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Jean Creighton, Director

Dr. Jean Creighton

I have always lived in cities where the lights tend to obscure the stars. This may be why I appreciate a Planetarium theater.

I was born in Toronto, Ontario and I grew up in Athens, Greece where my mother claims I showed a great interest in how stars form from the age of five. To understand better how the universe works I studied Physics (University of Athens). My honors thesis was on the planet Neptune, which spurred me to cross the Atlantic to get a masters degree in Astronomy (Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia) and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics (University of Waterloo).

From 1998-1999, I was involved in an infrared satellite called WIRE as a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Since September 1999, I have been teaching Astronomy at various levels at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and, in 2007, I became director of the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium.

In 2014, I was selected by NASA to be an Airborne Astronomy Ambassador and to spend 20 hours in the stratosphere on SOFIA, the largest moving observatory in the world. In 2017, I was chosen for the University of Wisconsin System Regents Academic Staff Excellence Award. I am very proud to have shared the beauty and elegance of the cosmos with over 150,000 members of our community.

Victoria Robison, Assistant Director

Victoria Robison

It was a teacher’s enthusiasm that sparked my interest in physics and astronomy and led me to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from UW-Milwaukee. I jumped at the chance to work at the UWM Planetarium while I was a student.

After graduating, I entered the field of mathematics and science education as a research coordinator and copyeditor. It is my pleasure to return to the Planetarium in 2018 as Assistant Director to share my passion for supporting exciting, meaningful, and accessible astronomy programs for all.

When I’m not daydreaming about the mysteries of the universe, I’m tending my community garden, playing music, and plotting my next travel destination.


Student Employees

Patrick Selep

Patrick is a returning student studying astrophysics with previous degrees and careers in engineering and computers. He volunteers with the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UWM and lead the stargazing programs. We have a 14”  telescope on a robotic mount on top of the physics building. The urban location obscures most deep-sky objects but lends itself more to the kind of photometry that is required for exoplanet transit observations. During the day he likes to bike, sail and kayak among other things.

Natalie Starks (Spring 2022 – )

I’m currently a sophomore majoring in Design & Visual Communication here at UWM, and I’m thrilled to be part of the Production & Design team for the planetarium! I thoroughly enjoy stargazing and learning more about our beautiful universe; it is full of color, which I can never get enough of! In my free time, I like to paint, create digital art, and spend lots of time outdoors.

Jack Koshkin(Spring 2022– )

Jack is a Music Composition/Technology and Anthropology double major at UWM, and works as a Presenter for Planetarium shows- from public crowds to birthday parties!  He’s long had a passion for astronomy, and first applied to the team because he remembered seeing Dr. Creighton do a show when he was just 10 years old!  Outside of UWM, you can catch him playing with his funk-and-prog-rock band Fightin’ Bob!

Autumn Carroll (Fall 2022 – )

Autumn

Hello my name is Autumn! I am a Junior studying Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee! I am one of the Communications Associates for the Manfred Olson Planetarium. I am an Army Veteran where I served active duty as a combat medic from 2015-2018. In my free time I love to do pottery, play with my 3 dogs (and hedgehog), look at the planets with my telescope, and watch Bob’s Burgers with my husband!

Leah Nolte (Fall 2022 – )

Leah

I have always loved space and astronomy; I am hoping that this job will allow me to learn more about our wonderful planetarium and the universe! In my free time, I like to paint and bake. I am honored to help educate and inform the community about the planetarium—it is such a neat place!

Geetha Akula (Spring 2023 – )

Geetha is pursuing her Masters in Computer Science at UWM and is working as a Staff Associate for the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium. She loves to cook, is an extreme extrovert and has a very green thumb, and loves to garden!  

Emma Wilson (Spring 2023 – )

Emma is studying Design and Visual Communication at UWM. She is one of the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium’s Production and Design Associates! She sketches and paints in her free time, is a big animal lover, and loves to be outside! 

Ashley (Fall 2023 – )

Ashley

Hi! I’m Ashley (she/they). I am a sophomore at UW-Milwaukee majoring in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies (with a focus on Advertising & PR) and I am a Communications Associate for the Manfred Olson Planetarium. I like to play drums, sing, draw, read, write, and listen to music in my free time. Fun astronomical fact about me: my favorite constellation is the Big Dipper!

Jordan (Fall 2023 – )

Hello! My name is Jordan and I am a freshman at UWM. I’m from the Madison area and I am a Physics major and also minoring in film. I am very passionate about all things related to math and art (two very conflicting interests)! I love watching movies, archery, camping, drawing, and my two cats and dog. I’m very excited to begin working for the planetarium!

Delaney (Fall 2023 – )

My name is Delaney (she/her) and I am a member of the communications team here. I’m a double major in Journalism, Advertising, & Media Studies and Digital Arts & Culture. I think space is so fun to look at and think about so I’m really excited to be working here since I don’t get to do much of that with my majors! I have a cat named Liz and a dog named Winston. I love them both equally, despite considering myself to be a cat person.

Joie Mraz (Spring 2024 – )

Joie is a sophomore at UWM majoring in Biological Sciences. She enjoys music, crafting, and learning new science facts. Joie has a cat named Ruru who she loves very dearly and a fun fact about her is that she plays flute and electric guitar.