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The University of Texas at Tyler Professor to Serve on United Nations Committee

March 7, 2017

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Editor/Writer–Strategic Communications & Media Relations
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
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Dr. Teresa Kennedy will serve on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Non-Governmental Organization Liaison Committee for a two-year term representing the International Council of Associations for Science Education, Dr. Howard Patterson, The University of Texas at Tyler vice president for student affairs, announced.

Kennedy joined The University of Texas at Tyler in 2009 and holds a joint professorship appointment in the Colleges of Education and Psychology and Engineering. She also serves as the assistant vice president for international programs and senior international officer, leading all activities conducted by the university's Office of International Programs.

"It is an honor to have been selected to assist UNESCO to strengthen collaborations between their Member States and cooperating NGOs, and to facilitate the work of the Collective Consultation of NGOs on Education for All initiative, UNESCO's key mechanism for dialogue, reflection and partnership with NGOs working in the field of education," Kennedy said.

Currently serving as president of ICASE, an international organization created in 1972 by UNESCO to extend and improve science education worldwide, Kennedy was elected to the committee during the bi-annual International Conference of NGOs held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, where 10 new committee members were selected by representatives from 95 NGOs from around the world. As the only member of the committee from the United States, she joins elected representatives from Argentina, China, France, Mozambique, Switzerland, Tunisia and the United Kingdom.

A current focus of the committee aims to foster stronger participation of young people and youth organizations through forum events occurring worldwide and International Day celebrations occurring at UNESCO headquarters. Kennedy was appointed co-chair for the Forum Sub-Committee, and she is currently contributing to the planning of a large international youth forum scheduled for May in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. For more information, visit http://en.unesco.org/.

"It is a great honor for Dr. Kennedy and The University of Texas at Tyler that she has been elected to serve as a member of the UNESCO NGO Liaison Committee," said Patterson. "Dr. Kennedy's work and contributions toward literacy and attainment of educational goals are recognized by her peers worldwide, and we are fortunate to have her on the staff at The University of Texas at Tyler."

A strong advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and international science education, Kennedy has been involved with activities at UNESCO since 2003, initially working with UNESCO's Remote Sensing Unit on the Young Earth Scientists at World Heritage Sites program from 2003 – 2008. During that time, she concentrated on teaming Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment students and teachers with local World Heritage Site Managers in India, Guatemala, Jordan, Madagascar, Mexico, Peru and Russia in her former role as deputy director and director of the International Division of The GLOBE Program, a worldwide science and education program funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation, and supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Department of State.

During the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development from 2005 – 2014, Kennedy was an active member of the UNESCO International Network of Teacher Education Institutions on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability and has contributed to UNESCO's Global Action Program on Education for Sustainable Development since 2014. She has also served in advisory roles to UNESCO's Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building and the International Basic Sciences Program in the Sector for Natural Sciences; with the Section for Teacher Development and International Task Force on Teachers in the Division for Support and Coordination of Education 2030; and with the Section of Youth, Literacy and Skills Development in the Education Sector.

"This honor is another example of Dr. Kennedy's continuing commitment to use international education to build bridges between nations," said Dr. Ross Sherman, The University of Texas at Tyler College of Education and Psychology dean.

Kennedy has traveled to more than 100 countries through her work and educational experiences and serves on the Tyler Sister Cities Board of Directors. She was a NOAA Teacher at Sea in 2001, working with scientists from NASA, NOAA and Knudsen Engineering in Canada to research phytoplankton blooms along the California coast and record data of the ocean floor from San Diego to Honolulu. She also is a two-time Fulbright Scholar, first in 1993 in Ecuador, and again during the 2014–15 academic year focusing on engineering education in Argentina.

Kennedy holds a Ph.D. in education with concentrations in international/bilingual science education and STEM.

One of the 14 campuses of the UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at The University of Texas at Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 10,000 high-ability students. The University of Texas at Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.