Pam’s desire to work in an environment where people are making a difference in education brought her to the PAST foundation. Her twelve years as an educational advocate for families of special needs children highlighted the need for embracing a diverse approach in the classroom. Her fifteen years of administrative experience in communications, data and office management give her the skills to work closely with PAST’s President & CEO and with their Board of Trustees.
Pam received her education at The Ohio State University and Hope College in Michigan.
Dr. Andrew Bruening is the Director of Bridge Programs at PAST and a founding faculty member of Metro Early College High School. Andy brings extensive experience teaching high school science and engineering courses to PAST. He also coaches Metro’s FIRST Robotics team 3324 The Metrobots and brings a wide range of rapid prototyping skills to PAST. He is also the operational director of the Center of Robotics Innovation (CORI) at PAST.
Dr. Bruening received a Ph.D. in geology from the University of South Carolina in 2007 and a BS in marine science from Eckerd College in 1994. He was recognized as the Ohio FRC Mentor of the year for 2013 and as the 2014 FRC Queen City Regional Woody Flowers Mentor of the Year.
' data-src-name='Andrew Bruening, Ph.D.' data-src-title='Director of Bridge Programs' data-src-unofficial='The Fabricator'>
Andrew Bruening, Ph.D.
Director of Bridge Programs The Fabricator
A mashup of graphic designer, web developer and project manager with 20 years in educational technology experience. The introduction to Problem-Based Learning has captured Jim’s imagination and ignited his passion. Eager to work with TPBL, STEM and partner with schools, community, and business and industry to transform teaching and learning. Have problem – will solve, or work until a solution is found; That is the #FutureOfWork.
Jim earned a B.S. in Industrial Design from Columbus College of Art and Design
A.S. in Computer Science from Columbus State Community College
Jim sits on the board of :
The International Association for Geoscience Diversity
Shadowbox Live Educational Advisory
Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s Pride Advisory
Jim is the President of the Board for Invention League, and the Interim Executive Director
In his spare time, Jim Mentors young students and teaches “STEM of Tai Chi” at PAST Innovation Lab
' data-src-name='Jim Bruner' data-src-title='Project Manager' data-src-unofficial='Sultan of Systems'>
Project Manager Sultan of SystemsMaria joined PAST in 2007 as a member of the research team of ethnographers conducting PAST’s first STEM program study of the Metro Early College High School. Her passion for research was established through her work as a folklorist, including involvement with City Lore: The New York Center for Urban Folk Culture. She is also an experienced attorney and editor, contributing to her excellence in research and writing that make her a key member of the Knowledge Capture (KC) team. Maria has been part of Knowledge Capture team since its inception, conducting evaluations for educational programs in Ohio and around the country. She also co-directs the KC internship training program, supporting young professionals entering the field of ethnography. A self-acknowledged data geek, she enjoys designing and analyzing surveys, running focus groups, and conducting structured observations of STEM learning to help inform program implementation. She has contributed to multiple PAST Foundation publications. When not at PAST, Maria is an avid reader, crossword-puzzle enthusiast, world traveler, and member of the Bexley Choral Society.
A graduate of Oberlin College, Maria received her M.A. in Folklore from the Folklore Institute at Indiana University and a J.D. from Indiana University.
' data-src-name='Maria Cohen' data-src-title='Assistant Director of Research' data-src-unofficial='Diva of Data'>
Assistant Director of Research Diva of DataDr. Annalies Corbin is the Chief Goddess, President & CEO the PAST Foundation. In 2000, Dr. Corbin founded the PAST Foundation, an organization she envisioned could lead the way to connecting scientific research with classrooms, schools and communities. From 2000-2006, Annalies concurrently led the PAST Foundation and taught at East Carolina University’s Program in Maritime Studies. In 2005, when PAST opened its headquarters in Columbus, Annalies turned all efforts to building the PAST Foundation, assembling a team that could grow the reach and mission of linking learning to life.
From a single school partnership in 2006, Annalies has grown PAST’s supporters across the nation, building a reputation for both transforming teaching and learning by understanding tomorrow’s education needs. In 2015, Annalies’ commitment to transforming schools led to the development of PAST Innovation Lab. Connecting directly with teachers through online professional development courses, MAEd program and on-site workshops, PAST Innovation Lab impacts more classrooms and expands learning opportunities for teachers and students everywhere. In 18 years, PAST has impacted more than 185,000 students, over 15,000 teachers across 36 states, hosting nearly 10,000 visitors and building hundreds of partnerships.
In 2019, Annalies and PAST will launch Learning Unboxed. This podcast series will highlight industry experts and students talking about the changing needs in the world of teaching, learning and the future of work. Rather than trying to fix a system that is working exactly as it was designed, this series challenges listeners to join the conversation of how we “unbox” education and create innovative solutions to better meet workforce needs. Follow Annalies on social media to join the conversation.
