Innovations 2022 Tuesday Keynote Karen Marrongelle

General Session Keynote
Tuesday, March 1

8:00 - 9:00 AM Pacific; 9:00 - 10:00 AM Mountain; 10:00 - 11:00 AM Central; 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Eastern

Karen Marrongelle

Chief Operating Officer, National Science Foundation

Keynote Address

Reaching the Missing Millions in STEM: Community Colleges’ Central Role

The science and engineering enterprise faces the same diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges that are present in society. These issues prevent the U.S. from achieving a STEM ecosystem that is representative of the incredible diversity we see in our country, a diversity that is essential to maintaining U.S. global leadership in science and engineering. Strengthening our STEM workforce requires that we address the Missing Millions, the gap between the demographics of the research community and the demographics of the whole nation. Community colleges are essential in preparing underrepresented students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students, many of whom enroll at community colleges somewhere along their pathway to a STEM degree. Further, community colleges can play an essential role in identifying the STEM potential in students on their campuses.


Dr. Karen Marrongelle is the Chief Operating Officer of the National Science Foundation (NSF), where she oversees operations of the $8.5B federal agency whose mission includes support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering. Previously, she served as Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation for Education and Human Resources (EHR). She led the EHR Directorate in supporting research that enhances learning and teaching to achieve excellence in U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

Prior to joining NSF, Marrongelle was Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Portland State University and Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, where she oversaw 24 departments and programs across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. In addition to her work as Dean, Marrongelle has served as a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Portland State University since 2001. Prior to her appointment as Dean, she held positions as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Strategies and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Standards and Collaboration with the Oregon University System. From 2007-2009, Marrongelle served on a rotation as a program officer at NSF and led numerous grants, collaborating with researchers nationally and internationally to improve undergraduate mathematics education and K-12 mathematics professional development. 

Marrongelle has a bachelor's degree in mathematics and philosophy from Albright College, a master's degree in mathematics from Lehigh University, and a doctorate in mathematics education from the University of New Hampshire.

Adwords test: