Silvia Ronco is a Senior Program Director at Research Corporation for Science Advancement (http://www.rescorp.org). As part of her foundation responsibilities, she directs the multi-layered Cottrell Scholar Program (http://rescorp.org/cottrell-scholars), RCSA’s largest and oldest initiative. Started in 1994, Cottrell Scholars was conceived to encourage Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy faculty at research universities nationwide to conduct excellent research and educational activities. The premise of Cottrell Scholars is that by investing in outstanding early-career teacher scholars, RCSA is nurturing a future generation of academic-leaders who are recognized by their scientific communities. Under her leadership, the Cottrell Scholars program grew to include faculty from Primarily Undergraduate Institutions.
In addition, Silvia was instrumental in helping create the Cottrell Scholar Collaborative (CSC, http://rescorp.org/cottrell-scholars/cottrell-scholars-collaborative ), a cross-disciplinary network of Cottrell Scholars who work in teams on projects with potential high impact. CSC’s overarching goal is to improve undergraduate and graduate science education at colleges and universities across the country. As a result of discussions and collaborations formed at the annual Cottrell Scholar conference (http://rescorp.org/cottrell-scholars/cottrell-scholars-conference), several teams have received CSC grants since the start of the initiative in 2011. Funding is meant to support projects that will potentially change the educational culture of a department or institution or to connect with a national initiative related to improving science teaching in colleges and research universities. Some CSC projects have been conducted in partnership with the Association of American Universities and the American Chemical Society. In 2016, the CS Program started a new collaboration with the German Fulbright to initiate a Cottrell Fulbright Scholar Program. CF Scholars attend the annual Cottrell Scholar Conference.