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.

Elizabeth Aikman
Elizabeth Aikman

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Ryan Z. Amick, PhD
Ryan Z. Amick, PhD

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Brett Arndt
Brett Arndt

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Shayla Bellamy
Shayla Bellamy

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Jordy Benton
Jordy Benton

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Taylor Bishop
Taylor Bishop

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Molly Bovos
Molly Bovos

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Maggie Brown
Maggie Brown

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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LaRide Conerly Jr.
LaRide Conerly Jr.

Cosmosphere Camp Dorm Parent

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Mike Cooley
Mike Cooley

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Iris Cooley
Iris Cooley

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Anna Darcy
Anna Darcy

Cosmosphere Camp Photographer

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Chase Denison
Chase Denison

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Sydney Goodwin
Sydney Goodwin

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Emily Graham
Emily Graham

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Charles Heminway
Charles Heminway

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Kim Herron
Kim Herron

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Emily Hightower
Emily Hightower

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Tom Holcomb
Tom Holcomb

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Eddie Ibarra
Eddie Ibarra

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Christina Ingvalson
Christina Ingvalson

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Mary Ellen Kirkbride
Mary Ellen Kirkbride

Cosmosphere Assistant Camp Director

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Brenna Kirkbride
Brenna Kirkbride

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Bret Kirkland
Bret Kirkland

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Courtney Klassen
Courtney Klassen

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Blake Lee
Blake Lee

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Carson Lee
Carson Lee

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Steehl Limon
Steehl Limon

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Megan Linke
Megan Linke

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Nathan Marshall
Nathan Marshall

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Marcie McKinnell
Marcie McKinnell

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Melisa McMannis
Melisa McMannis

Cosmosphere Camp Nurse

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Tristan Meier
Tristan Meier

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Mary Charlotte Meredith
Mary Charlotte Meredith

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Laura Miller
Laura Miller

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Steven Najera
Steven Najera

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor and Camp Interpreter

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Brad Nuest
Brad Nuest

Director of Education and Camp Director

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Laura Page
Laura Page

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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Rory Pfister
Rory Pfister

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Jackie Rech
Jackie Rech

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Michelle Snyder
Michelle Snyder

Space Science Educator
620.665.9356
michelles@cosmo.org

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Melissae Stiles
Melissae Stiles

Cosmosphere Camp Director

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JoAnna Strecker
JoAnna Strecker

Space Science Educator
joannas@cosmo.org

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Allison Sutherland
Allison Sutherland

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Sherry Treece
Sherry Treece

Cosmosphere Assistant Camp Director

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Suzanne Viegra
Suzanne Viegra

Cosmosphere Camp Nurse

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Aaron Voth
Aaron Voth

Camp Director

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Sam Wilson
Sam Wilson

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Cecilia Wiser
Cecilia Wiser

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Emma Yutzy
Emma Yutzy

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

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Aaron Voth
Aaron Voth

Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title: Camp Director

Hometown: Inman Kansas

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?   Recommended by a friend.

What do you most look forward to this camp season?  Visiting Cape Canaveral.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? Learn more about how NASA works.

Ryan Z. Amick, PhD
Ryan Z. Amick, PhD

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Director for Xtreme: Wild West

Hometown:  Wichita, Kansas

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: PhD in Human Factors Engineering and Industrial Ergonomics. Former NASA Engineer, current Assistant Professor at Wichita State University

Brad Nuest
Brad Nuest

Director of Education and Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title: Director of Education and Camp Director

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Scout Programs Manager

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? A long-time love of space science and the Cosmosphere.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Seeing the enthusiasm and excitement in the campers as we immerse them in space science.  

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope by attending our camps, these young people will develop new hobbies, be inspired to pursue STEM-related fields, and make life-long friends.

LaRide Conerly Jr.
LaRide Conerly Jr.

Cosmosphere Camp Dorm Parent

2018 Camp Job Title: Camp Dorm Parent

Hometown: McKinney, Texas

Are you currently in school?  I have a BS -Physical Performance & Sports Studies, MS – Business Administration

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? Summer camps are the best way to impact lives, outside of school.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Creating a bond with campers and influencing them in a positive way.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? Would like to learn more about space.

