Iris R. Wagstaff
Iris R. Wagstaff, Ph.D. is a STEM Program Director in the Education and Human Resources Department of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Most recently she served as 2015-2017 AAAS Science and
Technology Policy Fellow at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences. At NIJ, she led an agency-wide strategic diversity and inclusion initiative to expand NIJ’s pool of STEM graduate research fellows, peer reviewers and R&D grant applicants to broader audiences in the scientific community. She is a native of Goldsboro, NC and has a BS and MS in Chemistry from the University of NC at Greensboro, and NC A&T State University respectively. She has over 20 years of STEM outreach and advocacy in the community developing informal science programs, mentoring STEM majors, equipping parents with tools and resources to encourage their children in STEM, and providing culturally relevant science education pedagogy to teachers. She has advocated for students at the K-20 levels and built strategic partnerships between industry, educators, researchers, and community activists. She worked as an analytical chemist at the Rohm and Haas Company (now Dow Chemical) for 15 years where she led project teams to reverse-engineer competitive products and solve customer problems. She obtained a PhD in STEM Education research and Policy Analysis from North Carolina State University where her research focused on predicting science self-efficacy, science identity, and STEM career intent in underrepresented students. She is a 25-year member of the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) and serves on the Executive Board. She has received numerous awards for her STEM advocacy that include the 2017 Women of Color in STEM K-12 Promotion of Education Award, the 2017 Raleigh, NC Links Services to Youth in STEM Award, the 2016 Women of Color in STEM Trailblazer Award, the 2015 NOBCChE Henry McBay Outstanding Teaching Award, and a 2016 nomination for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).