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National Science Education Leadership Association

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Vernier Emerging Science Education Leader Scholarship (VESELS)

2023 VESEL Scholars gather at the NSELA Summer Leadership Institute in Providence, RI

Why apply for VESELS? Here is what an alumnus has said about their experience as a VESELS recipient:

 “I really appreciated the recognition and mentoring. The recognition helped me gain traction in my science community and the mentoring helped me connect with the larger, national community. This is very important for growing science education advocates and leaders.”

Award Benefits & Criteria

Scholars receive $500 to assist with travel to the Summer Leadership Institute, a chance to work with a mentor, and the opportunity to be part of a VESEL Scholars cohort!

The following criteria must be met to apply for the scholarship. Candidates do not need to be a member of NSELA before an application is submitted. When candidates apply, they must become members of NSELA.

  • Be a new, emerging, and/or novice science leader role at the school, district, state, or informal level for five years or less. The five-year limit is specific to the leadership role and work for which the candidate is being nominated. Previous leadership roles that are very different are not counted in the five years.

  • Submit an application packet that includes a resume or vita, a personal letter with evidence that illustrates new, emerging, and/or novice science leadership, and a support letter from a supervisor.

  • Agree to work with an NSELA mentor during their VESELS year. During the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), all scholarship awardees will meet with the mentor and share how they will apply SLI learning to their work settings. After six months, awardees will reflect on how they apply their SLI experience in the Navigator newsletter and online with other scholarship awardees and mentors. 

Region Descriptions

Application Process

Applicants submit the following: 

  1. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (maximum of 2 pages) that includes name, position/title, email, work and home phone numbers, work and home addresses, an educational record of earned degrees with dates and field of study, plus any additional formal education, professional development opportunities, previous work experience, any professional memberships and positions in or contributions to those organizations, and presentations related to science education. Optional: special awards or other forms of professional recognition and publications related to science education.

  2. Personal letter with evidence demonstrating accomplishments with specific examples that illustrate new, emerging, and/or novice science leadership and how the Summer Leadership Institute would benefit your work (maximum of 2 pages). Include a statement that you agree to work with an NSELA mentor, other scholarship recipients online and write a reflection article for the NSELA Navigator through July 2024. Give one example of what you might contribute to the online learning community.

  3. Support letter from a supervisor or colleague that gives evidence of leadership accomplishments with specific examples and why attendance at the Summer Leadership Institute would benefit your work as a science leader (maximum of 2 pages). The supervisor or colleague should include his/her work title and contact information.


January 16, 2024

VESELS Scholarship Application Opens

February 21, 2024

VESELS Application due

February 22-27, 2024

NSELA Application Review and Selection

March 11, 2024

NSELA Scholarship Announcement


If you have questions, contact Eric Rhoades, Membership Committee.

VESELS Application 

Apply Today

VESELS Awardees


Alex Kuziola, NJ
Summer Pelton, UT
Stacey Cole, VA
Courtney Toht, TX
Nicole Vick, IL
Kayla Boykin, NC


Linnea Gibson, MI
Lottie Peppers, NC
Lisa Kiel, NJ
Jessica Pritchard, NJ
Halim Sakarya, TX
Christine Sudzina Schut, NC


Jonathan Regino, PA
Dr. Dorothy Holley, NC
Dr. Charles Holloway, AL
Ann C. Mulvihill, TX
Tara Allgood, TX
Spencer Martin, KS


Candace Penrod - Salt Lake City School District
Charlie Seo - Village Christian School
Christine Benita - Seattle Public Schools
Karen Covil - Lincoln Public Schools
Mark Case - Southern Guilford High


Jennifer Gibson, Texas
Brianna Greco, Nebraska
Amy Hochschild, Ohio
Alyssa Mocharnuk, Massachusetts
Katrina Reno, Mississippi
Dylann Pinkman, Nebraska


Sarah Adumat, Wisconsin
Alfonso Garcia, Oregon
Joe Simmons, Florida
Heather Moll, Arizona
Anissa Angier, Oklahoma
Amy K. Murphy, Ph.D., Alabama


Brennan Brockbank, California
Sephali Thakkar, Connecticut


Holly Steele, California


Bruce Jones, Arizona
Tracey Staley, Florida

Call Us: 816 866-7352 / 816 86 NSELA

Email Us:

152 Oak Hills Drive, Mabank, Texas 75156

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