Dawn Hocevar 2022
Dawn Hocevar was elected an honorary member of the Academy in recognition of her efforts in support of the Academy’s mission to advise on issues of science and technology that affect the economic and social well-being of the people and the state of Connecticut.
As BioCT’s President and CEO, Ms. Hocevar is a leader in the state of Connecticut’s bioscience industry, including her contributions to strategic planning and the development of partnerships and collaborations critical to the industry’s growth. At BioCT she has been a catalyst, building collaborations with industry, academia, and government. In 2017 Dawn worked with Catherine Smith, who was serving at that time as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and the legislature to create a bill requiring the life science industry key stakeholders to develop the state’s ten-year strategic plan to guide investment in the Connecticut bioscience industry. Under Dawn’s leadership, BioCT has become an integral part of the life science industry ecosystem in Connecticut.
Dawn sits on the board of the Council of State Bioscience Association (CSBA), affiliated with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Prior to BioCT, Dawn served as Women in Bio’s Program Committee Vice-Chair (2011 – 2012), National Chair of Programs and Development (2012 – 2015), and later as the organization’s president and board chair (2017). She spent 20 years at Thermo Fisher Scientific, followed by 10 years at BioSurplus, where she steadily rose in leadership positions within the company until last serving as Vice President for National Business Development.
Honors awarded to Dawn in Connecticut include the New Haven BIZ Power Class of 2020 and the Power 25 Class of 2021. Volunteer activities include Junior Achievement and Chair of Fundraising for The San Francisco School. Ms. Hocevar has a BS in Biology and Chemistry from San Jose State University.
Jane K. Stahl 2021
Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (ret.)
Jane K. Stahl was elected an honorary member of the Academy in recognition of her efforts in support of the Academy’s mission to advise on issues of science and technology that affect the economic and social well-being of the people and the state of Connecticut.
As Deputy Commissioner of DEP, Jane oversaw the state’s Air, Waste, Water, and Long Island Sound programs. In that role, she focused on integrating regulatory policies and practices among all environmental media and promoting a culture of professionalism and sensitivity to all constituents. She led several interagency programs to address climate change, smart growth, and water planning. Prior to that, she served as the assistant director for the Office of Long Island Sound Programs, and in that position was responsible for oversight and implementation of the state’s coastal planning, permitting, and enforcement programs, and served as liaison for major coastal development projects. This included oversight of the state’s environmental certification of the Thames River deepening project, which was critical to the Subbase New London’s role in the Navy’s Seawolf-class submarine program. Subsequently, she successfully defended that certification in a lawsuit brought in federal court. Additionally, she supervised the development of the state’s environmental case against closing Subbase New London during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) proceedings.
Throughout her career with the state, Ms. Stahl served on several committees and boards, including as the state’s representative to the New England Governors’ Conference Committee on the Environment, the Coastal States Organization, and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS). She also served on the executive committee of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee.
Following her retirement, Ms. Stahl has been consulting on state and federal environmental regulatory compliance issues for coastal development projects, energy projects, waste management, and brownfields remediation and development, and facilitates resolution of regulatory conflicts. Additionally, Ms. Stahl has developed presentation modules for the University of Connecticut’s Climate Adaptation Academy. She currently serves as a commissioner representing the state on the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.
On behalf of the Academy, Jane is serving as a mentor to the Academy’s Inaugural Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the CT Department of Energy and Environment Protection. Additionally, she has served as a consultant on the Academy’s study on Strategies for Improving Transportation Project Delivery Performance (2016), and as a committee member for Academy studies on Methods to Measure Phosphorous and Make Future Projections (2014) and Environmental Mitigation Alternatives for Transportation Projects in Connecticut (2009).
Jane earned a BA in Environmental Studies from State University of New York at Stony Brook, a Master of Science in Natural Resource Policy and Management from the University of Michigan, and her JD from the University of Connecticut Law School. She and her husband Kent have spent their professional careers together in Connecticut, having raised two children, of which they are proud. They frequently getaway to the Cape.
Matt Fleury 2020
Matt Fleury was elected an honorary member of the Academy in recognition of his efforts in support of the Academy’s vision and mission. Specifically, he is honored for his activities that foster science and engineering education of the highest quality and promote interest in science and engineering on the part of the public, especially young people.