Melisa McMannis
Melisa McMannis

Cosmosphere Camp Nurse

2018 Camp Job Title: Cosmosphere Camp Nurse

Hometown: Lyons, KS

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? A change in my career path & I enjoy kids.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Meeting the new campers & helping them when they need it.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to make camp the best experience for the kids!

Suzanne Viegra
Suzanne Viegra

Cosmosphere Camp Nurse

2018 Camp Job Title: Cosmosphere Camp Nurse

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? The chance to continue working with kids over the summer.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Getting to know the campers and learning more about the Cosmosphere and the camps.

Eddie Ibarra
Eddie Ibarra

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title: Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school? Yes, studying International Hospitality and Tourism Strategy Management

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I work mostly full-time at the Cosmosphere working different shows, box office, as well as for various school groups. I’ve really enjoyed working with several students with different science backgrounds and as a summer counselor I would have an opportunity to focus not only on the camper’s education but their camp experience as well.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to being able to meet and grow with the campers. We have several campers from all over that not only have different science backgrounds but ways of learning new things. It is an amazing opportunity to be able to share different experiences and science backgrounds.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? My main goal for this season is to be able to provide a fun and safe atmosphere for the campers while still being able to learn all there is about space.

Elizabeth Aikman
Elizabeth Aikman

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Andover, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes, I am attending the University of Kansas. I am majoring in Chemical Engineering with a biomedical focus and I am minoring in Astrobiology.

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  Yes, I attended camps Space 101, 201, and 301.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I loved my time at the camps when I was in middle school. I wanted to give back to a program that did so much for me.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to having a job that is enjoyable for me to participate in and that will help other students learn more about the things offered by the Cosmosphere and science fields.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I want to be able to share this awesome learning experience with new campers to hopefully get them more interested in STEM fields. I want to learn more about myself in my ability to be a leader of campers.

Nathan Marshall
Nathan Marshall

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school? Yes, I am dual majoring in Physics and Chemistry at Kansas State University.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I think it is a great opportunity for me to use my enthusiasm for science to get the campers interested in science as well.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I am looking forward to doing hands-on science experiments/activities with the campers.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope I can inspire the campers to pursue higher education or a career in either science, technology, engineering

Shayla Bellamy
Shayla Bellamy

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title: Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school? Yes, studying Physics

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I enjoyed going to the camp as a child and I have always had a love of astronomy. I wanted to get involved because I thought it would be an excellent way to share my love of astronomy to future generations.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Meeting the campers and helping them understand new concepts about space.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I would like to inspire at least one camper to major in physics, astronomy, or aerospace engineering. I would also like to foster the campers’ excitement for math and science in order to encourage them to continue studying those subjects. I would specifically like to focus on encouraging the girls to pursue their interests in the STEM field, as there are still many more men than women in a number of STEM majors.

Emma Yutzy
Emma Yutzy

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title: Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes, I am. I am majoring in Elementary Education.

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  Yes, I did. I joined Camp 201 in 2016 and Camp 301 in 2017.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? My mother knew that my brother and I love space exploration, so she signed us up for 201. I was instantly hooked and wanted to stay involved. I decided after Camp 201 that I would like to work as a counselor, and during the last camp, my camp director kept encouraging me to become a counselor this year. I thought it was a wonderful way to stay involved in space exploration and I love being able to pass on that excitement of it to other people, especially to the younger generations. I also thought it would be experience for me as I am studying to be a teacher.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to helping other people learn while learning new things myself. I am also looking forward to getting more experience with social skills and finding ways to make things exciting and fun!

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to help the campers to learn more and to retain their enthusiasm for space and science. I hope to help them come one step closer to their dreams. One of the most interesting things that  Space Camp taught me was that, even though I was taking a different career path, I could still be involved and enjoy space and science. I hope to be able to convey that to the campers.

Cecilia Wiser
Cecilia Wiser

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Dodge City, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes. I'm studying Nursing

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  I enjoy working with kids.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Meeting new people and having a great time!

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to bring joy to the students while learning about space.

Taylor Bishop
Taylor Bishop

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes – rising college junior, studying Sociology and Psychology

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  I was involved in summer camps in high school and loved the experience.  I wanted to be involved in something similar and give back.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I’m most looking forward to getting to know the campers and my co-workers.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to enhance my leadership abilities and help ensure the students have a fun, educational camp experience.

Laura Miller
Laura Miller

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes. Officially, I am undeclared. I am studying a variety of subjects at the moment, including Spanish, International Studies, History and Communications.

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  Yes.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? As a camper, I was gifted the opportunity to attend camp by my godmother- that was the first time I heard that it existed. I loved it, and so I came back in following years. As a counselor, I am excited to be involved with something that I loved so much as a child and teen. I eventually had to stop coming to camp as a result of the expense, so I’m thrilled that I can be part of it again, even if I’m working in a different capacity.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I loved the subject matter of space camp, and I’m looking forward to being immersed in that again. But more than that, I’m excited to be spending so much time with kids. That’s something I truly enjoy, and that’s the bottom line of why I applied for the position.  

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to brush up on my space knowledge! I also hope that I can renew some old friendships (I saw some of my old camp comrades on the list of counselors!), make new ones, and create some solid relationships with the kind of interesting and engaging kids who want to spend their summer learning about space! There are so many kids at space camp who have such exciting hopes and dreams for their future with regard to air and space, and I really hope that I can foster and encourage that in any way possible.

Emily Hightower
Emily Hightower

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Derby, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes. I will be attending Wichita State University next year, my major is currently declared as pre-nursing

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper? Yes, I attended camps Space 101-501

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? My parents suggested I go to the camps and once I did I fell in love with the camps and with space.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to having fun with the kids, and I hope I can help expand their love and knowledge of space.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope that is job will help blend my passion for nursing and my passion for space with new opportunities.

Sydney Goodwin
Sydney Goodwin

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Buhler, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Buhler High School

If yes, what is your area of study?  Science

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  My grandfather, Larry Goodwin, and my brother, Grant Goodwin. My love of science and several years of experience in 4-H Rocketry constructing and launching numerous model rockets of various sizes.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Learning more about the science of space travel and explorations and working with the children.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? To gain a greater understanding of science, to meet new people, and to build a relationship with the Cosmosphere team like my grandfather and brother have both established over several years.

Steehl Limon
Steehl Limon

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Hutchinson High School

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  yes

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I have always loved space.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Learning to be a counselor.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to give back to the Cosmosphere for all of the great years I have had there.

Brenna Kirkbride
Brenna Kirkbride

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Pretty Prairie, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes, High School

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  Yes, Space 101 - 301

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  My brother was a counselor and he loved the job so I figured I would too.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to making an impact on the campers and sparking their love for science and space.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to not only further the knowledge of the campers and myself, but also inspire them to come back for future camps.

Tristan Meier
Tristan Meier

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor       

Hometown:  Overland Park, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes, University of Kansas, studying Biology and Astronomy, Minor in History

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  Yes, Space 101-301

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I had such a good time when I came here as a kid that I wanted to give back to the camp. Also the opportunity to teach people who care about space more about it is compelling.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Getting to know the kids and learning about their passions for space, how those passions arose, things of that nature.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I want to make the kids more passionate about space exploration and humanity’s future in the solar system and beyond. I’m very ambitiously minded in that aspect, and I hope to show people who care that space matters more than most people think it does. Obviously they share that opinion if they’re coming to space camp, but still.

Carson Lee
Carson Lee

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Pratt, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes, I'm in High School.

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  Yes, for several years

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  The counselors when I was a camper touched my life so I hope to do the same.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Getting to learn more along side the campers.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to touch the lives of the campers.

Steven Najera
Steven Najera

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor and Camp Interpreter

2018 Camp Job Title: Cosmosphere Camp Counselor and camp interpreter

Hometown: Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico 

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: This is my first time working for Cosmosphere and I’m very excited. 

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper? Unfortunately no.   

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  One of my teachers from high school recommend it for me. 

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Helping I just want to make it a great time for the kids. 

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I want to do something good for the community. Spending time helping kids in these camps is just a start. Hopefully it’s the start of me doing more for others.

Chase Denison
Chase Denison

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title: Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school: Yes – Biomedical Engineering

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper? Yes

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  Cosmosphere camp is a great way to spark the interest of our youth in the STEM field.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Meeting campers and establishing memories.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to help campers fall in love with space.

