The Global STEM Education Center

ML Mackey, CEO and Founder of Beacon Interactive Systems

Global STEM Education Center Board of Directors

Beacon Interactive Systems was started 16 years ago out of a rent-controlled apartment on Beacon Street in Massachusetts. Since then, the company has experienced significant growth by delivering its collaborative enterprise software solutions to customers in both the private and public sector. Private sector customers include MetLife, IBM and Olympus as well as global firms like the pan-European Venture Capital entity, E-Start. With the economic downturn in the software industry in 2001, Ms. Mackey and her partner successfully navigated the company into the Federal marketplace. Beacon is now a preferred provider to the U.S. Navy, delivering two key software systems to multiple System Commands and Program Executive Offices. Recently, the Navy made the strategic decision to roll out Beacon’s maintenance software, TurboWork, to 460,000 users and every ship in U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Increasingly recognized for her expertise in small business innovation, Mackey has participated in several legislative and policy initiatives. She is a frequent invited speaker and, in 2007, was asked to provide testimony to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Based on her experience of successfully delivering products to both private and public sector customers, Ms. Mackey was asked to speak at the 2008 Department of Defense Procurement Conference. Also in 2008 Ms. Mackey received the Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology Leadership Award. At the national level she serves on the Board of the National Small Business Association’s Small Business Technology Council and is a member of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Small Business Division Executive Committee. At a regional level, she serves on the Board of the Small Business Association of New England and is a member of the High Technology Committee. She is a member of the New England Innovation Alliance as well as a CEO Forum member of The Commonwealth Institute of Boston. Prior to starting Beacon, Ms. Mackey worked for Digital Equipment Corporation. Ms. Mackey holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University.

Lisa Aucoin

Vice President, BAE Systems
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Global STEM Education Center, Inc since 2018
Chairman of the Board of Directors, DOME Foundation (2009-2011)
Board of Directors, Global STEM Education, Inc since 2016

Lisa is the Vice President, BAE Systems. In her previous leadership roles, as a Deputy Vice President and prior to that, as Engineering Director for the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Solutions (ISRS) Business Area she was the engineering authority for all engineering activities within ISRS; including technology and product roadmaps, resource allocation, domain training and engineering execution on proposals and programs. Prior to this role, Lisa was the Director of the Integrated Vision Solutions Product Line for the Survivability and Targeting Solutions Business Area within the Electronic Solutions Sector at BAE Systems in Austin, Texas. In this role, Lisa was responsible for the strategy, product development and program execution of platform-based situational awareness products, force protection, base defense as well as advanced mission electronics and embedded training systems. She has also served as the Director of Soldier Solution Product Line for the Soldiers and Vehicle Solutions Business Area. Having recently joined BAE Systems 6 years ago, she brings with her over 30 years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry.  Her roles have ranged from research and development, high volume manufacturing, supply chain program management and new business capture.  Lisa has experience in Lean Product Development and Six Sigma. Lisa received a Master of Science in Physics from Northeastern University.  She is a member of several professional societies including Society of Women Engineers and the National Defense Industry Association. Lisa has served as chairperson for The DOME (Diversity and Outreach for Math and Engineering) Foundation board of directors and is currently serving on the board of GSTEM (Global Diversity and STEM Education). She has previously held positions on the Massachusetts High Technology Council, NH High Technology Council and Natick Science & Technology Board of Directors.

Steve Hiersche, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools in Beverly.
Global STEM Board of Directors, 2016-2019
Chair, Global STEM Education Policy & Outreach Committee

Dr. Steve Hiershe's background is in math and technology.  He has been a Superintendent for almost twenty years emphasizing the need for technology to support instruction in his districts.  As a teacher he was at the forefront of employing technology in the classroom.  Throughout his career Dr. Hiersche has been an advocate for a strong STEM education as well as developing an emphasis on the need for students to be competitive on a Global level.

Ellen Ferraro, Ph.D
Chief Engineer, Integrated Communication Systems
Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems

Dr. Ellen Ferraro is the Chief Engineer, Integrated Communication Systems Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems; previously, Ellen was a Director, Research & Technology, Integrated Defense Systems; prior to that, she was a Director the Systems Architecture, Design and Integration Directorate (SADID) within Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) Engineering organization. The SADID organization has more than 1000 people across the US who are responsible for all aspects of systems engineering including requirements definition, modeling and simulation efforts, system effectiveness and operational analysis and algorithm development.Raytheon Company, with 2012 sales of $24 billion and 68,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 91 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services.Headquartered in Tewksbury, Mass., Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) has locations across the globe. Its broad portfolio of weapons, sensors and integration systems supports its customer base across multiple mission areas, including air and missile defense systems, missile defense radars, early warning radars, naval ship operating systems, robotics and other advanced technologies. With 2012 sales of $5 billion, IDS provides affordable, integrated solutions to a broad international and domestic customer base, including the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Armed Forces and the Department of Homeland Security.Since joining Raytheon Company in 1994, Ferraro has held the role of Director of Engineering Operations, Director for the Strategic Architecture Directorate and acting IDS Technical Director, Deputy Director for the System Validation Test and Analysis Directorate, Department Manager and Systems Engineering Integrated Product Team Lead. In addition, Ferraro has been involved in the analysis of scattering and propagation over the ocean. She has also investigated spread clutter mitigation techniques for enhanced small target detection as well as the use of expert system technology to aid in the counter-drug mission. Ferraro has authored and presented more than a dozen technical papers at conferences, universities and IEEE meetings around the world.Ferraro received her PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1994 under a NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship. While working in the Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory (MIRSL) at the University of Massachusetts, her graduate research included the development of an airborne radar altimeter for the investigation of surface and volume scattering from the Greenland ice sheet.Ferraro is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She was previously a member of the IEEE 2007 Radar Conference Committee and vice chair of the IEEE 2010 Phased Array Conference. She is an active member of the Boston Section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and is the recipient of the Mass High Tech “Women to Watch in 2006” Award, the SWE 1999 Distinguished New Engineer Award and the SWE 2007 Emerging Leaders Award and SWE Fellow, 2016.

