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Equity. Access. Excellence.

Photo of CarolynPhone: 512.232.6570

Dana Center Role

Carolyn works alongside the Dana Center’s executive director to establish long-term strategic goals and priorities in programmatic and partnership development. She directs the day-to-day mobilization of the Center’s personnel and programs to achieve the strategic goals. Carolyn supervises and supports directors who leads teams enacting the portfolio of projects and activities supported by the Center. She also represents the Center in key state and national networks on math and science education programs and policies. In addition, Carolyn leads the Center’s resource development efforts, including overseeing proposal preparation and serving as the primary contact to prospective funders to sustain the Center’s annual operating budget.

Carolyn serves on the leadership team of the Dana Center’s Launch Years initiative, which seeks to usher in a new paradigm to support students for college preparation and guide them through pathways for degree attainment, specifically focusing on the transition from junior year of high school through their junior year in college.

Before Joining the Dana Center

Carolyn has more than 15 years of experience in science education. She most recently served as the chief program officer for Washington STEM, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing excellence, equity, and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math education in Washington state. Carolyn developed successful funding proposals totaling $18 million to support operations and provided strategic direction for the organization. She also served as a key point of contact and created innovative partnerships with school districts, higher education institutions, and state and national STEM education organizations and agencies.

Prior to her work with Washington STEM, Carolyn supervised the implementation of a $12 million National Science Foundation-funded project, which generated annual student learning increases in both undergraduate courses and K–12 classrooms that significantly outpaced demographically matched counterparts. In addition, she provided support for faculty from two- and four-year campuses, district administrators, teacher-leaders, and principals.

An active participant on committees and panels over the years, Carolyn currently serves on the ad hoc advisory group on higher education for the Smithsonian Science Education Center, which advises on potential models for collaboration between higher education and SSEC to improve student engagement and achievement in science in the nation’s K–12 school system. She has been the primary author of and principal investigator on numerous federal and private foundation grants.


Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Chicago

B.S., Biology and Chemistry, Whitworth University

Relevant Committees and Panels

Austin–Pune Sister City Initiative Committee, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce: Serve as representative of education center on delegation to Pune, India, to explore with Pune educators, policymakers, and business leaders how they achieved a 50:50 gender ratio in their STEM majors. (2018–present)

Smithsonian Science Education Center, Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Higher Education: Serve on panel to advise SSEC on potential models for collaboration between higher education and SSEC to improve student engagement and achievement in science in the nation’s K–12 school system. (2017–present)

OpenSciEd Developers Consortium: Serve as leader of Field Test Implementation team for a start-up effort involving state education agencies, school districts, classroom educators, science curriculum developers, and the science education community to author and field test research-based, open-source science instructional materials and professional learning designs. (2017–present)

Texas Student Success Council: Served on council convened by Educate Texas to advance and advocate policy that promotes increased postsecondary student success that prepares students to compete in the 21st-century economy. (2016–present)

Teacher Leadership Development Synthesis and Symposium: Participated in NSF-funded project to synthesize research and literature focused on math and science teacher leadership development programs and build consensus on key attributes of quality programs. (2016–2017)

Pathways to Prosperity Network, Jobs for the Future: Served as member of network to build systems of career pathways linking high school, work, and community college in order to increase the number of youth completing high school and attaining a postsecondary credential with labor market value. (2016)

Selected Publications

Landel, C., & Leahy, F. (2017). Multiple mathematics pathways to college, careers, and beyond. In K. L. McClarty, M. Gaertner, & K. Mattern (Eds.), Preparing students for college and careers: Theory, measurement, and educational practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Donovan, D., Rousseau, J., Salter, I., Atkins, L., Acevedo-Gutierrez, A., Kratz, R., Landel, C., Mullen, V., & Pape-Lindstrom, P. (2017). Life science and everyday thinking. Mount Kisco, NY: It's About Time.

Landel, C., & Nelson, G. (2010). Deepening teachers’ science content knowledge: Lessons learned from a multi-year K12–university partnership. Chapel Hill, NC: Horizon Research, Inc. 

Landel, C., & Miller, B. (2010). Getting results from science teacher leadership: The critical role of principals. In J. Rhoton (Ed.), Science education leadership: Best practices for the new century (pp. 113–128). Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

Keeley, P., Mundry, S., & Landel, C. (2009). A leader’s guide to science curriculum topic study: Designs, tools, and resources for professional learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Landel, C., & Nelson, G. (2009). Creating and sustaining science-focused professional learning communities through partnerships. In S. Mundry & K. Stiles (Eds.), Professional learning communities for science teaching: Lessons from research and practice. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

Media Appearances

Innovation Hub: On the WGBH (Boston)/Public Radio International radio program, summarized the issues that the mathematics pathways approach means to address (2019, January 17)