2016 SENCER Sub-awards

2015 SENCER Sub-awards

2014 SENCER Sub-awards

2013 SENCER Sub-awards

2010 SENCER Sub-awards

2009 SENCER Sub-awards

2008 SENCER Sub-awards

2007 SENCER Sub-awards

2006 SENCER Sub-awards


The William E. Bennett Award For Extraordinary Contributions to Civically Responsible Science Education

The William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science was established by NCSCE and named in honor of its first recipient for his lifetime contributions to citizen science. The first award was presented to its namesake at a ceremony on Capitol Hill on March 31, 2009. The William E. Bennett Award is given annually to an individual and a team whose SENCER and other related activities have made exemplary and extraordinary contributions to citizen science and whose work embodies the ideals and aims of SENCER.


2023 Awardee

Cathy Manduca is the Founding Director of the
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) – Carleton College and served as director until 2020 during which time she led their work to improve education, guiding projects to completion, developing new directions, raising funds and managing our staff. This work supported communities of educators in learning together and collaborating to create resources supporting widespread improvement in various aspects of education. Her research focuses on understanding faculty learning and the impact of professional networks on educational practice.

Manduca was also  Executive Director of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers from 2007 to 2019, a member of the Board on Science Education and the LabX Advisory Board for the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and served on the elected leadership for the American Geophysical Union and AAAS Education Section . She is a fellow of the AAAS, the American Geophysical Union, and the Geological Society of America, and past recipient of the American Geophysical Union’s award for Excellence in Earth and Space Education.  Through her work with SERC and unwavering support for the reform and improvement of STEM education, Manduca has been an advocate, advisor, and valued colleague to SENCER since its founding and her work has advanced the platforms, networks, and resources that have greatly advanced the STEM reform agenda.

2021 Awardees

Gordon Uno is David Ross Boyd Professor of Botany at the University of Oklahoma and is being recognized with the individual Bennett award for his long and distinguished career in advancing interdisciplinary STEM education. He has has authored or co-authored 27 textbooks and supplemental resources including: Principles of Botany; Handbook for Developing Undergraduate Science Courses; Developing Biological Literacy; Biological Science: an Ecological Approach; and Inquiring About Plants. He has been elected President of both a science education organization (National Association of Biology Teachers—NABT), 1995, and a science organization (Botanical Society of America—BSA), 2016. He also served on the Board of Directors for the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) for nine years and was elected an officer of that organization. Dr. Uno was a Program Officer in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation (NSF), 1998-2000, he became a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2000, and he was awarded Honorary Membership by the NABT in 2001. He has taught over 15,000 undergraduates and received one national, two state, and three University-level teaching awards. He has led many faculty development workshops for university and secondary science instructors and received multiple grants from the NSF including three from the Research Coordination Networks in Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) program to study faculty professional development and the introductory biology course. Uno was the Chair and organizer of the first Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Research (GRC-UBER) and was Chair of the College Board committee (2010-2016) that revised the Advanced Placement (AP) Biology course and wrote the new Biology exams, taken by 250,000 students each year. He has just received funding from the NSF to rewrite the AAAS document, The Liberal Art of Science.  To see Gordon Uno’s keynote at SSI 2021, click HERE.

Pat Marsteller is the recipient of the Bennett award for her outstanding collaborative work in advancing Social Justice in STEM learning.  She directed the Emory College Center for Science Education from 1997- 2016. Her academic work includes promoting access, interest and participation in science careers. At Emory, she developed programs that focus on attracting and retaining underrepresented students, women and minorities in careers in science and was the chair of the Emory President’s Commission on the Status of Minorities.  She was one of the cofounders of the Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology major and one of the leads on the NSF Center for Behavioral Neuroscience. She is currently Chair Emeritus of the AAAS section on education and one of the members of Committee on Science & Technology Engagement with the Public (CoSTEP) which aims to support such AAAS strategic goals as enhancing communication among scientists, engineers and the public; providing a voice for science on societal issues; and increasing public engagement with science and technology. She is co-chair of the Diversity Inclusion Equity and Social justice working group of the Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN). Pat continues her commitment to equitable STEM education through her work with BioQUEST-QUBES, AAAS and ASCN, leading efforts to change policies and practices at the institutional, faculty and student levels. Her warm tribute to her many collaborators and their contributions is at link below:

Pat Marsteller’s Bennett Award Team Tribute

2020 Awardee

The 2020 Bennett Awardee was Jay Labov.  His long career at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, and his personal leadership of many STEM improvement initiatives and research projects, has given him incomparable and systemic insight into every aspect of science education and the key levers of change and improvement.  A tireless supporter and ally of the SENCER project from its inception, Jay has been a champion of formal science education from k-12 to graduate education, as well as for the public understanding of science, particularly around evolution and creationism.  In further recognition of his contributions in linking NCSCE and SENCER to key STEM reform organizations and projects, Jay has assumed the role of Director of Partnerships at NCSCE and he will continue to support and expand our national collaborations with STEM reform initiatives.



