Stephanie Couch joined the Lemelson-MIT Program as Executive Director in 2016 and has more than a decade of experience in STEM education policy, research, development and strategic fundraising. She leads the Lemelson-MIT Program’s research efforts, partnership development, and national awards and grants initiatives. Stephanie previously served as the interim Associate Vice President for Research and Professional Development at California State University, East Bay and as the Bayer Executive Director at the Institute for STEM Education. She also acted as Director of the Gateways East Bay STEM Network at California State University at East Bay and helped design and launch the statewide California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet). Stephanie has won numerous awards for her leadership role in advancing STEM education in California and in 2015 she received the Biotechnology Educator of the Year Award from California Life Sciences Association. Stephanie was selected as one of San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business in 2016 and inducted into Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame in the education category. She received a master’s degree and a doctorate from the Gervitz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis.

What is your favorite invention of all time?
The technology behind the worldwide web is my favorite invention. It has enabled the world to be my library—everybody’s library—and provided us with unlimited technological resources. A close second is my iPod, which is the best personal fitness trainer I’ve ever had.

If you could invent anything, what would it be?
I would love to invent new tools to make data capture and analysis for ethnographic research less time consuming and laborious.