Wade Institute Board of Directors

Emily V. Wade, President

Emily “Paddy” Wade is the founder of the the Wade Institute for Science Education (formerly the Museum Institute for Teaching Science, or MITS) and President of its Board of Directors. She is a 1945 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she received a degree in Chemistry. She was the second woman to serve as president of MIT’s Alumni Association and is now an Emeritus Life Member of the MIT Corporation. She served on the Mass Audubon Board of Directors for 23 years and currently also sits on the Board of Directors at Manomet in Plymouth, MA and the Center for Technology and Innovation (CTI) in Binghamton, NY.

A lifelong land conservationist, she is the owner of Arcadia Plantation in Georgia, which contains the Wade Tract Preserve, 200 acres of old-growth forest. She also created the Greenwood Research Foundation to manage 4,000 acres of land in Georgia, of which 1,000 acres is old-growth forest, for research on the ecology of the longleaf yellow pine forest. She was inducted into the Massachusetts Science Educators Hall of Fame in 2004 and was the 2010 recipient of Mass Audubon’s Allen Morgan Award for Lifetime Achievement. Paddy resides in Bedford, MA and continues to work tirelessly to strengthen STEM education.

Nan Waksman Schanbacher, Co-Chair

Nan served as a Board member, Vice President and Chairman of the Board of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology from 1985 until the Foundation closed its doors in December, 2016. Between 1998 and 2005, Nan was a Board Member of the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology, a Washington D.C. organization promoting better science education nationally through local businesses, schools and government agencies. At the Children’s School of Science in Woods Hole MA, Nan served as a Board Member (1996-03), Vice President (96-97), and President (98-99). The Children’s School of Science was founded 150 years ago as a 6-week summer program for children ages 7-15, focused entirely on hands-on activities, with no tests or grades. In addition to serving on the Wade Institute Board of Directors and as Vice President and co-chair of the Board, Nan also serves as a reader/reviewer of teachers’ applications for the Albert Einstein Fellowships in the U.S. Department of Energy. Nan lives in Woods Hole, MA.

Karen Worth, Co-Chair

Karen Worth has been a faculty member at Wheelock College for over 40 years, where she teaches early childhood and elementary education with a focus on science education. She works closely with the Mathematics and Science Department to enhance the mathematics and science preparation of pre-service students at the college. She also coordinates the Integrated Elementary and Special Education program at the graduate level. Ms. Worth also worked as a senior research scientist at Education Development Center, Inc. for more than 25 years leading a range of programs focused on science curriculum development, professional development, and systemic reform. She has been a consultant and advisor to a number of museums and has advised school districts, public television stations, and community organizations across the country and internationally. She is a recipient of several awards in science education and is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and curriculum materials.

Cedith Copenhaver, Clerk

After 15 years working in research science, Cedith transitioned to a career in the museum field. She enjoyed the next 15 years as an evaluator, volunteer manager, and program manager in several science-oriented institutions. Her work in Research and Evaluation at the Shedd Aquarium continues to inform her thinking about educational initiatives.

At the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) which brings together three historically independent disciplines—art, history, and natural sciences—under one roof to showcase the many facets of California, Cedith was the Docent Program Manager. She worked closely with the education department to help create more engaging student-centered educational offerings and align programs with the new educational standards, particularly around STEM. She strove to integrate the volunteers into these new programs.
Currently she is the Program Director at the Highfield Hall & Gardens, a historic estate and vibrant cultural center surrounded by restored gardens and conservation land. She looks forward to offering a range of multidisciplinary programs to serve the community and reach new audiences.

Cedith earned her BS and MS in Biological Sciences from Stanford University.

Neil Gordon, Treasurer

Neil is the CEO of the Discovery Museum in Acton MA where he has been since September of 2009. Prior to assuming his current position, Neil served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Boston Children’s Museum, where he worked for 14 years. Prior to that, Neil was the City Budget Director and the Associate Director for the Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services for the City of Boston. Neil holds a Masters degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BS in Geology from Dickinson College. Neil lives in Wayland MA with his wife, Ann, his son, and two dogs.

Deborah Cary

Deb serves as Director of Central Sanctuaries for Mass Audubon, where she has worked for 34 years.  She helped establish and grow the Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary and Conservation Center in Worcester, raising funds to expand the visitor center, followed by several land acquisition efforts and capital improvement projects, including raising money for a new education center at the Broad Meadow Brook campus that greatly expands the sanctuary’s programming capacity.  Deb also manages the Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton.

Deb serves on the Town of Princeton’s Open Space Committee, has worked closely on several local land conservation projects, and is a founding and active board member of the Greater Worcester Land Trust.

Before coming to Mass Audubon, Deb worked for the Town of Wakefield, the Dynamy Internship Program, and for the National Alliance of Business. Deb is a graduate of Smith College with a degree in government and Tufts University with a Master’s Degree in Urban and Environmental Policy.

Robert Chen

Bob is a chemical oceanographer with a research interest in the movement of carbon from land to ocean. He is nationally recognized for promoting ocean literacy, K-12 science education and outreach. In 2005, Bob was awarded the UMass President’s Public Service Award. Bob has earned national and international recognition from research supported by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and NOAA SeaGrant. In 2010, he led a U.S. delegation to China to promote ocean literacy through the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE).  He also chairs the Outreach Committee at the Association of the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

Donald DeRosa

After teaching middle and high school science for several years, Professor DeRosa began his work at Boston University in 1992 with CityLab, a biotechnology learning laboratory for teachers and students in grades 7-12. As the current Director of CityLab, he works on several grants in science education that address outreach and curriculum development. Currently he serves as a principal investigator on an NIH Science Education Partnership award that targets STEM education through the lens of sports science. As a Clinical Associate Professor at the Boston University School of Education, he teaches science teaching methods for pre-service teachers and serves as the Science Program Director. He is a trainer for the NSF supported Global Learning Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) and is currently working on the Mission Earth project to integrate GLOBE and NASA assets in K-12 classrooms. Professor DeRosa co-authors a textbook for pre-service elementary educators entitled, Teaching Children Science: A Discovery Approach. He has presented workshops both nationally and internationally and served on several advisory boards for organizations such as Teach for America and the Center for the Advancement of Science Education at Bridgewater State College.

