Dr. Iris R. Wagstaff, a 1988 graduate of Goldsboro High School, received the Women of Color Magazine and Women of Color STEM Conference K-12 Promotion of Education Award at the 22nd annual WOC STEM Conference in Detroit.
The STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math -- conference recognizes significant contributions by women in the STEM fields.
Wagstaff is the daughter of the late Lemuel Wagstaff Sr. and Alyse Hosear Wagstaff of Goldsboro. She received the award for her more than 20 years of outreach and service in the community, developing informal science programs, coaching science teachers, resourcing parents with tools to aid their children in STEM, and developing partnerships between industry, academia and community organizations.
In addition to being an alumna of GHS, she graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and from N.C. A&T State University with a master's degree in chemistry.
She worked for 15 years as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company before returning to graduate school, graduating with honors in 2014 from N.C. State with a doctorate in STEM education.
She is currently STEM program director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.
Wagstaff leads several national and local programs focused on encouraging youth in STEM, with an emphasis on those who are underrepresented.
She has also worked for the past two years with her former GHS chemistry teacher, Cheryl Alston, now retired, in developing agricultural-based STEM lessons to engage students in the subject areas. Wagstaff is also an adjunct chemistry professor at UNC-Greensboro.