The staff at Science Foundation Arizona bring a wide range of expertise and diverse backgrounds in the scientific, medical, education and engineering fields.
William C. Harris
President and CEO
Dr. Harris is the president and chief executive officer of Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz).
Prior to joining SFAz, Dr. William C. Harris was in Ireland serving as director general of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), a new Irish agency that helped facilitate tremendous growth in Ireland’s R&D sector during Harris’ tenure. Immediately prior to going to Ireland, Dr. Harris was vice president of research and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of South Carolina (USC). There, he oversaw research activities throughout the USC system, several interdisciplinary centers and institutes, the USC Research Foundation and sponsored research programs.
Dr. Harris served at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1978 to 1996, including as the director for mathematical and physical sciences (1991-1996). He was responsible for federal grants appropriation of $750 million. He also established 25 Science and Technology Centers to support investigative, interdisciplinary research by multi-university consortia. Earlier in his career, he catalyzed the Research Experience for Undergraduates program in the chemistry division and it became an NSF-wide activity.
In 2005, Dr. Harris was elected a member of the Irish Royal Academy, and received the Wiley Lifetime Achievement Award from California Polytechnic State University. He has authored more than 50 research papers and review articles in spectroscopy and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Harris earned his undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary, and received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of South Carolina.
Chief Education Officer
Dr. Williams serves as Chief Education Officer of the Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz).
Most of his career was spent in the academic sector, inclusive of faculty and administrative positions at Purdue University, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Colorado and Tuskegee University. Employment in the Federal section includes serving as deputy director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health, and Senior Science Advisor to the Director and Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources, the National Science Foundation. Dr. Williams is a fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Academy of Science of St. Louis, and the American Academy of Microbiology. He is the recipient of the 1997 William A. Hinton Research Training Award of the American Society for Microbiology and six honorary doctorate of science degrees.
Dr. Williams has a PhD from Purdue University and a distinguished career as a professor and researcher; dean and provost; professorships at Purdue, MIT, Washington University (St. Louis), the University of Colorado and Tuskegee University. He was selected by NSF Director Erich Bloch to serve as the Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation to lead the pioneering effort to incentivize systemic change – an educational approach to STEM education that includes all essential teaching and learning components for all students – and improvements throughout the country. During his tenure in Washington, DC he also served as Deputy Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences; chaired the White House Biotechnology Science Coordinating Committee, Council on Competitiveness; and led national efforts that focused on Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Education. These accomplishments notwithstanding, Dr. Williams is regarded widely for his ability to affect collective impact in STEM communities, advance a common STEM agenda and contribute to the AZ STEM Network led by SFAz.
Director of Community College STEM Pathways
Caroline VanIngen-Dunn brings 23 years of research, development and program management experience in industry and in STEM education to her 5 years at Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) where she is the Senior Manager of STEM Pathways. She joined SFAz in 2008, playing an integral role in setting the stage for what is now the Arizona STEM Network, led by SFAz.
Ms. VanIngen-Dunn has had programmatic and budget oversight of $5.5M in STEM education programs with schools, community colleges and universities. Programs include delivering university-level engineering courses to high school students who garner credits toward an engineering degree, increasing student college-going rates through a wholeschool STEM delivery model, and developing an afterschool STEM Club pilot resulting in a user-friendly model that can be replicated and scaled statewide.
Ms. VanIngen-Dunn works with rural Arizona colleges developing STEM Pathways that encourage and prepare students to pursue STEM certifications and degrees. She is also working to align college-based programs with university-level engineering degrees.
Prior to SFAz, Ms. VanIngen-Dunn specialized in occupant protection and vehicle safety for the aerospace defense and railroad industries working in industry and eventually through her own consulting business, CVID Consulting Services, LLC, where she also developed and delivered STEM education programs and initiatives. Her clients include Arizona State University, Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona Science Center, the Federal Railroad Administration, Arizona Department of Commerce, TIAX, Simula Inc. (now BAE Systems), and other local defense contractors.
Ms. VanIngen-Dunn has an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Iowa. She serves on the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering Advisory Board and on a number of local school and nonprofit advisory committees.
