Arcadia University alumna Alyssa Reynoso-Morris ’12 and Dara Ruiz-Whalen will be featured speakers when the University’s Honors Program hosts its annual Pioneer Series event at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5. This year’s event, which is focused on shaping communities locally and abroad, will be held in the Beaver College Room of the Landman Library and streamed live on Zoom.
Reynoso-Morris is chief of staff for Pennsylvania Rep. Jared Solomon; in this role, she has helped to organize COVID vaccine clinics, community events, and resource fairs. She is also a children’s book author and a mother. Prior to having those responsibilities, Reynoso-Morris founded and acted as the CEO of Schools for Sustainability Inc. (S4S), which fundraised, wrote curriculum, and built a water purification system and aquaponic unit in the Monte Plata region of the Dominican Republic.
Dara Ruiz-Whalen develops collaborative partnerships between scientists and teachers in middle and high schools. With an extensive background in formal science education and hands-on laboratory research training to support her interests, she is uniquely poised to train both scientists and science teachers in immersive environments, bringing out the best of each for the forward progression of teaching the next generation of STEM-related professionals.
What had started with the Immersion Science Program (ISP) at Fox Chase Cancer Center in 2013 with Dara and her science colleague and now co-founder Alana O’Reilly, in 2019 exceeded all expectations, and the two were started their own non-profit entity: eCLOSE Institute. Dara has also supported workforce development in Philadelphia, science teacher professional developments, in-school and out-of-school research training programs, and run national training programs, all while pursuing a Ph.D. at Temple University.
The Pioneer Series is among many signature professional opportunities offered by the Honors Program to both members of the program and other students at Arcadia. Students can attend various workshops and meetings with the featured “pioneers.”