About the Nystrand Center

Nystrand Center of Excellence in Education New Director

Geneva Stark

I am happy to announce the appointment of Dr. Geneva Stark as Director of the Nystrand Center of Excellence in Education (NCEE) and Clinical Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development (ELEOD), effective March 16, 2020.

Dr. Geneva Stark comes to us from Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) where she most recently served as a Diversity Equity and Poverty Administrator. Prior to this role, Dr. Stark served in JCPS as the District Coordinator and Human Resource Administrator, principal, and assistant principal. In addition, Dr. Stark was a Kentucky Association of School Administrators’ Superintendent Fellow. Dr. Stark is a noted educator, thought-leader, and frequent presenter on race, equity, and implicit bias. Her community leadership is also impressive. She serves on the National Alliance of Black School Educators Elections and Nominations Committee, Generation WOW member and leader, member of the League of Women Voters and is the former president of the Greater Louisville Alliance of Black School Educators. Dr. Stark holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Louisville.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Stark to the NCEE as her work in this area is vital to the CEHD, UofL, P-12 school partnerships, and our community. She will also be leading CEHD's AACTE Holmes Scholars initiative and mentoring Holmes Scholars who are CEHD graduate students. I appreciate Dr. Stark’s willingness to accept this leadership role and working with the University, faculty, staff, students, and our community and school partners. Dr. Stark’s expertise and energies will also be devoted to CEHD's priority emphases in Signature Partnership Initiative schools and West Louisville community engagement in collaboration with UofL's Office of Community Engagement and Vice President Ralph Fitzpatrick and Dr. Henry Cunningham.

Dr. Stark has served as a mentor to students, teachers, support staff and administrators in JCPS, locally, statewide and nationally. Dr. Stark, is a “TRUE CHAMPION” for Education and is looking forward to leveraging her knowledge, experiences as a K-12 educator, collaborator, motivator, team builder and diversity consultant to focus on taking the Nystrand Center of Excellence in Education to the next level.

Amy Shearer Lingo
Interim Dean of CEHD

Nystrand-Offutt scholars

Nystrand-Offutt Scholar

The 2020 Nystrand-Offutt Scholar is Dr. Justin McFadden, Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary, Middle and Secondary Teacher Education. He was selected for his project, "Exploring Elementary Teachers' Beliefs about a Sensemaking Approach of Science Instruction," which investigates science instruction experiences and beliefs of 45 pre-service elementary teachers. The results of the study and procedures will be disseminated through presentations, research and practitioner journals.

The Nystrand-Offutt Scholar is supported by Nancy and George Stablein through the Offutt funds named for Nancy’s parents. The Nystrand-Offutt Scholar is an early career faculty member engaged in research related to the Nystrand Center's work. The funds provide time for the Scholar to conduct research during the spring semester, analyze data and write during the summer, and travel to present about the work at a national conference during the following year. Applications are accepted each fall.

Past Winners

Nystrand-Offutt scholars

  • 2019, Dr. Jessica Hardy, "Designing Inquiry-based Science and Embedding Systemic Instruction: Collaborating with Teachers Measuring Impacts on Children in Inclusive Preschool Classrooms"
  • 2018, Dr. Stephen Tucker, "Fingu: Understandings of Number in Kindergartners' Embodied Mathematics"
  • 2017, Dr. Ann Herd, "Veterans' and Employers' Perspectives on Military Transition Experiences"
  • 2016, Dr. Sheron Mark, "Culturally Relevant STEM Education: A place for Art and Social Justice"
  • 2015, Dr. Stefanie Wooten-Burnett, "The Development of Elementary Teacher Candidates' Teacher Efficacy Through the Use of Cognitive Coaching"
  • 2014, Dr. James Chisholm, "Using Backchanneling Technology to Enhance Adolescent's Response to Literature During Inquiry-based Discussions," and Dr. Rob Pennington, "Collaborative Partnerships in Writing Research for Students with Intellectual Disabilities"
  • 2013, Dr. Jill Adelson, "Cognitive Coaching and Gifted Learners: Examining Effects of Student Achievement and Academic Self-Concept"
  • 2012, Dr. Shelley Thomas, "From the Institute to the Classroom: Is Culturally Responsive Teaching Becoming Part of Teacher Practice?"
  • 2011, Dr. Monica Delano, "Reading to Engage Children with Autism in Language Learning (RECALL)"
  • 2010, Dr. Kristi King, "Project BALANCE (Beneficial Activity Levels and Nutritional Choices Everyday)"


In 1987 the Center for the Collaborative Advancement of the Teaching Profession was established by the Kentucky Council on Higher Education, with support from the Governor and the General Assembly, as a result of a joint application by the University of Louisville and Jefferson County Public Schools. With the approval of the Council on Postsecondary Education and the UofL Board of Trustees, the Center was renamed the Raphael O. Nystrand Center of Excellence in Education on September 27, 1999, in honor of Dean Nystrand, who led the School of Education from 1978 until his death in May 1999.

nystrand center logo

The purpose of this Center, which is one of five Commonwealth Centers of Excellence and the only one in education, is to develop, implement and study collaborative efforts to improve teaching.

The Nystrand Center is grateful to all those who make its work and vision possible, and who support our ability to maintain the legacy of former Dean Ray Nystrand, for whom the Center is named.


Transformation through Collaboration: The Nystrand Center of Excellence in Education is dedicated to the continual support of educational excellence for all students made possible through innovative thinking, transformational educator preparation, professional development, and supportive learning environments.

Contact Us

The Director of the Nystrand center is Dr. Geneva Stark. The Center currently has a number of special initiatives under its umbrella that are led by faculty from across the CEHD.

For more information about the Center, or its projects, e-mail nystrand@louisville.edu, or call 502-852-3408.