VISTA Leadership

Leadership Team

Juanita Jo Matkins (Co-PI) is an Associate Professor of Science Education at the College of William & Mary, 2010 President of the Virginia Association of Science Teachers, and a Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Secondary Science Teaching. She has been PI or Co-PI on 11 grants for STEM student and teacher preparation and served in leadership capacities on ten other grants focused on STEM teacher preparation; to date she has been directly involved with grants totaling over $8 million. Dr. Matkins will provide leadership for the College of William & Mary components of VISTA, serve as liaison with school divisions in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and will oversee coordination with other sites.


Donna R. Sterling (PI) is a Professor of Science Education and Director of the Center for Restructuring Education in Science and Technology (CREST) at George Mason University. Recognized for her award-winning work in improving the teaching of science and technology in elementary and secondary schools, Dr. Sterling has been PI on over 25 grants for STEM teacher professional development and research. She will provide the overall leadership for VISTA, including communication of the vision for effective science teaching and learning needed to increase student performance, coordination with the professional development programs for teachers and science leaders, and improving the quality of the program through research.


Jacqueline T. McDonnough (Co-PI) is an Associate Professor of Science Education and Director of the Center for Life Sciences Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. McDonnough is the PI of a National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship grant and has an impressive record of research in the areas of preparing secondary science teachers for service in high need schools and best practices for teaching science to English Language Learners (ELL). She will lead the VCU regional component and provide expertise in adapting science instruction for limited English proficiency to the statewide partners.


Wendy M. Frazier (Co-PI) is an Assistant Professor of Science Education and Associate Director of CREST at George Mason University. Dr. Frazier is the PI of a U.S. State Department cooperative agreement for Russian and American science, technology, and math teachers. She has extensive research at the elementary and secondary levels in diverse, urban school districts. She will lead the Northern Virginia regional component and will provide implementation expertise to the statewide partners specific to at-risk schools, the use of problem-based learning summer enrichment experiences to support elementary teachers' development, and Communities of Practice to support provisionally-licensed and unlicensed science teachers.









Support Team

Vicky Reid

Vicky Reid is the Director of VISTA at the College of William and Mary. 

Anne Mannarino

Anne Mannarino is the science curriculum specialist for VISTA at the College of William and Mary. 


Michael M. Behrmannis a Professor of Special Education in the Graduate School of Education and Director of the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities. He will provide expertise on using this technology to conduct teacher training throughout the state.












STEM Team

Paul Heideman

Paul D. Heideman is a Professor of Biology at the College of William & Mary. He will assist VISTA with scientific expertise and mentoring in the professional development programs for teachers and specifically provide advising and leadership for biology content.



Rajesh Ganesan is an Assistant Professor of Systems Engineering and Operations Research at George Mason University. He will infuse engineering into STEM training.


Harold A. Geller is a Term Associate Professor and Observatory Director at George Mason University in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He will serve as a VISTA science advisor for the physical science and physics teachers.


Eric Pyle is an Associate Professor of Geology in the Department of Geology & Environmental Science and Co-Director of the Center for STEM Education and Outreach at James Madison University. Dr. Pyle will serve as STEM coordinator and Earth Science advisor.


Jennifer Suh is assistant professor of Mathematics Education and Associate Director for the Mathematics Education Center at George Mason University. She will support math teaching and professional development embedded in meaningful and interdisciplinary ways and will help coordinate recruiting highly qualified mathematics specialists to support teachers.

Luiz Shozo Ozaki is an Associate Professor of the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, Life Sciences and Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has taught Chemistry at the University of Brasilia, Brazil. He has been recently awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for developing bacteriophages as genetic tool for blocking the development of malaria parasite in the mosquito vector in which he will use his knowledge in chemistry and biology of infectious diseases to accomplish the objectives of the project. He has been involved with STEM education at VCU and also in Institutions in Brazil, and will serve as the chemistry specialist.












Research and Evaluation Team



Randy L. Bell (Co-PI) is Associate Professor of Science Education at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. Dr. Bell has authored more than 100 science education publications and has been PI or Co-PI on over a dozen externally funded projects related to STEM education. He will direct VISTA research efforts, including qualitative and quantitative assessments of student achievement and teacher knowledge and instructional practices.


Timothy R. Konold is an Associate Professor and Director of the Research, Statistics, and Evaluation at the University of Virginia. Dr. Konold has been PI, Co-PI, and evaluator on grants from the U.S. Department of Education, NICHD Early Child Care, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Ford Foundation, and Annenberg Foundation. He will provide leadership to VISTA for design, database management, statistical analyses, and dissemination of findings.