Matt has served as president and chief executive officer of the Connecticut Science Center since 2009, after serving as the center’s executive vice president and chief operating officer during the Center’s development. He helped to launch the science center in his prior capacity with the Capital Region Development Authority (then CCEDA). Previously, Matt served in management positions in communications and government affairs in the telecommunications industry after a career in broadcast journalism.
Additionally, Matt serves on the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. The board is the governing body for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities. First appointed in 2011, he has supported its mission through various roles including chairman of the Finance & Infrastructure Committee, member of the Executive Committee, various presidential search committees, and now as the board’s chair. He was appointed chair by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in 2016 and reappointed by Gov. Ned Lamont for the second term in 2019.
Mr. Fleury also recently served as a member of the board and executive committee of the Association of Science & Technology Centers and he serves as a member of the board of directors of the MetroHartford Alliance. He was named in 2019 Nonprofit Executive of the Year by the Hartford Business Journal.
Matt earned an MBA from the UCONN School of Business. He is also a graduate of Berkshire Community College and Charter Oak State College. He has studied organizational leadership at the Yale School of Management, and nonprofit performance and governance at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He and his wife call Connecticut home and are the proud parents of twin boys.
Richard H. Strauss 2018
Richard H. Strauss was elected to Honorary Membership for leadership and contributions throughout his career that support the Academy’s vision to “foster an environment in Connecticut where scientific and technological creativity can thrive and contribute to Connecticut becoming a leading place in the country to live, work and produce for all its citizens …”
Strauss’s consistent, forward-looking leadership as executive director guided and stabilized the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering for the past 16 years. Throughout his service, he has displayed the key characteristics of a leader, including enthusiasm and passion for the Academy and its mission, integrity, loyalty, decisiveness, and, excellent communication and managerial skills. His accomplishments include overseeing 47 Academy studies conducted on behalf of state agencies and the Connecticut General Assembly, formalizing the selection process for the Connecticut Medals of Science and Technology, and establishing the endowment fund. Additionally, Strauss has served under nine Academy Presidents, oversees the Academy new member election process ― with the number of members increasing from 179 (2002) to 411 (2018), manages the Academy’s public and member communications, and a year-long detailed planning process for the Annual Meeting and Dinner.
Strauss earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of New Haven and a BA in political science from Hawthorne College. He began his career as a flight instructor for Hawthorne, and later served as assistant director and chief flight instructor for the program before relocating to Connecticut. In addition to the other positions noted below, Strauss served as an Assistant Dean at the University of New Haven. While at the university, he was responsible for the development and administration of middle and high school afterschool and summer programs in science and technology for the CPEP, as well as the development of programs designed to create interest and expose students to science, engineering, and technology.
Throughout his career, Rick has served in state and local government including as the Deputy Transportation Commissioner for the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Aviation and Ports. For his hometown of Chester, he has served as Chairman of a Regional Board of Education, the town’s Board of Finance (just returned to service this year), and Water Pollution Control Authority, as well as a member of the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
Strauss lives in Chester with his wife Leslie. He has two daughters, both married, and six grandchildren.
Joel Gordes 2017
Joel Gordes, Director, Center for Energy Security Solutions, was elected to Honorary Membership for leadership and contributions throughout his career that support the Academy’s vision to “foster an environment in Connecticut where scientific and technological creativity can thrive and contribute to Connecticut becoming a leading place in the country to live, work and produce for all its citizens …”
Throughout his career, Gordes has been instrumental in promoting energy policy change in the public sector with a focus on emerging electric grid vulnerabilities and developing strategies for greater energy safety, resilience, and security. He has been Principal of Environmental Energy Solutions since 1995, an energy consultancy involved in multidisciplinary aspects of energy, environment, energy security, and economic development. More recently, he has served as Director of the Center for Energy Security Solutions. In those positions, he has served on numerous state boards and commissions including his appointment to the former Connecticut Energy Advisory Board (CEAB) in 2007, 2011, and 2013. He has also served for over 10 years as Technical Coordinator for the Energy Conservation Management Board, created by the state’s electric deregulation legislation. Gordes served as the CEAB designee to CASE for the academy’s Energy Assurance Planning Project. He has been a valued contributor to other CASE projects, serving as a study committee member for The Feasibility of Using Waste Heat from Central Power Stations, and Advances in Nuclear Power Technologies, as a study advisor for the Shared Clean Energy Facilities, and a committee member for the current study on Strategies to Minimize the Carbon Footprint of Connecticut Bus Operations.
