Lab Members

Dr. Melissa McCartney, Assistant Professor (MM CV 2018)

Dr. McCartney’s research interests center on primary scientific literature and how it can be used as a teaching and learning tool. This research stems from her main project, “Science in the Classroom,” as a Senior Project Director in the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). “Science in the Classroom,” is a resource that aims to make scientific research articles more accessible to students and the public. Previously, Dr. McCartney spent five years at Science editing education and neuroscience manuscripts and was a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies where she worked with the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.  Dr. McCartney completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, completed a PhD in Neuroscience from The George Washington University, and has a BS in Biochemistry from Binghamton University (SUNY).

Read Dr. McCartney’s science education highlights in the “In Other Journals” section of Science.



Dr. Eva Knekta, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Knekta has a BS in Biology, a Masters in Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Measurements. Her research interest centers on motivational aspects within education.

Dr. Knekta’s Ph.D. studies focused on how to conceptualize and measure test-taking motivation and how test-taking motivation might affect the validity of the interpretations made from achievement tests. Currently, she is in investigating how primary literature can be used to increase student engagement in a department and the role of interest and career goals on students’ persistence in STEM.



Marie Janelle (MJ) Tacloban is a 3rd year Biology Education major at FIU.  MJ is part of the FIU Teach program and will graduate with a teaching certification in biology.  MJ is involved with developing professional development opportunities for teachers who want to teach the nature of science using annotated primary literature.






Chazman Childers is a Biomedical Engineering senior at FIU.  Chaz is investigating how students learn science communication skills through annotating scientific literature and is measuring the readability levels of completed annotations.






Beth Ruedi joins AAAS as Project Director of SitC. She received her Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and held dual positions as postdoc and faculty lecturer at North Carolina State University. She served as the Director of Education and Professional Development at the Genetics Society of America (GSA), providing strategic leadership for GSA’s growing portfolio in education and training. Beth helped cultivate an educational mission for GSA, resulting in a complex portfolio of over 20 activities, initiatives, partnerships, and awards.





Shelby Lake is a Program Associate in Education and Human Resources Programs at AAAS. He works to develop and expand SitC resources, perform outreach for the project, maintains the SitC website and social media accounts, and coordinates collaborations with other institutions. He studied biology and English literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Shelby began working in education at the Duke University Center for Science Education, and continued this interest abroad in Japan as a member of the Saga Prefecture Board of Education. He is interested in improving public attitudes toward science through improved science communication and education.