Congratulations to Dr. Edna Tan, professor of science education in the Department of Teacher Education & Higher Education (TEHE), for being elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is the first woman to receive this honor.

Fellows are selected each year by their peers for “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science, or its applications, that are scientifically or socially distinguished.” Dr. Tan was honored for her distinguished work in the learning sciences focused on equitable and consequential STEM teaching and learning, targeting individual and collective outcomes among underrepresented populations.

“I am deeply honored that our collaborative work with youth in communities has been recognized by AAAS. This recognition belongs to all I have been privileged to partner with across many years, including youth, teachers, community partners, research partners and graduate student researchers.” Dr. Tan said. “Our work is a collective effort for which I am truly grateful.”

“This award is a testament to Edna’s pioneering and truly important work in improving STEM education. Her efforts improved learning outcomes in communities of students form underrepresented backgrounds, as well as transforming the lives of individuals. The work she has done so wonderfully exemplifies the transformational mission and power of UNCG as a minority serving institution,” said Provost Jim Coleman, also an AAAS fellow. “This recognition shines light on the tremendous work being done at UNCG.”

AAAS only elects a tiny proportion (0.4% of its 124,500+ members) to be recognized as fellows each year. As an R2 institution, this recognition is a special achievement in a highly competitive arena. Prior UNCG honorees currently listed in the AAAS database include Provost Coleman (also a professor of biology, elected in 2019), Dr. Robert Anemone, professor of anthropology (elected in 2014); and Dr. Parke Rublee, professor emeritus (biology, elected in 1997).

In order to be named as a Fellow, AAAS members must be nominated by the steering group of their respective sections, by three Fellows or by the Association’s chief executive office. The Section Q (Education) steering group reviewed many nominations in this section and selected those that were forwarded in the final select list to the AAAS Council, which then voted. The Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.

A virtual induction ceremony for the new fellows will be held Feb. 13, 2021, during the annual Fellows Forum.

The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more.


This story was originally published by UNCG News on December 7, 2020.