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Staff

Cora Beth Abel, Executive Director

Under Ms. Abel's leadership, MSSEF has forged new partnerships with academic institutions, private foundations and government agencies as well as affiliated Regional Fairs and like-minded science education organizations. Her efforts over the last six years have strengthened the state's year-long science fair programs and built greater awareness of MSSEF's mission of inquiry-based learning for all students. She has led the successful pilot and seed funding of the Curious Minds Initiative, a strategic statewide plan to increase the number of Massachusetts schools and teachers that use the inquiry-based learning model and offer science fairs programs that inspire students' interest in science through direct engagement in the real-world discovery process. Prior to joining MSSEF in 2006, she was a Founding Director and served as Vice President of MassBioEd, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council's (MBC) educational foundation, providing strategic direction and shaping policy to advance science literacy. She designed and led the BioTeach initiative, a dynamic model of early-stage workforce development, and oversaw a $9M-campaign that was launched at the Massachusetts State House. In the workforce arena, Ms. Abel developed an award-winning training program that opened entry-level opportunities in bio-manufacturing to underrepresented urban populations. She earned a baccalaureate in theoretical mathematics from SUNY-Buffalo and a master's degree from Harvard University in Education & Design. She is the recipient of several national awards, including two design fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Eleanor A. Tishler, Director of Corporate Development

Ms. Tishler is responsible for all partner and sponsor relationships, and has built lasting and successful relations with over 100 loyal donors for over 15 years. She served as MSSEF's first independent management professional in 1989, when the organization transitioned to an autonomous organization from its life-long affiliation with The Boston Globe. During her tenure, she was responsible for formalizing business operations, heightening awareness of the science fair program and significantly expanding the scope of sponsorship. After stepping down as Executive Director a decade ago, Ms. Tishler remained with the organization as Director of Corporate Development. Before joining MSSEF, she managed the corporate philanthropy program at Keyspan Energy (now part of National Grid), then a $1 billion diversified energy company. Her extensive experience in the non-profit sector includes work for United Way of Massachusetts, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Jobs for Youth, Speare Memorial Hospital and My Brothers Table.

Selena Kok DellaRocco, Events Manager

Ms. DellaRocco recently joined MSSEF, and oversees the coordination of multiple MSSEF events and training programs. She is responsible for logistical aspects of MSSEF's statewide High School Science & Engineering Fair at MIT and also manages the registrations and administrative relationships with MSSEF's partners involved in the Curious Minds Initiative (CMI). Ms. DellaRocco earned her BA in psychology at Tufts University and brings 15+ years of success in event creation and implementation as well as fundraising for non-profit health and human service organizations.

Elizabeth Kronberg, Executive Administrator

Ms. Kronberg joined MSSEF in 2013 and is responsible for managing and executing all administrative tasks for MSSEF. Her 20+ years of administrative experience includes companies in the insurance, mortgage and finance sectors in both MA and Chile. She also served as a residential supervisor in a school for special needs children. She earned her BS in Business Administration & Marketing at MCLA.

Carrie Ives Schluter, Communications Consultant

Ms. Schluter is the driver of MSSEF's communications and social media networks. She created the new MSSEF blog, "Inquiry First," building greater awareness of the science fair and Curious Minds Initiative outreach/professional development programs in Massachusetts. She also manages communications with MSSEF’s cadre of 800 professional scientists and engineers. Ms. Schluter brings more than 15 years of experience in communications to MSSEF. A graduate of Middlebury College, she has spent several years in the Washington DC area where she was affiliated with National Geographic Television, the National Wildlife Federation, the Jane Goodall Institute and Cox Media. Before joining MSSEF, she was the managing editor of two online environmental and alternative energy news publishers, and prior to that, she was New Media Content Director for the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.

Other Professional Services
MSSEF retains the services of a Certified Public Accountant, legal counsel, bookkeeper, IT/computer team, and graphic designer on an independent contractor status. College interns are also engaged for special projects in support of administrative and programmatic efforts.

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