Dr. JoAnn Roberts has a passion for people which is evident in her teaching, mentorship, and service. She has a STEM background and received her doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Roberts has teaching experience as an adjunct Biology professor in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), mentors as part of the UCLA Academic Supports Program: Ujima, and has led the development of a virtual teaching collaboration (Topic: Science Literacy) with Historically Black College & University (HBCU) partner institutions. Dr. Roberts is also a CIRTL Scholar and published a teaching tool for integrating metacognitive regulation in the online classroom using student-developed learning plans (JMBE, 2021).
In her current role with CEILS, Dr. Roberts works on the NSF INCLUDES Aspire Initiative which seeks to develop inclusive and diverse STEM faculty. She implements programming to support and connect current faculty at regional colleges and universities and helps to develop a sustainable model for supporting regional graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and other working professionals interested in teaching and academic leadership.
One of Dr. Roberts’ favorite quotes by author and activist James Baldwin is that “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” She says “It reminds and encourages me to maintain a posture of growth and boldness. The world does not improve, technology does not advance, and relationships do not heal, if we do not critically examine our past and our present and have the courage to act.”