As a UNH educator and scholar, Gengarelly has committed herself to the equitable advancement of quality STEM education in New Hampshire for close to 20 years. She has done this work with a steadfast consistency and attention to rigor that has resulted in real impact on the effectiveness of the state’s science educators in some of the state’s most challenged districts.
As an instructor, clinical professor, and field coordinator in the UNH education department from 2003 to 2014, Lara taught graduate and undergraduate pre-service teachers and worked with local school systems to ensure quality internship and practicum experiences. Since 2014, she has continued this dedication to New Hampshire communities as an Extension professor and state specialist where she has been the director of multiple large programs and projects focused on training educators in the latest Next Generation Science Standards, with a particular focus on closing the STEM achievement gap for some of New Hampshire's most vulnerable and underserved students.
She has helped to secure or leverage $6 million in funding and has led an extension team that, in 2021 alone, trained more than 600 educators and reached more than 1,900 youth.
Her most current work has included her development of Schoolyard Science Investigations by Teachers, Extension Volunteers, and Students; Building Equity Leaders for STEM in NH; and 4-H STEM Docents. Lara has thoughtfully and collaboratively designed all three programs to help educators authentically engage students in order to and increase access to STEM careers and academic pathways.