Executive Board

The USEA Executive Board is the governing body of USEA and is responsible for establishing policy and setting direction for the association. It meets three times per year (face-to-face and via web conference). The board consists of the president, vice president, past president, secretary-treasurer, and three members-at-large. At least one member of the board should be a UTeach Master Teacher, and at least one member should be an alumnus of a UTeach program.

Learn how to serve on the Executive Board.

USEA Executive Board, 2024–2025

Abria Harris, President 
Clinical Faculty / Master Teacher, Florida State University

Abria Harris

Dr. Abria J. Harris is a Clinical Faculty/Master Teacher for the Florida State University FSU-Teach program. He is also a proud graduate of FSU-Teach. He received his Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with a focus on improving teacher recruitment and retention in rural school districts. His research interests include STEM teacher preparation, STEM diversity and inclusion, and the development of teacher leaders.

Dr. Harris joined the FSU-Teach faculty in 2021. He teaches Step 1, co-teaches Classroom Interactions, coordinates Mathematics Apprentice Teaching placements, and co-facilitates the Apprentice Teaching seminars. Before joining the FSU-Teach faculty, Dr. Harris taught middle school mathematics and served as a district mathematics instructional specialist for the Gadsden County School District in Florida.

Dr. Harris has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to mathematics education and his community, most notably the Florida State University College of Education Trailblazer Award in 2020. The Trailblazer Award recognizes alumni who have significantly impacted their profession, contributed to their community, and shown promise of continued success. In addition to his local work, he has made significant contributions to the UTeach STEM Educators Association (USEA). He  served as the co-chairperson of the Equity and Racial Justice in STEM Teacher Development summit.

Mariam Manuel, Immediate Past President 
Instructional Assistant Professor / Master Teacher, University of Houston

Mariam Manuel

Dr. Mariam Manuel (she/her) is a Clinical Assistant Professor for teachHOUSTON at the University of Houston. Dr. Manuel, a former high school physics teacher, teaches undergraduate STEM education courses and has authored and taught graduate level coursework in Engineering Design Education. 

Dr. Manuel’s experience in the classroom as well as working with students from diverse backgrounds informs her research interests— STEM teacher education for diverse learners and the use of culturally responsive instruction in STEM with a focus on engineering design. Her research on the intersection between engineering design and culturally responsive pedagogy was awarded the Best Paper and Best DEI Paper at the 2022 Association for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference in the Pre-College Engineering Education Division.

Dr. Manuel serves on multiple grants including the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded STEM RISE program, which has earned state-wide recognition for providing mentorship to participants. She was recently awarded a grant funded through the NSF Racial Equity in STEM Education program for the project, Advancing Racial Equity for Youth in Alternative Schooling Systems through Culturally Responsive STEM Programming. Dr. Manuel actively publishes journal articles, book chapters, and presents at national research conferences. She is recipient of state and national awards recognizing her efforts in STEM teaching and mentorship. 

Kristen Apraiz, Vice President / President Elect 
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Florida

Kristen Apraiz

Dr. Kristen Apraiz is a clinical associate professor in mathematics education at the University of Florida. In 2016, Dr. Apraiz assumed the role of UFTeach mathematics coordinator and master teacher, and has taught Step 1/2 combo, Classroom interactions, Project based instruction and Apprentice teaching. She especially loves Apprentice teaching because this is the time when she can see her student teachers pull together all their UFTeach learning and experiences into their daily teaching practice.

Currently, as the acting director of UFTeach, she fosters partnerships with local K - 12 schools and non-profit organizations to diversify the options UFTeach preservice teachers have to work with educators and students and works closely with the UFTeach science coordinator to present at state and national conferences about their research and innovation within the UFTeach program.

Dr. Apraiz’s background as a middle and high school mathematics teacher has informed her research and teacher preparation philosophy, empowering beginning teachers to create caring, student-centered classrooms rich in technology integration, and engagement with mathematical discourse. Her research interests center around providing authentic field experiences for secondary mathematics preservice teachers, developing reflective practice, and examining the role of technology in preservice teacher education. 

Dr. Apraiz attended her first UTeach Conference in the summer of 2016, and was amazed by all of the passionate and caring educators comprising the UTeach programs. Throughout this conference and in the years since, she feels like she has finally found a robust network of colleagues sharing a common vision for secondary STEM teaching. Each year at the UTeach conference, a highlight of her experience is connecting with colleagues; taking advantage of the many opportunities to share ideas, concerns, and ways in which each program has adapted to their local context while remaining true to the UTeach philosophy promoting inquiry, inclusiveness, and varied field experiences for preservice teacher education. In her service to USEA, she has served on the awards committee, has co-presented Classroom interactions workshops, and served on the 2024 UTeach conference planning committee. 

Christina Steel, Secretary / Treasurer 
Senior Lecturer and Co-Director, College of Sciences, Old Dominion University

Christins Steel

Dr. Christina Steel is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences at Old Dominion University. She joined the MonarchTeach program in Spring 2016, developing and teaching Research Methods with the first cohort of students, and continues to teach this course. She has served as the College of Sciences Co-Director since 2019.

Dr. Steel received her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Eastern Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University (joint program) in Norfolk, VA. She began teaching as an adjunct at Tidewater Community College in 2008 and at Old Dominion University in 2010 before moving to a full-time lecturer position in 2013.

Dr. Steel’s research interests focus on models of viral encephalitis in mouse models and molecular characterization of skin responses in human in-vitro models. She strongly believes that the UTeach model will help create strong, diverse future teachers who use inquiry- and project-based learning that models authentic scientific practices, and will create a more welcoming, enabling classroom that shows diverse students that they can and do belong in STEM. that knowledge and learning are for all.