Director of Education
Linda Coyle is an experienced award winning educator and STEM Education Consultant with Exploring STEM, LLC. Her background spans a 34-year career in K-12 and Higher Education. Ms. Coyle has had a tremendous impact on the integration and advancement of STEM education in Arizona and has been instrumental in the collaborative development of the Arizona STEM Network online community and the definitive guides on STEM education used in Arizona and being adopted in other states.
Originally providing consulting services to Science Foundation Arizona and the AZ STEM Network since 2011, Ms. Coyle has provided leadership in greatly expanding Arizona’s STEM resources and programming by directing development of the STEM Immersion Guide, STEM Implementation Guide, STEM Resource Guide and accompanying Tools for Teachers resources, used by educators statewide and being emulated by educators around the nation.
Linda previously served 26 years in the classroom and then in high profile roles within the Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, AZ. Her roles included; K-12 STEM Curriculum Specialist and coordinator of the Center for Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) STEM specialty school, as well as K-12 Curriculum Specialist for Science, Health and Physical Education. Linda previously served as a Science Cohort Instructor for both the “Teach for America” program and the Induction, Master of Education and Arizona Teacher Certification programs at Arizona State University. She has also taught at the community college level.
She was named the 2004 Arizona Science Teacher of the Year for her pioneering work in taking K-12 STEM education out of the classroom and into the greater community. She developed partnerships among local middle schools, businesses and such organizations as the City of Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department, the Maricopa County Parks & Recreation Department, and Grand Canyon National Park, providing in-the-field applications of STEM subjects for students that translated into beneficial projects for the community, including Maricopa County Parks’ first wheelchair accessible trail. The volunteer projects at Grand Canyon National Park spearheaded by Coyle and Valley students formed the basis for what is today the Canyon’s “Volunteer in the Park” program and resulted in Coyle being awarded the grand prize winner of the Arizona Forward Association’s “Crescordia Award” for environmental projects.
Linda holds B.S. degrees in History and Physical Education from Eastern Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in public health from Arizona State University. She was awarded the 2004 AZ Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, and in 2005 was a state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching by the National Science Foundation.
Director of Industry Partnerships
Dr. Mary O’Reilly, as both a senior manager and consultant has focused on R&D and manufacturing with special emphasis on assisting mature and start-up companies transition from early product development to commercialization. Dr. O’Reilly’s expertise lies in the areas of renewable energy, electronics and materials. Her experience has been gained working in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines and China.
Before joining SFAz, Dr. O’Reilly worked as a consultant to clean technology companies and investors addressing technical and cost challenges. Prior to this, she served as Engineering Director at Stirling Energy Systems, a concentrated solar power systems company in Scottsdale, and worked for more than a decade with Littlefuse Inc. near Chicago, a manufacturer of circuit protection components for the electronics, automotive and power industries. At Littlefuse, her roles included Global Product Manger, Marketing Engineer and R&D Technologist.
Dr. O’Reilly began her career as a scientist at the Tyndall National Institute in Ireland, leading industry/academic collaborations in the Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) sector. She earned her BSc in Chemistry at the University of Manchester’s Institute of Science and Technology, UK; her PhD in Materials Science from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and the Joint Research Center, Petten, The Netherlands; and her MSc in Technology Management from Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin.
Leonard W. Fine
Dr. Fine was formerly a Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Columbia University where he spent most of his academic career. Although his professional interests include applied research in polymer chemistry and engineering materials stimulated by eight years in industry, his career has been largely defined by concerns for teaching undergraduate students, and issues and policy in science and engineering education.
His published materials are numerous and include: textbooks, “Chemistry for Scientists and Engineers” (Brooks/Cole); manuals on infrared spectroscopy; and software on spectroscopic methods, nanoscale materials, and science & engineering.
The history of science and technology has played an important role in his professional perspectives. Dr. Fine counts William Bailey and Marjorie Gardner among those who helped forge his philosophy of research and teaching. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Marietta College, Marietta Ohio and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Jerry Proctor recently retired from the US Army with 40 years of Military and civilian Senior Executive service. His broad and diverse experience spans leadership positions from platoon leader to Brigade level to Deputy Commanding General.
Cynthia Pickering is an electrical engineer with 35 years industry technical leadership in software development, artificial intelligence, information technology architecture/engineering, and collaboration systems research.