Charles Heminway
Charles Heminway

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:   Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Born Denver, CO; grew up in York United Kingdom

Are you currently in school: University of Kansas, Classics Pre-Law

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  When we visited my grandparents when I was little, we always visited the Cosmosphere.  This is one of my favorite museums and I want to share it with others.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Showing off the Cosmosphere.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to get others to appreciate this place as much as I do.

Anna Darcy
Anna Darcy

Cosmosphere Camp Photographer

2018 Camp Job Title: Cosmosphere Camp Photographer

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school: Sterling College, Sterling, Kansas – Art/Design

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  A professor thought it would be a perfect job for me!  So far he’s been right.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Capturing really cool memories for the camp kids.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? Meet and encourage campers as they experience camp along with networking and building my portfolio.

Iris Cooley
Iris Cooley

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Director for Space 501

Previous Cosmosphere Camp Titles:  Cosmosphere Camp Director for Space 501

Hometown:  Burleson, Texas

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: Iris Cooley, MS, LPCS, CRC; (Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor); Texas Teacher certified in Early Childhood Education, Generic Special Education, and General Elementary Education. Cosmosphere Volunteer 2017, 2018

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  I have a passion for people and education. I am interested in science and learning. I love to travel and enjoy new experiences.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I anticipate sharing learning experiences in an enlightening environment with interested and talented teens.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I look forward to observing growth for campers as well as myself.

Emily Graham
Emily Graham

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title: Camp Director

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camper, Camp Counselor

Hometown:  Hutchinson, Kansas

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: Undergraduate:  Sterling College – Secondary Education;  Masters: Fort Hays State University – Gifted Education. I am currently a gifted facilitator in Reno County.

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  Yes, I attended level 1 as a camper

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  The first time you visit the Cosmosphere you will be hooked!  I wanted to be involved because I love learning about space and showing the wonders of the Cosmosphere and space exploration to others.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Meeting all the campers, of course!  I also love attending the rocket launches.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? As a Cosmosphere Camp Director, I most hope to help guide both campers and counselors in growing their knowledge, finding new talents, and sparking their imagination. There is something new to discover at the Cosmosphere at every turn!

Tom Holcomb
Tom Holcomb

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Camp Director

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camp Programs Manager, Director of Education

Hometown:  Hutchinson

What are your credentials and length of time at the Cosmosphere? I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Sterling College. I has been with the Cosmosphere since 1997. I have held the following titles: Customer Service representative; Space Science Educator; Planetarium Director; Space Science Educator; Camp Director; Camp Programs Manager; Director of Education; Director of Visitor Experience. I am also currently a Cosmosphere volunteer. 

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? It’s positive effect on campers.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Being just a director.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? Hopefully, I can re-direct a life.

Christina Ingvalson
Christina Ingvalson

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Director

Hometown: Kinsley, Kansas

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: Bachelor’s of Science from Fort Hays State University

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  I enjoy working with children of all ages.  I have a full-time position in school during the school year.  I have worked with children of all ages for the past nine years.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I am excited to work with children and help them learn more about the space program.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope the children I work with enjoy the experience they have at the space camps.

Jordy Benton
Jordy Benton

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Space Science Educator and Cosmosphere Camp Director

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Space Science Educator and Cosmosphere Camp Director

Hometown:  Hutchinson, Kansas

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: I've studied Astronomy and Physics and have been at the Cosmosphere for four years.

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper? One overnight girl scout program.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? Sharing my love of astronomy and science has lead me to the Cosmosphere.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to watching the campers light up with an understanding of a new idea about the world or in the awe of our newly restored MOCR and artifacts.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to ignite the spark of passion for science so that our campers can use the tools and knowledge of science throughout their lives. I hope they will be able to feel empowered by the things they learn with us.

Mary Ellen Kirkbride
Mary Ellen Kirkbride

Cosmosphere Assistant Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title: Cosmosphere Assistant Camp Director

Hometown: Pretty Prairie, Kansas

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: I've been teaching for 22 years. This is my first year at the Cosmosphere

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? My children have attended several camps at the Cosmosphere. I have also brought many of my students to the Cosmosphere for field trips. It has always intrigued me and now it's my turn to take part in the experience. 

