Tammy Maldonado

Present Position

Director of STEM Education and Outreach, Biological Sciences Initiative, University of Colorado Boulder

Chapter Affiliation

University of Colorado


Tammy Maldonado's Among the professional societies, Sigma Xi stands out for a many reasons including its interdisciplinary nature, its mission is even unique, its willingness to take the lead in dealing with controversial topics, communicating with the public and politicians and so much more.  

However, one of the most distinguishing characteristic of Sigma Xi is that it is an organization that values its members at every level and develops and implements programs opportunities to nurture members throughout their careers. I can point to a number of examples that I have become more familiar with over the years.  One such example is that Sigma Xi has always championed undergraduate research experiences.  While the more recent research attempts to determine an empirically established set of benefits generated by the apprentice-based research experience, Sigma Xi through member mentors, and the Grants in Aid of Research has helped paved the way for thousands of students to experience the power of research as a learning tool.  It was this opportunity that introduced me to research, and lead to a myriad of achievements in my career as a researcher, mentor and educator.  I will work to continue to carry on the mission and values that Sigma Xi has established and mentor the next generation of scientists.  

Sigma Xi and Other Activities:
Organize Sigma Xi Programs
•  Appointed to the Sigma Xi Committee on Nominations – representing the Northwest Region (Term: January 11, 2016-November 30, 2018)
• Boulder Café Scientifique- recruit presenters, and advertise talks in local papers as well as the local public radio station. (2008- present)
• Field Trips – recruit presenters, and organize events for members (2008-present)
• Awards Reception – organize and host the CU Chapter Annual Awards Reception to recognize new members, and undergraduate awardees. The event highlights exceptional and distinguished Sigma Xi members and includes a distinguished lecturer. (2008- present)
• Created and organize the Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Award for undergraduate researchers who are nominated by their faculty mentors, (2008- present)
• Implemented the CU Chapter Facebook page (1 month)

La Raza – Enrichment program for Hispanic and Native American students

Pre-collegiate Development Program – High School program recruiting under- represented and first generation students to the University of Colorado, Boulder

Jr. Café Sci – Founder of this program in 2009 - current

Biographical Information:
Dr. Tammy A Maldonado received her PhD in Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology and Neuroscience Certificate from the University of Colorado Boulder.  She is currently the Director of STEM Education and Outreach with the Biological Sciences Initiative at the University of Colorado. 

General Research Interests: The aging clock and the role of endocrine and neuroendocrine systems in aging, neurodegeneration, neurogenesis and neuroprotection.  The role of reproductive and stress hormone axes in aging. Her research included the neurodegeneration in senescent salmon which exhibit brain pathology similar to that seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and reproductive disruption and intersex in white sucker fish downstream of wastewater treatment plants. 

In 2001 she joined the Biological Sciences Initiative where she has received funding from HHMI, multiple NSF Broader Impacts grant components, and University Awards to develop and implement outreach programs that include traveling scientists that present in K12 classrooms, teacher professional development workshops and apprentice based undergraduate research opportunities and skills training programs. Currently, she is collaborating and consulting with University of Colorado, Boulder STEM faculty to develop new Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) courses. Because undergraduate research experience is widely touted as an effective educational tool for enhancing the undergraduate experience with multiple benefits the CURE model hopes to expand the undergraduate research opportunity to more students earlier in their college career as well as increasing persistence in pursuit of an undergraduate degree.  

In the last year, Dr. Maldonado, has implemented a new course offers students a unique opportunity to learn interdisciplinary STEM science concepts though an experiential learning and involvement in a variety of CU-Boulder research projects. This course integrates the science content underlying STEM research with modeling of science process and how it is applied to CU-Boulder STEM research projects. The course integrates inquiry based and research-based laboratory activities and models how data is acquired and analyzed in different types of STEM research taking place at CU-Boulder and connects undergraduates with faculty to conduct undergraduate research as early as their sophomore year.

Tammy Maldonado's CV.
Tammy Maldonado's biography.