MMSA selects Ruth Kermish-Allen as Executive Director

The board and staff of the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance have selected Ruth Kermish-Allen, currently Director of Education at the Island Institute and a resident of Appleton, as the organization’s next Executive Director.

Kermish-Allen’s educational expertise includes developing strategies for infusing distance-learning technology in small rural schools as well as developing technology-rich environmental education models. Her current dissertation research (for a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies in Education at Antioch University New England) focuses on defining common practices and structures of online learning communities used in citizen science projects to impact inter-generational learning and community-based environmental action outcomes.

She received her M.Ed. in Science and Environmental Education from the University of Maine and her B.S. in Environmental Science from Ramapo College of New Jersey. Before joining the Island Institute in 2004, Kermish-Allen was a high school science and math teacher on North Haven and in other coastal Maine schools, as well as an adjunct professor at Unity College.

The new hire comes at a time of exciting growth for an organization best known for its high-quality STEM professional development for teachers across the state. Having received four major grants in the last year, MMSA is expanding its focus to emphasize STEM learning in out-of-school settings, and innovative models of professional development for educators of all kinds in rural areas. In addition, the organization does more educational research in STEM than any nonprofit organization in Maine, and the new executive director will contribute even greater strength to its cutting-edge research activities.

Dr. Jan Mokros and Dr. Tom Keller, who currently co-direct MMSA, say they are excited to transition into their new positions as MMSA senior project directors under the leadership of Kermish-Allen. “As MMSA strengthens its work in both teacher professional development and out-of-school STEM education, we are delighted to bring in a leader who has solid expertise in both arenas,” said Keller.

For more information about Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, visit

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