The recipient of the Business and Community Outreach Award has been at Towson University a relatively short time but has already forged strong partnerships with the outside community in a manner that has earned him widespread respect both inside and outside Towson University. The awardee's efforts have been focused on benefitting K–12 students in Maryland, with a focus on Baltimore City.
The awardee has directly impacted over 4,000 students, faculty and staff with over 40 planetarium events since his arrival in 2007; with an additional 200 portable planetarium shows. These presentations are often accompanied by TU undergraduate student volunteers and independent study students. Through service learning grants from the Civic Engagement division of the TU Student Affairs Office he has integrated service learning course activities into classes for both elementary education majors and FCSM science majors.
He has shared his love and enthusiasm for science to an additional 300 students through the use of inquiry-based science lessons during school, or after-school science clubs or school groups visiting the Maryland Science Center. One nomination letter indicated that he had “opened up a new world of science and experiences for children who originally would not have been exposed to it at all” and another that “he has without a doubt reached far beyond the Towson University campus through his willingness to serve as a mentor and real-life scientist for our students.”
Public astronomy shows at nature centers, including the Irvine Nature Center, the Oregon Ridge Nature Center and the Marshy Point Nature Center, have engaged both students and adults.
He is the Co-PI on the BEST project which focuses on training and mentoring in-service middle and high school STEM teachers and providing educational outreach to their students. He is also Co-PI for the Project ASTRO program which is a collaboration between TU, the Maryland Science Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute and serves to link professional and amateur astronomers with K–9 teachers and students for inquiry-based activities in the classroom.
One reference indicated that they "cannot think of a better face to personify Towson University in the Community Schools."
The awardee received a B.S. in Biology and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University and a D.Ed. in Science Education from Morgan State University and then joined the TU faculty in 2006.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Rommel Miranda from the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences.
(As presented by Associate Dean Gail Gasparich at the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics Forum on November 2, 2012.)
The Jess and Mildred Fisher
College of Science and Mathematics
Smith Hall, Room 312 (campus map)