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New Employee NOVA IET

New IET Employee Spotlight

Chris Russell: IET Project Manager

Chris was first drawn to STEM outreach in high school, where he worked as a robotics camp instructor and a peer tutor. Chris earned his BS in Chemistry Education from the University of Virginia, an MA in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and will defend his PhD in Screen Cultures at Northwestern in December 2021. His dissertation, “Nerds, Hackers, and Gamers: Performing Masculinity in Computing Cultures,” examines the historical relationship between masculinity and computers as it developed during the 80s and 90s. In addition to his historical work, Chris has worked to broaden participation in the STEM disciplines through developing inclusive and research-centered outreach programs.

Prior to coming to NOVA, Chris was a research fellow at the Game Changer Design Lab at the University of Chicago, where he worked to design and implement game-based STEM enrichment camps for at-risk youth. After his tenure at Game Changer, Chris went on found his own educational game company, working with Ashburn non-profit JASON Learning to publish a suite of analog games for middle school science classrooms. At NOVA, he hopes to help grow the IET division’s capacity to produce innovative STEM programs and integrate empirically-proven strategies into practice.

Chris recently moved to Fairfax, VA and can be found surveying regional playgrounds with his two kids, Kieran and Maya.

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