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CEE will establish and manage STEM Lyceums in Virginia’s rural and urban high schools to engage students in discussions and explorations of STEM concepts and careers in science and technology. CEE’s STEM Lyceums are monthly virtual club meetings that will engage high school students in discussions and explorations of STEM concepts and STEM career trajectories. CEE will provide information, speakers, and hands-on activities to bolster research skills and expose students to a broad range of STEM careers. Through its network of schools, UNCF will assist with taking this project beyond Virginia to high schools throughout the U.S. CEE and UNCF aim to provide students with transformative STEM speakers, and STEM internships and scholarships.

“Working together, the Center for Excellence in Education and United Negro College Fund aim to strengthen STEM education across the nation,” said Joann DiGennaro, President of CEE. “This project will bring life-changing opportunities to students.”

Dr. Chad Womack, Senior Director of Internal Auditor and Investment Services of UNCF, said that the partnership with CEE will “leverage the UNCF network to promote the opportunity to schools and school districts beyond Virginia.”

CEE, through its Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP), brings extensive experience connecting rural and urban middle and high school teachers to experts from industry and academia with meaningful professional links to benefit underserved students. TEP workshops and resources, including Bite of Science and the online Lab Bench, have been provided cost-free to teachers in 10 states and the District of Columbia to access and use in the classroom. To date, nearly 4,000 teachers from 1,600 schools have participated. After each TEP program event, teachers are provided resources to take back to their classrooms. The Center’s TEP program has reached more than 600,000 underserved rural and urban students to consider STEM careers.

STEM Lyceums will be managed by Laura-Ashley Alegbeleye, who earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and a M.A. in Teaching from Loyola University Maryland. She comes to CEE after working eight years as a high school STEM educator. Prior to transitioning to STEM education, Laura-Ashley worked in industry as an Application Engineer.

About Center for Excellence in Education

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover and Joann P. DiGennaro, President of the Center. The Center’s mission is to nurture high school and university scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and to encourage collaboration between and among scientific and technological leaders in the global community. CEE sponsors the Research Science Institute (RSI), the USA Biolympiad (USABO), and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP). Visit CEE’s website,

Media Contact:

Tom Flavell, (703) 448-9062 ext. 237, tflavell ( @ ) cee dot org

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