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About APLU

Tia Freelove Kirk

Tia Freelove Kirk
Assistant Director, STEM Education & Center for Public University Transformation (CPUT)

Tia Freelove Kirk is the Assistant Director, STEM Education & Center for Public University Transformation (CPUT). Her chief responsibilities center on managing APLU National Science Foundation grants focused on STEM education reform, including SEMINAL: a national network of over 100 math faculty at 24 institutions working to sustain success in the implementation of active learning in undergraduate mathematics classes. 

Tia also manages the APLU Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success “Evidence Improvement” cluster. Here she directs the collaborative efforts of campus leaders and subject-matter experts at seven member institutions to increase student success in the entry year.

Tia has 10 years of experience building effective organizational strategies and engaged networks. She previously served as Program Director for Advocacy Engagement at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s national advocacy office in Washington, DC and Regional Field Director for Organizing for America in New Mexico. In these roles, she led advocacy engagement efforts to uphold voting rights, end violence against women, protect and improve healthcare, address the root causes of forced migration, and pursue environmental justice. 

Tia holds a M.A. in government from New Mexico State University and a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies (with an emphasis in human rights) from University of Iowa. During her graduate studies, she instructed NMSU’s introductory political science course and served as president of the graduate student council. Tia also holds a Certificate in Project Management from Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies.