Some of the nation’s most accomplished STEM teachers selected as Albert Einstein Educator Fellows Teachers representing 14 states will apply classroom experience to federal, congressional and executive branch offices

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April 20, 2020

Fifteen K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers from across the United States have been named 2020-2021 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows. The fellows will spend 11 months serving in a federal agency or U.S. Congressional offices in Washington, D.C., engaged in the national STEM education arena.

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 STEM educators to apply their extensive classroom knowledge and experiences to their host offices to inform Federal STEM education efforts.

The 2020-2021 Einstein Fellows are as follows:

  • Kama Almasi – Yachats, OR
  • Rachael Arens – Omaha, NE
  • Rachel Benzoni – Omaha, NE
  • Shakiyya Bland – Lawrence, KS
  • Kelly Day – Indianapolis, IN
  • Peter DeCraene – Berwyn, IL
  • Michael Guarraia – Owings Mills, MD
  • Chanda Jefferson – Columbia, SC
  • Kathleen Lanman – Senoia, GA
  • Laura Larkin – San Carlos, CA
  • David Lockett – Riverview, FL
  • Machin Norris – Evans, CO
  • Suzanne Otto – Paris, MO
  • Jennifer Stimpson – Dallas, TX
  • Michael Vargas – Phoenix, AZ

The 2020-2021 Einstein Fellows come from K-12 schools across the country and represent diverse teaching backgrounds with expertise in science, engineering, computer science and mathematics. Federal agencies and U.S. Congressional offices will benefit from Fellows’ real-world experiences as educators. In return, Einstein Fellows will gain understanding of the role of the federal government in the U.S. education enterprise, knowledge of resources available to students and educators, and broader perspectives on national education issues that can be applied to the classroom or to leadership positions in their districts or elsewhere.

The AEF Program, now celebrating its 30th year of operation, is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists in collaboration with the sponsoring agencies and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE).

Sponsoring agencies for the 2020-2021 Einstein Fellows include DOE, the Library of Congress, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Air and Space Museum and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In addition to sponsoring placements at DOE headquarters, DOE sponsors five placements in U.S. Congressional offices.

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The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.

ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit