Meet the Crew
Every summer, hundreds of students from all over the world descend on the Cosmosphere—and an amazing team of enthusiastic, caring, amazing individuals guide them along their incredible journeys.
Hi I’m Allison Sutherland from Wichita, Kansas! I am a senior at Wichita State University studying Physics with a minor in Geology and Mathematics. I will be a Counselor/Director for Mission: Moon Shot and a counselor for Mission: Lunar Trek. This is my 6th summer working at the Cosmosphere and I have loved every step of the way! The thing I am most excited for this year is teaching as well as learning along with the campers about all the wonderful history we have here at the Cosmosphere. A fun fact about me is that I have never learned how to ride a bike!
I am Andrew Swift from Overland Park, Kansas. I just finished my freshman year as a geology major at Cedarville University in Cedarvill, OH. I have been a camper in three Cosmosphere Camps and this is my first year as a counselor. Cosmosphere Camps are easily the best part of the summer every time and I love everything related to space exploration and sharing that inspiration with others. I am pumped to see the new "Astralis" simulator in action. If I could take three things to Mars, they would be my Nintendo Switch, my trusty rock hammer, and The Martian book.
I am Angie Hammersmith from Hutchinson, Kansas. I am a mother of three, and in August, I will be starting my 21st year of teaching. I teach 5th/6th grade English and 5th grade science. I have had the opportunity to see all the Cosmosphere has to offer through school field trips and by watching my own kids enjoy the different space camps. I am super excited to be a part of this as I begin my first summer as a Cosmosphere Camp counselor. I am most looking forward to working with the kids and seeing their excitement with new discoveries. A fun fact about me: I helped restore the Moon Rover that will be used in many of this year’s camp sessions.
I am Ashland Meyer from Hutchinson, Kansas. I am currently a senior at Buhler High School and I plan to attend Hutchinson Community College for one year to get my associates degree in business. I am currently an Education Assistant here at the Cosmosphere and I am lucky enough to be a camp counselor as well. I will be a counselor for Starship Earth, Alien Adventure, Solar System and Lunar Base camps this summer. This will be my first year attending Cosmosphere Camps and I couldn’t be more excited! I hope to be able to teach the campers new life skills that they will then be able to use in their future, no matter what they decide to do in life. I am most looking forward to being with all of the kids and seeing them participate in the new things that the Cosmosphere has to offer. A fun fact about me: My family owns a restaurant up in Wisconsin and I hope to own it one day in the future!
I’m Ashley Mefford from Wichita, Kansas. I graduated in May from Wichita State University (Go Shocks!) with a degree in Education, specializing in Biology. This coming year I will be teaching Freshman Biology at a Wichita high school. This year I will be a director for Mars Academy. This is my third summer with the Cosmosphere, and first as a director. I want to help your students dream big and learn new concepts so they can achieve those dreams. I am most looking forward to getting to use our new simulator and watching students as they conquer their missions! A fun fact about me: I can play piano, viola, and cello.
Hello! My name is Blake Lee and I reside in Lincoln, KS. I have a Biology and a Theatre degree from Newman University in Wichita and now I teach 6-8 Science as well as coaching Football, basketball and track, not to mention working at the Cosmosphere on the weekends. Needless to say I stay plenty busy during the school year! This will be my 6th summer with the Cosmosphere, and my second as a director! I absolutely love teaching and that’s why I do it year-round. A fun fact about me is that I have a huge love for the sport of disc golf!
Hello! My name is Brenna Kirkbride and I live in Manhattan, Kansas. I am a sophomore at Kansas State University and I’m majoring in psychology. Before I became a Cosmosphere Camp counselor, I was a camper for three years. Obviously, I love camps because this will be my third summer as a counselor and my sixth year total involved with our fantastic camps. As a kid I attended camps for everything I was interested in and made many of my closest friends through camp. I also hope to inspire campers by challenging them to spark their creativity and have fun while also teaching them skills that will help them towards their future goals. I am so excited for the missions in our new simulator. Even though I will always be partial to the Falcon simulator, I’m really excited for this new chapter and the future of our camps. A fun fact about me: my first summer as a counselor was also the summer, I got to hike Machu Picchu!
Hello, I'm Bret Kirkland from Wichita, Kansas. I will be starting my 10th year of teaching middle school science in the fall. My involvement with Cosmosphere Camps since 2004 has allowed me to connect with, challenge, encourage, teach, and learn from campers, and I look forward to continuing these experiences in summer 2020! On a journey to Mars, I would be sure to take knowledge, perseverance, and wisdom.
I’m Canyon Skare from Lincoln Nebraska. I’m a Sophomore at the University of Nebraska Lincoln majoring in English with minors in Music Production and Film. I attended Mars Academy through Space 501 as a camper, and returned as a counselor for Alien Adventure, Mars Academy, Space 101, and Space 201 last year. For me, the best part of this job is helping the campers make great memories just like I did when I attended camp! Fun fact about me, you can find my band "Parking Lot Party" on Spotify!
I’m Carson Lee and I am from Pratt, Kansas. I went to Skyline High School and I am now a junior at the University of Notre Dame. I’m super excited for this year of camps, this will be my third year as a camp counselor and I was once a camper for several years. I will be working with the Mission: Astro Lab camp this year. Fun fact about me is that I am a boxer at Notre Dame!
My name is Chuck McClary and I've been a Space Science Educator with the Cosmosphere for five years. I was originally drawn to the Cosmosphere by my love of aviation and I've become a fully-fledged space geek in the years since, but I still look forward to this summer's powered flights in the Extreme Flight camps the most. Fun fact about me is that I'm also an amateur photographer and can play a mean guitar.
I am Emma Yutzy, from Hutchinson, KS. I am currently completing my last year of studies at Sterling College majoring in Elementary Education with a Special Education minor. This is my third year working at the Cosmosphere and my first year as a Camp Director! I am very excited and look forward to this camp season! I have worked at the Cosmosphere for the previous two years as a camp counselor and I was a camper for the two years before that. I loved the camps and was so excited to stay involved! I hope to help the young people who come to our camps to get more understanding and more skills which will help them as they grow and learn more about our universe. A fun fact about me is I have lived in six different countries and have travelled all over the world.
I'm Guthry Pfister from Hutchinson, Kansas. I am currently a freshman at Hutchinson Community College, majoring in Computer Science. I will be a Cosmopshere Camp counselor for some Mars Academy camps this summer and this is my second summer at Cosmosphere Camps. A couple of my hobbies are playing tennis and basketball and I also like going to camps. When I was little, Cosmosphere Camps were among my favorite to go to, as they always could challenge me while remaining fun. I am looking forward to being a counselor this year and helping make other kids' experiences special here, as were mine.
I’m Jay Thompson from Wichita, Kansas. I am a sophomore at Wichita State University studying Aerospace Engineering. I’ll be a counselor for Mission: Lunar Trek, Merits of Space, and Extreme Flight. This is my first year as a Cosmosphere Camps Counselor. I attended ten different camps as a kid and found them so fun, I decided to come back and work as a counselor. I hope to help pique the interest of students and campers with STEAM concepts in order to push them to achieve their future goals. I am most looking forward to seeing the Liberty Bell 7 home at the Cosmosphere. A fun fact about me: I am super into meteorology and, for a couple years, aspired to become a meteorologist.
I'm JoAnna Strecker from Hutchinson, KS. I am currently the School Programs Manager here at the Cosmosphere and helped develop a lot of curriculum for our summer camps this year. I've worked at the Cosmosphere for the past two years. I have my undergrad in Biochemistry and my Master's in Teaching. Before coming to the Cosmosphere, I worked as a high school science teacher for six years at Augusta High School. This summer I am looking forward to trying out all our new activities and running campers through our new Astalis simulator. A fun fact about me is that I also design and make greeting cards.
Hi, my name is Madison! I’m from Pratt, KS. I just finished my first year of college and will be an upcoming sophomore. This summer will be my second year as a Cosmosphere Camp counselor. I love watching the kids become interested and involved with the camps. Seeing them so excited about learning is one of my favorite things about it all! I’m so excited for camp this summer, even though there are many changes, I can’t wait to get back in the swing of it all and working through the missions with the kiddos! A fun fact about me would be that I am a college cheerleader going on my second year of it!
I’m Maggie Brown from Hutchinson, Kansas. I am a senior at Wichita State University majoring in Aerospace Engineering with minors in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics. I’ll be a counselor for Mission: Astro Lab. This is my fourth summer as a camp counselor. I also attended camps when I was a child. I love being a camp counselor because it allows me to share my passion for space exploration with the campers. This summer, I am looking forward to mission days in our new simulator, Astralis — mission day has always been my favorite day of camp. A fun fact about me: I am currently enrolled in NASA’s L’SPACE Academy where I am learning to write new technology proposals from one of NASA’s Chief Technologists, John Dankanich.
I am Mark Hunter from McPherson Kansas. This January I began my full time mission with the Cosmosphere as the Scouts Program Manager where I work with the programs for all youth oriented groups other than schools. I first attended the Cosmosphere back when Dr. Goddard's Lab was the Planetarium. I have Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Philosophy degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, along with Mathematics and Education from McPherson College. I have been on scout camp staff as a counselor or director since the late 1970's and am excited to finally be involved with a camp that concentrates on my engineering background. If this mission is extended to a journey to Mars I would want to take my wife, some games we both enjoy playing (it is a long trip there and not much social life once you get there), and some music we would both listen to.
Hey! I'm Mark Strecker from Hutchinson, Kansas. I have always loved the Cosmosphere since I first visited as a child. The renovations we've made to our camp areas will make for an amazing time here! My fun fact is I have two dogs named after dwarf planets; Ceres and Eris.
