RIT Logo
RIT Home Search A-Z Index Directories myRIT
College of Science
COS Home
About the College
Academic Programs
Cooperative Education
Advising/Student Services
Student Life
Research Partnerships
Alumni Services
News & Events
Departments & Contacts
Admission & Financial Aid
Ines Cifuentes Distinguished Speaker Series

Thursday, March 13, 2008 4:00pm - 08-A300, College of Science


Ines Cifuentes

Teaching Science in the 21st Century


I will talk about what I have learned as a scientist who worked with teachers and students in the DC Public Schools, one of our nation's worst public school systems. Our nation's future and wealth depend on our scientific and technical expertise. Why is it that so many of our countrymen and countrywomen do not understand that evolution is key to biology, state education officials are being forced to resign over the teaching of evolution, and even presidential candidates proudly proclaim their ignorance of science.



The daughter of one of Ecuador's first economists, Dr. Inés Cifuentes lived in several Latin American countries before moving with her family to the Washington,DC area at age 12. She graduated from Einstein High School in Kensington,Maryland, majored in physics at Swarthmore College, received her M.S. in geophysics at Stanford University, and became the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in seismology from Columbia University. With colleagues at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Dr. Cifuentes created CASE (Carnegie Academy for Science Education), a program to improve the teaching of science and mathematics in DC Public Schools. During the ten years she directed CASE, more than 1,000 teachers were trained in science, mathematics, and technology and a group of 50 talented CASE mentor teachers were nurtured. In 2001, she became the vice president of the Jaime Escalante Public Charter School Board, started by teachers and parents in Montgomery County, Maryland to highlight the academic achievement gap between Latino/African American students and White/Asian students. In 2002 Dr. Cifuentes joined the board of CASA of Maryland, an organization working with the low-income Latino community, and served as its president from 2004-2005. In 2007, Dr. Cifuentes received the first Math Science award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. Dr. Cifuentes is currently with the American Geophysical Union, the world's largest professional organization of earth and space scientists, to increase the number and diversity of young geophysicists working on some of the world’s major problems; climate change, energy and water resources, and the environment. Dr. Cifuentes lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband, Frank Aikman, two children, a cat and a dog.

Interpreting services available upon request subject to availability.
Please submit request at: https://www.ntid.rit.edu/AccessServices/