Our Mission

The Center for Educational Networks and Impacts (CENI) inspires, connects, and impacts our region, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the nation. Our mission is to advance high quality teaching and learning opportunities in formal and informal preK-12 and higher education contexts and become a leader in STEM workforce development. We collaborate with stakeholders to increase equitable learning opportunities for historically marginalized and underserved populations.

The CENI Team

Lisa McNair
Lisa McNair | Director
Phyllis Newbill
Phyllis Newbill | Associate Director of Educational Networks
Chelsea E. Haines
Chelsea E. Haines | Associate Director of Broader Impacts
Amy Guerin
Amy Guerin | VT-K12 Liaison, Montgomery County Public Schools
Kimberly Keith
Kim Keith | VT-K12 Liaison, Floyd County Public Schools
Jamie Little
Jamie Little | VT-K12 Liaison, Radford City Public Schools
Emily Burns
Emily Burns | Graduate Student Researcher
Ashley Costello
Ashley Costello | Graduate Assistant for Research and Evaluation
Kalilah Kroll
Kalilah Kroll | Marketing and Outreach Assistant
Baitong Liu
Baitong Liu | Undergraduate Evaluation Assistant
Lauren Melton
Lauren Melton | Marketing and Outreach Intern
Davia Wiley
Davia Wiley | Marketing and Outreach Intern

CENI Alumni

Arul Kumar
Arul Kumar | Broader Impacts Assistant
Haseb Alim
Haseb Alim | Outreach Assistant
Cody Klein
Cody Klein | Assistant Evaluator
Jerin Manalel
Jerin Manalel | Office Assistant
Sarah Howell | Undergraduate Learning Assistant
Sarah Howell | Undergraduate Learning Assistant
Phoebe McLaughlin | Office Assistant
Phoebe McLaughlin | Office Assistant


In 2015, two previously existing offices on campus, VT-STEM and the Integrated Design + Education + Arts Studio, combined forces to form the Center for Research in Science, Engineering, Arts, and Design (SEAD) Education within the newly formed Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) at Virginia Tech. The Center updated its name in 2019 to the Center for Educational Networks and Impacts (CENI). Since the center was established, it has tripled in size. The Center hosts Virginia Tech’s relationship with the Science Museum of Western Virginia, as well as the Liaison Network with the Roanoke Center, Reynolds Homestead, and Montgomery County, Radford City, and Floyd County public schools. Center responsibilities include inspiring learners via large-scale events that bring learners and researchers together, connecting researchers to audiences for broader impacts of their research, building regional and statewide networks of STEM educators, and evaluating educational experiences of all kinds.