R. David Bynum, Ph.D.
R. David Bynum, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Stony Brook University, is the founding director of Stony Brook University’s Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME). The Center mission is to attract, inspire and educate students and teachers in science and mathematics, so they may be committed to the highest standards of leadership, scholarship and service.
Starting in 1993, with a grant to make summer research opportunities available for undergraduates, Dr. Bynum rapidly obtained support of University leadership, received additional external and internal funding and hired faculty to design and lead new programs. He created new laboratory-based courses, student research fellowships and partnerships with the Long Island public schools. In 1996, with NSF support, he formed LIGASE (Long Island Groups Advancing Science Education) as the umbrella organization for these activities.
Further success led University leadership to place the science education programs in LIGASE in 2004. These include the Master’s degree Teaching (MAT) and BA-BS/MAT programs in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences. In 2007 the educational components of the Mathematics Department were added and CESAME was formed; these programs combined graduate more than 50 students a year with master’s degrees.
In 2010 the CESAME doctoral program is Science Education was approved by New York State and now has 25 matriculating students. Graduates from this program will educate the next generation of science teachers, lead science education in New York public schools, and work on education policy issues at all levels. CESAME now works with all science departments at Stony Brook, and offers courses, programs, competitions and degree offerings ranging from elementary to the post-doctoral and faculty levels. CESAME is a comprehensive Center, integrated into the University, and leading in the way in science and mathematics education.
Born in Kansas, Dr. Bynum attended public schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri and entered the oil well drilling business in west Texas. Over the years his youthful interest in science resurfaced and he returned to school, obtained his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Dartmouth and joined the Stony Brook faculty in 1982. He is a recipient of the American Society for Cell Biology’s Bruce Alberts Awards for Distinguished Contributions to Science Education and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.