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Longtime mobile Educator Named Director of Science in Motion

(Posted August 5, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Leslie Leckvarcik, a resident of Huntingdon, Pa., has been named director of Juniata College's Science in Motion Program, effective immediately. She will oversee all of Juniata's Science in Motion programs and also oversee the college's responsibilities within its 12-college Science in Motion consortium.

Leckvarcik has been associated with Science in Motion for three years, working as a mobile educator in area middle schools from 2007 to 2010.

She earned a bachelor's degree in marine science and biology in 1993 from East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, Pa., and went on to earn a master's degree in 2001 and a doctoral degree in wildlife and fisheries science in 2005, both from Penn State University.

Leckvarcik has been involved in science education from the start of her career. At the Marine Science Consortium in Wallops Island, Va., she worked as a pre-college instructor and senior instructor from 1993 to 1996. From 1996 to 1997 she coordinated the consortium's Elderhostel program. Her final two years (1997-1999) were spent as the Programs Manager coordinating all academic staff and programs.

She also taught as a guest lecturer at Penn State from 2003 to 2005, teaching Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation. While at Penn State, she worked as facilities manager for the Rock Springs Fish Research Facility.

She has presented her research at meetings of the American Fisheries Society and at a Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Her research focused on the restoration of two Pennsylvania-endangered minnow species, the bridle shiner and ironcolor shiner.

She is a member of the American Fisheries Society, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and the North American Native Fishes Association. She also served on the executive committee of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Fisheries Society as student representative from 2002 to 2004.

Science in Motion in recent years, as well as the state of Pennsylvania, experienced a statewide budget crisis. Originally funded by the National Science Foundation and then by the state, the program in recent years has had to scale back as the state reduced its funding. Juniata's program has explored asking school districts that use Science in Motion to pay fees for the mobile lessons.

Science in Motion was founded in 1987 by Don Mitchell, professor emeritus of chemistry. More than five years ago, Science in Motion expanded to 11 other colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. The consortium serves more than 200 school districts in Pennsylvania.

Science in Motion delivers advanced laboratory equipment and resources to client school districts around central Pennsylvania. Mobil educators travel to each school and set up a mobile lab to ensure each student in the class can receive hands-on lessons in chemistry, biology and environmental science.


Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.