Fall 2020

STEM Peer Mentors

The STEM Peer Mentors program evolved from the Project FORCE STEM Ambassador program that has existed on campus since 2010. For 10 years the STEM Ambassadors ran as an academic and social support group for our STEM students. We looked at many successful initiatives both on and off campus, and felt that a large piece that was missing from all of our departments, was a strong mentoring program. Our goal is to create an atmosphere of belonging for our freshman students, by normalizing the difficulty many students face in STEM majors through shared experiences with the mentor. Many of the academic supports the STEM Ambassadors provided, have now been integrated into the departments, so we are able to offer more cocurricular support to students through the STEM Peer Mentors than we were through the STEM Ambassadors program. This year, the university recognized the STEM Peer Mentors proposal with an NKU Innovation Challenge grant.

For more information or to connect with a STEM Peer Mentor, visit our website HERE.

Innovations in STEM Teaching Program (iSTP)

Ella Bowling & Amber Carter are two former classroom teachers who now comprise CINSAM’s STEM Outreach Team. They know what it takes to teach elementary and middle grades students; now they are applying their expertise to help save you the time and hassle of sorting through the many, many trainings and resources out there. Given the pandemic constraints we are all facing now, they are offering iSTP as a professional learning experience that will help make remote and socially-distanced learning work better for you and your students.

If you know teachers who might be interested, please let them know that they can contact Ella Bowling at and register here by November 13.

This program is funded by the Duke Energy Foundation, Toyota USA Foundation, and Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.

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Remembering Rob Kues

We and the rest of the NKU community are mourning the loss of a valued colleague, educator, and alumnus. Rob Kues of the Biological Sciences Department passed away on Tuesday, October 27.

Rob earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees at NKU, taught at Holy Cross High School for many years, and had been teaching at NKU since 1998.

At NKU, he reached hundreds of students every year, both high school (dual credit) students and college students. As his department chair, Dr. Erin Strome, described him "He loved teaching and inspiring his students. It was his true calling. He will be greatly missed."

To find out more about Rob, please see the Biological Sciences Department's tribute to him.



Virtual STEM Expo open through Fall Semester

In this year's virtual STEM Expo, our STEM organizations display their unique opportunities and recruit members. Students organizations present visitors with demonstrations, research, and activities, and answer any questions they may have.

Virtual STEM Trivia Night: 11/4 5-6 pm

Join the STEM Peer Mentors for a lively trivia game! Battle other NKU students in topics like music, NKU trivia, STEM, and more.

Heather Bullen Summer Research Celebration: 12/3-4

Showcase your research findings with the NKU community! 2020 Heather Bullen Celebration occurs online with the NKU Online Winter Celebration hosted by ISRCA. 2020 UR-STEM students are strongly encouraged to participate.

STEM+H Career Explorer coming in November

Middle and High School teachers and students can explore STEM+H Career Pathways through this bank of videos, lesson plans, and follow-up live virtual sessions organized in partnership with NKU's IHI, Cincinnati Museum Center, and KY Science Center.

STEM at Home: Thursdays 9-10 am through 12/10/20

Join CINSAM live for some FREE, fun, hands-on STEM activities that you can do in the classroom or right at home! We’ll meet via Zoom and do exciting, educational activities together. STEM at Home lessons are targeted to grades K-5.

STEM Conference 2020: 11/11 9:00 am-2:30 pm

The STEM Conference is a collaboration between CINSAM and University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. Together, we aim to supply educators with high-quality, readily applicable tools to improve STEM education in our region.

iSTP 11/17-12/9/20

A professional learning experience that will help make remote and socially-distanced learning work better. Includes access to lessons, vetted resources, membership to NSTA, and an online PLC with teachers from across the region; Free!


Beth Koch

Beth Koch exudes positive STEM energy. As the Expanded Learning Opportunities Coordinator for Boone County Schools, Beth helps connect students and teachers with STEM curricular supports and extracurricular STEM opportunities. She also oversees the NKY Makerspace and does this all with a focus on hands-on STEM education. Beth’s 14 years in the classroom include teaching math, science, robotics, and enrichment as well as engineering. Along with her full-time teaching responsibilities, Beth serves as Robotics Coordinator for CINSAM and also supports the STEM community through camps and extracurricular programs. She tells us “What I love most about my job is variety. I work with students in elementary through high school, teachers, school and district administrators, parents, community members, and technical mentors. I lead field trips, direct the activities of student interns, solve technical challenges and repair equipment, create educational videos, coach student robotics and 3D printing clubs, work with teachers on Project Lead the Way curriculum modifications, manage websites and social media, and interact with community partners from STEM organizations and local businesses. Every day is different and exciting, and I am always learning something new.”

Mary McNeill

Mary McNeill wants to tell stories that can help people feel more self-confident with and grow their interest in physics and other sciences. She is a Physics and Theater Arts double major who bridges the arts and sciences at NKU and wants to keep doing that beyond her college career. These days, she takes both quantum mechanics and theater history classes, then comes to work at CINSAM where she says she likes "knowing that I'm helping out with STEM education" whether it's by helping science fair students navigate our campus (back when we could meet in person) or editing videos for STEM outreach. “There’s always something new to do!”

Julia Bedell

For more than 25 years, Julia Bedell has taught and advised NKU’s Chemistry and Biochemistry students. As Chemistry Department advisor and instructor for CHE 125, Julia is dedicated to helping first-year Chemistry students transition to college. In 2016, she and CINSAM’s Ellen Hokkanen created the STEM Expo as a way to connect STEM students with STEM organizations and clubs on campus. A NKU Master Advisor with a special distinction in Cultural Competence, Julia was nominated for Outstanding Advisor in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and was awarded 2019 Outstanding Academic Advisor! In addition to her on campus work, Julia is active with the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), helping to facilitate webinars as a member of the NACADA Emerging Leaders Program and chair of the STEM Advising Community. When she is not in class or an advising appointment, Julia can be found mentoring Chemistry teaching assistants.