Dr. Mary Jo Parker
University of Houston- Downtown
Mary Jo Parker, Ed.D., a first-generation, Hispanic, is currently a faculty member in the Natural Sciences department at University of Houston-Downtown, a federally designated Hispanic-serving and Minority-serving institution. She also is the Executive Director of the Scholars Academy, an academic unit in the College of Sciences & Technology supporting STEM majors through scholarships and a mentoring network system. She has been in higher education for 10 years, one year at Rice University Center for Science and Technology and nine years at UHD. She currently is PI on two active federal grant awards, Nuclear Regulatory Commission MSIP and Office of Texas Governor Wagner Peyser Workforce Training ($1.4M). She brings extensive experience in curriculum and development, supervision and leadership at K-12 and higher education, K-16 outreach and STEM recruitment, online instruction, teaching non-majors biology in the online environment, and closing the achievement gap for minority STEM students. Dr. Parker has incorporated service learning into the University Seminar (Transfers) and Human biology online core courses successfully. Her research focuses primarily on understanding mentoring on underrepresented STEM undergraduates and effective learning in online environments.