Dr. Irene Porro is the Director of the Christa Corrigan McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning at Framingham State University. Under her leadership, the Center adopted its new mission to be a leader in developing opportunities for integrated science learning through the sharing of resources, building of partnerships, and advancement of educational practices. She is also the lead for the MetroWest STEM Education Network Ecosystem, a member of an international community of practice dedicated to promoting quality education and career pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
An astrophysicist by training, Dr. Porro received her Ph.D. in Space Science and Technology from the University of Padova, Italy. During her doctoral program she was a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and then a post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institut für Astronomie, in Heidelberg, Germany. She then joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she became the Director of the Education and Outreach Group of the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. Dr. Porro is an alumna of the International Space University, an international education program that specializes in providing graduate-level training to the future leaders of the emerging global space community.
A professional scientist with a deep commitment to social justice, in her work Dr. Porro combines research skills in physics and astrophysics with an interdisciplinary approach to education to promote equity and diversity in STEM fields. Deeply aware of the benefits and sense of empowerment that exposure to the integration of art and science learning experiences produces, she is proud to serve on the advisory board for Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT and to work to support initiatives where both the arts and the sciences are fully respected and valued.