Newly established Readiness Institute at Penn State names inaugural leader

Newly established Readiness Institute at Penn State names inaugural leader

Penn State has announced the appointment of Justin W. Aglio as senior director of the Readiness Institute (RI) at Penn State, a unit of Penn State Outreach. The RI at Penn State, created with a grant from The Heinz Endowments (THE), is designed to serve as a learning lab for students and educators, advancing THE’s vision of a more “Just Pittsburgh” by enabling learners from diverse backgrounds to develop skills and values needed for success. The RI at Penn State operates in coordination with THE and the Consortium for Public Education and is located in the Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh.

Aglio brings nearly 20 years of experience in various leadership and teaching positions in primary, secondary and higher education, most recently serving as the director of Academic Achievement and District Innovation and director of Innovation for Montour School District in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

“We can not predict the future; however, we can design the future that we envision. Our vision at the Readiness Institute at Penn State will be achieved when every learner has the skills, attitudes and values necessary to design and lead a purposeful life,” said Aglio. “We hope to accomplish this by cultivating relationships and collaborations within education, industry and the community that will advance learning that is project-based, grounded in real-world challenges and building capacity for future careers and civic contribution.”

Three major initiatives serve as the design solution of the RI at Penn State:

  • High school learners connect with industry and community on real-world problems and solutions.
  • Post-secondary learners pursue community and innovative future readiness experiences.
  • Professional educators experience professional development opportunities.

The current pilot program was launched this fall, a project titled “Future Readiness Lab” led by THE and the Consortium for Public Education, and is underway with high school students from Carlynton, Clairton, Deer Lakes, Hampton, Montour, Penn Hills, Pittsburgh Brashear and Woodland Hills. Penn State Outreach will build upon the pilot to expand the efforts in Summer 2021 with a seven-week intensive program.

Tracey Huston, vice president for Penn State Outreach, said Aglio’s experience serving as a pioneer in the education field for more than two decades will bode well for the learners served by Penn State.

“We are delighted to have Justin Aglio, a national thought leader, practitioner and educator—who is focused on student-centered future readiness—serve as our inaugural senior director for the Readiness Institute at Penn State,” Huston said. “With broad knowledge in the areas of k–12 learning and innovation, and deep relationships with educators and students across the Pittsburgh region, Justin will provide outstanding leadership for this important initiative.”

Aglio, a member of the Remake Learning Network, also serves as a Visiting LearnLab Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. Throughout his career, he has been recognized by his peers with honors including Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40, International Society for Technology in Education Emerging Leader, Pennsylvania Association for Education Communications and Technology Outstanding Leader of the Year, Edtech and elearning Top 100 Influencer and was selected as a participant in the Nation of Makers roundtable discussion at the White House.

He earned his Doctor of Education in Leadership and Administration from Point Park University, his Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel College, Superintendent Letter of Eligibility from California University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Waynesburg University.

To learn more, visit the Readiness Institute at Penn State online.