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Mrs. Ronda Dove
Administrative Assistant

P:  (540) 464-7361
F: (540) 464-7396

Center for Leadership & Ethics
VMI, Marshall Hall
500 Anderson Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

2015 Conference Speakers

We will be updating speaker bio and information as they are added to our programming.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Jeff Goldstein

Dr. Goldstein will deliver this year's STEM Keynote Address titled Human Exploration Enabled by Science and Technology – It’s not a Book of Knowledge…It’s a Journey.  

Dr. Jeff GoldsteinDr. Jeff Goldstein, the Center Director for the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, is a nationally recognized science educator and astrophysicist. As Center Director, Goldstein is responsible for the creation and delivery of national initiatives addressing STEM education, with a focus on earth and space. This includes student experiments conducted on the International Space Station through the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. Goldstein’s planetary science research includes the development of techniques for the measurement of global winds on other planets using large telescopes on Earth. 

He received his B.A. in physics from City University of New York and both his M.S. and Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Pennsylvania.

More on Dr. Goldstein from his page at the NCESSE website:

Keynote Address at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference in 2011:
(Music Video created by Symphony of Science)

In a review of his keynote speech, Edutopia concluded that more educators should be treated like rock stars and that "...the world of science might consider electing Jeff Goldstein to be a goodwill ambassador" ~ Edutopia

Twitter handle: @doctorjeff

Dinner Speaker

Dayna Laur
Dayna LaurDayna Laur is a veteran social studies teacher for multiple grade levels and courses. She has extensive co-teaching experience in a special education setting and has worked as a Career Academy Coordinator for the Health Sciences and Human Services sector. Dayna holds a B.A. in History from Virginia Tech, a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Pittsburgh, and a M.S. in 21st Century Teaching and Learning from Wilkes University. She is a two-time National Board Certified teacher.

Throughout her classroom tenure, Dayna worked closely with the Classrooms for the Future initiative in Pennsylvania, presenting to teachers, instructional technology coaches, administrators, and higher education faculty members on ways in integrate project-based learning in a technology rich classroom environment. During this time, she frequently keynoted events and served as a model teacher to the 501 school districts in the Commonwealth. She was a featured model teacher for Authentic Based Classroom Instruction as produced by the National Institute for Professional Practice. Edutopia also showcased Dayna as a model teacher for Interdisciplinary PBL in their Schools That Work Series.

Currently, Dayna works as a consultant and co-founder of Project ARC, an educational organization that promotes transforming best educational practices into more authentic, relevant, and appropriately complex learning experiences. Through this work, both stateside and internationally, Dayna strives to empower educators and their learners by implementing authentic challenges, a topic she pioneered in her 2013 book, Authentic Learning Experiences: A Real-World Approach to PBL. She is currently co-writing an early elementary book on the same topic, which is anticipated for release in early 2016.

Closing Plenary Speaker

Dr. Arthur Benjamin

 Dr Arthur BenjaminDr. Arthur Benjamin is the Smallwood Family Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. He has been repeatedly honored by the Mathematical Association of America for his teaching and writing, and was recently selected by Princeton Review as one of The Best 300 Professors in America. He is also a professional magician and one of the world's fastest mental calculators. 

Dr. Benjamin has given three TED talks which have been viewed over 10 million times. He is the author of several books, and four DVD courses from The Great Courses series, including "The Joy of Mathematics", "Discrete Mathematics", "The Secrets of Mental Math" and "The Mathematics of Games and Puzzles." He has demonstrated and explained his calculating talents to audiences all over the world and has appeared on numerous television programs, including The Today Show, CNN, and The Colbert Report. He has been featured in Scientific American, Omni, Discover, People, Esquire, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest calls him "America's Best Math Whiz." His newest book comes out September 2015, called The Magic of Math: Solving for X and Figuring out whY.