Education and Workforce Working Group



2021-2022 Speaker Nominations Now Open 

Join the Education & Workforce Working Group

The Education and Data Science Workforce Group consists of South Hub members from industry, academia, and government actively engaged in securing funding for and developing: (1) the use of government open data to support education and training in data science; (2) faculty and student data science training and curriculum development; (3) broadening and deepening the data science talent and workforce base; (4) connecting training in academia to industry and government needs, and (5) workforce development experiences for students to connect to industry, government, and non-profit organizations.

Chaired by Renata Rawlings-Goss

The South Hub Education and Workforce Working Group is seeking speakers for monthly working group calls.  If you are interested in sharing your research, projects, or resources, please contact Kendra Lewis-Strickland and Renata Rawlings-Goss

The Data Science Education and Workforce Working Group is an open monthly professional working group for data science educators and program leaders to talk and hear from other programs around the country, as well as learn about resources for connecting with data, tools, industry partners, and research. 

The focus of the group is to: 

  1. Highlight funded Data Science education projects, programs, and resources 
  2. Share best-practices for project-based courses & teaching approaches
  3. Provide experiences with assessment or evaluation approaches for Data Science teaching or Data Science programs.

The Education & Workforce Working Group meets virtually the first Friday of every month at 11AM EST, if you are interested in the group, join the mailing list.


Interested in Project-Based Teaching or Program Assessment?  

Join of our two sub-working groups focused on these topics.  These sub working groups are led by community members to define the direction of the sub-working group and the outputs needed in this community.  If you're interested in joining the Project-Based Teaching or Program Assessment sub-working groups, please contact Kendra Lewis-Strickland at


Friday, September 3, 2021 at 11AM EST.



Dr. Brian Wright

Talk Title: Building a School of Data Science and a Undergraduate Curriculum

Bio: Brian Wright graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BS in Economics in 2002.  He went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Public Administration before being awarded a fellowship in 2005 with the Department of Defense.  Brian worked for various commands, including an appointment in the Pentagon with the Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff. Brian then returned to his alma mater as the Assistant Director for the National Defense Business Institute, NDBI, a research organization housed inside UTK’s School of Business, while there he received his PhD in Higher Education Administration.  Brian then went on to serve as a Director and Founding Faculty member for the Data Science program at George Washington University.  He also founded GW’s Data Science Institute and serves as Vice President for DC Data Community one of the country’s largest data education focused communities.  Brian is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Data Science, Director of Undergraduate Programs and Executive Director of a “Collaboratory” between the School of Data Science and the UVA's School of Education and Human Development that centers on incorporating data science methods into educational focused research and curriculum.



Dr. Lori Downen

Talk Title: SAS Global Academic Program: A Partner to Enable Data Science and Analytics Education

Bio: Dr. Lori Downen is a recent addition to SAS Global Academic Programs where she supports academic programs in advancing analytics education and aligning STEM education to meet the demands of the labor market. Before joining SAS, Dr. Downen obtained B.S. degrees in Physics and Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in experimental and computational nuclear astrophysics. She has extensive experience as a mentor, tutor, and instructor with groups such as the Society for Woman Engineers and Women in Science and Engineering. Contact:




Working Group Chairs

Renata Rawlings-Goss-Georgia Institute of Technology (chair), Andrew Zieffler- University of Minnesota (co-chair), Chris Tunnell- Rice University (co-chair), and Leah Wasser – University of Colorado Boulder (co-chair).

For questions please contact Kendra Lewis-Strickland (

View Past Working Group Meeting Notes

Click Here for Past Speakers

View Past Presentations on the South Hub Youtube 

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