Confucius famously said “If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children.” Dynamic education programs will be crucial for communities to thrive in a global marketplace. Learn how leaders from a variety of educational institutions are approaching community-centric learning.
Education for All in the City of the Future
Candelaria Mendoza was born and raised in Eastern Washington State as the youngest of 9 in a migrant worker family. She always had a passion for public service and fate led her to librarianship. She began her professional career as a librarian in Eastern Washington State, but moved to San Antonio more than four years ago after she accepted a position to work for the San Antonio Public Library. In October 2018, Candelaria joined the Office of Innovation as a Smart City Coordinator to help guide the SmartSA strategy.
She has led many successful initiatives throughout her career that include: SmartSA vendor summit, technology strategy, community engagement, budgeting, capital projects, early literacy, strategic planning, and digital inclusion.
A former science teacher for 20 years in public, independent and international schools in the U.S. and in France, Dan Menelly is presently Chief Executive Officer of The DoSeum, a museum of hands-on and experiential learning for children in San Antonio, Texas. Formerly, Mr. Menelly led the strategic direction of program and exhibition content as President & Chief Science Officer at The Rochester Museum & Science Center. Between 2012 and 2015, Mr. Menelly served as Vice President for STEM education at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he oversaw education program content for all audiences onsite, offsite and online. At Liberty, Mr. Menelly co-created hybrid formal/informal learning models in partnership with school systems and researchers, and he integrated emerging tools for learning (engineering and programming of microcontrollers, mobile learning with geospacial informatics, humanoid and social robotics) into the Science Center’s education portfolio. Mr. Menelly served as an Einstein Fellow at the National Science Foundation in 2010, where he specialized in technology and learning and coproduced an early STEM mobile application for learning that was downloaded by over one million end-users in over 100 countries, and co-developed an early experiment in blended learning deployed in 20 international settings. Menelly is currently an expert adviser for science and learning to the European Commission Research Executive Agency, and has advised STEM media content produced for PBS, Nickelodeon Television, The Sundance Channel and several other outlets. He lives in San Antonio, Texas and in New York City.
Molly Cox is the President and CEO of SA2020, a nonprofit organization that drives progress toward a shared vision for a thriving San Antonio. In this role, she serves as a facilitator, a storyteller, a convener, a fundraiser, a communicator, a data analyst, a policy wonk, and a connector.
Originally, from Corpus Christi, Texas, she began her career in radio and television before serving as the Director of the University of Texas San Antonio’s Center for Policy Studies. In 2011, she started her own consulting business, Nonprofit Fancy Pants, helping local nonprofit organizations with strategic planning, communications, and team building. One of her first clients was SA2020, and the rest, as they say, is history.
A Certified Nonprofit Leader through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, with a BA in theatre from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), Molly has served on the selection committees for the Texas Governor’s Volunteer Awards and the San Antonio Ethics in Business Awards. She has been honored with a 2017 San Antonio Business Journal’s Women’s Leadership Award and as the 2017 Estrella Award Winner for Healthy Futures of Texas. In 2018, Molly was named Best City Advocate by the San Antonio Magazine.