Annalies and the PAST Foundation have multiple recognitions. Annalies has received numerous awards in education and innovation as well as in her academic disciplines including the 2018 Outstanding Technology Team from BizTech, and a 2016 Smart 50 Awards as one of Central Ohio’s Top Executives. PAST has been honored with the Smart 50, top Innovation Award, selected by the White House to collaborate on the Next Generation High Schools Summit, and recognized for its Excellence in Education as reported by the US Department of Education in its STEM 2026 report. PAST has received many grants from national and local organizations that helps fund their work.
Annalies received her baccalaureate and master degrees in Anthropology and Maritime Archaeology from the Universities of South Dakota and East Carolina. The University of Idaho awarded her a doctorate in Anthropology and History.
Kat Deaner, the Cultivator of Connections, is PAST’s Director of School Design.Committed to bringing hands-on learning into the classroom, Kat and her team work directly with educators, districts and community partners nationwide to design authentic, applied learning opportunities, taking the theories of Transdisciplinary Problem-Based Learning (TPBL) to practice.Kat established the Online Learning program at PAST, providingeducators, regardless of location, with greater access to robust professional development. Kat has worked in both industry and education over her career. Prior to joining PAST, she was a middle school teacher, a university outdoor education instructor in Central America and a landscape designer.
Kat received a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She went on to earn a MS in Horticulture & Crop Science and a MEd in Agricultural Education & Extension at The Ohio State University. While at OSU, Kat was a Battelle Scholar and Field Director for PAST’s Growing America Bridge Program.
' data-src-name='Kat Deaner' data-src-title='Director of School Design' data-src-unofficial='Cultivator of Connections'>
Director of School Design Cultivator of ConnectionsKayla Galloway joined PAST in 2014 as a member of the Knowledge Capture team, PAST’s ethnographic research division. Since that time, Kayla has contributed to major research projects evaluating Ohio STEM education programs as well as program implementation in multiple states. Kayla has applied her ethnographic skills in creative ways, developing her work to focus on analysis and graphic presentation of evaluation data. She has contributed to dozens of evaluation reports during her career at the PAST Foundation. In addition to her work with the research team, Kayla is the Onsite Event Coordinator for Innovation1003, a social enterprise of the PAST Foundation. In this work Kayla is part of a team that provides event services for the PAST Innovation Lab, offering an exciting inspirational center for diverse community groups including those working to build public/private partnerships in STEM education involving educators, private industry, as well as PAST program partners. She also enjoys collaborating with her fellow colleagues to plan and execute internal events, such as PAST’s annual fundraiser. When not at PAST, Kayla can be found pursuing her passion for the outdoors, kayaking and hiking Ohio waterways and trails, and is active in canvasing events for local and national elections.
Kayla received her B.A in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology from The Ohio State University in 2015.
Research Associate Culture DetectiveJessa has dedicated her post college career to National Service and spent the past three years engaging with and assisting diverse communities throughout the country. This work was inspired by her time at The Ohio State University.
Jessa found a love for informal education while working at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont as a Community Engagement Coordinator. In this role she gained experience in leading hands-on routines of learning and the importance the outdoors play in an individual’s health and well being.
Jessa is passionate about utilizing the natural world as a learning laboratory and as a place to expand on social and emotional competencies in order to create more authentic leaders. She looks forward to bringing these routines to the students in the Innovators Club and working to bring more environmental and natural history programs to PAST programming.
Jessa received a B.S. in Anthropological Sciences and continues to solve problems using the methods and ideas she learned while completing her degree. In her free time, Jessa likes to go hiking, embroider, see live music, and eat great food.
' data-src-name='Jessa Goldner' data-src-title='After School Programs Instructor' data-src-unofficial=''>
After School Programs Instructor
Steve is an accomplished executive with a solid history of success in financial leadership roles in insurance, financial services, non-profit and other environments. He has developed significant expertise in enterprise risk management, corporate governance, financial analysis and reporting, external and internal audits, project management and regulatory affairs. He has accomplished this through serving as CFO for publicly traded and privately held companies, as Chief Financial Analyst and Chief Regulatory Officer for the Ohio Department of Insurance, Vice President of Corporate Governance for a publicly traded company, and as a Big-4 audit manager. In these roles he gained experience in developing and executing programs and initiatives that improve operational efficiencies, and became well-versed in working with investors, analysts, board directors, executive management, government leaders, regulators, reinsurers, brokers, attorneys, actuaries, information technology professionals, rating agencies, vendors, banks, agents, and staff.
Steve’s financial and management competencies include team building and leadership, staff training and development, cost analysis and reduction, strategic planning and analysis, profit and revenue optimization, process improvements, SEC reporting, financial modeling, mergers and acquisitions, debt and convertible note financing, regulatory compliance, program and project management, and cash flow optimization. Successful projects he has led include accelerating internal monthly financial reporting from the 12th working day to the 4th working day, reducing overtime by 40% and payroll costs by 10% through optimizing scheduling for an ambulance company, and doubling investment income without increasing risk through the selection of a new external investment manager. In addition, he led initiatives that resulted in reducing required capital for a property insurance company by $5 million through the development of a captive reinsurance program, and reducing the catastrophe reinsurance costs for a property insurance company by $15 million through the development of a zip-code specific targeted quota share reinsurance program.
