AAAS Program Director, EHR
Iris R. Wagstaff is a STEM Program Director in Education and Human Resources Programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is a former 2015-2017 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Institute of Justice Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences where she led an agency-wide strategic diversity and inclusion initiative. She is a native of Goldsboro, NC and has a BS and MS in Chemistry from UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T State Universities respectively.
She has over 20 years of STEM outreach and advocacy developing informal science programs, mentoring, resourcing parents, and working with K-12 science teachers to develop culturally relevant and engaging lessons with real-world applications. She has advocated for students at the K-20 levels and built strategic partnerships between industry, educators, and researchers. She worked as a research chemist at the Rohm and Haas Company (now Dow Chemical) for 15 years where she led project teams.
She obtained a PhD in STEM education research and policy analysis from NC State University in 2014 where she examined factors that predict science self-efficacy, science identity, and STEM career intent in a nationally representative sample of high school students. She is the founder of the SMART Scholars initiative for middle school girls that provide hands-on STEM outreach, role models, and parent resources in NC and the metropolitan Washington, DC area. She is a long-time member of the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and serves on the National Executive Board.
She is also a long-time member of the American Chemical Society where she serves as Manager and STEM Education Chair of the Chemical Society of Washington. She has received several acknowledgements for her STEM outreach that include a 2016 nomination for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), and the 2017 Women of Color in STEM Promotion of Education Award.