ASSET STEM Education (Achieving Student Success through Excellence in Teaching) Board of Directors announced that Cynthia Pulkowski has been named Executive Director, retroactive to March 1, 2012. Cynthia has been Acting Executive Director since June, 2011.
Joining the ASSET team in 2006, Cynthia served as ASSET’s Director of Programs, where she was responsible for successfully implementing ASSET’s hands-on, minds-on science and math curriculums, including the statewide Science: It’s Elementary and the Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant programs.
“Cynthia is a valuable leader,” stated Rebecca Lucore, President of ASSET’s Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Bayer USA Foundation. “She shares the Board’s vision for the organization and has the skill to lead and the passion to deepen and extend ASSET’s impact across the state and beyond.”
During her time as Acting Executive Director, Cynthia spearheaded the introduction of several new programs and initiatives such as Engineering is Elementary (EiE), in partnership with the Museum of Science in Boston. Other new ASSET programs include:
- Act 45 Course—Administrators Guiding Teachers to Improve Student Achievement;
- Enhanced Early Childhood Initiative targeting children ages 4 – 7;
- ASSET Leadership Academy—a leadership pathway serving as a precursor to instructional coaching; and
- ASSET’s first online course, titled “Writing to Learn.”
“At ASSET, we believe that every student deserves the opportunity to acquire the skills to become tomorrow’s innovator,” said Cynthia Pulkowski, Executive Director. “I am thrilled to be at the helm of this dynamic organization during this exciting time for STEM education and look forward to preparing students across the United States with the skills they need for personal success and to power economic growth.”
In February, Cynthia accepted the 2012 Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania’s (ESWP) President’s Engineering Excellence Award on ASSET’s behalf during a ceremony scheduled during National Engineers’ Week. With this award, ASSET was honored for its work nationwide to spark student interest and understanding in STEM related subjects.
Thomas Donatelli, the President of the ESWP, pledged his organization’s support of ASSET’s efforts. He stated, “recently, ASSET announced plans to develop an engineering program that will significantly increase student exposure to and understanding of engineering at an early age. We are pleased about that and as an organization, ESWP pledges our support to ensure the success of this new endeavor.”
Cynthia’s teaching experience includes 4th– and 5th-grade inquiry-based science instruction in an urban setting and work with special needs students including IEP implementation with curriculum instruction. She has presented at statewide and national conferences.
She is currently defending her dissertation work for her Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at Duquesne University. Previous degrees include a Masters degree in Elementary Mathematics, Science, and Technology from Slippery Rock University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Duquesne University and an Associates degree in Accounting from Westmoreland College.
As a former business owner, Cynthia has extensive experience in business and finance management and operating systems.
Jonathan runs Visibility Initiatives at the Pittsburgh Technology Council. The Council is the nation’s largest IT trade association with 1,350 members. One of our platforms is to provide visibility to Pittsburgh tech companies and the industry in general.