Ruth Ellen Fitch, Esq.

© 2012 Marilyn Humphries

Ruth Ellen Fitch served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Dimock Center in Boston for nine years, returning to the Roxbury neighborhood where she grew up, bringing her significant experience managing complex organizations, as well as her commitment to helping others overcome social and economic obstacles. She retired in June 2013. Prior to her position with Dimock, Ms. Fitch practiced law for over twenty years with Palmer & Dodge LLP where she became the first Black woman partner at a Boston law firm. Before attending law school, Ms. Fitch was Director of the METCO program in the Brookline Public Schools, a voluntary integration program between Boston schools and suburban school districts. She also taught Black literature at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Barnard College, Columbia University and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School, where she served for three years on the Law School Administrative Board.

She serves as a Trustee of Boston Medical Center, a Trustee of Curry College, a Director of Health Law Advocates and a Trustee of the Ludcke Foundation. She is a former Director of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation.

Ms. Fitch received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Curry College in 2011 and an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Simmons College in 2014. She received the Pinnacle Award for achievement in the legal profession from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts Award, the Charles Hamilton Houston Public Service Award from the Harvard Black Law Students Association, and the Distinguished Alumna Award from Girls’ Latin School/Boston Latin Academy, where she has been a commencement speaker.

Jacob Foster

Ever inspired by his teachers and in pursuit of a larger impact, Jake is an advocate for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education at multiple levels. He is well known in the Massachusetts education community for his tenure at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), where he oversaw a variety of STEM initiatives, including the state’s standards and curriculum framework for science and technology/engineering and computer science. He earned a B.A. in Geology from Hampshire College and a Ph.D. in Science Education from University of Michigan. He has taught high school physical and earth sciences, and worked with the Coalition of Essential Schools on school reform efforts like project-based learning and portfolio assessments. Jake has been a member of the Operations Board for the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and the Board of the Council for State Science Supervisors. He also served as a member of the design team for the National Research Council’s Conceptual Framework for K-12 Science Education and the writing team for the Next Generation Science Standards. Moving forward, Jake is interested in supporting the design of school and district STEM programs and building design for STEM learning.

Terry Kwan

Terry Kwan taught pre-college science, supervised and trained teachers, developed and reviewed science curricula, and co-wrote several safety guides for science teachers published by the National Science Teachers Association. Following her tenure as a Supervisor with the Brookline, MA Public Schools, she was elected to six terms (18 years) on the Brookline School Committee, including two years as the BSC chairperson and worked for Houghton Mifflin in the development of linguistic software. Terry currently serves as a board member of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (an entity that approves all state funds awarded for pre-college public school construction and renovation) as an appointee of the State Treasurer. Terry also serves as a community representative on several Institutional Biosafety Committees for institutions affiliated with the Harvard Medical School. These committees review all recombinant-DNA research conducted at member institutions. She holds a BA from Binghamton University and an MSEd from Hofstra University.

David Spencer

Dr. David Spencer is Chairman of wTe Corporation, a high-growth, venture funded $75-100 million recycling company he founded in 1981. Initially, wTe focused on the waste-to-energy business, building, and operating large scale (1000 TPD) facilities that converted trash into energy also recovering recyclable metals. Now wTe focuses purely on recycling. The company’s PET (soda bottle) reclaiming business is one of the largest and most sophisticated in the U.S. Its auto shredder operations shred junk cars and recover ferrous metals from refuse to energy facilities throughout New England. Recently Dr. Spencer has been working on innovative high speed optoelectronic sorting and sensing technologies, called the Spectramet and Melt Cognition Technologies, that could change the way metals are recycled and manufactured globally.

Dr. Spencer earned his B.S. degree with honors in Metallurgical Engineering from Lafayette College where he was a General Motors Scholar, a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and Alpha Sigma Mu. He received his Doctor of Science in Materials Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of MIT’s new cross disciplinary Materials Research Laboratory (MRL), is well published, and has lectured in the U.S. and abroad on recycling.  He has served on numerous NSF Advisory Boards including its SBIR Program, Engineering Directorate, and Business & Operations Directorate also Chairing AC/GPA which oversaw performance of the entire NSF agency on behalf of the National Science Board and the Office of Management and Budget.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and is currently Chair of its Materials Engineering Division.  He serves on various corporate boards and non-profit organizations with a major focus on education, and in particular STEM education for women and Under-Represented Minorities.

David Wong

David Wong is co-founder and managing partner of Equitas Strategy Group, a strategy consulting firm that provides transaction due diligence and portfolio value creation support for private equity technology sector investments. David has spent over three decades as a strategy consultant, executive leader and thought leader with a wide range of organizations, from start-up to mid-market to Fortune 50, in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

In addition to his professional experience, David has worked with several Boston area nonprofits, as a pro bono consulting leader, executive coach, grant reviewer, and event organizing committee member. David also has a strong interest in the implications of emerging disruptive business models, environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations, and the transformation of institutions to address societal inequity.

David holds a Master of Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering with First Class Honors from Queen’s University at Kingston, where he graduated at the top of his class with numerous academic awards.