2020 News Stories

Associate Professor selected for fellowship with IAspire Leadership Academy

Ruthmae Sears headshot

Ruthmae Sears, PhD

TAMPA, Fla. (July 22, 2020) — USF Associate Professor Ruthmae Sears, PhD, was selected to join the second cohort of the Aspire Alliance’s Institutional Change Network (IChange) IAspire Leadership Academy.

The IAspire Leadership Academy is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program that takes place over two years. The program is designed to develop and train the next generation of underrepresented leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in higher education. Fellows participating in the program are equipped with skills to lead more effectively in increasingly complex environments and to influence institutional transformation in both their current positions and in future leadership roles.

Dr. Sears is an associate professor of mathematics education at the USF College of Education. Her research focuses on curriculum issues, the development of reasoning and proof skills, clinical experiences in secondary mathematics, and the integration of technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics. She also teaches courses in both the undergraduate and graduate mathematics education programs at USF.

Actively engaged in scholarly activities, Dr. Sears is the principal investigator for the NSF-IUSE funded collaborative grant, "Attaining Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Clinical Experiences with a Lens on Equity" and is co-principal investigator for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. Dr. Sears is also a key personnel for the NSF funded grant "Systemic Transformation of Education through Evidence-Based Reforms." Additionally, she is the co-chair of the Network of STEM Education Centers’s Annual Meeting and the Accelerating Systemic Change Network in STEM Higher Education’s working group for equity and inclusion.

“The IAspire Leadership program can equip me with the knowledge needed to exhibit transformational leadership and to develop a plan that can support systemic change,” Dr. Sears said. “The IAspire Leadership Academy's critical competencies will provide the infrastructural support needed to achieve my professional goals within higher education.”

The second cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy will begin in August.