ERN Conference Lead and NSF PI, STEM Program Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
Iris R. Wagstaff, PhD, is a scientist, educator, mentor, researcher and STEM advocate. She currently serves as a STEM Program Director in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Department of AAAS where she
manages initiatives at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels focused on broadening participation in STEM and workforce development. She is also a Principal Investigator of several National Science Foundation (NSF) grants the include: Preparing Diverse STEM Researchers to Address Global Challenges, Developing an Evidenced-Based Best Practices Community for Supporting Low-Income, High-Achieving Students in STEM Education and the Workforce, and The Impact of Making and Innovation at HBCUs. She served as a 2015-2017 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the DOJ National Institute of Justice Office where she developed and led an agency-wide diversity and inclusion initiative.
She is a native of Goldsboro, NC with a BS and MS in Chemistry from UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T State Universities respectively; and a PhD in Science Education from North Carolina State University. She worked as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company for 15 years where she led analytical project teams and company-wide diversity initiatives. She has over 20 years of STEM outreach and advocacy developing informal science programs, mentoring, resourcing parents, facilitating professional development for K-12 science teachers, and building strategic partnerships between industry, academia, and community organizations. Additionally, she has expertise in program evaluation, STEM curricula development, and pedagogy. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Wagstaff STEM Solutions; an educational, professional development, and diversity consulting company.
Wagstaff is also a social scientist with a research focus on employing statistical modeling to examine factors that predict science self-efficacy, science identity, and STEM career intent in high school and college students who are underrepresented in STEM. She serves on the Boards of several organizations that include the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), the Chemical Society of Washington (CSW), and Science, Engineering, and Math Links (SEM). She is an adjunct chemistry professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she leads diversity and inclusion efforts to broaden participation in the chemical sciences. She has received several honors that include the 2019 DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance Award for Education, the 2019 AERA Science Teaching and Learning Research Award, the 2019 BEYA Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award, the 2018 NOBCChE Presidential Award for Mentoring, the 2017 Women of Color in STEM K-12 Promotion of Education Award, and a 2016 nomination for the NSF Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math, Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).