Every child. Thinking critically. Solving problems.


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Published Monday July 15, 2019

SARSEF’s New CEO- Alumna Liz Baker-Bowman

SARSEF Alumna Liz Baker-Bowman Becomes Next CEO

Liz Bowman Has Dedicated Her Career to Opening Doors through Science and Engineering

A woman who early in life benefitted in her quest to learn as much as she could about science, technology and engineering by participating in SARSEF programs, winning science fairs and scholarships, has been named Chief Executive Officer of that organization.  Elizabeth “Liz” Bowman assumed the post at SARSEF on Monday, July 1, 2019. 

Since 1955, SARSEF has reached out to hundreds of thousands of young people, from pre-kindergarten through high school, to help create Arizona’s future critical thinkers and problem solvers through science and engineering.  It has presented thousands of awards for achievement and provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships over the years.

Bowman began her own scientific career as a SARSEF participant while studying at Tucson’s Craigin Elementary School.  “SARSEF changed the course of my life”, Bowman says. “I was a shy eight-year-old girl who was afraid to raise her hand in class, and was not talented in sports or music. When I won a trophy for using my brain- doing a science project on what I loved- it sparked something inside me. I had value. The next year I had the courage to run for vice president of my elementary school. Every child deserves the same chance I had.”

Bowman’s early success led to recognition at eighteen science fair competitions, eight at the National and International level, resulting in over a quarter-million dollars in prizes.  She graduated from the University of Arizona and then received a Master’s degree in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

Bowman has served as Deputy Director of SARSEF since 2016, Director of Research 2013-2016, and Board Member 2006-2013. In the community, Liz serves on the Board of Rotary Club of Tucson and is a member of Charter 100 Arizona, AAUW- American Association of University Women Tucson Branch, and the International Science Fair Planning Committee.

An advocate for equal opportunity in STEM education, Liz has been recognized with honors such as Tucson Hispanic Chamber’s 40 Under 40, Women of Influence Education Champion, Greater Tucson Leadership 2016 graduate, and the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Award for Excellence in K-12 STEM Diversity.

“We are blessed to be able to promote Liz as our CEO,” says Betsy Bolding, chair of the SARSEF Board of Directors. “Her story and accomplishments mirror those of many other young people in Southern Arizona.  The board and I are confident of her leadership skills to allow SARSEF to expand its outreach allowing youngsters statewide to learn valuable problem-solving skills through science and engineering.”