Sheli Smith, PhD is an anthropologist and Chief Academic Officer of the PAST Foundation, XAL's Instructional Unit Design Partner. Sheli came to education through her career in museums where hands-on and experiential learning define all student and adult programs. In 2001, she joined the PAST Foundation team helping establish the vision to provide public access to ongoing scientific research through innovative methods. She has continued to expand the vision through the Foundation’s Bridge Programs and ongoing Professional Development for educators. Sheli's team of STEM Coordinators work across the US helping schools and educators respond to the needs of today’s students by transitioning to Transdisciplinary Problem-Based Learning (TPBL).
After receiving her bachelors degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona, Sheli went on to specialize in Maritime Archaeology earning a MS from Texas A&M University and a doctorate from University of Pennsylvania. Currently, she holds faculty alliances with The Ohio State University, Indiana University at Bloomington, and Dakota Wesleyan University.