2019 Awardees

The 2019 individual award went to David Ferguson, a beloved member of the SENCER community died suddenly in July.  Dave Ferguson had been a leader and supporter of Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) since it was first established by David Burns and Karen Oates at the Association of American Colleges and Universities in 2001. Dave was a distinguished Math educator, chair of Technology and Society and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Stony Brook University. A national and state-wide leader in inclusive and socially grounded STEM education, Dave left behind a legacy that will help pave the way for future generations of all STEM students.


The 2019 Team award went to Rider University Associate Professor Kathleen Browne  Dr. Jessica Monaghan of the New Brunswick Public Schools and Missy Holzer of Chatham High School.  This NJ based team was honored for their exceptional leadership in advancing SENCER strategies through faculty and curriculum development support for K-12 educators. Their work linking SENCER learning outcomes to NGSS goals, and helping teachers use civic issues to improve learning, has expanded SENCER’s impact in pre-college education.

2018 Awardees

The 2018 individual awardee was Matthew Fisher of Saint Vincent College, and the team awardee was Texas Woman’s University.

Matthew Fisher, a professor of chemistry at Saint Vincent College has been a long-standing SENCER collaborator and contributor, generously sharing his knowledge of great teaching, assessment and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning with participants at SENCER Summer Institutes since the beginning of the project. Matt also serves as co-editor of NCSCE’s journal, Science Education and Civic Engagement: an International Journal. Among his many publications, Matt recently co-authored a book on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning with Jacqueline Dewar and Curtis Bennett.

SENCER activity at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) in Denton Texas has been led by their department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Since 2007 the department has been incorporating SENCER strategies in the department’s courses for majors and non-majors. Last year, they were recognized by AAC&U for their work in designing majors designed to advance civic engagement through science. TWU is also the site  of the Southwest SENCER Center for Innovation, which hosts a very successful annual regional institute.  The NCSCE offers its thanks and congratulations to Matt and TWU for their outstanding contributions to science education and civic engagement.

2017 Awardee

Dr. Katayoun Chamany received the 2017 William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science in recognition of her inspiring work at The New School to encourage students’ exploration of the complex issues surrounding coursework in biology. The award was presented by Dr. Monica Devanas, a previous recipient of the Bennett Award, during the 2017 SENCER Summer Institute, held this year on the Stony Brook University campus.

A longtime participant, contributor, and faculty leader in SENCER programs, Katayoun has developed educational materials integrating social justice perspectives into biology, providing more highly-contextualized biology education to students. In Spring 2016, she launched Stem Cells Across the Curriculum, an open access collection of educational modules developed in collaboration with colleagues in the humanities, social sciences, and arts/design.

In recognition of her transformative teaching and leadership, Katayoun became the first-ever endowed professor Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts; the Mohn Family Professor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. She is also Chair of the Interdisciplinary Science Program, and Project Shepherd and Director of University Science Labs for The New School. She received her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from UC Berkeley, serves on the editorial boards of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science and the journal Life Sciences Education, and was elected a SENCER Leadership Fellow in 2009.

2016 Awardees

Dr. Garon Smith and Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross accept 2016 Bennett Awards at SSI 2016.

Dr. Garon Smith and Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross accept 2016 Bennett Awards at SSI 2016.

Dr. Garon Smith and Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross accept 2016 Bennett Awards at SSI 2016.This year, we honored two longtime members of the SENCER community, Drs. Judith Iriarte-Gross of Middle Tennessee State
Dr. Garon Smith and Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross accept 2016 Bennett Awards at SSI 2016.University (MTSU), and Garon Smith, recently retired from the University of Montana. Both have made lasting impacts on their universities, communities, students, and colleagues with their dedication to improving STEM education and engaging students.

Awards were announced during the 2016 SENCER Summer Institute at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. To read more about Judith and Garon, please click here.

Learn More about our Bennett Award Winners

First SENCER State

Hawaii team accepts new award recognizing exemplary regional collaborations during SSI 2015.

Hawaii team accepts new award recognizing exemplary regional collaborations during SSI 2015.

Hawai’i’s SENCER work is varied and broad and includes social and indigenous sciences with natural sciences foci. The state sponsors two distinct groups within its team of SENCER practitioners, the Native Hawaiian Initiative and Hui o Moku. While considering their work, it became clear that their actions and accomplishments seem best suited to be recognized by an honor that acknowledges quality of the inter-institutional collaborations and deep partnerships established to improve the quality of both formal and informal education.

Learn More about our First SENCER State