Angela Hemingway, Executive Director
Angela was born and raised in Idaho. She received her B.S. and M.S. from Boise State and is currently working on her doctorate in curriculum and instruction. She spent 14 years teaching in a variety of STEM classrooms in Meridian, Boise, Kuna, as well as at BSU. She taught AP biology, AP statistics, chemistry, microbiology, and general level biology.
While in the classroom she inspired students to participate in various science competitions and community service events. She grew Kuna High School’s science club from 10 students to over 200 in just three years. Her students competed in a variety of events including Science Olympiad, INL Scholastic Tournament, Bronco Bowl, FIRST Robotics, TARC and Engineer Girl, among others. She organized the annual Rake Up Kuna event, pairing over 300 volunteers and raking 100 homes.
Her knowledge of science and love of teaching led to her winning a number of awards including Idaho Biology Teacher of the Year and the GIANTS award (Governor’s and Industry’s Award for Notable Teachers of STEM) among others. In her role as a teacher, Angela also participated on many state committees for science standards and assessments.
It was from her experience with standards, assessment and measurement that she transitioned to the State Department of Education where she served as Assessment and Accountability Director. In this role, Angela represented Idaho in national forums including CCSSO and USED. She has presented at state and national conferences including the Idaho Math and Science Conference, various Superintendents and School Board conference and the National Conference on Student Assessment. She worked with the legislature and created the process by which every ISAT test question is reviewed by a panel of Idahoans prior to the testing window.
In August 2015, Governor Otter appointed her to the Executive Director position in the newly formed Idaho STEM Action Center. Her top priorities include providing STEM grants to educators, bringing a statewide science competition to Idaho, promoting teacher education and retention and partnering with industry and universities to ensure Idaho’s long-term economic prosperity. When asked, “What is the best part of your job?, she replied, “I have the opportunity to work to increase STEM-awareness in Idaho. I work with educators, students, legislators and industry to ensure Idaho will continue to prosper. I respect the work that educators do every day in the classroom and I am fortunate to be able to support them.”
Erica Compton, Program Manager
Erica Compton is an Idaho native with a background in education, technology, and training. Erica has worked primarily with educational and training organizations for over 25 years. Much of her work has been in the area of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education with students ages 5-18.
In 1998 Erica co-founded an education company and spent four years as Director of Operations and Lead trainer. The company developed a product where tweens and teens could design and build their own 3D environments to address complex challenges and interact in those environments in fully-immersive virtual reality. She was also fortunate to work on two incredible projects in California and Florida designed to address the issue of under representation of women in STEAM fields of study. Both projects focused on introducing middle school girls to STEAM education, with the goal of increasing the percentage of women pursuing careers in related fields.
Erica joined the Idaho Commission for Libraries in February of 2010 as a Project Coordinator. She co-developed the Make It at the Library project which implements ‘making’ in Idaho libraries with the goal of strengthening STEAM skills and supporting entrepreneurship for people of all ages. Erica has had the privilege of participating at a national level in the Maker Movement through a variety of presentations and committee memberships including the Capitol Hill Maker Faire, Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship, and the National Advisory Board on 3D Printing in Education & Accessibility.
Erica joined the Idaho STEM Action Center as Program Manager in November 2015 and will assist in best practice research and dissemination, grant development and management, and building partnerships with STEM organizations nationwide.
Finia Dinh, Computer Science Program Manager
Finia moved to Idaho when she was seven months old and considers herself a native. She graduated with a B.S. from Boise State University. Finia started working as a recruiter in college, and collectively gained over 10 years of recruiting experience within private, educational and public sectors.
Finia brings a wealth of experience to the Center. She has worked at the Department of Labor for the past 3.5 years, starting as a Senior Workforce Consultant and quickly moved into her latest role as a Regional Business Specialist. As a Regional Business Specialist she specifically focused on workforce development in the Technology industry. There she partnered with key stakeholders and helped identify workforce gaps in the community. She collaborated with businesses, community partners, municipal agencies and educational institutions to strategically form long term workforce solutions that allowed companies to grow and thrive; which in turn allowing Idaho to maintain a healthy economy.
She’s been heavily involved with the Junior League of Boise for the past five years. She was very active with the Junior League’s Community Research and Project Development team to enhance STEM education for elementary students with their garden projects. Finia also participates with various school advisory committees, the Boise Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce/Education committee and other tech driven committees around the Valley. Finia serves on the planning committee for the Business Educator Exchange Conference, which offers an opportunity for K-12 educators to connect with businesses and help them understand current and future workforce needs in technology, healthcare and advance manufacturing.
In addition, she has over 10 years of experience leading various projects/teams, planning/coordinating events and volunteering. Her passion is being involved in education initiatives and giving back to the community.