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 and managing two transformation clusters as part of the APLU Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success initiative.
Tia serves as project manager of SEMINAL: a national network of over 140 math faculty at 26 institutions working to sustain success in the implementation of active learning in undergraduate mathematics classes.
As cluster manager for the Evidence Improvement and Big Ten clusters, Tia directs the collaborative efforts of campus leaders and subject-matter experts at 15 member institutions working to increase student success in the entry year by improving the quality of student-centered advising and first-year programs, as well as to reduce DFW rates for students in key high-enrollment courses by focusing on closing equity gaps for historically underrepresented student groups.
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.