A former state representative for the 62nd district (1987-91), Gordes served as Vice-Chair for the Energy & Public Utilities Committee. During his time in office, he authored or co-authored many energy-related public acts including bonus rates of return for utility energy efficiency programs and energy sections of Public Act 90-219, Connecticut’s first global warming act. During the 1990 budget deficit, he authored a bill that was unanimously passed to re-lamp state buildings with energy-efficient lighting that saved the state $130 million over a ten-year period.
A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Gordes flew 130 combat missions in Vietnam. He was drawn to the field of renewable energy and energy security after observing the effects of oil embargoes during the 1970s. Gordes studied solar energy at the Hartford Graduate Center of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and worked as a sales engineer for a renewable energy firm before moving to public service.
Gordes is the author of several papers on energy security, renewables, and distributed resources. He lives in West Hartford with his wife Lin.
Eloise Farmer 2016
Editor, Science Matters
Eloise Farmer was elected to Honorary Membership for leadership and contributions throughout her career that support the Academy’s vision to “foster an environment where scientific and technological creativity can thrive and contribute to Connecticut becoming a leading place in the country to live, work and produce for all its citizens …”
Farmer continues to be a leader and advocate for science education in Connecticut. She taught science at Torrington High School from 1967 to 2003 and has served as president of the Connecticut Science Teachers Association (CSTA) as well as the Connecticut Science Supervisors Association (CSSA). She has been the editor of CSTA’s Science Matters for the past 10 years. This science education newsletter is published once a month during the school year and occasionally over the summer. It is distributed via email to a point-of-contact in every Connecticut public school, as well as private schools, higher education faculty, science-rich organizations, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), and other interested parties. Science Matters is the only newsletter that reaches the state’s K-12 science education community with time-sensitive news, professional development opportunities, request for proposal notifications, and CSDE reports.
Farmer’s dedication to Connecticut teachers and students has earned her several honors, including Torrington Teacher of the Year, CSTA Outstanding Science Educator Award, CSSA Connecticut Science Educator Fellowship, and CSDE’s Celebration of Excellence Award. She was a Fellow of the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science at Wesleyan University and the former Connecticut Academy for Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology. Farmer has been a mentor and supervisor to student teachers at Connecticut universities and continues to mentor Torrington Public School District science teachers. Additionally, she has conducted numerous professional development workshops across the state and served for three years as science content director of EastConn’s Project Opening Doors, an Advanced Placement (AP) training, and support program. Always generous with her time and expertise, Farmer has been a reader/scorer for the College Board’s AP Tests, and a book reviewer for the National Science Teacher Association.
Farmer has a bachelor’s in education from the State University of New York at Cortland and a master’s degree from St. Joseph’s College, as well as postgraduate credits from various universities and an Intermediate Administrators Certificate from Southern Connecticut State University. She began her career in the Milwaukee Public School system.
Bruce Carlson 2015
Bruce Carlson, President & CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council, was elected to Honorary Membership for leadership and contributions throughout his career that support the Academy’s vision to “foster an environment where scientific and technological creativity can thrive and contribute to Connecticut becoming a leading place in the country to live, work and produce for all its citizens …”
Carlson has served as an associate project director/manager for two CASE studies: Broadband Access and Availability (2011) and Workforce Development (2012). He was also Chief of Staff at the UConn Health Center when CASE conducted the UConn Health Center (UCHC) study (2008), where he was key in providing CASE access to UCHC information and staff throughout the study. He is the President and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council, the state’s largest broad-based technology industry association, representing the over 2500 technology companies in Connecticut. He also serves as Chairman of The IP Factory, an organization he founded and which is dedicated to creating new companies and jobs through commercializing technologies that have been developed in mid-sized to large companies; and Managing Partner of Jigsaw Ventures, a strategic planning consultancy. During his tenure as UCHC’s Chief of Staff, Carlson established the university’s technology transfer program and held the position of Managing Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization.
