Executive Director of the Arkansas STEM Coalition, Dr. Suzanne Mitchell, will retire in January after serving nearly 12 years, the organization announced Tuesday in a press release. Dr. Mitchell announced the appointment of Hannah Vogler as the new Executive Director of the Coalition. Mitchell, along with business entrepreneurs Jerry Adams, John Chamberlin and James Hendren, founded the organization in 2010 in an effort to support and improve STEM education and opportunities in Arkansas.
“The Arkansas STEM Coalition is a catalyst providing inspiration and opportunity to support excellence in Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics to strengthen STEM skills,” said Dr. Mitchell.
The Arkansas STEM Coalition actively partners with business and industry leaders, education, government and community leaders, including hosting over 50 STEM state, regional and local community meetings, to connect people and ideas. Organization sponsors premier programs including the signature Science Equipment program, funded by the sale of Arkansas education license plates, which has provided funds allowing the Arkansas STEM Coalition to distribute over $1.1 million dollars of science equipment to 294 elementary public schools in the state.
The Arkansas STEM Coalition has an infrastructure of 12 STEM Centers located on 12 college and university campuses that provide technical assistance to schools, professional development for teachers, in-school and out-of-school STEM programs for students, and STEM summer day camps.
The Coalition’s Board of Directors includes 30 executives from companies and organizations who employ STEM-skilled workers in the state.
“Suzanne has provided leadership, collaboration, and encouragement for the Board of Directors during the past 12 years of growth,” said Board of Directors Chair, Paul Rich. “We applaud her amazing ability to imagine, explore, and ignite curiosity among leaders in communities across Arkansas and the United States.”
Mitchell taught mathematics and was a mathematics coordinator for 20 years in public schools and taught mathematics at Arkansas State University for 27 years. She served for 10 years on the Board of the Triangle Coalition for STEM in Washington D.C. and served as its President in 2003. She was President of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics from 2011 to 2013 and is currently is a Trustee for the Mathematics Education Trust Board at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Reston, Virginia., serving as Board Chair since 2020.
“I am humbled, grateful, and honored to have led this tremendous organization for over a decade,” said Mitchell, reflecting on the organization’s growth and its path forward. “We serve a remarkable group of clients who believe we can be a catalyst to compete in the vast array of opportunities and possibilities to develop a strong STEM worker pipeline and expand the economy of Arkansas.”
New Executive Director Hannah Vogler spent over 20 years in the nonprofit world and has been recognized locally and nationally for her work. Before becoming professionally involved in the nonprofit world, Vogler spent five years in the private equity department of a New York investment bank, helping raise capital for biotech companies and running a trading desk for restricted securities. She served previously as a White House Intern, an intern for the political consulting firm of Carville & Begala, and worked for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial (now Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights). She has been a political consultant and campaign manager on various political campaigns and most recently has been the Executive Director of both the Pulaski County Imagination Library and the Argenta Community Development Corporation. Volger also co-founded The Colon Club, a national nonprofit organization that educates younger people about colorectal cancer, after her cousin Amanda died from colon cancer at 27 years old.