National STEM Education Champion To Serve As Harrisburg University Commencement Speaker

One of the nation’s leading advocates for improving student and teacher effectiveness in science and math in communities around the country will serve as the speaker for the 2016 Commencement at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, PA.

Matthew Headshot - NMSIMatthew Randazzo, CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative, will deliver the commencement address to the University’s Class of 2016 during the May 5th ceremony at the Forum Auditorium in Harrisburg.

“Harrisburg University and the National Math and Science Initiative are two organizations devoted to increasing the number of graduates in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.  There is a great deal of synergy as Matthew and his team are leading initiatives to improve student performance in those critical subjects.  We’re honored to have him as a speaker as both our programs seek to transform teaching, transform schools and are transforming education in the United States,” says Dr. Eric Darr, president of Harrisburg University.

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) is a nonprofit organization formed to address one of this nation’s greatest economic and intellectual challenges – the declining number of students who are proficient in math and science and are equipped for college studies and careers in STEM fields. To flourish in the 21st century, the United States must continue to generate intellectual capital that can drive innovation and future economic growth. NMSI is transforming STEM education in America by training teachers in grades 3-12 to inspire students to succeed in rigorous math and science courses and by recruiting and preparing more college students with STEM degrees to become dedicated math and science teachers. NMSI was initiated as a public-private partnership in 2007 with inaugural support from ExxonMobil, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

“Harrisburg University is a national model of a higher education institution understanding and meeting the demands of the 21st century knowledge economy with an emphasis on its own local community,” said Randazzo. “I am honored and privileged to address this year’s graduating class of future STEM industry leaders.”

As CEO of NMSI, Randazzo leads the organization’s efforts to improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness in communities across the country. He joined NMSI in September 2014 as Chief Growth & Strategy Officer, responsible for planning and implementing NMSI’s external engagement strategies, including cultivation of public and private partnerships to grow NMSI’s footprint while deepening its impact in target communities across the country. Prior to joining NMSI, Matthew served as founding president and CEO of Choose to Succeed, where he mobilized $45 million in local, state and national pledges to support exceptional, tuition-free public education options for families in San Antonio, TX. Previously, he served as chief growth officer for IDEA Public Schools where he oversaw the inception and execution of aggressive growth plans for a network of tuition-free K-12 public charter schools serving more than 20,000 students in 36 schools throughout Texas. Randazzo was most recently named to the tenth class of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Children and Family Fellows—a select group of leaders from the public, nonprofit and academic sectors dedicated to leading major system reforms and community changed initiatives that will produce measureable improvements for children and families.

Randazzo earned his BA in political science and Latin American studies from Albion College in Michigan and his Master of Public Affairs degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

Founded to address the need of Pennsylvania’s Capital Region for increased educational opportunities in applied science and technology-related fields, Harrisburg University offers innovative academic and research programs in science and technology to a diverse community of learners, provides access and support to students who want to pursue a career in science and technology, and supports business creation and economic development. For more information on Harrisburg University and its program, email Connect@HarrisburgU.edu