Former Staff

Gazelle ArgaGazelle Arga (Fall 2011)

I am an undergraduate student majoring in journalism with a concentration in strategic communications. I am also getting a certificate in Digital Arts. I got involved with the Planetarium after working with the staff during a campaigns course in the spring of 2011. My interests are focused on Advertising, PR, and Graphic Design and I am looking forward to using these skills in my internship with the Planetarium. In my free time I enjoy photography, writing poetry, reading, yoga, and tennis.

adam_2Adam Bailey (Spring 2012)

I am an undergraduate student majoring in journalism with a concentration in strategic communications. I’m also minoring in political science and getting my digital arts certificate. I am currently an intern at the planetarium to help promote and make it more visible on campus and in the community. I hope the experience I gain interning at the planetarium will help me in my future career. In my free time, I enjoy watching the Packers and Brewers.

Gena BatchelorGena Batchelor (Summer 2010)

I am majoring in strategic communication. I have always had a fascination with astronomy but never got the chance to visit many planetariums. I began interning at the UWM Planetarium during the summer of 2010 and have found the experience to be very intriguing and fulfilling. I was born and raised in Milwaukee and I enjoy singing and writing music in my spare time.

sam-bio-pic-fixed-blargasoreousAllison Beebe (Fall 2017 – Spring 2020)

I am a UWM undergrad pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis on science writing/communication. I’ve had a deep fascination for space and astrophysics since I was young so working at the planetarium targets that interest perfectly and serves as an outlet for my space-brain. I’m also working as an undergraduate researcher for the physics department and enjoying the wide variety of astronomy-related opportunities from the combination of jobs. The universe is full of thrilling concepts and I’m so excited to work with the planetarium to promote them to the public and the community. My unrelated interests involve violin and other music, drawing, and travel.

Aneta BistaAneta Bista (Spring 2009)

While at UWM as a journalism student I was given the opportunity to intern at the planetarium. As a media intern, I created newsletters, put forth efforts in developing a possible membership program, and drafted and distributed news releases to create publicity for events and shows. I graduated in the fall of 2009 and aspire to continue my career in public relations.

matt-bio-pic-fixedMatthew Blake (Summer 2014 – Fall 2015)

I am an undergraduate majoring in Design and Visual Communication here at UWM. Astronomy has always greatly interested me and if I wasn’t ridiculously bad at math I might very well be in the field. I’m joking, I’m not that bad at math. I just love designing, being creative, and viewing art in all its forms. That’s why I went into the field of Art & Design. I think that’s why astronomy interests me so much because you can look out and see all the stages of things being created in the universe, all on a tremendous scale. It’s the most beautiful natural art that anyone can see. Working at the Planetarium is giving me a wonderful opportunity to combine both of my main interests in using art and design to promote astronomy. In my free time, I like to read and wander around Milwaukee.

megan_bloomquistMegan Blomquist

I hope to pursue a career in veterinary medicine after I receive a degree in biology at UWM. I am in the University Band and I play the flute. I am also planning on joining the UWM Panther Cheerleading Squad in the fall of next year. I have always had an interest in astronomy. When I was given the opportunity to be involved with the planetarium I was excited, because I knew that I was going to be able to use the university telescopes to observe the night sky.

Kendra BrownKendra Brown (Spring – Summer 2014)

I am a fresh graduate from the Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies program here at UWM. I have been able to grow and expand my knowledge of space while writing and designing as an intern at the planetarium. In my free time, I enjoy playing the ukulele, singing and traveling.

Larry BurokerLarry Buroker (2006 – Spring 2009)

I worked for the planetarium from late 2006 until May 2009, when I graduated from UWM with a B.S. in physics and a minor in business. I grew up on a farm near the Dells and worked at Chula Vista Theme Park before coming to Milwaukee. I have been interested in stars, planets, and the endless possibilities of space as far back as I can remember, which is probably why I chose to pursue physics.

Steph ChadekStephanie Chadek

I am an undergraduate senior majoring in strategic communication and women’s studies. I am also working towards a certificate in digital art and culture. I started working with the planetarium as an intern during Summer 2011 and have since helped the planetarium send out its media and publicize its programs and special events. I enjoy advertising this unique resource to our campus and local community. In my spare time, I enjoy crafting, reading, and all things Taylor Swift. I love publication design and interior design.

Taylor-bio-pic-fixedTaylor Dekker (Summer 2014 – Fall 2015)

I am an undergraduate student at the Peck School of the Arts working towards a major in Graphic Design. I have always been fascinated by space and the vastness that it entails, so working for the Planetarium has been a great opportunity. As an intern at the Planetarium, I design posters, update the planetarium’s Facebook and Twitter, and help out with the PR. I hope the experience that I gain from working at the planetarium will benefit my future career. In my free time, I enjoy playing sports and playing video games.

Veronica DeMore (Summer – Winter 2019)

I am an undergraduate student here at UWM with my major being in Public Relations/Advertising and a minor in Women & Genders Studies. I am all set to graduate in December 2019 and hope to work for the marketing team of a lifestyle or media company. I began here as an intern over the summer and really enjoyed learning about space, as I don’t have a lot of prior knowledge about it. In my free time I love surrounding myself with friends, playing with makeup and watching bad reality TV. I also love learning about astrology and learning more about the planets and stars from that point of view. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me here at the Planetarium!

