Mary Ann Rankin - National Math & Science Initiative
President and CEO
Dr. Mary Ann Rankin joined the National Math and Science Initiative as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2011. Previously, she served as Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin for 17 years. As dean, she oversaw construction of five science buildings and the creation of the UTeach program. After earning her B. S. degree from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. from University of Iowa, she served as a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Dr. Rankin is on the board of Southwest Research Institute.
Why do you believe STEM Education and Workforce are important to our nation?
If we want to keep the American Dream alive and grow our economy, more of our students need skills in math and science. That’s the currency of the 21st Century.
What traits do senior leaders need to effectively support and advance STEM today?
- Focus on proven programs with metrics that show they work.
What principles do you, as a leader; apply to your professional and personal life to advance the STEM cause?
It’s essential to hold to core values: focus on programs that build student and teacher success.
What can we do to assure more women leaders in STEM?
Start early by having teachers encourage more girls to pursue STEM subjects (as we do in our AP training program and UTeach teacher prep program). If we train more women in STEM fields there will be more in the pipeline.
Who is your STEM role model and why?
Tom Luce for his selfless dedication and clear vision for critical problems and effective solutions
What about STEM gives you passion?
It's importance for personal and national achievement – encouraging excellence in STEM fields changes young lives and can spark the innovation that our economy needs.
Of what one initiative you are most proud?
UTeach – 34 universities will be implementing this proven program to recruit and train more math and science teachers this fall. More than 5,500 STEM majors are now enrolled and studying how to become effective math and science teachers—that’s real progress for our country.
How is your company innovating to promote STEM?
NMSI is changing school culture across the United States by training thousands of teachers from middle-school through high school to teach more rigorous math and science courses and inspire more students to pursue STEM careers.
Which woman leader do you most admire, and why.
U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who has been a staunch supporter of higher education during her political career and a champion for STEM education in particular.