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I can't wait to learn more about space and history while working with campers to broaden their knowledge as well.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to become a better educator for the school district in which I currently teach through my experiences this summer.

Sherry Treece
Sherry Treece

Cosmosphere Assistant Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Assistant Camp Director

Hometown:  Hutchinson, Kansas 

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: First year with the Cosmosphere, six years in the education field. 

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?   No, but I have sent my son to Space 101 and he will be attending Space 201 and I loved the program. 

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  I have always loved working with children. I am looking forward to learning even more about Science and Space. 

What do you most look forward to this camp season?  Meeting and helping children grow their love for Science and Space.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? My hope this summer is to grow in my own knowledge of Space, Science and STEM, but also watch the campers grow their love and knowledge as well. 

Mike Cooley
Mike Cooley

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Cosmosphere Camp Director for Space 501: California

Hometown:  Burleson, Texas

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: Michael D. Cooley, BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration)

This is my first experience volunteering at Cosmosphere.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  I’m interested in helping teens become more interested in science and technology.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Touring the Jet Propulsion Lab

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to help the camp run smoothly so everyone has an enjoyable experience.

JoAnna Strecker
JoAnna Strecker

Space Science Educator
joannas@cosmo.org

Favorite Artifact: JoAnna Strecker, Space Science Eduator, stands in our Grand Lobby at the nose of a flown Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird, the world’s fastest spyplane.

2018 Camp Job Title: Cosmosphere Camp Director

Hometown:  Baxter Springs, KS

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: B.S. Biochemistry, M.A.T. Teaching, six years teaching high school science, one month at the Cosmosphere.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  A love for science and trying to help others see how awesome it is.

What do you most look forward to this camp season?  Meeting kids who love science (and space) as much as I do.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? Help kids grow in their knowledge and passion for space science.

Laura Page
Laura Page

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title: Camp Director

Hometown:  Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes, studying Museum studies, MA

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: BS in Biology, BA in Spanish, 10 months at the Cosmosphere

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  Cool programs that excite kids.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? Learning more about camp and helping to advance our programs.

Melissae Stiles
Melissae Stiles

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title: Camp Director

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camp Director

Hometown: Corvallis, Montana

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: I am am a science teacher at USD 333 Concordia where I have taught for 19 years. I received my Bachelors of Science Degree at the University of Montana and my Masters Degree in Gifted Education from Emporia State University. I have directed camps at the Cosmosphere for seven years.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I have always loved the Cosmosphere and working with kids. It was the perfect match-up!  I heard they hired teachers during the summer to work the camps so I applied.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to facilitating a unique experience for students. Also, I will enjoy creating an environment of learning in a creative and dynamic way helping to instill the love of science and maybe go forward in a STEM career.

What do you hope to accomplish this year begin involved with Cosmosphere camp? Creating a memorable and learning experience for youth.

Michelle Snyder
Michelle Snyder

Space Science Educator
620.665.9356 | michelles@cosmo.org

Favorite Artifact: Michelle Snyder, Space Science Educator, stands in our Grand Lobby at the nose of a flown Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird, the world’s fastest spyplane.

Marcie McKinnell
Marcie McKinnell

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Camp Director of Alien Adventure

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: Bachelor in Science in Biology, Secondary Teaching License, Masters in Science Education, 38 years as a middle school science teacher. Two years is Education Dept at Cosmosphere.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? Laurie Givan (Education Coordinator) & Brad Nuest (Space Science Educator)

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Meeting the kids & working with my co- director & counselors!

What do you hope to accomplish this year begin involved with Cosmosphere camp? Smooth sailing and implementing some new ideas!

Courtney Klassen
Courtney Klassen

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Camp Director

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camp Director

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

What are your credentials and length of time at the Cosmosphere? Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education with an endorsement in middle level mathematics. This will be my 2nd summer at the Cosmosphere

Are you currently in school? No, Graduated from Emporia State University in May 2016. Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with Endorsement in MS Mathematics

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I love science and the age of kids I will be working with. During the school year, I just work with middle schoolers teaching math. This is a wonderful opportunity to get the best of both worlds throughout the school year. 

