Meet NCWIT’s First DoD STEM Ambassador

"I was introduced to NCWIT by a colleague 6 years ago. I became a participant of the then K-12 Member Huddle and then a K-12 Alliance Member. I’ve used the resources and research provided by NCWIT in the implementation of programs in the USC Viterbi K-12 STEM Center. Being selected by my esteemed colleagues at NCWIT as their first DoD STEM Ambassador in this prestigious cohort of STEM educators is a true honor."

Dr. Darin Gray

We are delighted to introduce Dr. Darin Gray, a distinguished leader in K-12 STEM education, as the inaugural DoD STEM Ambassador hosted by NCWIT. Ambassadors are carefully chosen by the Department of Defense STEM Education Consortium (DSEC), and the program recognizes outstanding educators who are committed to working with students who have been historically underrepresented in STEM (and/or are military connected) while promoting STEM learning nationwide. Each school year, the DoD STEM Ambassadors work together to create and curate remote learning and digital materials to be shared with educators, like lesson plans, learning activities, and creative engagement approaches. In this role, Darin plans to focus on making artificial intelligence (AI) accessible and culturally responsive.

It is a pleasure to unite a long-time NCWIT K-12 Alliance member at an NCWIT Higher Ed Alliance member institution with NCWIT Investment Partner organization, DoD STEM. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively toward the mission of improving access and inclusion in STEM and computing education. Learn more about the 2023-2024 Ambassadors and Dr. Darin Gray below.

Graphic announcing the DoD STEM Ambassadors fo rthe 2023-2024 School Year.

Find a full directory of DoD STEM Ambassadors and partner organizations online, and follow DoD STEM and NCWIT on social media for updates.

Dr. Darin Gray, DoD STEM Ambassador

Darin is an alumnus of USC. He’s earned: 

He also holds teaching credentials in math and science.

After graduating from USC, Darin worked for the Hughes Aircraft Company’s Advanced Circuit Technology Lab, where he designed analog to digital converters for the Radar Systems Group. After leaving Hughes, Darin spent 25 years working for the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Division of Adult and Career Education as a mathematics instructor and as a coordinator for an alternative high school. He has also been at USC Viterbi for over 25 years (20 of which while simultaneously working for LAUSD) and prior to being the Director, he was the STEM Coordinator responsible for program support, curricula development and teacher professional development.

In addition, Darin is a retired Master sergeant in the California State Guard, where he assisted with IT and cybersecurity for state systems and provided training for service members.

At the K-12 STEM Center

As director, Darin:

  • oversees logistics and operations
  • supervises STEM outreach to K-12 students
  • forges new partnerships with STEM organizations, both within and outside of the University
  • oversees data driven program analyses

He also teaches an introduction to engineering course and a cybersecurity seminar at USC.

Additional Awards + Honors

Darin recently received:

He has also been honored with:

  • the 2020 James E. Ballinger Engineer of the Year award
  • a USC Alumni Volunteer Award, the Congressional Certificate for Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community
  • the California Assembly Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Leadership
  • the California State Senate Certificate of Recognition for excellence in teaching, the California Council for Adult Education Award for Excellence in teaching
  • the California Medal of Merit
  • the California Commendation Medal
  • the California State Military Reserve Enlisted Excellence Medal
  • the California Assembly Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Leadership.

He has also presented at several conferences and symposiums, including:

  • the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s Guiding the Way to Inclusion Conference
  • American Society of Engineering Education Conference
  • the California STEM Symposium, the State of STEM Conference
  • the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education and the Magnet Schools of America Conference

Please join us in celebrating DoD STEM Ambassador Dr. Darin Gray’s selection for the 2023-2024 school year, and look for updates on his goals for AI in NCWIT newsletters and on social media in the coming months.

Scroll to Top