(LITTLE ROCK, ARK.) -- The EAST® Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides project-based learning opportunities utilizing high-end technologies to primary and secondary schools, has expanded its STEM expertise with the addition of two new board members – Dr. Michael A. Gealt and Dr. David Rainey.
The educators join a prestigious Board group that supports the nationally recognized Initiative. The new members were confirmed at the board’s quarterly meeting in June, and each will serve a four-year term. Dominik Mjartan, Chairman of the Board, welcomed Gealt and Rainey to the Board, “Both bring substantial first-hand experience with EAST as a transformational educational opportunity for thousands of students. This, along with their impressive accomplishments and life-long commitment to improving the quality of education make them uniquely qualified to help govern EAST."
Gealt is currently the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a position he has held since 2006. Gealt has been an active member of the Arkansas STEM Coalition since his arrival in Arkansas, including serving as its Chairman in 2009 and 2010. After earning his B.A. in Biology from Temple University in 1970, Gealt received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Rutgers University in 1974. He became a faculty member of Drexel University in the Bioscience and Biotechnology Department four years later after completing his post-doctoral studies. By 1997, Gealt was named the Director of the Drexel University School of Environmental Science, Engineering and Policy. In 2000, Gealt moved to Purdue University Calumet to serve as Dean of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science before joining the faculty at UALR at the end of 2005.
Rainey is superintendent of public schools in Dumas, Ark. His professional experience includes: Arkansas state representative; assistant state director for the JBHM Education Group, a school improvement company; visiting professor at UAPB; program manager with Southwest Educational Development Laboratory; and Director of the Southeast comprehensive Assistance Center. Rainey’s service as state representative included participation on the Education Committee, as well as the Joint Budget, Insurance and Commerce, and Advanced Communications and Information Technology committees. His educational background includes a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a Masters in Secondary School Administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and a Bachelors in History and Government from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.