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Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education

Department of Mathematics & Statistics

Dr. Godbole

Dr. Anant P. Godbole 

Executive Director, CEMSE

Anant P. Godbole is a professional mathematician and mathematics educator. He has held positions at Michigan Technological University, University of California (Santa Barbara and Berkeley), and The Johns Hopkins University. He has been Department Chair and Associate Dean at various stages in his career, and looks forward to leading the Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education in the years to come. 

Anant has written over 100 professional papers, and been awarded around $8M in grant funding, mainly through the national Science Foundation. He runs a nationally recognized REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program. More information can be found on his website, on his CV,, and at the REU page. 

Dr. Tai

Dr. Chih-Che Tai 

Assistant Director, CEMSE/ Associate Professor, Science Education, CUAI


Dr. Chih-Che Tai has served as the assistant director of the Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education and an assistant/associate professor of science education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at East Tennessee State University since July 2009. 

Dr. Tai's academic and professional activities include (1) developing and implementing grant proposals to improve math and science education at all levels, (2) encouraging and assisting STEM education faculty with grant proposals to improve math and science education, (3) assisting in the university's outreach and research efforts in math and science education, and (4) teaching graduate/undergraduate science education courses. Since 2009 he has been awarded over $3.4 million as a principal investigator, including Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant from US Department of Education, Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) grant from Tennessee Department of Education, Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) grant and First to the Top STEM PD grant from Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Also, he has been involved in various grant activities in a role of co-principal investigator (USD $1.78 million) and an advisor of grant writing and management (USD $424K). His research interests include investigating K-12 students' conceptual understanding of science, technology, engineering and technology, teacher professional development and teacher effectiveness, learning progression, cross disciplines and social networking.

Dr. Tai holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Chemistry from National Taiwan University Taiwan, is a certified chemistry and physics teacher in Taiwan and holds a Ph. D. degree in Science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has taught physics and chemistry in middle schools in Taiwan. His brief CV available here and contact email: .     

Dr. Govett

Dr. Aimee Lee Govett

K-20 Science Specialist/ Quillen Chairholder, Quillen Chair of Excellence in S.T.E.M. Education


Dr. Aimee Lee Govett is the Quillen Chairholder appointed in  August 2014, and a professor of science education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at East Tennessee State University. The goal and mission of the James H. Quillen Chair of Excellence in S.T.E.M. Education can help to form partnerships and links between education and other math and science faculty at ETSU and the K-12 community. Through working closely with The ETSU Center of Excellence in Mathematics  and Science Education, we can support the advancement of S.T.E.M. education, K - 16, through direct services, technical assistance, partnerships, research, leadership institutes / workshops, and as an information conduit providing standards-based resources to schools, districts, teachers, and community members.Aimee joined the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 2003 as an Assistant Professor. She was tenured and promoted to the rank of associate Professor in 2007 and awarded full professor in 2013. Prior to coming to ETSU, she taught for five years at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas where she was appointed program director and advisor for the Professional Development Degree in Science and Education (PDDSE) an alternative teacher licensure program. Her teaching experience includes elementary science methods, secondary science methods, cultural diversity, and various graduate courses such as physics for teachers, evolution and the nature of science, science curriculum & theory, and curriculum development.

Aimee has a solid record of service at all levels. She has served the university as a member of Faculty Senate (and Executive Committee), General Education Council, Institutional Review Board, SACS Compliance Audit Leadership Team, and the Academic Freedom and Faculty Ethics Standing Committee. Her college service includes ten years as advisor to the Student Tennessee Education Association and service on the College Tenure and Promotion Committee. She has served the department as coordinator of the MAT program for more than five years.

Aimee has focused on the development of new ways to introduce and teach science to elementary and secondary students and their teachers. She has been co-principal investigator on five major NSF grants and principal investigator on a THEC proposal in the last five years that total over $5 million dollars in funding. She has made nine international/national presentations, six regional, and ten state/local presentations at major conferences in the last five years.

Ryan A. Nivens

Dr. Ryan A. Nivens 

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, CUAI


Dr. Ryan Nivens is an assistant professor of mathematics education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at East Tennessee State University. He received his Ph.D in mathematics education at the University of Missouri where he was also a fellow of the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum (CSMC) for four years. He also served as a mathematics education consultant for the state of Missouri Department of Education. As a consultant for the Missouri Department of Education (1999-2007), he worked extensively with the Missouri Math Academy, a statewide program aimed to improve the teaching and content knowledge of middle school mathematics teachers. In this role, he helped develop curriculum for teachers in both algebra and geometry and worked on its modification year-to-year with the other consultants using the Japanese lesson study model. He continues to work with middle school math teachers at ETSU through the Eastman Scholar Mathletes program (2008- present).

Dr. Nivens taught for seven years for Springfield Public Schools in Missouri, teaching Algebra, Geometry, Math Analysis/Trigonometry, as well as IB Computer Science at the SL level. After he left the classroom, he received a Teacher Appreciation Award from one of his former students in the Missouri Scholars Academy (2006). While working at the University of Missouri, he received a nomination for the MU College of Education Instructor of the Year (2008) and received the MU Graduate Student Association Superior Graduate Achievement Award ( 2008) for his service to the university and work within the department of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum.

Currently, Dr. Nivens provides leadership in his field by serving as the president of both the Appalachian Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AAMTE) and the Upper East Tennessee Council of Teachers of Mathematics (UETCTM). He serves as an ex-officio board member for the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association and is the newsletter editor for the UETCTM Newsletter, published six times a year. He frequently gives presentations at the annual and regional meetings of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Dr. Laura E. Robertson

Dr. Laura E. Robertson

Assistant Professor, CUAI


In 2001 Laura E. Robertson joined ETSU  as a middle school instructor at the University School teaching middle school sciences  She taught at University School for 11 years.

In 2010 she earned her Ph.D.  in Science Education from NC State University.  She joined the faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in August of 2014 as an Assistant Professor of Science Education.  She teaches science content and methods courses for the department. 

Laura is involved with several grants and programs through the ETSU Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science education working with students and teachers throughout the area to improve science teaching and learning.  Her research interests fostering teacher collaboration, teacher autonomy and motivation, and fostering best practices in science education. You may contact Dr. Robertson at: (423) 439-7678 or


Ms. Angela T. Haga 

Executive Secretary, CEMSE/  Assistant Director, TN Governor's School in Integration of Biological and Statistical Sciences/Public Relations Coordinator, ETSU Northeast TN STEM Innovation Hub


Angela serves as the Executive Secretary for the Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education. She is also the Assistant Director for the Tennessee Governor's School in Integration of Biological & Statistical Sciences and the Public Relations Coordinator for the ETSU Northeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub. She is a native of the Southwest Virginia area, and currently resides with her two daughters in Bristol, TN.  Angela is a graduate of Honaker High School in Honaker, VA and brings many skills to her position. She has a wide array of work experience, including: executive administrative assistant, office manager, rental car manager, substitute teacher, finance specialist, customer service associate, and executive secretary.

Her hobbies include: crafting, interior design, gardening, reading, cooking/baking, and tennis. She loves to travel when time allows.

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