Mary Nixon STEM Scholar Speaker Series

Dr. John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist, researcher, professor and the author of 10 books focused on human brain development. His New York Times bestseller, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving at Work, Home and School has been celebrated as the definitive handbook for understanding the brain and optimizing its performance. It has been translated into more than 20 languages and selected for use as a textbook at numerous universities.

Medina is an affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine and the founding director of the Talaris Research Institute, a Seattle-based research center focused on how infants encode and process information at the cognitive, cellular and molecular levels.

In his 2018 book, Attack of the Teenage Brain! Understanding and Supporting the Weird and Wonderful Adolescent Learner,Medina proposes a bold redesign of educational practices and learning environments to deliberately develop teens’ cognitive capacity to plan, prioritize, focus and manage their emotions.


Dr. Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and Dean of Applied Physics at Harvard University, a Member of the Faculty of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and President of the Optical Society.

Mazur is a prominent physicist known for his contributions to the field of nanophotonics, an internationally recognized education innovator and widely sought-after speaker. Mazur’s teaching methods have been adopted across multiple science disciplines, inspiring a large national and international following of educators and policy influencers. He was the first recipient of the $500,000 Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education and is the author of several books and author or co-author of nearly 300 scientific publications. He pioneered peer-to-peer learning and is considered the father of the “Flipped Classroom” approach to teaching for deeper learning. He has founded several successful companies and serves as Chief Academic Advisor for Turning Technologies, a company developing interactive response systems for the education market. Mazur has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals and holds a number of patents.

His motivational lectures on interactive teaching, education, technology and assessment have changed the way students of all ages are taught.