Georgia Professor Begins Term as 2023–2024 President of the National Science Teaching Association

On June 1, Dr. Julie Luft, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor and Athletic Association Professor of Mathematics and Science Education in the Mary Frances Early College of Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, became the 2023–2024 President of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), the largest professional organization in the world seeking to transform science education to benefit all through professional learning, partnerships, and advocacy.

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Dr. Julie Luft, Ph.D., 2023-2024 NSTA President. (Photo: Business Wire)

Dr. Julie Luft, Ph.D., 2023-2024 NSTA President. (Photo: Business Wire)

Luft joined the University of Georgia faculty in 2012. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, and mentors doctoral students. The undergraduate courses are for preservice teachers and consist of science methods, biology for middle school, and the supervision of student teachers. The graduate courses she teaches are for masters and doctoral students who are progressing professionally. Her favorite courses to teach focus on science teacher education research and the professional learning of science teachers. She has received several university and national awards for her instruction and mentoring of students.

As an active scholar, Luft has published more than 150 research articles, book chapters, editorials, and books for teachers, teacher educators, and educational researchers. She has given more than 200 peer-reviewed national and international conference talks. Much of this work is the result of external funding from the National Science Foundation. Her recent research highlights include co-editing the Handbook of Research on Science Teacher Education (2022) and giving a plenary at the European Science Education Research Association in 2022. Her publications have been honored with a number of awards, including the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) JRST award, which recognized an article she co-wrote for the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (JRST) that was deemed the most significant publication of the year; the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) Award for Implications of Research for Educational Practice; NSTA Research Worth Reading recommendations; and the Association of Educational Publishers educational practice award.

“As a secondary science teacher and an educational researcher, I have valued the NSTA resources and community in my work,” said Luft. “Within the NSTA community, I have found dedicated and innovative educators focused on the learning of all students. Even in the midst of our current challenging educational climate, science educators are still committed to sound science instruction and concerned about student learning. As the President of NSTA, I am honored and excited to represent its members, along with being a national voice that advocates for teachers and science education.”

As an engaged member of the science education community, Luft has served as a board member and President of ASTE, Director of Research and a scholar in residence at NSTA, as NSTA’s representative to the NARST board, and associate editor for various journals, including JRST. In her work as an advocate for graduate students and early career faculty, she has served as a mentor in the Sandra K. Abell Institute for Doctoral Students; the South African Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Research School; and the Science Education Research Institute in Thailand. Highlights of her work in the science education community include being a mentor at science education research schools and serving on the committee on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus report Science Teachers’ Learning: Enhancing Opportunities, Creating Supportive Contexts (2015).

“I look forward to working closely with Julie during her term as President. NSTA has a long history of strong volunteer leaders. Julie’s expertise and her commitment to listening to and elevating all educators makes her the ideal leader for NSTA at this time,” said Erika Shugart, Ph.D., executive director, NSTA.

About NSTA

The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 40,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high-quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators can grow professionally and excel in their careers. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field. For more information, visit, or follow NSTA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.


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