Penn Site Director, Level Playing Field Institute

Posted by Level Playing Field Institute on September 25, 2017

SMASH Academy, a program that US News and World Report called “Perhaps the most ambitious program to encourage African American and Latino students in STEM fields” is heading into its 15th summer and national scaling and exposure. It is the flagship program of the Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI), an organization committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.

Founded in 2001, LPFI is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization that operates four STEM-focused education programs for underrepresented middle and high school students: the Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH) is a year-round academic program that serves high school students, the Saturday Math and Science Honors program (SMASH Prep) serves African American boys in grades 6-8, and Level the Coding Field hackathons are a two-day coding exposure experience for middle and high school students. Additionally, (and connectedly) LPFI conducts research examining inequity in access and opportunity across K-12, higher education, and workplace contexts in order to improve the outcomes for underrepresented students in STEM fields. LPFI is funded by private donors, foundations, and corporate giving and is currently expanding in exciting ways.

Working at LPFI is about fast growth, personal commitment and the tenacity to challenge the status quo. This is a pivotal time for LPFI as we build on the success of our education programs, and embark on an aggressive expansion strategy to achieve national impact. This is not for the faint of heart, but if you think you have what it takes to change the face of STEM, join us.

The Opportunity:

Reporting to the Program Director, the Site Director (SD) will serve as the founding Director for SMASH at the University of Pennsylvania. The SD is responsible for building, sustaining and improving the transformative educational experience that SMASH Scholars need to pursue, persist and succeed in STEM. SMASH site instructional, residential and operations seasonal teams will report to the SD. SMASH site size range from 30 to 100 rising 10th through 12th grade students. SDs, with the help of the Central Office, are responsible for hiring, training and overseeing the site teams, typically between 15 to 30 staff members, along with student recruitment responsibilities and admissions decisions. The SD provides leadership, vision and direction to SMASH Scholars, their parents and other community constituent groups aligned with the LPFI mission. With LPFI’s latest growth strategy and impact initiatives, this person will be an integral member of the Programs Team, playing a critical role in the scaling of SMASH and elevating our programming as a national model.


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