TechXcite Program Founders
Gary A. Ybarra, Ph.D.
TechXcite Founding Principal Investigator
Gary A. Ybarra, Ph.D. has served as the principal investigator of several K-12 engineering outreach programs as part of the Engineering K-PhD program he founded. He received a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from North Carolina State University in 1992. In addition to his K-12 outreach work, his research interests include microwave imaging for the early detection of breast cancer.
Paul A. Klenk, Ph.D.
TechXcite Founding Co-Principal Investigator
Duke Co-Project Coordinator of the TeachEngineering Digital Library
Paul A. Klenk, Ph.D. received his B.S.E. in 2001 and his Ph.D. in 2006 from Duke University in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. As a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, he developed methods of focusing low energy x-rays to treat localized tumors and received a patent for his work. While in graduate school, he worked with Ybarra to co-create the Techtronics engineering after-school program curriculum.
TechXCite Program Leaders
TechXCite Program Manager
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University
Rodger Dalton: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC is the TechXcite program manager. Mr. Dalton received his B.S. in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University in 1992 and his M.S. in electrical and computer engineering at Duke University in 2006. He holds nine patents and has enjoyed a 21 year career designing fibre optic telecommunications equipment, specializing in Gigabit Passive Optical Networks. He is the founder and CEO of Techsplorers, an informal science, engineering, math and technology (STEM) program for K-12 students, whose vision is to inspire passion for discovery-based learning and confidence for children to experiment on their own. Techsplorers has grown to a staff of 22 employs serving hundreds of students per year. He manages all aspects of the TechXcite program including curriculum development, training of 4-H Afterschool staff, and acting liaison to National 4-H Council.
Allen K. O'Hara
National 4-H Council
7100 Connecticut Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Allen came to National 4-H Council in 2012 where he has managed approximately $3-8 million annually in donor funds. Prior to joining Council, Allen taught vocational agriculture at the middle and high school level for two years and was employed by a milk marketing cooperative for just over 33 years before taking early retirement to seek other employment opportunities.
Allen received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland in Agricultural and Extension Education. He is a 4-H Alumni, was a 4-H parent, is now a 4-H grandparent, and has served as a 4-H volunteer in his home county of Frederick, Maryland for 40 years.
In 2007, National 4-H Council (Council) partnered with Duke University to develop and pilot the TechXcite program, leveraging 4-H's well established 4-H Afterschool programs and presence in every county in the United States. Since the development of the curriculum, Council has introduced the TechXcite team to 4-H program staff at six land-grant universities (LGUs) where training and funding were provided: CA, MI, MO, NC, OK, and WV. In addition to working directly with these LGUs, National 4-H Council has served as the financial steward, providing grant funds to these states for trainings and program activity kits. The program has provided an opportunity for 4-H professionals and youth to gain additional exposure to STEM-related curriculum, which has led to a growing number of youth who plan to pursue future coursework and/or a career in science, engineering, or technology.
Gregg E. Tabachow
National 4-H Council
Throughout his tenure at National 4-H Council, Gregg Tabachow has managed approximately $5 million annually in donor funds, overseen curriculum development tools, provided direction for digital curriculum projects, and served as a strategic partner with the Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining the National 4-H Council, Gregg worked for four years in various capacities at the National Institutes of Health Training Center. There he served as technology trainer for internal staff and as a Program Manager charged with establishing and offering financial and communications courses for all NIH employees. Gregg received his undergraduate and Master's degrees from the University of Maryland system and has worked in youth development and education for 21 years.
Rebecca A. Simmons, Ph.D.
TechXcite Curriculum Developer and Trainer
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University
Rebecca A. Simmons, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. Simmons received her B.S.E. in 2000 and her Ph.D. in 2004 from Duke University in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. The focus of her doctoral research was dynamic bubble systems and included both computational modeling and experimentation. Simmons is very passionate about her role as an educator and the importance of a positive learning experience.
TechXcite Curriculum Developer and Techsplorer Instructor, Duke University
Wendy Candler is a recent graduate of North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Psychology. In 2011, she worked as an instructor for Techsplorers Engineering Summer Camps, a program that introduces middle and high school aged students to the field of engineering. She is currently a member of the creative team at Techsplorers developing curriculum for the Duke University TechXcite program.
Compass Evaluation & Research, Inc
TechXcite External Evaluation Team
Compass Evaluation & Research, Inc. provides external evaluation for the TechXcite program. They are consulting on the design of evaluation instruments and methods, and will be performing focus groups with selected after-school sites.
Anne D’Agostino, Ph.D.
Dr. Anne D’Agostino is a founding member of Compass Consulting Group, a small woman-owned and operated research and evaluation firm in Durham, NC. Dr. D’Agostino has more than 17 years experience in planning, designing, managing, and conducting formative and summative evaluations and research. Her areas of expertise include early childhood through postsecondary education and teacher professional development, community health, and/or special education initiatives. Dr. D’Agostino uses a mixed-methods approach to evaluation, involving both qualitative (such as case studies, interviews, focus groups, and review of written documents or narratives) and quantitative (such as standardized assessments, observations, and surveys) data collection methods and analyses.
Cuberis TechXcite Website Team
Cuberis designed and built this website as well as ongoing website support. Cuberis also provides illustrations for the TechXcite curricular modules.