Prior to UConn Health Center, Carlson served as Policy Development Director with the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management for two decades. During that time, he served four governors from three political parties, with a primary focus on economic development and budget-related issues. He holds a BA in History from UConn.
Michael P. Speciale 2014
Michael P. Speciale was elected to Honorary Membership to recognize his 29 years as executive director of the New England Air Museum. His tenure began six years after the disastrous 1979 tornado which nearly destroyed the Museum. At that time the Museum had relocated to its current site and had a substantial mortgage on its only building with no cash reserves. Speciale overhauled the once-struggling Museum which now boasts an additional 62,000 square feet and nearly 60,000 annual visitors.
Speciale has helped to create new and innovative exhibits and has overseen the restoration of numerous aircraft through the years including the VS-44 Flying Boat, the A-26 Invader, the Sikorsky S-51 helicopter, and the B-29 Superfortress. He oversaw the construction of two new exhibit hangars, and with the assistance of the 58th Bomb Wing, created a hangar to preserve the history of these veterans and their accomplishments during World War II.
In addition, Speciale incorporated special events into the Museum’s programming, instituted a corporate partnership program, and created a weekend, school holiday, and summer program that makes Museum educators available to teach the public about the science of aviation. He oversaw the creation and funding of the SOAR for Science program which teaches students the concepts of flight through discussion, demonstration, and hands-on activity and reaches over 135 classrooms in Connecticut. While proud of the Museum’s accomplishments, Speciale is quick to credit his talented staff (4 full-time, 16 part-time) and a dedicated cadre of more than 150 volunteers.
A graduate of Fordham College, Speciale holds a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University’s School of Social Service and a master’s in public administration from the University of Hartford. Speciale began his career as a social worker for the Community Church of New York and went on to work for the Greater Hartford United Way and later the United Way Connecticut, where he helped to develop and was the first director of the statewide 211 Infoline program.
Elliot Ginsberg 2013
Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology
Elliot Ginsberg was elected to Honorary Membership in recognition of his accomplishments as President and CEO of CCAT, where he identifies and directs the formulation, implementation, and execution of innovative economic development tools and programs to promote the region’s technological capabilities.
CCAT offers a wide range of services to its diverse customer base by offering programs in technology, efficiency, and workforce development. CCAT addresses military and civilian advanced manufacturing needs, promotes energy planning and policy initiatives, and stimulates innovation and workforce development efforts. In addition, CCAT is actively involved in researching and field-testing how enhancements in lasers, computational modeling, and next-generation manufacturing can aid the competitive needs of the U.S. industry. For the past five years, CCAT has partnered with the Academy to sponsor the H. Joseph Gerber Medal of Excellence.
Under Ginsberg’s leadership, CCAT has made major achievements including:
- creation of an advanced manufacturing center
- development of additive manufacturing processes and materials to support the maintenance and repair of aerospace components; and patents for CCAT’S structured light scanner and its acoustic monitoring for laser-hole drilling of turbine engine components
- provision of a program to advance the value of alternative fuels and clean energy sources
Ginsberg joined CCAT in 2007 after a decade serving as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. John B. Larson. He previously served as commissioner of the Department of Human Resources under Gov. William O’Neill, where he managed the statewide human services department for six years. A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, Ginsberg holds a J.D. from the UConn School of Law.
Ginsberg is a member of the board of directors of Connecticut Technology Council, Capital Workforce Partners, MetroHartford Alliance, Oak Hill, Natick, and Hanscom Science and Technology Boards, St. Francis Hospital Foundation, Connecticut Landmarks, and Connecticut Legal Rights Project. He is a member of advisory boards for the NASA Space Grant Consortium, CT Regional Institute for the 21st Century, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Statewide Advanced Manufacturing Committee, Defense Technology Initiative, and the Connecticut Small Business Administration. He also is a member of the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission, the state Nanotechnology Council and the board of overseers for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.
Glenn Cassis 2012
Glenn Cassis was elected to Honorary Membership in recognition of his more than 20 years of service as the Executive Director of the Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program (CPEP) and for his support and stewardship of education programs as Executive Director of the African-American Affairs Commission (AAAC).
