Advisory Board

The Friday Institute’s Advisory Board is made up of leaders from schools, universities, businesses and government, all of whom share a deep commitment to innovation that will improve schools. The board meets annually to discuss the strategic directions of the Friday Institute, and its members provide consultation and advice to the Friday Institute leadership team throughout the year.

Board members:

Dr. Ron Bailey 
Department Head, Professor of African American Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

J.B. Buxton
Principal Consultant, Education Innovations Group

Dr. Charlene M. Czerniak
Distinguished University Professor of Science Education, University of Toledo

Dr. John D. Denning
Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Shelley Goldman
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professor, Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Ann Goodnight
Director of Community Relations, SAS

Wes Hall
Executive Director, STEMx, Battelle Memorial Institute

Kevin Howell
Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, Partnerships and Economic Development, NC State University

Keith Krueger
CEO, Consortium on School Networking (CoSN)

Evan Marwell
Founder and CEO, EducationSuperHighway

Dr. Jim Pellegrino
Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Education and Co-Director, Learning Sciences Research Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago

Patricia Willoughby
Former North Carolina State Board of Education Member and Former Executive Director of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education

Shawna L. Young 
Executive Director, Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP)

Dr. Mary Ann Danowitz
Dean, NC State University College of Education (ex-officio member)

Ronald W. Bailey, Ph.D., is head of the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a 1965 graduate of Evans County History School in Claxton, GA, and a 1969 Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a B.A. in liberal arts (cross-cultural studies) from Michigan State University’s Justin Morrill College. His undergraduate major included fluency in Russian and a study/travel program and certificate from Moscow State University. He holds an M.A. in political science from Stanford and a Ph.D. in black studies from Stanford, the first such degree awarded in the United States in 1980. He has taught at Fisk University, Cornell, Northwestern, the University of Mississippi, and Northeastern University, where he chaired the department of African-American studies for eight years.  He also served as vice president for academic affairs at South Carolina State University and Knoxville College and as a senior scientist with the Education Development Center, Inc. He was distinguished senior lecturer in Africana studies and history at Savannah State University and served as interim chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs in 2010-2011. He is writing a book on the slave(ry) trade’s role in the U.S. and global history, especially the trade in slaves and cotton and the industrial revolution. He is also the co-PI on a Mellon- Foundation project to expand the use of digital tools in studying the Black experience.

JB Buxton of Raleigh currently serves as member-at-large for the NC State Board of Education.  He is the founding principal of the Education Innovations Group and has also worked as the deputy state superintendent of the North Carolina Department for Public Instruction. Buxton has served as the Senior Education Advisor for the Office of the Governor (NC), as an appointed member of the Raleigh Planning Commission, and as a soccer coach with the Capital Area Soccer League.

Charlene M. Czerniak, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus at The University of Toledo for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and now works as a research professor in the College of Engineering. She was an elementary teacher in Bowling Green, OH. She received her undergraduate degree from The University of Toledo, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University, and a Ph.D. in science education from The Ohio State University. Professor Czerniak has authored and co-authored over 60 articles. Her publications have appeared in the Journal of Science Teacher Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, School Science and Mathematics, Science Scope, and Science and Children. Professor Czerniak is co-author of a textbook published by Taylor and Francis on project-based science teaching, which is in its 5th edition. She also has five chapters in books and illustrated 12 children’s science education books. Czerniak co-authored a chapter entitled “Interdisciplinary Science Teaching in the Handbook of Research on Science Education”, published by Routledge. Professor Czerniak has been an author and director of numerous grant funded projects in excess of 5 million dollars that targeted professional development of science and mathematics teachers. She has made frequent presentations at national and regional conferences that focus on her research interests on teachers’ beliefs about teaching science, professional development for elementary and middle grades teachers, science education reform, and school improvement. She is an active member in the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), the School Science and Mathematics Association (SSMA), and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and reviews manuscripts for the journals associated with these organizations. For five years, she served as editor of the Journal of Science Teacher Education, the professional journal of the ASTE. She has served on numerous committees for ASTE, NARST, SSMA, and NSTA. Charlene Czerniak was the president of the School Science and Mathematics Association for two years, and she served as the president of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) from 2008-2009. She received the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award for Service from The University of Toledo Judith Herb College of Education and the 2008 Research Award from the Judith Herb College of Education. In 2010, she received the George Mallinson Distinguished Service Award from the SSMA, which is the highest award given by the organization. In 2012, she was named Distinguished University Professor at The University of Toledo, which is the highest award bestowed on faculty. 

