Tom Bielik, the recipient of the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) April International Scholar of the Month Award, is an integral part of the CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan State University (MSU). Through his constant service and contribution to research, Tom plays an active involvement in the field of science education.


Tom is currently involved in two National Science Foundation Projects.

  • One of them, Crafting Optimal Learning in Science Environments, is a joint project among the University of Helsinki in Finland and Michigan State University and is the first National Science Foundation Partnership for International Research and Education Award given to faculty in a college of education.
  • In his second project, he is developing an open-access online modeling tool and Project-Based Learning curricular materials, in collaboration with a team from The Concord Consortium, to support secondary students in developing, using and revising scientific models.


Dedicated to increasing the understanding and capacity for professional development programs for teachers, Tom conceptualized and spearheaded a study-abroad trip to Israel for 12 MSU students to work with faculty at the Weizmann Institute of Science and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology this upcoming May.


Tom’s close collaboration with teachers and his passion for exposing students to the world of science and education directs his research and current advances in the field of science education. Tom’s engagement and motivation spreads to other post-doctoral fellows in CREATE for STEM, helping to cultivate a working environment that mirrors the institute’s mission to innovate, investigate and inform.

Scholar of the Month Nomination Submitted By: Sue Carpenter, CREATE for STEM


Tom was interviewed by Shytance Wren, a graduate student in the Student Affairs Administration (SAA) Masters program at Michigan State University who serves as the OISS J-1 Scholar Program intern. Inside and outside of her research in the SAA program, Shytance is committed to international education and to providing quality support and services for international students. Implementing the J-1 scholar blog is a part of this commitment. She has studied abroad in Central Asia and Central America and hopes to relocate to the Middle East to work as an education officer in Jordan. When she’s all extroverted out from meeting new people, Shy indulges in the art of poetry.