Leitzel Center History

Joan and James Leitzel Center Presentation

The Joan and James Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education was established by an endowed gift to the University of New Hampshire in June 2002. The establishment of the Center represents more than two decades of commitment and activity on the part of UNH faculty, as individuals and groups, in the areas of science, mathematics, engineering, and education. These faculty shared a vision: Effective learning environments can be designed when research informs practice and when practice informs research. In other words, both conceptual base and instruction context must be integrated.

The Leitzel Center was established through the generosity of Leslie S. Hubbard, Class of 1927, in honor of UNH President Joan R. Leitzel and her late husband, James R.C. Leitzel (1936 – 1998). Leslie Hubbard has been among the University's most generous benefactors and an ardent supporter of quality education within the state of New Hampshire.
Joan R. Leitzel biography
James R.C. Leitzel biography

The Center activities take place within a university culture that values the creation and the dissemination of knowledge equally, where the boundaries between research and teaching are blended, and where the research enterprise strengthens instruction in the K-12 schools and the university. Science and mathematics researchers of distinction play critical roles in the development of proposals and related Center activities. In addition, the Center will work to sustain and strengthen existing partnerships between UNH, regional schools, and non-formal science settings.

Background of Planning Process

During its inaugural year, the Center undertook a strategic planning effort involving over 80 external and internal stakeholders. A planning committee was charged by Provost David Hiley in September 2002 to develop a statement of mission and scope for the Center's work. The work of this committee included a formal dedication ceremony for the Center on April 30, 2003 and the hosting of a set of focus group meetings with representatives from a variety of constituencies in June and November 2003. The Leitzel Center Strategic Planning and Implementation Council formed in September 2003 worked with the information gained from these meetings to develop a draft set of initial goals, objectives, and action steps which formed the framework for the final draft.

Leitzel Center Strategic Planning & Implementation Council
Leitzel Center Strategic Plan


Leitzel Center strategies venn diagram


Conducting research, reviewing practices, employing assessments, reflecting on outcomes for learning, professional development, curriculum development

Engagement and Outreach

Generating knowledge and enhancing communication among UNH education and research communities, pre-college educators and administrators


Fostering cross-disciplinary activities, cultivating relationships, exploring creative ideas, responding to local and national opportunities


A broad-based capacity for fund-raising and grantsmanship, creative marketing and communication, and careful assessment focused on sustaining the Center