Dr. Monya A. Ruffin-Nash ’92
is a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Alexandria, Virginia in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources in the Division for Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL). In this role, she oversees a multi-million-dollar project portfolio of innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research and development initiatives at all levels--- K-12, postsecondary, graduate, professional and the general public. Dr. Ruffin-Nash also serves as the implementation team program co-lead for NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) where she leads a cross-agency team in strategic planning, program administration, budget management, and grant management for over sixty pilot projects, conferences, alliances and a coordination hub. Prior to becoming the co-lead for the NSF INCLUDES implementation team, Dr. Ruffin-Nash served as the program co-lead for the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Program, a program that invests in innovative research and development work conducted outside of a school setting.
For over twenty years, Dr. Ruffin-Nash has devoted her career to STEM education. She has led collaborative education initiatives with colleges and universities, government agencies, state education agencies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Texas Instruments, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, community-based organizations, K-12 school districts, youth, children, families, and communities. She and her teams have conducted research and developed widely distributed education products and resources, published in peer reviewed journals, and provided professional development training to teachers and key stakeholders on pertinent education and research topics. She also had the honor to serve as the inaugural chair of the Atlanta Science Festival Expo & Taskforce in 2014. Held at the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, over 30,000 people, 400 volunteers, and 250 exhibitors and performers celebrated STEM at the expo in its first two years. The Atlanta Science Festival is still held annually in Piedmont Park.
She credits much of her love for science, scholarship and service to her time at Marist. While at Marist, Dr. Ruffin-Nash excelled in her classes, especially in mathematics and the sciences. She also served as a member of the Junior Classical League for Latin Students, enriched her communication skills as a Marist Thespian participating in service plays in the local area and in underserved communities, and was a Marist War Eagle junior and varsity football and basketball cheerleader.
Dr. Ruffin-Nash has a B.S. in biology and a Master of Education in secondary science education in biology from the University of Georgia and a PhD in teaching and learning with emphases in science education and education technology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Dr. Ruffin-Nash lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, Dr. Milton Nash, an administrator and mathematics professor.