Dr. Tracy Irish

Dr. Tracy Irish

Associate Dean

Graduate Programs

Dr. Tracy Irish is the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at Capitol Technology University. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science with concentrations in biology, chemistry, and a minor in botany from Southern Illinois University in 1982. Dr. Irish taught for Howard County Public Schools from 1997 to 1999 as a teacher in a technology magnet program. There, she taught high school students biotechnology and genetics, and coordinated student internships at local biotechnology companies and laboratories in colleges and universities. She earned her master's degree in Instructional Systems Design and her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Irish has worked at four institutes across her career as a researcher in benchtop science and education. Her research interests include quality teaching and learning in STEM education, professional development for educators, and incorporation of STEM in traditional non-STEM fields. At Capitol, she teaches courses in Foundations of Doctoral Learning, Research Methodologies, Assessment and Evaluation, Culturally Responsive Teaching in STEM, Biotechnology Applications, Environmental Engineering Design, and Emerging Technologies and Their Applications.

When she is not teaching, Dr. Irish is spending time with her family, playing and walking her dog, and reading. 

Some advice that she offers to her students is: Believe in yourself; be persistent and ask for help when you need it.  



Areas of Expertise:

  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Molecular/Biotechnology Research
  • Microbiology and Immunology 



  • B.S., Southern Illinois University, Biological Sciences (1982) 
  • M.A., University of Maryland Baltimore County, Instructional Systems Design (1997)
  • Ph.D., University of Maryland Baltimore County, Language Literacy & Culture Program (2016)

Research and publications 

  • Carbonetti, NH, Fuchs, T, Patamawenu, A, Irish, T, Deppisch, H, and Gross, R (1994) Effect of mutations causing overexpression of RNA polymerase α subunit on virulence factor regulation in Bordetella pertussis. Journal of Bacteriology 176:7267-7273. 

  • Carbonetti, NH, Irish, TJ, Chen, CH, O'Connell, CB, Hadley, GA, McNamara, U, Tuskan, RG, and Lewis, GK (1999) Intracellular delivery of a cytolytic T-lymphocyte epitope peptide by pertussis toxin to major histocompatibility complex class I without involvement of the cytosolic class I antigen processing pathway. Infection and Immunity 67:602-607.    

  • Carbonetti, NH, Romanshko, A, Irish, TJ (2000) Overexpression of RNA polymerase alpha subunit reduces transcription of Bvg-activated virulence genes in Bordetella pertussis. Journal of Bacteriology 182:529-531. 

Conference/Poster Presentations 

  • Jan. 2009: Developing STEM Academies through the STEM Academy Measurement Tool and STEM Intern Model Highlighting a Yearlong Internship. Math Science Partnership Program. National Science Foundation 

  • Apr. 2009: STEM Intern Model Highlighting a Yearlong Internship. National Association of Research in Science Teaching 

  • Jan. 2010: The Master Teacher Development Program (Poster). Math Science Partnership Program National Science Foundation 

  • Apr. 2010: Professional Learning Communities: A Strategic Framework for STEM Education through the Development of STEM Academies. American Education Research Association 

  • Nov. 2015: Constructing STEM experiences for K-12 Teachers though Environmental Engineering Education, Bringing Perspectives to STEM Education. Maryland Association of Science Teaching 

  • Mar. 2019: Computational Thinking within STEM MAE. Engineering and Computer Education Symposium, UMBC 

  • June 2019: Educational Leadership Tools. Visiting TESOL Scholars Professional Development Series, UMBC 

  • Feb. 2020: Teaching and Learning Undergraduate STEM. UMBC CIRTL event 

  • Mar. 2020: Increasing STEM Integration through Real World Environmental Engineering. ITEEA Conference  

  • May 2020: Introduction to Inclusive Teaching Through Case Studies. UMBC CIRTL event