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to increasing a child's love of science and space and meeting families from all over the state and even country!

What do you hope to accomplish this year begin involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to increase every camper's love of learning and to make an impact on their summer by creating a fun, caring, and educational camp experience for all! 

Kim Herron
Kim Herron

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Director 401

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Director 401, 301, 201, Xtreme, Boy Scout

Hometown:  Inman, Kansas

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: Since 2009

Are you currently in school? I teach 6th grade Science, Social Studies, and Math at Inman Elementary School in Inman, Kansas. 

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp?  I have always loved space and dreamed of going to space camp. Once I became a teacher I was able to collaborate with staff at the Cosmosphere and became a director combining my love of space and exploration with teaching to inspire others to reach beyond the stars.

What do you most look forward to this camp season?  I always look forward to meeting kids from around the globe and interacting with them as they experience the 401 camp and the happenings at NASA and Kennedy Space Center.

What do you hope to accomplish this year begin involved with Cosmosphere camp?  To help campers make connections to their learning and to people that can set their future paths into action.

Rory Pfister
Rory Pfister

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Camp Counselor

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camp Counselor

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school?  Yes, I attend Buhler High School, and will graduate in 2018. I plan on going to Kansas State and studying Engineering.

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  Yes, I attended many camps including Solar System, Lunar Base, Starship Earth, and the Boy Scout Merits of Space camp. I also earned many merit badges through the Cosmosphere. (2007-2011, 2015).

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I enjoyed the camps I attended, and had a passion for math and science.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Applying what I learned last year and having a fun experience with campers and fellow staff.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to show more leadership than before, as I am now more experienced.

Mary Charlotte Meredith
Mary Charlotte Meredith

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title: Camp Counselor

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camp Counselor

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school? Yes, studying Speech Language Pathology

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? Being from Hutchinson I have always loved visiting the Cosmosphere.  Taking on the role of a camp counselor last summer allowed me to work for an organization I believe in and it has been one of my favorite work experiences.  I am beyond excited to get to come back and do it all again this year.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Working and learning along with kids from all over the nation and seeing them expand in their knowledge of space, science, and history.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to be a mentor for the kids coming through camps and lead through example that learning is a lifelong process.

Maggie Brown
Maggie Brown

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Counselor

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  I was a counselor in 2017

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school? Yes

If yes, what is your area of study: Aerospace Engineering

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper? Yes, Lunar Base, Solar System, Take Off, and Mars Academy.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I’ve always enjoyed the Cosmosphere and what it has to offer and I thought becoming a camp counselor would be a great way for me to help the Cosmosphere continue to do great things.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I’m looking forward to meeting a new batch of campers each week.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to spread my love of space exploration to the campers

Sam Wilson
Sam Wilson

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Camp Counselor

Previous Cosmo Camp Title:  Camp Counselor

Hometown: El Dorado, KS

Are you currently in school? Yes, Emporia State University. I'm studing History with a minor in Archeology.

Credentials & length of time at Cosmosphere: Box Office Associate 1 ½ years; Camp Counselor 2017

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper? Yes. Mars Academy, Space 101 and Space 201.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I loved being a camper and still love the Cosmosphere.  I always looked up to my counselors with how much they knew and helped us grow.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to seeing how much all the campers will learn and continue building their love for space.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to inspire campers to continue discovering and exploring the limits of space and space travel.

Jackie Rech
Jackie Rech

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Camp Counselor

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camp Counselor

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas

Are you currently in school? Yes, University of Kansas, studying Aerospace Engineering.

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper? Yes. Space 101, Summer 2010; Space 201, Summer 2011

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? It looked like a really fun job when I was a camper.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to watching the campers grow as they challenge themselves to complete their missions and learn more about space exploration.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to give the same fun camp experience to the kids that I had when I went to camp.

Allison Sutherland
Allison Sutherland

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title:  Camp Counselor

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camp Counselor

Hometown: Wichita, KS

Are you currently in school? Yes, studying Earth and Space Science Education.

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? My grandparents live in Hutchinson so I’ve grown up visiting the Cosmosphere.  I have always loved visiting and I knew I wanted to work there when I got older.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? The kids! The campers are my favorite part of working at the Cosmosphere. I love how they are eager to learn about something so amazing as space!