CPEP is a non-profit educational program that encourages underrepresented minority and female middle and high school students to pursue careers in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering. Under Cassis’ leadership, CPEP expanded from a single school district serving 43 students to 12 urban school districts serving more than 9,000 students. Through grants and proposals, he was responsible for increasing the annual budget from $20,000 to $1.4 million.
AAAC’s mission is to improve and promote the economic development, education, health, and political well-being of the African-American community in Connecticut, through advocacy, information sharing, cultural awareness, community networking, and influencing legislation. Since becoming Executive Director of AAAC, Cassis has remained active in STEM initiatives including serving on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Academy for Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology until June 2011, as well as testifying before the General Assembly on STEM education issues. Additionally, he has led and coordinated KnowHowToGo and College Goal Sunday, two statewide college preparation initiatives targeting first-generation students.
A native of New York and a resident of Bloomfield, Cassis holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in arts administration from the University of Connecticut. He also completed coursework in higher education administration at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). He began his professional career as an administrator at Oakland University in Michigan and later served as Director of the Campus Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (formerly North Adams State College).
Cassis is active in several professional and nonprofit organizations, including the American Society of Engineering Educators, the Southern New England Association of Technical Professionals, the Education Advisory Board of the Urban League of Greater Hartford, past-president of the Connecticut Association of Education Opportunity Programs, vice-president of the Bloomfield Education Foundation, and treasurer for the National Association of Pre-College Directors. He has also served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and NASA.
Richard C. Cole 2011
Connecticut Academy for Education
Richard C. Cole was elected to Honorary Membership for his work as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Academy for Education in Mathematics, Science & Technology, Inc. (CAE) that was recognized in 1992 by the General Assembly as an organization to serve as a state advocate and broker for high standards in mathematics, science, and technology for all citizens.
CAE works with educational entities in Connecticut and nationally to accomplish high levels of student participation and achievement in mathematics, science, and technology by providing tools and services to help school districts implement and sustain high-quality educational programs and by broadening the public’s awareness of the need for all students to learn mathematics and science.
Cole has been responsible for the organizational and fiscal leadership of CAE and for maintaining cooperative relationships with the governor, legislature, state and federal agencies, industry, local and regional education agencies, parent and community groups, and professional associations. He currently facilitates a statewide network of 14 organizations committed to achieving the objectives of CONNverge, a major program initiative to create a culture in Connecticut that supports student learning in mathematics and science. Cole has led several past projects including the Learning Doesn’t Take a Vacation Program, Connecticut Academy Science Assessment Program (CASAP), K-12 Mathematics and Science Guides, Systemic Improvement Protocol, and Mathematics and Science Technical Assistance and Professional Development Programs.
Cole served as Study Manager for Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) study, Evaluating the Impact of Supplementary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Educational Programs, and is currently a member of the CASE Study Committee on The Development of Guidelines for the Connecticut Strategic Plan for Broadband Accessibility and Adoption.
Earlier in his career, Cole was a teacher, school and district administrator, college instructor, and owned his own communications company prior to joining the United Technologies Corporation, where he served as Director of Public Affairs.
Theodore S. Sergi 2010
Dr. Theodore S. Sergi was elected to Honorary Membership by the Academy’s Governing Council for his assistance and support in restarting the awarding of the state’s Connecticut Medals of Science and Technology; for providing visible and ongoing recognition of medal winners at the Science Center; and for his overall support of projects that complement the Academy’s own mission and goals, including his leadership as president and CEO of the Connecticut Science Center from its nascent stages in 2003 until its opening in May 2009. The CT Science Center’s mission is to inspire lifelong learning through interactive and innovative experiences that explore our changing world through science.
From 1994 to 2003, Dr. Sergi was Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education. During a 27-year career with the State Department of Education, he participated in the development of many important state initiatives, including the first efforts to equalize school funding, the initiation of the state’s testing program, and the beginning of comprehensive planning and public reporting of all education information. Sergi currently serves as Interim President and CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance.
An economics graduate of Hobart College, Sergi holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and a JD, from the University of Connecticut, as well as an MA from Trinity College. Sergi was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1986. He is a proud graduate of the New York City Public Schools.