John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Katherine J. Denniston is Deputy Director of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation.  She came to NSF from Towson University where she was held a variety of positions including Associate Provost, Associate Dean of the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, Director of PreMedical and PreDental Programs, and Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Formerly the Director of the Towson Center for Science and Mathematics Education, Dr. Denniston has a long-standing interest in reform of undergraduate and K-12 education. She was the Project Director of the NSF-funded Maryland Collaborative for Teacher Preparation II, Director of the Maryland Educators’ Summer Research Program, and co-Director of the Maryland Governor’s Academy for Mathematics and Science, a summer residence professional development program for Maryland teachers. Dr. Denniston’s work at Towson focused on the implementation of inquiry-based instruction in introductory STEM courses for majors and for non-majors.

Dr. Denniston earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University. She was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, and a Research Assistant Professor at the Division of Molecular Virology and Immunology, Georgetown University. She has published over 35 papers in the molecular biology and science education. She is primary co-author, with Joseph Topping and Robert Caret, of General, Organic, and Biochemistry, a chemistry text for students in health-related fields that is currently in its 7th edition.