TRC 21st Annual Meeting — Telling Our Story
June 16 – 18, 2015 | Renaissance Austin Hotel
- Fifth Grade Science Teacher, Argyle ISD
- University of North Texas Regional Science Collaborative
After teaching for ten years and working as a stay-at-home mom for another fourteen, Brenda Williams received a note that changed her life. A former first grade student wrote to say that Brenda was one of the biggest influences in her life. That inspired Brenda to get back into the classroom and begin influencing a new generation of students.
Now a fifth grade science teacher for four years, Brenda has built a reputation of success. Her students earn impressive scores on the STAAR test. She was named the 2013 Argyle Intermediate School Teacher of the Year, 2013 Argyle Independent School District Teacher of the Year, 2013 Region 11 Teacher of the Year Nominee, 2014 HEB Texas Excellence in Education Award Finalist, and three time recipient of the Argyle Education Foundation Grants to Teacher Award.
Brenda credits her association with the University of North Texas Regional Science Collaborative and the hands-on activities she develops for students as keys to her achievements as well as her students’ success. “I want my classroom to be a place where students collaborate, create, communicate, and think critically.”
General Session Speakers
Theresa G. Coble, Ph.D.
- Associate Professor of Forest Recreation and Interpretation
- Stephen F Austin University
Theresa Coble is an Associate Professor of forest recreation and interpretation in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA). A native Minnesotan, she spent her summers during college working as a canoe guide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. After college, she taught English at the Liaocheng Teachers College in Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China, for four years. Dr. Coble received her Ph.D. in Forest Resources from the University of Minnesota in 1999. She spent five years on the faculty at West Virginia University before coming to SFA in January 2003. At West Virginia, she participated in eight Community Design Team visits to rural West Virginian communities, co-taught a graduate course entitled “Meanings of Place,” and was inducted into the Landscape Architecture honor society. Her community outreach efforts culminated in her role as lead writer for a 1/2 million dollar grant from the USDA Fund for Rural America to develop an Appalachian Forest Heritage Area in 15 counties in West Virginia and two counties in western Maryland. She is a former certifier for the National Park Service’s Interpretive Development Program, a current member of the National Association of Interpretation (NAI), vice-chair for the NAI College and University Academics section, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Interpretive Research. Her interests include community development and capacity building, the interpretation of controversial natural resource issues, and the interpretive process.
Dr. Coble lives in Nacogdoches, Texas, with her husband Dean, and son Ivan. Whenever possible the whole family heads to Oklahoma, Colorado, or other rock-climbing destinations to enjoy the outdoors and a chance to try new routes.
David W Niesel, Ph.D.
- Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology
- University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Dr. Niesel’s laboratory is investigating in vivo models of gene/protein expression by the respiratory pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae and facultative intracellular bacteria (Francisella tularensis, Shigella flexneri, Salmonella typhimurium). In addition, his research group is investigating alterations in gene/ protein expression and alterations to the virulence potential of S. pneumoniae in a low shear environments. He has had multiple experiments performed on the space shuttle and on the International Space Station. The Niesel lab is also interested in the initial responses of host cells to bacterial pathogens, which lead to new initiation of cellular signaling and the host immune response.