Program P.I.

Dr. Margaret Riley, Program P.I.: is a Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts    Amherst and the Founder and President of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of increasing levels of civic science literacy. She received her Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1991 and joined the faculty at Yale University, where she remained while developing an internationally renowned research program in antimicrobial drug discovery. She has published over 100 articles and edited four books. Dr. Riley co-founded a biopharmaceutical company,Bacteriotix involved in the design of novel antimicrobials whose use results in reduced rates of resistance. That same year, she co-founded the Institute for Drug Resistance with the mission of facilitating multidisciplinary approaches to addressing the challenge of resistance and created a Gordon Conference on Drug Resistance. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a member of the Board on Life Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences.


Dr. Carolyn Gardner, Interim Director of STEM AP and Adjunct Lecturer at the College of Education: Carolyn holds a Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from UMass, Amherst, and a Masters of Arts in Mathematics Education from Smith College in Northampton, MA. She earned her Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies from UMass, Amherst, with research focus in mathematics, science and learning technologies. Carolyn’s research interests include diversification of STEM studies and careers, STEM classroom discourse communities, supportive academic and social structures for Black and Brown female students in STEM, mathematics teacher noticing, and mixed-methods research in STEM education. She enjoys working with diverse communities in STEM, and is thrilled to be involved with the STEM Ambassadors Program. At home, Carolyn enjoys outdoor activities with her bestie poodle, Bengles.


Ally Hunter, Research Assistant: Ally Hunter is a doctoral student in education in the Department of Teacher and Curriculum Studies with a focus in science education (MSLT concentration). Prior to her doctoral work, Ally taught undergraduate biology and is an alumna of the Biology Scholars program run by the American Society of Microbiology. Some of Ally’s doctoral work has focused on the use of case studies in the classroom to engage students with scientific content. Ally is passionate about making science accessible and inclusive to all learners and is thrilled to be a part of the STEM Ambassadors team!

Her son Eli, as you can see in the picture to your right, is very involved with the STEM Ambassadors Program and loves talking with the STEM students!


Amanda Carreau, Head Undergraduate Administrative Assistant: I love old movies, traveling, and eating food. I worked previously as a Certified Dental Assistant in my hometown of Tooele, Utah.  I participated in Cadaver Labs and Human Anatomy Courses at the University of Utah, was the Captain of my tennis team, and Violinist in a Chamber Strings Orchestra.

I love traveling and I have received multiple flight scholarships that pay for my tickets so I can visit family and work back west. I have traveled to Greece for research and the Dominican Republic for dentistry, as well as many other places for Outreach.

At UMass, I have worked in multiple labs. First, I was a Lab Assistant in the Wang Biology Lab, and then I moved on to become an Intern/Assistant in the Stinson Plant Ecology Lab. Currently, I am the Head Administrative Assistant for STEM, a Biology major, and, not only do I love working with people, but I have a huge passion for Science!

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