Kate Meredith - President and Director of Education
Kate Meredith is the former Director of Yerkes Education Outreach (YEO) at Yerkes Observatory. She is passionate about making astronomy and STEAM accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or background, and keeping the Geneva Lakes community engaged in former YEO programs. She brings two key former YEO programs with her to GLAS Education: Innovators Developing Accessible Tools for Astronomy (IDATA) and Sloan Digital Sky Survey outreach. Kate is the lead educator for the IDATA project, a software development grant to develop accessible astronomy image processing software. Recently recognized by the Geneva Lake branch of the American Association of University Women for her leadership in astronomy education and a winner of the National Federation for the Blind Bolotin Award, she is very excited to share her passion and experience with others through the future efforts of GLAS.
Adam McCulloch - Education and Outreach Manager
You might not have seen Adam around Yerkes Observatory very much because he truly worked astronomer’s hours. Adam joined the outreach staff in 2017 as the lead educator for the Live Show to the Tokyo Science Museum and an operator of the 24 inch telescope. Adam studied physics at Carthage College where he developed a strong interest in planetarium program design and management. He also works part time for the Horwitz DeRemer Planetarium. Adam is putting this interest and experience to good use at GLAS leading planetarium programs with the Starlab donated to GLAS by the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society. Adam helps out with almost every program at GLAS. Look for Adam under the dome and out in the community at star parties, summer classes and special events.
Christy Albrecht - Business Manager
The addition of Christy to the GLAS Education Staff is more a homecoming than a hire. Christy grew up on the grounds of Yerkes Observatory and was about to become Kate Meredith’s first full-time hire for Yerkes Education Outreach when the observatory closed in 2018. So instead of starting her new job when she graduated from UW Madison in May 2018, Christy joined the team that created GLAS Education. Life next took her on an adventure that included relocating to Chicago, marriage, and a year in California. Family and friends were thrilled to welcome her back to the area in June 2020. We barely gave her enough time to unpack before including her once again in star party planning and grant writing. Christy is taking on office manager’s responsibilities and is helping GLAS step confidently into 2022 as we take on a more significant role in national and international projects.
Chris Kirby - Project Manager
The very fortunate day when Chris walked into the GLAS office last fall has grown in significance and importance as the months have gone on. Having grown up in South Africa, he will claim that his motivation was to have a distraction from his second winter in Wisconsin, but in reality, the benefit appears to have been all ours. A project manager by training and experience, Chris brought a new perspective and structure to LENSS. He speaks engineering too! Chris has also proven himself to be a natural teacher. He thinks about the important elements of the projects we do and designs scaffolded experiences to engage new students in the work.
Amelia Malling - Research and Information Coordinator
What organization couldn’t use a trilingual librarian? Amelia brings a unique skillset to GLAS with her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Mandarin language and literature along with her MLIS from UWM.
Emily Sisco - Interim Dark Skies Coordinator
Emily was a part of the last group of Yerkes Interns, meeting members of the office in 2018, and becoming a part of the team in 2021. Emily graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Astrophysics and a minor in Germanic Studies. At the University of Chicago, she was involved in the COOL-LAMPS Collaboration, where the collaboration works to find strong lensing sources in public sky survey data. Here at GLAS Emily has many hats. Last year she became the intern supervisor, cooked meals for the interns, and worked on Accessibility projects such as the Galaxy Dominos and educational tools for the blind and visually impaired. Emily is still working on developing accessible tools in astronomy. In the fall, Emily will be going to the University of Massachusetts to pursue a PhD in German language and culture, focusing on Women and technology in the 20th century.
Katya Gozman - Astronomer
It’s hard to decide where to put Katya; she’s here so much that it seems inaccurate to call her a volunteer. Katya has infinite enthusiasm for anything related to astronomy/STEAM. She was an intern at Yerkes Observatory for the last two summers prior to the closing, involved in accessibilizing astronomy for blind and low-vision students through IDATA, being Intern Supervisor, writing code to learn about asteroids, and running nighttime viewings through the largest refracting telescope in the world. A recent graduate of the University of Chicago, she is a 2nd year PhD student in astronomy & astrophysics at the University of Michigan studying galaxy mergers and stellar halos.
Amanda Pagul - Stone Edge Observatory Astronomer
Amanda is one of the unsung heroes of both Yerkes Observatory and GLAS Education. While still an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, she championed the return of students to Yerkes Observatory after a very long absence. Amanda went on to graduate school at the University of California, Riverside, where she began her work in galaxy lensing using Hubble Frontiers Fields data but never forgot her friends in Wisconsin. She supports student research with the remotely operated Stone Edge Observatory telescope and provides design advice for all our web pages and publications. Recently she has returned to the area as a Visiting Scholar at Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory, collaborating with Dr. Brian Nord. She devotes many hours each month leading research projects with GLAS students, traveling to Williams Bay when she can.
Katie Corbett - Contractor
A blind writer and astronomy enthusiast, Katie read every braille book about astronomy she could get her hands on while growing up. She has participated in astronomy accessibility projects for more than 20 years. Katie holds a Bachelor of Science in Print Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her work has been published by NASA, The University of Chicago, and in peer-reviewed journals and magazines.
Katie brings ten years of professional writing and marketing experience to GLAS Education, and consults on all things marketing for our projects. She lives in the Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, where she enjoys reading, baking, and going on road trips. Katie has been participating in National Science Foundation development projects since she was in high school.
Olivia Smithmier-Bohn - Contractor
Olivia discovered her love of astronomy when she began work on astronomy accessibility projects in seventh grade. She has a Classical Catholic high school education, which familiarized her with the Socratic Method. After studying theology and philosophy in college, Olivia worked as a key member of a team developing a successful summer program used each year at St. Ambrose Academy in Madison, Wisconsin. She also tutored students with special needs.
At GLAS Education, Olivia showcases her firm grasp of the Socratic Method and love of education to design focus groups, develop supplementary materials for GLAS products, and ensure that all questions are answered. She is visually impaired, and is eager to bring astronomy accessibility to everyone. In her free time, Olivia enjoys baking bread, gardening, and embroidery.
Marc Berthoud - Engineer
Our outreach programs wouldn’t be the same without our engineers. Marc has been teaching students of all ages how to design, build, and program many of our tech projects over the past seven years. He is the person responsible for wonders such as students flying blimps under the Great Refractor and building radio telescopes to listen to the Space Station. Marc continues to help GLAS with engineering projects and mentoring high school students.
Chris Schultz - Newsroom
Those of you who know Chris Schultz from his nine years at Lake Geneva Regional News and forty years of journalistic experience, won’t be surprised to hear that we rely on Chris to create much of the text that appears on our websites and social media posts. You can see him at almost every star party or public event with his traditional notepad and camera, making sure that everyone who contributes to GLAS programs receives the attention they deserve, including members of the public who continue to attend events and support our outreach efforts. He has become an increasingly important presence at the office in the past months, helping with everything from star parties to web page creation and cleaning and organizing. His consistency and good humor earned him the additional designation of “ habitual volunteer.”
Orion Danou - Video Editor
Orion first honed his video editing skills creating highlight reels for his own lacrosse aspirations. Starting in the summer of 2020, we put them to use on the IDATA project (Innovators Developing Accessible Tools for Astronomy) project when we decided to refilm all 62 videos for an online class for middle school students. The editing was extensive and the uploading process was a bit slow going but Ranger helped by keeping him patient. From there, Orion moved to another project to adapt many hours of instructional videos so they could be accessibly used by persons with hearing impairments or low vision. He helps us out whenever he is home, and there is always more work to be done. See you next summer!