Alexandra Eusebi, Member-at-Large 
Assistant Professor of Practice and Academic Director, UTeach Access, University of Texas at Austin

Alexandra Eusebi

Dr. Alexandra Eusebi joined the faculty of the UTeach program at the University of Texas at Austin as an assistant professor of practice in January of 2019. She instructs and supports multiple courses in the College of Natural Sciences and College of Education, including Introduction to Inquiry-Based Learning (Step 1), Introduction to Inquiry-Based Lesson Design (Step 2), and Project-Based Instruction (PBI). Besides working with university students, Dr. Eusebi facilitates and writes curriculum for UTeach Austin’s Professional Development group. She has recently developed a new workshop on Designing PBI for the Blended Classroom. Additionally, Dr. Eusebi works with Texas State’s Mathworks program as a Master Teacher and curriculum writer/editor.

Dr. Eusebi is the Academic Director for UTeach Access — a new co-enrollment program between the University of Texas and Austin Community College. The program’s goal is to increase the number of highly qualified STEM educators in Texas classrooms. UTeach Access provides additional pathways toward secondary STEM certification for underrepresented students. The first cohort for the UTeach Access program will begin classes fall of 2022.

Dr. Eusebi earned her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has been working in education and teaching for over 20 years and has 14 years of experience teaching and writing curriculum for secondary mathematics. 

Madison Staton, Member-at-Large
Science Teacher, Butler Country High School, Morgantown, Kentucky

Madison Staton, Member-at-Large

Madison Staton has been teaching environmental science, biology, forensics, anatomy and physiology, and integrated science at Butler County High School for four years. Her commitment to community-based education led her to become a STEM leader in her school district. She plays a critical role in planning STEAM Bus activities to inspire local, underserved students to pursue STEAM opportunities at community events. Madison's dedication to STEM education extends beyond the Butler County School District — she has served as an Astronomy teacher for the Kentucky Governor's Scholars program for the past five years. With a passion for engaging all students in STEM education, Madison provides her students with hands-on experiences and real-world connections that inspire her students to pursue their interests in STEM and develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.

Madison earned her bachelor’s degree in Middle School Science Education through the SKyTeach Program at Western Kentucky University. She also has a master’s degree in education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Educational Technology from Purdue University.

In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of science education, Madison was chosen as the Kentucky Science Teachers Association's President-elect. In this role, she is committed to advancing science education in Kentucky and promoting STEM careers to students across the state. Madison's dedication to continuous learning and professional development has earned her a Rank 1 in STEM Leadership from the Green River Regional Education Cooperatives Rank Change program.

Jacqueline Ekeoba, Member-at-Large, Alumni Representative 
Clinical Assistant Professor / Master Teacher, University of Houston  teachHOUSTON alumnus

Jacqueline Ekeoba

Dr. Jacqueline Ekeoba is a clinical assistant professor and Master Teacher in the Department of Mathematics for teachHOUSTON at University of Houston (UH). Jacqueline is an alumna of the University of Houston and was part of the inaugural cohort of the teachHOUSTON program during its inception in 2007. Her involvement with teachHOUSTON led to the creation of the teachHOUSTON Student Society as the first president. She has also served in the teachHOUSTON Alumni Association and supports new teacher induction in various capacities. Jacqueline earned an M.A. in STEM Education and Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and completed her doctorate with the STEM education program at Texas Tech University. She specializes in argumentation, global collaboration, STEM integration, and anti-racist education in secondary STEM contexts. 

 After several years teaching high school science courses, Jacqueline served as a curriculum writer and science instructional coach for the Katy Independent School District. There, she spearheaded the development of inquiry-based, hybrid instructional tools in science with her fellow instructional coaches and teacher leaders. Jacqueline combined her passions for serving in-service teachers and mentoring preservice teachers and returned home to UH as a lecturer and Science Master Teacher for the teachHOUSTON program in 2019.  Currently, she serves as the Director of Certification and Testing for teachHOUSTON and instructor of the program’s Research Methods in STEM course. 

Jacqueline serves as co-PI and senior personnel on several grant initiatives. In 2019, she co-designed the teachHOUSTON ACP for STEM at UH, an alternative certification option for STEM career changers. She participated in community outreach with numerous STEM camps since 2008, including serving as Program Director for teachHOUSTON STEM Interactive, a virtual summer program which served 3,000 participants worldwide at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She continues to be instrumental in community engagement initiatives focused on social justice in STEM education at UH, namely as a co-PI for the STEM RISE program, professional trainer for the Houston Genetics BIORETS, and active member of the DEI committee for her college. Jacqueline has served on several UTeach committees, including UTeach Alumni Program, USEA Leadership Development, and USEA Strategic Planning. 

Jacqueline continues to mentor youth with her church congregation and through the Scholarship for Academics, Leadership and Transformation – SquareInch Houston in Third Ward. She was awarded the Outstanding Teacher designation in 2013 in Katy ISD, 40 Under 40 Influential Award with I10 Media in 2014, an NSF STEM for all Video Showcase Public Choice Award in 2021, a UH 50 in 5 Faculty Award for 2022, a finalist for the NSM Teaching Excellence Group Award for 2023, and was awarded the Teaching Excellence Group Award in 2024 for her contributions to the alternative certification pathway of teachHOUSTON. 

Kim Hughes, UTeach Institute, Ex-officio  

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