Isa K. Zimmerman, Ed.D

Chairman of the Board (2014-2017)
Chair, Annual Symposium Committee
​Principal and founder of IKZAdvisors, LLC

Isa Kaftal Zimmerman has been Superintendent of Schools, High School Principal and Assistant Principal, junior high school teacher and Division Director of the Technology in Education Program and Associate Professor at Lesley University. She was a pioneer in bringing technology to schools for instruction and productivity in MA and she started the MASS (Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents) Technology Task Force. Dr. Zimmerman was also the founding chair of the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Educational Technology Advisory Council (ETAC) for two terms. She was Senior Fellow at the UMass Donahue Institute, and the UMass President's Office until the spring of 2009. In this capacity she oversaw the mounting of the STEM annual Summit from 2006 to 2008, led the development of a state STEM plan and networked stakeholders. She served on Governor Patrick's Readiness Project and the Secretary's and Commissioner of Education's 21st Century Task Force and was on the Operations Board of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council; she chairs the sub committees on global STEM education on both the MA and IA councils.Dr. Zimmerman edits, writes and speaks about leadership, technology and STEM—digitally and on paper and has been a member/leader of several volunteer organizations in the Commonwealth, such as BEST, MASCD, (of which she was president twice), Young Audiences of MA (of which she was President of the Board), and Symphony by the Sea of which she was President. She received her BA from Cornell University and her Ed.D. from Harvard University. She is the principal and founder of IKZAdvisors, LLC.

Norean Radke Sharpe, Ph.D

Co-Founder of the DOME Foundation; 
​COO & Chairman of the Board (2007-2009)
​Dean, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, St. John's University, New York, NY,

Norean R. Sharpe, Dean, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, St. John's University, New York, NY; prior to that, Norean served as Dean, Undergraduate Program, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University since 2009 to 2016; Sharpe’s career spans 20 years. She was Professor of Statistics and Chair of the Division of Mathematics and Science at Babson College in Wellesley, MA, where she taught for 14 years. In her role as Department Chair, she facilitated the revision of the undergraduate business curriculum and improvement of the co-curricular experience of students. She also developed a strategic plan for quantitative undergraduate education, advised students, mentored faculty, and chaired multiple task forces that examined the academic, social, and cultural issues facing undergraduate business students. Sharpe has held previous appointments at Bowdoin College and Yale University and as a scholar, has authored over 30 articles – primarily in the areas of statistics education and women in science. Sharpe earned a Ph.D. in systems engineering from the University of Virginia, a M.S. in biomathematics from the University of North Carolina, and a B.A. in mathematics and German from Mount Holyoke College.

Larisa K. Schelkin, MS.PE & MS.CS

​CEO & President and Founder
Twitter @GlobalSTEMClassroom

Larisa K. Schelkin CEO, and Founder, Global STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education Center, Inc. 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation; She is also a Founder of the Global Technology and Engineering Consortium (GTEC) and a co-founder of the DOME Foundation. Larisa Schelkin is the author of the Global STEM Classroom® teaching and learning model . She held executive positions in academia and STEM global corporations (WPI, WIT, Tufts University; TYCO Electronics Global Corporation). Larisa is a Fellow for Education Policy, Rennie Center for Educational Research and Policy & Institute for Education Leadership (IEL), Washington, DC (Class 2015); Larisa studied Global Education at Harvard University Graduate School of Education” Think Tank” (2015-2016); Larisa is a NASA 4D Systems training provider and NASA GLOBE program partner. She is a Fellow and Board member of Massachusetts Academy of Science. Larisa served on the STEM-Space Project at SETI Advisory Board and on IUCEE Advisory Board. She serves on Massachusetts Metro North Regional Employment Board; She served as a Co-Chair for ISTE PLN on Global Collaboration in STEM and on MA Governor’s STEM Education Advisory Council (Diversity in STEM Education Sub-Committee). Larisa received a Catalyst Award from the Science Club for Girls and Distinguish Service Award New England Regional ASEE. Larisa’s achievements were recognized in the “Global Educator” book by ISTE (International Society of technology Educators); Global STEM programs developed by her were recognized as best National practices by the Longview Foundation & Asia Society;  Larisa is a frequent presenter at Nationals and International Conference; she spoke at at ISTE, MassCUE, NSTA, NSTA STEM Forum, MASS (MA Association of School Superintendents)/MASC (MA Association of School Committees), Global Education Forum/Asia Society/Penn University, BLC (Building Learning Communities), MA STEM Summit; SWE, CoSN, ACTFL, Global Collaboration Conference, ASEE International Symposium and Global STEM Education Center Annual Symposium at Harvard. She holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Petroleum Engineering from the Russian Petroleum Engineering University, and a Master of Science from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Board of Directors