Insights is responding to community input and shifting our focus toward meeting the public where you are. Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) learning experiences will be brought to schools, parks, partner museums, restaurants, and clubs!
Insights is undergoing some major transitions as it envisions it’s future in the city of El Paso. Our Board is central to that effort. Below you will find the list of current board members, which will expand as we identify the best players to help secure our vision.
Ellen Esposito joined the Insights Board in Fall 2014 and currently serves as President. She has a Bachelors in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M and a Masters in Teaching Science from UTEP. An El Paso resident since 1977, Ellen and her husband owned and operated a veterinary hospital for 22 years. In “retirement” she worked for Girl Scouts of the Rio Grande for 7 years, with a focus on developing science educational programs for girls. Currently working at UTEP for the College of Science, Ellen is Director of Secondary Education and supports students seeking to become high school math and science educators. Her focus is on developing a long term funding strategy so that Insights is able to reach a sustainable mission of serving the El Paso community with a state of the art science, mathematics, engineering, and technology outreach.
Vice President, Ph.D.
Dr. Carolyn Awalt is Vice President of the Insights Board of Directors. She was also a Co-Principal Investigator on a $3.2 million dollar grant from the United States Department of Education, Transition to Teaching Grant for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics educators. Dr. Awalt formerly taught educational technology courses at the College of Education, the University of Texas at El Paso. She now teaches both educational technology and writing courses for the University of Maryland University College. She is a Texas certified teacher in Social Science and History. Dr. Awalt’s interest in the El Paso environment led her to become a Texas Master Gardener and to train as a Texas Master Naturalist. She sees Insights as a future outreach hub, stimulating science experiences for all ages in the West Texas, New Mexico and Juarez areas.
Ericka Hernandez, CPA
Ericka Hernandez was born in Cd. Juarez, Mexico, and has lived in El Paso, Texas, since 1994. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and her Masters in Business Administration from University of Texas at El Paso. Since 2008, Ericka has been an auditor for Gibson Ruddock Patterson, LLC. She earned her certification as a public accountant in 2012. Ericka is an active volunteer at Make-A-Wish Foundation and is also a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA), El Paso Chapter of TSCPA, Young CPA’s, and Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) Leadership El Paso graduate, class 38 (2016).
Tony Reyes holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. After working in the auto industry for over a decade, he helped found Solar Smart Living LLC in 2008, the first engineering company focused on solar integration in El Paso. From 2005-2010, he founded and operated Dynamic Dyno LLC, a company that produced a low cost, practical Dynamometer solution for auto-enthusiasts. He is currently a Senior Engineer in El Paso Electric’s Renewable and Emergent Technology Group where he has been working on O&M activities for existing renewable energy systems, helping to develop new renewable energy projects, and supporting the implementation of emergent technologies such as electric vehicles. He joined the Board in 2015 and has designed a new energy exhibit amongst other projects.
Richard, having joined in June 2008, is the longest serving member of the Insights board. During his service, he has supported and served on the Exhibits and Facility Committees, where he has used his 40+ years of engineering experience to help improve the facility and exhibits. He was also a part of the relocation team that helped prepare the exhibits for the move and storage. Richard strongly believes “that my early childhood interest in math and science is what launched my engineering career.” He further believes the Insights is an essential resource for educators in the region because we provides a fun hands-on learning.
Wade Warling has been a member of the board since January 2013. He is a 40 year veteran of the El Paso Fire Department with a Master’s Degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Wade’s interest is in associating STEM curriculum with all aspects of our lives, specifically the fire service, through exhibits about contemporary innovations and the historical journey to their inception.
Cheryll joined the board in August 2017, having over 37 years of experience as a Math and Science educator. With a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso, she has worked on numerous initiatives with Region 19, Clint ISD, and Ysleta ISD to enhance student success in the STEM fields. Along with her vast experience in education, Cheryll began her professional career with Pathlab Clinical Laboratory (Nichols Laboratories) as a registered medical technologist and intern instructor. She has earned a multitude of certifications, including: teaching certifications in (Biology & Chemistry), principal certification, T-Tess Administrator Certification, and a STEM Certification from Rice University, NISE.
With a Master’s in Education from Lesley College, William (Bill) Swanson began his career at the Atmospheric Science Laboratory in Computer Programming. He joined Insights’ board in August 2017, having taught Chemistry, Physics, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science for over 12 years under the Synergy Program at Socorro ISD. He currently is a Math Coordinator at Clint ISD, in addition to teaching Curriculum Planning at the University of Texas at El Paso. Amongst his many grant awards in robotics, Bill was invited by Congressman Sylvestre Reyes to Washington D.C to promote the advancement of STEM education. He is also active in multiple local and national teaching associations.
Brad, joined the board in September 2017, with over 10 years experience as a business banker. He holds a double BA in Business Administration and Spanish from Alma College, with additional International Studies courses taken in Quito, Ecuador. Brad has been an active member throughout the El Paso community, serving as an avid volunteer at the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce Leadership and the United Way of El Paso Allocation Panels. He hopes to make a difference, as another key asset of our board by providing his expertise in business.
Meghan joined the Insights team in September 2017 as Project Manager with a Master’s degree in Entomology. Her research, ranging from spider endosymbionts to ant genetics, has been published in multiple journals. In addition to building an edible insect advocacy business after graduate school, Meghan also co-founded a global virtual conference for the edible insect industry. Since her arrival in El Paso in 2015, Meghan has had the opportunity to teach Science, Reading, Project-based Learning, and Rock Climbing. As Insights Project Manager, Meghan will continue to apply her years of experience in public service to advocate for STEAM education in El Paso.
Ashley joined our Insights team in August 2017 as our Administrative Assistant. She is a Senior working on her second degree in Chemistry at the University of Texas at El Paso. Along with making the Dean’s List, she has been an avid member of the American Chemical Society, and has taken part of the Chemistry Circus outreach program to promote the field of Chemistry to local schools. Upon graduation, Ashley will pursue a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry (emphasizing in Synthetic Organic Chemistry/and Biochemistry) to ultimately work in the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to a strong enthusiasm for STEM education, she enjoys painting in her spare time with a focus on Pop Art.