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to learn: Every year I work her I come out of the summer gaining so much knowledge!  I love learning about this field that has interested me so much ever since I was a kid!

Molly Bovos
Molly Bovos

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Camp Director

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camp Counselor and Camper

Hometown:  Roeland Park, KS

Are you currently in school?  As a teacher!

If yes, what is your area of study?  I teach Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering

What are your credentials and length of time at the Cosmosphere? Master of Education from Rockhurst University, 2013; Certifications in Physics and Earth & Space Science; Teaching Basehor-Linwood High School since 2013; Director with Cos since 2017; Counselor for 2 years (2008-2009); Camper for 3 years (between 2000 and 2003)

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  Yes!

If yes, when and which camps? Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? The Cosmosphere is my home away from home. I want to give students the same experience that made me fall in love with space!

What do you most look forward to this camp season? My favorite part of camp is always watching the campers climb down from the Falcon simulator with looks of pride!

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to inspire students to explore and create.

Brett Arndt
Brett Arndt

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title: Camp Director

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  2017 Camp Director (Space 101, Merits of Space, and AAA), Scout Camps Director

Hometown: Colwich, Kansas

Are you currently in school? Yes at the University of Northern Colorado

If yes, what is your area of study: Master of Arts in Behavior Intervention

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper?  No, but I really wish that I would have attended! Cosmosphere Camps are so much fun!

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I am returning from last summer as a director. Working summer camps last year was so much fun that I knew that I needed to return and direct another summer.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to expanding my learning and bringing that to the briefings and presentations we do for the campers.

What do you hope to accomplish this year begin involved with Cosmosphere camp?  I hope to have all campers learn and grow their knowledge of space and space exploration. Seeing the eager looks on students faces

Megan Linke
Megan Linke

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title: Cosmosphere Camp Director

Previous Cosmo Camp Title: Cosmosphere Camp Director 

Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas

Are you currently in school? I have a bachelor's of education

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper? Yes, early 2000s, based on the activities we did something similar to Lunar Base, one I can't remember, and Space 101-401

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I enjoyed the camp experience when I was younger and wanted to help current campers have a great experience like I did. 

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Meeting the next generation of scientists.

What do you hope to accomplish this year begin involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to increase interest in the STEM fields.

Blake Lee
Blake Lee

Cosmosphere Camp Counselor

2018 Camp Job Title: Camp Counselor 

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camp Counselor

Hometown: Pratt, Kansas                                                                                                       

Are you currently in school?  Yes, Newman University. Biology; Pre-Physical Therapy.                            

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper? Yes, Investigate Space, Takeoff and Mars Academy.                   

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? I remember coming to the camps when I was a kid, and I also remember the impact some of the counselors had on me. I was drawn back to the Cosmosphere hoping that I could have that same impact on some kid in my time at the Cosmosphere.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? I look forward to being able to work with kids that I haven't worked with before, as well as working with kids who have come to camps in the last 2 years that I have worked with. I look forward to seeing the pride in their faces when they accomplish something that they doubted they could do.

What do you hope to accomplish this year being involved with Cosmosphere camp? I hope to just better myself and my people skills. I hope to make the camper’s better by giving them the best camp possible and I hope to be able to be a great employee and coworker around the Cosmosphere.

Bret Kirkland
Bret Kirkland

Cosmosphere Camp Director

2018 Camp Job Title:  Camp Director

Previous Cosmo Camp Titles:  Camp Counselor, Camp Director

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas

Credentials & Length of time at Cosmosphere: I have a Bachelors Degree in Earth and Space Science Secondary Education from Wichita State University and have taught middle school science for seven years. I attended Cosmosphere camps in middle school and have worked with Cosmosphere camps since 2004 as a counselor and director.

Did you attend Cosmosphere Camp as a camper? Yes - two summers, Space 101 and Space 301

What drew you to becoming involved in Cosmosphere camp? My experience at the Cosmosphere as a camper and my interest in science.

What do you most look forward to this camp season? Leading, inspiring, and connecting with counselors and campers.

What do you hope to accomplish this year begin involved with Cosmosphere camp? Leading, inspiring, and connecting with counselors and campers.

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