Every year, hundreds of educators benefit from their participation in the Murdock Trust Partners in Science (PIS) Program, whether through a summer research lab placement or attendance at one of our conferences. While the Murdock Trust staff works hard to ensure these experiences are inspiring and rewarding for participants, there’s no way we could put this program together every year without the help of a collection of dedicated partners. This year, three of our longtime team PIS team members are saying farewell as they move on to tackle new projects and opportunities. We wanted to take just a moment to thank them for their contribution to inspiring fellow educators and providing opportunities for colleagues to flourish and grow in their careers.
Dave Redfield, retired chemistry professor at Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho, will leave us after five years as a consultant. A passionate advocate for the PIS program, Dave was invaluable to us for his expertise as a research scientist with a heart to inspire high school science educators in authentic and innovative research. His efforts in administering our PIS grants as well as his significant work in helping with the logistics of our national conference have been invaluable and his absence will not go unnoticed.
Tim Renz, a high school science teacher at Tukwila High School in Washington, served five years as an implementation coach and was key in helping the PIS program transition to a model that helps teachers translate their research experience into a format that can practically guide students through the research process. This helps students to think and act like scientists. We will greatly miss Tim’s enthusiasm, insight, and vision.
David Valenzuela, a high school science teacher and dean of students in Portland, Oregon, served on our implementation coaching team for the last year. A shining example of the impact PIS can have on an educator and their classroom, David’s work with PIS has received substantial notice in his community, including the OnPoint Prize for Excellence in Education as the 2017 Oregon Educator of the Year. David has an upbeat encouraging way about him and will be missed by the team. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Dave, Tim, and David and to all of the partners, coaches and volunteers for their service to the Partners in Science program.