John D. Denning, Ed.D., is a senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He leads Gates Foundation investments that support policy development and advocacy efforts, particularly those that drive improvements in the Foundation’s U.S. Program priority areas in North Carolina: early learning, K-12 education and postsecondary education. He previously served in roles as an award-winning high school social studies teacher, a researcher with the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a chair of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission and North Carolina’s state director for K-12 and postsecondary alignment.

Shelley Goldman, Ed.D., is an associate dean for faculty affairs and a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She is also by courtesy a professor in the mechanical engineering-design program. Shelley has spent over 30 years designing and researching the potential of technologies in education. Her current work includes broadening participation in STEM learning via teaching and researching design thinking, new technologies, and innovative curriculum design for formal and informal education settings. Shelley is an elementary and middle grades teacher turned education anthropologist studying learning in and out of school. She was a co-founder of three schools—an alternative school in East Harlem, NY, a school-within-a-school in Palo Alto, CA, and a charter school with Stanford in East Palo Alto, CA. She has developed and published curriculum and classroom media and technology.  Shelley is also the 2018 recipient of the Friday Medal.

Ann Goodnight serves on the NC State Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of Cary Academy  She also serves on the boards of the NC Science Festival and BEST NC (Business for Educational Success and Transformation).  She is a board member of the My Future NC Commission, the Dix Park Conservancy, the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation and the Foundation Board of the NC Museum of Art.

Wes Hall is Interim Senior Vice President of Education and Philanthropy and directs Battelle’s efforts to expand STEM learning opportunities for all students. These efforts include the Metro Schools, the Ohio STEM Learning Network, the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, and the national STEMx network. He also serves as the executive director of STEMx, seeking to advance innovation in STEM education by connecting and convening leaders in 21 US states and territories.

Previously serving as the director of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, he led a highly successful partnership between Battelle Education and the Tennessee Department of Education designed to amplify quality STEM learning opportunities for students across the state. A native of Southwestern Virginia, he grew up in rural Appalachia and brought a focus to expanding opportunities for students in rural areas of Tennessee. His leadership was integral to establishing multiple STEM platform schools and regional innovation hubs, developing strong industry engagement, and advocating for innovative state policy to expand STEM opportunities in Tennessee.

Prior to joining Battelle, he served as a program coordinator for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, overseeing the state’s higher education STEM initiatives supported by Race to the Top. Wes holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in public administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He currently serves on the University of Tennessee’s Master of Public Policy & Administration Board of Advisors and the leadership board of the national STEM Education Coalition.

Kevin Howell leads efforts to support NC State’s critical role as an economic driver across the state through its innovative partnerships with industry and government. Howell most recently led the UNC System’s Division of External Affairs, serving as a senior advisor to the UNC System president on issues affecting the 17 institutions and overseeing state and federal relations, economic and community engagement, military affairs, and advancement.

Keith R. Krueger, CAE, serves as CoSN’s chief staff officer overseeing all CoSN activities and working with the Board of Directors to set strategy and vision; serves on the CoSN Board of Directors and executive, personnel and finance committees; and works with the CTO Council, emerging technologies, international activities, nominations & bylaws, awards, meetings & events, technical & standards, and policy committees.  Keith has an M.A. in communications from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in political science from the George Washington University.

