to 1996, Sullivan was the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where she oversaw a wide array of research and technology programs ranging from climate and global change to satellites and marine biodiversity.

A former astronaut and veteran of three space shuttle missions, Sullivan became the first woman to walk in space during a Challenger flight in 1984. She flew on the Discovery in 1990 for the Hubble Space Telescope deployment mission and on the Atlantis in 1992 for the ATLAS-1 Spacelab mission.

Sullivan serves as vice chairman of the National Science Board. A captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Sullivan holds a bachelor of science in Earth Sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in geology from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia.

Her professional affiliations include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she is a fellow and director, and the Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institution. She has received numerous honors and awards, including NASA medals for Exceptional Service and Outstanding Leadership and the National Air and Space Trophy from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. She was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2004.

Battelle is a global leader in science and technology. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, it develops and commercializes technology and manages laboratories for customers. Battelle, with the national labs it manages or co-manages, oversees 20,000 staff members and conducts $3.4 billion in annual research and development. Battelle innovations have included the development of the office copier machine (Xerox); pioneering work on compact disc technology; fiber optics for telecommunications; new medical products to fight diabetes, cancer and heart disease; breakthroughs in environmental waste treatment; homeland security technologies; and advancements in transportation safety and security. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.

Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. The university is ranked ninth by the National Science Foundation among public research universities based on total research expenditures and has been named among the Top 25 public research universities every year U.S. News & World Report has done the ranking. With more than 51,800 students enrolled at its main Columbus campus, 18 colleges and 170 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.

The university houses colleges with national and international reputations in the STEM fields. The engagement of those colleges — Engineering, Biological Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Education and Human Ecology — will play an important role in the success of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy.

The John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University is a non-partisan interdisciplinary unit that prepares graduate students for careers in public service, and seeks to strengthen democracy through increased civic engagement, policy research and outreach. The School began operations on July 1, 2006 as a merger of the long-standing School of Public Policy and Management and the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy at OSU.