Meet the Staff

Russell Hulse, PhD- Founder and Co-Executive Director

Russell Hulse is a Regental Professor at The University of Texas at Dallas and the Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he carried out thesis research in pulsar radio astronomy that later led to his receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics. Hulse came to UTD after 30 years working on controlled thermonuclear fusion research at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory. At UTD, Hulse’s work includes a focus on science and engineering education outreach. He is the founding Director of UTD’s Science and Engineering Education Center (SEEC).

Juan E. González, PhD- Co-Executive Director

Juan González is a Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies for the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he carried out his thesis research in bacterial transposition.  He later did postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, specializing in the study of bacterial-host interactions.  Presently he is the UTD director of the NSF funded Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and the Co-Director of the NIH funded Program to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research (PRIDE). 

IolaniIolani (Lani) Connolly, PhD

Lani Connolly is the Director for the Science and Engineering Education Center at The University of Texas at Dallas. She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. After gaining industry experience in the telecommunications and semiconductor industries, she turned her attention to capacity building in the non-profit sector. She joined the SEEC after serving as the Vice President of Program Impact and Strategy at Girl Scouts. She is passionate about education and is particularly interested in developing effective methods for instructional design and assessment.