Evan Marwell, is the CEO and founder of EducationSuperHighway. Evan founded EducationSuperHighway to take on one of the biggest challenges facing public education in America – the digital divide. Through collaboration with federal and state policy makers, service providers and school districts, EducationSuperHighway has helped put digital learning technology at the fingertips of nearly every student in America. In just a few years, EducationSuperHighway has connected over 40 million students to the broadband they need for digital learning and has secured commitments from 49 governors to upgrade their schools for the 21st century. Because of Evan’s innovative data-driven and focused approach, 98% of public schools now have access to high-speed internet in the classroom, and the K-12 digital divide is projected to be a thing of the past by the start of the 2020 school year.

James W. Pellegrino, Ph.D., is a liberal arts and sciences distinguished professor and co-director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research and development interests focus on children’s and adults’ thinking and learning and the implications of cognitive research and theory for assessment and instructional practice. He has published over 300 books, chapters and articles in the areas of cognition, instruction and assessment. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, and private foundations. He has served as head of several National Academy of Sciences study committees, including chair of the Study Committee for the Evaluation of the National and State Assessments of Educational Progress, co-chair of the Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice, and co-chair of the Committee on the Foundations of Assessment, which issued the report “Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment.” Most recently he served as a member of the Committee on Science Learning: Games, Simulations and Education, as a member of the Committee on a Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards, as chair of the Committee on Defining Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills, and co-chair of the Committee on Developing Assessments of Science Proficiency in K-12. He is a past member of the Board on Testing and Assessment of the National Research Council, a lifetime national associate of the National Academy of Sciences, a lifetime member of the National Academy of Education and a lifetime member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served on the technical advisory committees of several states and organizations such as the College Board and the National Center on Education and the Economy, as well as the TACs of the SBAC, PARCC, DLM and NCSC consortia of states funded by the USDOE.

Patricia (Tricia) Willoughby served on the North Carolina State Board of Education from 2001 to 2019. As a state board member, Willoughby served on the Globally Competitive Students and 21st Century Professionals Committees and in study groups for the National Association of State Boards of Education. Willoughby is a former executive director of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education, a former classroom teacher and a former faculty member at Meredith College, where she directed the elementary education program and taught courses to pre-service teachers. 

Shawna Young is a passionate educator who joined Duke TIP in July 2016 after serving as the executive director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Office of Engineering Outreach Programs (OEOP) for eight years. As TIP’s executive director, she leads a team of 85 full-time employees and 1,200 seasonal staff members who provide over 13,000 gifted students with online and face-to-face educational programming at 20 top universities and institutions across the country, including Duke University. Shawna also leads the charge to identify and support over 450,000 students a year with resources through Duke TIP’s talent searches and research efforts. 

In her prior position at MIT, Shawna oversaw the OEOP’s strategic planning process, operational budget, program evaluation, advisory boards and the stewardship of current funders. Before joining the OEOP, she managed the Diversity Initiative at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, worked at the Educational Development Center in online curriculum development, and taught science for several years at public high schools in North Carolina.

She received a B.S. in chemistry from Howard University and an MAT in science education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also completed a certificate in nonprofit management and leadership from Boston University and holds an MBA from MIT Sloan.

Mary Ann Danowitz, D.Ed., became the dean of the NC State College of Education in 2016 after serving as the college’s interim dean and head of the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development. She has led a transformation of the College of Education, as it has evolved into a globally recognized leader in education and a research powerhouse. The college has experienced three straight years of growth in new student enrollment, has hit new highs in rankings and has set new records for research grants awarded in back-to-back years. Before joining NC State in 2012, Dean Danowitz held leadership and faculty positions at the University of Denver, The Ohio State University, the College of William and Mary, and the Pennsylvania State University. She also has taught and conducted research in Australia, England, Germany, Hungary, Malaysia, Austria and Indonesia. She received her Doctor of Education in Higher Education from Penn State, Master of Education from the University of Miami, and Bachelor of Arts from Penn State.