Hello my name is Megan Linke and I will be a Director for Mars Academy this summer. I live here in Hutchinson, KS, and have my Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Unified (Education). I attended almost every Cosmosphere camp available as a kid. I really enjoyed coming to camp and I decided to work for the Cosmosphere. I have worked for the Cosmosphere since 2011. I look forward to the changes that have been made to the camps and experiencing the new Astralis, capsule simulator missions. A fun fact about me: I am getting married in October at the Cosmosphere.
My name is Melissae Stiles and I live in Concordia, Kansas. I have been a Cosmosphere Camp Director for many years. I have always loved going to the Cosmosphere and signed up for every teacher workshop offered. At a workshop, it was mentioned to me that the Cosmosphere could use my robotics skills… so I applied for a summer position. I look forward to facilitating life-changing and unique experiences for the amazing youth that choose to spend a piece of their summer at the Cosmosphere. I hope I can provide an environment for youth where they can learn space science concepts in an experiential and authentic way. If I could take three things to Mars, they would be oxygen, water and my cat, Novi. A fun fact about myself, I grew up on a farm in rural Montana. My best friends were my 20 hens which each had their own name. I also spent my summers wandering around on my pony - Babe.
I am Mykala Lugafet from Hutchinson, Kansas. I will be a sophomore theatre major at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. This is my second year as a Cosmosphere Camp counselor. I will be working the Mission: Astro Lab and Merits of Space camps. I am so excited to be apart of this wonderful community again and to help students learn and become passionate about science. The three things I would take to mars are: all of C.S. Lewis’ books, my car and a lifetime supply of coffee.
My name is Nicholas Atanasio from Richmond, Virginia. A year ago, I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with degrees in Cinema and Public Relations, and I currently work fueling airplanes at Richmond International Airport! I attended Cosmosphere Camps for four summers starting in the ye old days of 2008 and have always absolutely loved the Cosmosphere and space history and education – those camps shaped who I am today! Given that, I became a camp counselor in 2015, and although I was busy the next several summers, I came back to do it in 2019 and am very excited to do it again this summer! These camps gifted me my love of space and helped teach me when and how to lead (along with when and how to follow) and I’m passionate about providing the same gifts and instruction to other campers. A fun fact (and humble brag) about me – in 2018, I worked on the film Wonder Woman 1984 in the Accounting Department and discovered Gal Gadot in person really is as tall as she looks on screen!
My name is Robert Ross, and I'm from Fayetteville, Arkansas. I am a Junior at Wichita State University, Wichita, KS, studying Aerospace Engineering and I am also a private pilot. I've been working at the Cosmosphere for almost two years, and this will be my second summer as a camp counselor. I will be a counselor for the Extreme Flight Camps, Merits of Space, and Mission: Lunar Trek. I attended Cosmosphere Camps while I was in high school, and had so much fun that I decided to work at the Cosmosphere when I started college in Wichita. I am passionate about Cosmosphere Camps because I want to be a test pilot and an astronaut, and I hope to further inspire campers to pursue their dreams the way I was when I was a camper. I'm looking forward to the missions in the new Astralis simulator this summer! An interesting fact about me is that I just completed tailwheel flight training in a 74 year old Piper Cub and it was a lot of fun!
I'm Roger Keating, I live in Halstead, KS, and have worked at Textron Aviation (Cessna/Beechcraft) for the last 20 years. I have helped with the Cosmosphere Camps the last three years. I have a real passion for aviation and space exploration, especially the history and development. I really enjoy giving tours and helping the youth learn about our quest for flying higher and faster. A fun fact about me is that I have flown an airplane through the Grand Canyon.
I am Sherry Treece from Hutchinson, Kansas. During the school year I am a Librarian at Hutchinson Middle School 7. I'm also an official for volleyball. I am a camp director for Solar System, Lunar Base, Alien Adventures and Starship Earth. This will be my third summer working as a Camp Director. I love the solar system and all that it has to offer and I am excited to share my love of the solar system with campers. Fun fact about me is that when I am not here at the Cosmosphere or at school, you can most likely find me on the volleyball court either playing, officiating or watching my girls play.
I'm Stephen Strecker and I'm from Tonkawa, Oklahoma. I'm a senior at Wichita State University majoring in aerospace engineering. I previously went to Oklahoma State University where I received a bachelors in physics. This will be my second summer working at Cosmosphere Camps. I'll be directing both Extreme Flight camps, the second Merits of Space camp, and I'll be a counselor for the second Mission: Moon Shot camp. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone this summer! A fun fact about me is that I’ve traveled all over the world. I’ve been to most of Europe, parts of Africa, and Australia.
Want to work at Camp?
If you are interested in working with kids, having a lot of fun and being part of the future of the space program, then we have the job for you! Come see for yourself the magic and awe of this phenomenal program and interact with students from all around the world. This is your chance to be part of something that can change the course of a young person’s life. With positive influences, students can reach new heights.
How to Apply
Complete our application for employment and mail it along with resume and letter of recommendation to:
Attn: Camp Support Team
1100 North Plum
The Cosmosphere conducts FBI and Department of Transportation background checks on all hired Cosmosphere Camps employees. The Cosmosphere is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
For more information, contact the Camp Support Team at 800-0397-0330 ext. 332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.