Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has appointed Wayne State University Director of STEM Learning Innovation and Associate Provost for Inclusive Workforce Development Tonya M. Matthews, Ph.D., to the Michigan STEM (MiSTEM) Advisory Council. Matthews is appointed to represent K-12 and postsecondary educational institutions involved with science, technology, engineering and mathematics career preparation or education, for a term commencing Oct. 1, 2019 and expiring Sept. 30, 2022.
Matthews is the founder of The STEMinista Project, an initiative supporting middle school girls in exploring tools and careers in STEM. She earned her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining Wayne State last May, Matthews was the inaugural president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center, transforming the former Detroit Science Center into a Detroit-based state-serving hands-on STEM learning center.
“The work we’ve done so far, shaping the new STEM Learning Innovation Center to celebrate and support Wayne State’s innovation in interdisciplinary learning with space to support and inspire the creativity of first-in-class STEM teaching and learning. Our work at Wayne State will act as both fulcrum and lever for my duties on Gov. Whitmer’s MiSTEM Council,” Matthews said. “It’s critically important that we nurture and retain STEM talent across all Michigan communities, and that will be among my main focuses as I serve on the council.”
The MiSTEM Council was created by Executive Order No. 2019-13 and includes the director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, the superintendent of public instruction, two members of the Michigan Senate, two members of the Michigan House of Representatives and nine residents appointed by the governor. The Council is tasked with recommending measures to ensure effective communications, collaboration and joint objectives among state departments and agencies with responsibilities relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.