Sean McDeavitt, Ph.D.
Director, Nuclear Power Institute
Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering
My name is Sean McDeavitt. I am a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University and have been a leader in engineering research related to nuclear fuels, waste, and materials processing for over 25 years. I am also the Director of the Nuclear Engineering & Science Center (NESC), which is a multifaceted center with several divisions. One of these divisions is the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) and I am the Director of NPI as well. As the Director of NPI, I am leading an expert team to develop a network of engagement between k-12 students in the State of Texas and higher education and professional opportunities. As the Director of the NESC, I also lead a team to manage and operate two licensed nuclear reactors (a 1 MW TRIGA and a smaller 5W AGN reactor) as well as various research facilities. These research facilities include 1) the Fuel Cycle & Materials Laboratory (FCML) where nuclear fuel and waste processing methods are studied, 2) laboratory space near the TRIGA reactor where isotope production, radiochemistry, and nuclear science research are performed. Before coming to Texas A&M in 2006, I was a staff engineer and then Section Manager in the Chemical Technology Division of Argonne National Laboratory.
Valerie G. Segovia, Ed.D.
Program Leader III, Nuclear Power Institute
Dr. Valerie G. Segovia has been part of the NPI Team for 12 years currently as a Program Leader III where she plans, organizes, directs, manages, and administers the statewide K-12, Higher Education, and Industry STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) outreach programs. Dr. Segovia oversees and continuously improves NPI programs ensuring they are targeted to education, mentoring, and workforce development for the state of Texas. She is responsible for the development, evaluation, and assessment of student and educator outreach programs while supervising and managing NPI program staff.
Dr. Segovia is a Gulf Coast Workforce Board member, Matagorda County Women’s Crisis Center volunteer, and has worked in the public-school system as an elementary teacher, high school counselor, high school assistant principal, and high school principal. She has been recognized as a TASSP Region III Principal of the Year, TASSP Texas Principal of the Year Finalist, with the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award for Exemplary Dedication to the Field of Education, and named as a KAVU Channel 25 “Home Town Hero”. Under her leadership and management, Palacios High School was named a U.S. News and World Reports “Top Performing School”.
Dr. Segovia holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree, a Master degree of Education in Counseling, a Master degree in Administration and Supervision, and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership.
Interim Associate Director, Nuclear Power Institute
Cindy Wall currently serves in a part-time role with the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI), as Interim Associate Director. In this role, she supports the Center Director and staff as an advisor and coordinator. Cindy retired in 2018 from the Texas A&M University System after 23 years and has served a number of part time roles since then. Prior to retiring in September 2018, she was Assistant Agency Director for the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) from 2012 to 2018. Cindy managed the operations of the network of nineteen TEES external (regional) divisions throughout the state; coordinating interactions with centers/institutes, workforce development and technology divisions. She enjoys bringing this and other experiences from her 40+ year career to support the NPI team and the center’s ongoing success.
Travis Burks, M.Ed.
Program Specialist II, Nuclear Power Institute
Howdy! My name is Travis Burks and I am excited to have joined the NPI team February 2020. I have been working in the recruiting, outreach, and student retention area for the past three years with the Texas A&M College of Geosciences. However, my educational background is in communications from Texas A&M where I received my both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the communications area through the College of Agriculture. A goal of mine for this position is to increase the communications efforts and content that can be distributed and help our outreach efforts. Outside of work, I have a wife, a dog, and a new baby!
Gianna Colson, M.Ed.
Program Specialist III, Nuclear Power Institute
Hello everyone, my name is Gianna Colson and I am thrilled to be joining the NPI team. I have 13 years worth of experience in teaching, developing curriculum, providing professional development, and coordinating science and STEM classes, after school programs, special events and conferences. Before coming to Texas A&M, I was an instructional coach with Harmony Public Schools where I partnered with teachers to improve classroom culture and the increase the rigor and quality of academic discussions through effective questioning, using different partnering, grouping, and whole group structures, and a clear criteria for success. Prior to Harmony, I was a 5th and 6th grade science and STEM teacher for 12 years at La Feria ISD, where I wrote curriculum and coordinated several academic and community outreach programs. At both Harmony and La Feria, I provided professional development such as how to make the most out of science and coding curriculum resources, creating science TEKS aligned lessons, visual tools and literacy, integrating technology in the classroom, differentiating instruction, and strategies and tools to increase student engagement. I aim to reach more students and to help them explore and fall in love with science, technology, engineering, and computer programming through a variety of hands-on activities, mentoring, college and industry visits, and internships.
Program Specialist III, Nuclear Power Institute
Miriam Brown is a Program Specialist III at the Nuclear Engineering & Science Center. She has been with the Center since June, 2018. She was originally hired to oversee and process all business and accounting needs, however, due to the growth of the Center, those responsibilities have been reassigned, and she is more the equivalent of an office manager. She now oversees the administrative operations of the Center and event planning, and basically keeps the Center running smoothly. Prior to coming to the NESC, Miriam was an Administrative Coordinator for 11 ½ years in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Miriam has three adult children, 4 grandchildren, and Dixie the dachshund. Outside of work, she stays busy with family activities and casino visits whenever possible.
Rebecca Hernandez, CRA
Business Coordinator II, Nuclear Power Institute
Howdy! My name is Rebecca Hernandez, and I am the Business Coordinator on behalf of the Nuclear Engineering and Science Center and Nuclear Power Institute. I was born and raised in Navasota, TX, and have been a resident of Aggieland for the last 10 years! I am married with three sons and have a beautiful granddaughter! I graduated college from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I became a Certified Research Administrator (CRA) in 2019 via the Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC). I hope to one day obtain my Certified Financial Research Administrator Certification (CFRA). I have over 24 years of business and accounting experience and over five years of grant administration experience. The Nuclear Engineering and Science Center is a nationally recognized facility and a major tourist attraction at Texas A&M University! I am so proud to be part of such an accomplished department and inventive team! Whoop!