Steve holds a BA in Accounting and Business Administration from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of CPAs and has been a presenter for Insurance Accounting and Systems Association, E&Y Insurance Roundtable, and Federal Reserve Bank educational seminars. Steve is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Ohio. He also serves as a board director for Heritage Insurance Holdings, Inc. and as an advisory board member for SmartInsure.
Ashley first joined PAST as part of the program staff at the Kelleys Island Field School in 2014. She is now part of the Bridge Programs team as Assistant Director of Bridge Programs, and is also the lead of the Innovators Club, an after-school program at PAST. Ashley worked as substitute teacher in Columbus for two years before beginning her work at PAST.
Ashley’s passion for teaching grew as she learned more about the hands-on experience students could have outside of the classroom, along with problem-based experiences. Along with her passion for teaching Ashley also has a passion for volleyball and has coached for 8 years. She is currently the varsity assistant girls’ volleyball coach at Worthington Kilbourne High School. She spends her free time reading, taking photos, playing volleyball and spending time with her family, husband and dog Neeson.
Ashley earned a B.S. in Middle Childhood Education from the University of Rio Grande, and is certified in Science, Mathematics & Reading for grades 4th-9th.
' data-src-name='Ashley Price' data-src-title='Assistant Director of Bridge Programs' data-src-unofficial='Khaleesi of Curiosity'>
Assistant Director of Bridge Programs Khaleesi of CuriosityAlyssa first joined PAST as an Administrative Assistant to Programming and Knowledge Capture in 2014. She is now a Project Coordinator, coordinating, creating, and collaborating within all areas of PAST. Prior to her start at PAST, Alyssa worked in Administrative and Educational Research Field work at an Early Childhood Literacy Lab at the Ohio State University.
After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Childhood Education, Alyssa decided to pursue the world of educational research. This is where she found her true passion for the transformation of education for administrators, teachers, and students. Alyssa’s work at Ohio State fueled her desire to continue working within the field of development and improvement of educational practices across all grades and subjects.
Alyssa received her B.A. in Middle Childhood Education from The Ohio State University. She received her teaching licensure through Ashland University’s Bachelor’s Plus Program, and is certified in Language Arts and Reading & Social Studies for 4th-9th grade.
' data-src-name='Alyssa Reder' data-src-title='Project Coordinator' data-src-unofficial='Baroness of Balance'>
Project Coordinator Baroness of Balance
Jeff “Slim” Schneider
Jeff is one of the Innovation Lab Hybrid Teaching Team pioneers. His content specialties are science and math. He works with teachers and pre-service teachers in rural communities training them in TPBL instructional strategies and hybrid delivery. Jeff is full time faculty at South Dakota State University in the Education Department.
Jeff received his B.S from South Dakota State University and his Masters in STEM Instruction from Dakota Wesleyan University. Jeff is also a highly sought basketball referee.
As part of the Innovation Lab Hybrid Teaching Team pioneers, Mary has successfully demonstrated for teachers and administrators how to weave Humanities (ELA and Social Studies) seamlessly into a hybrid course with Science and Math. Mary works with rural schools helping create hybrid courses that provide rigorous and relevant STEM education for students across vast geographic regions. She is full time faculty at South Dakota State University.
Mary received her B.A. from South Dakota State University and her Masters in STEM Instruction from Dakota Wesleyan University. Mary is also a freelance journalist.
' data-src-name='Mary Schneider' data-src-title='STEM Innovator' data-src-unofficial='Queen of Queries'>
STEM Innovator Queen of QueriesAs the Social Media Coordinator at PAST, Aaron Sheldon captures the day to day goings-on at PAST and shares them via multiple social media channels.
Through his work, Aaron has helped PAST transform it’s Girls Who Lead program to inspire the next generation of leaders by capturing the stories of prominent leaders around Columbus.
Aaron’s career as Social Media Consultant and Educator began almost by mistake when his Small Steps Are Giant Leaps photo project unexpectedly went viral with features by media outlets around the world.
When not documenting his adventures with his son #astronautHarrison, Aaron is working on projects that focus on the Gig Economy, our emotional connection to “stuff”, and enjoys helping other small businesses and non-profits tell their stories in new creative and unique ways through his own peer-to-peer mentoring program.
' data-src-name='Aaron Sheldon' data-src-title='Social Media Coordinator' data-src-unofficial=''>
Social Media Coordinator
Lori brings a wealth of business and education experience to PAST. Her first career led to successful roles in senior management driving sales, marketing, strategy and relationship management in the financial services sector. Lori decided to go back to her true passion: education. Her training and experience as an art educator and her role as a parent have helped Lori guide students to embrace diversity, take risks, and expand their horizons. Lori is passionate about creating partnerships that connect schools and their communities.
She is a member of the strategic coordination group and co-chair of the UA STEM Advisory in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Lori brings that perspective to PAST, working with schools, teachers and communities to integrate STEM and problem-based learning into their curriculum to “make learning real.”