For Immediate Release

Dawn Michele Whitehead
Interim Vice President of Communications
Kelly Mack
Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education and Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope
202.387.3760, ext. 804

AAC&U Announces Dr. Octavia Tripp as Senior Scholar in Residence in the Office of Undergraduate STEM Education

Sep 28, 2015

Octavia TrippWashington, DC—AAC&U announces the appointment of Dr. Octavia Tripp as a Senior Scholar in Residence in AAC&U’s Office of Undergraduate STEM Education for the 2015-16 academic year. Dr. Tripp is an Associate Professor of Elementary Education, Curriculum, and Teaching at Auburn University with more than 20 years of experience in preparing undergraduate and graduate students for careers in elementary education, delivering online instruction to pre-service teachers, and teaching in elementary and middle schools. Her research has focused on teaching underrepresented minority elementary and middle school girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Dr. Tripp’s research also explored the use of learning and temperament styles in teaching and the use of virtual classrooms for underrepresented minority elementary and middle school girls in STEM.

Dr. Tripp’s experience in conducting workshops for teachers and pre-service teachers makes her uniquely poised to advance the ongoing signature programs of Project Kaleidoscope, housed in AAC&U’s Office of Undergraduate STEM Education.  Prior to joining the faculty at Auburn University, Dr. Tripp served as an Aerospace Education Specialist and Project Coordinator for the Urban and Rural Community Enrichment Program (URCEP) at NASA.  By utilizing a highly effective train to trainer model, Dr. Tripp effectively integrated NASA’s Science Education Curriculum into that of numerous school districts, and positively impacted the teaching practices of over 1,000 teachers nationwide and nearly 100,000 students.

Dr. Tripp was recognized as the 2012 Auburn University Undergraduate Teaching Award in the College of Education, Curriculum, and Teaching. She has successfully led several study abroad programs in Malawi, Africa focused on the global impact of STEM on society and she is a curriculum contributor to the NASA Aeronautic Guide for Educators, as well as co-author of African American Astronauts. Her work has been internationally recognized in Belgium, China, Japan, and Greece.

Dr. Tripp earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Middle Grades Education from Wesleyan College (Macon, GA), and the Master of Science and Doctorate degrees from Oklahoma State University in Natural and Applied Sciences and Educational Studies, respectively.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Tripp to AAC&U,” said Kelly Mack, Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education and Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope. ”Dr. Tripp brings to us a combined theoretical and practical perspective on how to most effectively empower STEM faculty to embrace, implement, and sustain transformations from traditional to more interactive teaching practices. We very much look forward to collaborating with her in what promises to be an important turning point in how we approach STEM higher education reform.”

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,300 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

Information about AAC&U membership, programs, and publications can be found at

About PKAL

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) is AAC&U’s STEM higher education reform center dedicated to empowering STEM faculty, including those from underrepresented groups, to graduate more students in STEM fields who are competitively trained and liberally educated. PKAL also works to develop a scientifically literate citizenry as part of its commitment to principles and practices central to AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative.

Since its founding in 1989, PKAL has been one of the leading advocates in the United States for transforming undergraduate STEM teaching and learning. It has to date empowered an extensive network of over 7,000 STEM faculty and administrators committed to the principles, practices, and partnerships that advance cutting-edge, integrative STEM higher education for all students. To that end, all PKAL undertakings are uniquely designed to foster quality, diversity, and social responsibility.

Information about PKAL can be found at