Who We Are

Joan Griswold

Joan Griswold (jcgriz@uw.edu) is the current GEMNet PI and Program Manager for Genome Sciences Education Outreach.

Joan has over a decade of teaching experience in both middle school and high school classrooms. She has been involved in curriculum design, implementation, and dissemination for over a decade, both at Genome Sciences Education Outreach and the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research. She served two terms as a community member of the Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (ESCRO) at the University of Washington, and is past-president of the Washington Biotechnology Foundation. Joan has participated in the Science Education Partnership through the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Integrated Science Partnership for middle school teachers through the University of Washington. She also has experience as a laboratory assistant and clinical coordinator at the Oregon Health Sciences University. In addition to travel, she enjoys time with her family, fiddling, beading, bicycling and skiing. Joan received her BS in Biology from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and earned a Masters in Teaching from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington.

Helene Starks

Helene Starks (tigiba@uw.edu) is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Bioethics and Humanities in the School of Medicine at the University of Washington and the co-Principal Investigator on the GEM and GEMNet projects. She contributes her expertise in program evaluation, community-engaged research and research ethics to create and evaluate curricula and interventions in clinical and community settings. She served as the Director of Training for the Center for Genomics and Health Care Equality, an NHGRI Center of Excellence in ELSI research, where she worked on STEM pipeline development with diverse students from middle school to post-doctoral trainees. Her work includes a paper that reconceptualizes the so-called "leaky pipeline" as an "irrigation system" which emphasizes building capacity in children and community members to be partners in community-engaged research, either as investigators, community liaisons and/or research participants. These roles are equally vital to STEM research and careers and with the right support can foster interest in returning to pursue higher education and science careers for underrepresented minorities.

Helene is a Seattle native and UW Husky for both her BA in Communications and PhD in Health Services Research. She also earned a MPH at University of California at Berkeley. She enjoys biking, yoga and coloring mandalas to create beauty from mathematically-inspired designs.

Maureen Munn

Maureen Munn (mmunn@uw.edu) is the recently-retired Director of Genome Sciences Education Outreach (GSEO) at the University of Washington. For the past 22 years, she has worked with teachers, scientists, and other science educators to plan and develop grant-funded programs based on teaching and learning concepts in genetics and genomics, conducting authentic research, and exploring related ethical issues. In 2013, she and colleagues were awarded the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction for the program, Exploring Databases, which enables students to conduct their own research on why people smoke by analyzing data from an epidemiological study of smoking behavior.

The current project, Genes, the Environment, and Me: A Health and STEM Network (GEMNet), is funded through a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health. .

Raised primarily in western Canada, Maureen completed her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Victoria, her PhD at the University of California San Francisco, and post-doctoral studies at Yale University. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and making jewelry.

GSEO: Founded in 1993, Genome Sciences Education Outreach was originally part of the UW Department of Molecular Biotechnology. In September 2001, we became a part of the Department of Genome Sciences, which was formed through a merger of the Departments of Molecular Biotechnology and Genetics. The outreach group develops innovative programs that bring leading-edge science to teachers and students in K-12 schools. These programs provide interdisciplinary, hands-on science curricula, teacher training, equipment, and support to promote excellence in K-12 science education. GSEO Director Maureen Munn works closely with Genome Sciences faculty, students, and staff, as well as other UW collaborators, teachers, and science educators from throughout Washington State, to support science education.

University of Washington Department of Genome Sciences
Education Outreach, Box 355065 ~ Foege Building, Room S-334 ~ Seattle, WA 98195
phone: (206) 616-4538 fax: (206) 685-7301