Formerly of the Chicago Academy of Sciences
Rosa has deep roots in Nature-based learning. Looks to Expand SCA Opportunities and Impact in Chicago and Beyond
CHICAGO, IL – November 24, 2014 – The Student Conservation Association (SCA), the national leader in youth service and stewardship, today announced the appointment of Rafael Rosa as Vice President for the Midwest Region. From his base in Chicago, Rosa will direct SCA’s programs and partnerships in a 12-state area ranging from Ohio to Missouri and North Dakota.
Rosa brings to SCA more than 20 years of experience at the Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, most recently as Vice President of Education, where he and his dedicated staff inspired tens of thousands of under-served students and their teachers to embrace the area’s outdoor wonders. In 2012, a program he developed with community partners, Using Cultural Symbols to Introduce Monarch Conservation and Nature-Based Activities in Chicago, received the Urban Communities in Conservation Award from the US Department of Agriculture. He has been a frequent presenter at science education and cultural conferences across the country.
“SCA is delighted to welcome Rafael Rosa in this important role,” said SCA President and CEO Jaime Berman Matyas. “Rafael’s leadership, wisdom and passion at the regional level, combined with the assets SCA brings as the leader of the national youth conservation movement, will ensure our ability to assess and address the unique needs of the Midwest’s communities and environments.”
A strong believer in the value of partnership and collaboration, Rosa chairs the Museums in the Park Education Committee and co-chairs the Chicago Wilderness Education Organizing Committee. He also serves on the Arts and Environment Xchange Advisory Council and his local Board of Education, He is a member of the North American Association of Environmental Educators, the Environmental Education Association of Illinois and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Rosa holds a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University.
“Shakespeare wrote ‘the earth has music for those who will listen,’” Rosa noted. “SCA turns up the volume on nature’s symphony and enables young people from all backgrounds to join the orchestra. As we empower youth through hands-on service, these same young people enrich our environment. I look forward to expanding SCA’s impact here in Chicago and throughout the Midwest.”
Within the area, SCA’s community conservation programs for teenagers in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee have been cited by the US Conference of Mayors as among America’s top green jobs programs for youth. SCA’s regional partners include The Field Museum, the Friends of the Forest Preserve, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Isle Royal National Park. SCA also receives support from local corporate sponsors including Exelon Foundation and Johnson Controls, Inc.