Mission statement and three levers RIOS imagines an Open Education that is built upon a framework of socially-just practices. We work with and provide support for leaders to bring change to their communities and members of their organizations.

RIOS targets three levers for systemic change

We know systemic change takes systems thinking. We cannot do all of the work ourselves, even with a community of amazing leaders behind us. The RIOS Institute focuses on the following three areas related to Open Education and postsecondary STEM education:


We have a suite of activities (e.g. Learning Communities, Webinars, Working Groups) that leaders can participate in to build professional capacity in justice, equity and inclusion, and can be implemented into their organizations. We use our social and professional networks to amplify the work of these leaders and other community leaders, particularly those who identify as part of groups historically excluded from STEM.

As we believe that collaboration is the path to realizing our vision, we also emphasize community building. Throughout all of our activities, training, and communications, we prioritize the primary long-term beneficiary - the learners in our classrooms - and involve students in advising and designing RIOS Institute content.


We are committed to helping leaders affect real change in their organizations. Social justice work takes structural changes, many of which are upheld through the policies that govern systems. Through collaborations and Working Groups, we provide leaders with recommended practices to guide organizational, project, and funding policies that promote equity and inclusion.

We strive to lead by example, and invite others to join us on this journey. Our own organization serves as an innovation sandbox, in that the policies we recommend are also practiced and evaluated at the RIOS Institute. We also offer consultancy services to organizations with specific challenges around open education and equity-minded education.


When social justice approaches are used as part of creating, adapting, implementing, and sharing Open Education Resources (OER), we change the footprint of higher education as well as the experience for students. We aim to create new cultural expectations for STEM by offering a suite of “train-the-trainer” programming. In this way, our leaders can support classroom teachers, in both curriculum development and pedagogical practices that support social justice for STEM education.

About us

Who is RIOS?

The Institute for a Racially Just, Inclusive, and Open STEM Education (RIOS Institute) is a virtual synthesis center led by a diverse set of individuals at the interface of open education, STEM post-secondary education, and leadership in social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (SJEDI).


Executive Director

Photo: Carrie Diaz Eaton

Carrie Diaz Eaton, PhD

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Dr. Diaz Eaton is a mathematician, computational explorer, a discipline-based STEM education researcher, and co-founder of RIOS.

Director of Professional Development

Photo: Kaitlin Bonner

Kaitlin Bonner, PhD


Dr. Bonner is an associate professor of biology at St. John Fisher College, and a HHMI BioInteractive Ambassador, with a focus on data-centric OER.

Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Photo: Bryan Dewsbury

Bryan Dewsbury, PhD


Dr. Dewsbury is an associate professor of biology at Florida International University, and the PI for the Science Education And Research program.


Photo: Karen Cangialosi

Karen Cangialosi, PhD


Dr. Cangialosi is the Director of Every Learner Everywhere, and co-founder of RIOS.


Photo: Krystie Wilfong

Krystie Wilfong


Krystie Wilfong is an associate college librarian at Bates College, where she works to increase awareness and adoption of open educational resources.


Photo: Sam Donovan

Sam Donovan, PhD


Dr. Donovan is the director of outreach and strategic engagement with the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium and the principal investigator for QUBES.


Photo: Jasmine Roberts-Crews


Jasmine is a renowned speaker and advocate for socially-just open education, and lecturer in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University.

Communications and Community Manager

Photo: Alnycea Blackwell

Alnycea Blackwell


Alnycea is a communications professional and community builder/activist. She is committed to making STEM more inclusive and equitable.

External Evaluator

Photo: Robin Taylor

Robin Taylor, PhD


Dr. Taylor is the principal and senior evaluator of RTRES Consulting. She has worked as a professional evaluator of STEM education since 2004.

Past Leadership

Student Advisor 

Photo: Sokona Mangane

Sokona Mangane


Sokona Mangane is a Mathematics major, Digital Computational Studies Minor, and a senior at Bates College. She’s currently a student advisor for RIOS.

Project Coordinator 

Photo: Jackson Skinner

Jackson Skinner


Jackson is the grant manager for RIOS. He has a Masters in Public Policy & Management, and previously worked on equitable distribution of public services.

Project Manager

Photo: Tatiyana Garnes

Tatiyana Garnes


Tatiyana Garnes is a Bates alumna, and the grant manager & project coordinator of RIOS. She is passionate about making STEM actively anti-racist.

Student Advisor

Photo: Osceola Heard

Osceola Heard


Oscoela Heard is a student at Bates College, class of 2023, and the student advisor for RIOS.

Communications Manager

Photo: Sebastian Alejandro Echeverri

Sebastian Alejandro Echeverri, PhD


Dr. Echeverri is a spider scientist, educator, and freelance science communicator. He works to make science (and spiders) more accessible for everyone.

Project Manager

Photo: Maggie Diamond-Stanic

Dr. Maggie Diamond-Stanic


Dr. Diamond-Stanic is a biomedical researcher and the Grants Associate at Bates College. She was previously the project manager for SCORE and RIOS.