Tommy DomenicoTommy Domenico (Fall 2011)

I am currently undecided in a major but am leaning towards something in computer science because of my skills and vast interest for computers. After my trip to the planetarium for Astronomy 103, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it. I have always had a large interest in astronomy and even considered it as a major before coming to college. In my spare time, I enjoy working out and training in jiu-jitsu and kickboxing. I also enjoy working with computers and playing video games with my friends whenever I have the time

Evan Dujardin (Fall 2016 – Fall 2018)

I am currently an undergraduate student here at UWM majoring in Geosciences. I have always been in love with the cosmos since I was a kid. I remember asking my dad these tough questions that he couldn’t answer. But by working here and being exposed to all the interesting topics we research and cover many of those hard questions have been answered. On my free time I enjoy being outside hiking, biking, running, and playing soccer. One of my favorite hobbies is photography and even more specific, astrophotography. But, when I’m not outside enjoying the sun, I am doing the complete opposite and playing videogames with my friends.

jack-bio-picJohn “Jack” Fennimore (Spring 2016 – Summer 2017)

Jack has lived all his life on the edge of Milwaukee in Greendale, WI but he has come to view the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the city that surrounds it as his second home. He is currently studying Journalism (with an emphasis on media studies) and psychology at UWM. He feels very blessed to have the opportunity to work directly with the UWM Planetarium promoting all of the wonderful events it has to offer. He also enjoys writing video game, movie, and theater reviews for the entertainment section of the UWM Post (aka The Fringe) as well as biking around the beautiful parks in and around the Milwaukee area.

Zach FleischmannZach Fleischmann

I am an undergraduate student at UWM pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering, with which I hope to pursue a career in the rapidly growing field of corrosion control. I started working for the planetarium in early 2009. There has always been an interest for me in astronomy, though I couldn’t see myself doing it for a career. I enjoy riding my bike whenever I can and having a great time with my friends. I have lived my whole life in the Milwaukee area.

adam-bio-pic-fixed-blargasoreousAdam Gaff (Fall 2017 – Winter 2019)

I am an undergraduate student here at UWM working towards a BS in Information Science and Technology. I play CS:GO almost religiously, and like to make little movies. I’m a huge lover of technology and space, and working at the planetarium feels like fate and a true honor to be here. My focus is on production and website design, making pretty space images for others to enjoy. I’ve co-lead the website’s redesign in Winter of 2017, lead the production of the show Exoplanets and Ice Cream, and more!

sam-bio-pic-fixed-blargasoreousSam Gallagher (Fall 2015 – Winter 2017)

I am an undergraduate student here at UWM working towards a BS in Information Science and Technology. I’m a huge nerd and lover of science, and working here at the planetarium brings me childlike joy. My focus is on production and website design, making pretty space images for others to enjoy. The size of space is astronomically huge, so huge that we will probably never stop asking questions about it. I’m excited to join the planetarium team here at UWM and plunge into the unknown of space, telescope in hand.

Sara Gil-CasanovaSara Gil-Casanova

I fell in love with astronomy when I read Cosmos by Carl Sagan. I was about 13 years old and I spent the following years reading all the books I could find about the universe. Later, I decided that I had to learn more physics to better understand astronomy. After finishing my Physics degree, I specialized in Science Communication hoping to help bring physics, and astronomy, closer to the public. Since then I have worked as a science writer, journalist and contents researcher. I am especially proud of my last children’s book about women astronomers because I think they deserve much more credit and popularity than they usually get. Since January 2009 I have worked for the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium and the UWM LIGO Scientific Collaboration Group.

Mrinal GokhaleMrinal Gokhale (Summer 2011)

I am an undergraduate pursuing a degree in Marketing and a minor in journalism. I would like to work in market research after I graduate. As a new Journalism intern at the Planetarium as of summer 2011, I hope to gain experience in my field of study. I have enjoyed Planetarium events in the past, and I think my background and skill will enrich the team as well as broaden my interest in astronomy.

Rose HebeinRose Hebein

I began working for the planetarium in January 2010 after interning in the summer of 2009. Having grown up near Chicago and often visiting the Adler Planetarium for field trips and outings, astronomy has long been a part of my life. Now as an undergraduate student majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications I am excited to use my skills to contribute to the planetarium at UWM. I am also pursuing a minor in art history as well as a digital arts certificate. I’m looking forward to learning even more about the interesting world of astronomy as the year continues.

Mandie HeidenreichMandie Heidenreich

My name is Mandie Heidenreich, and I am to be certified in Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence Education, Cultures and Communities, Environmental Education, Natural Science, and Language Arts. I will be finishing my undergraduate certificate at the end of May 2009, after which I plan to attend the Milwaukee Montessori Institute for one year to become a teacher with a Master’s degree in Montessori Education.

Aidan-bio-pic-fixedAidan Hunter (Spring 2015 – Spring 2017)

I’m currently an undergraduate here at UWM majoring in film. I help with production at the planetarium, which is great because I get to do something related to my major. Visiting the planetarium was always my favorite field trip in elementary school, so getting to work at one is awesome for me. I enjoy helping with stargazing, and I hope to make the planetarium a fun place.

Katie Krier (Summer 2018 – Winter 2019)

Katie is a UWM undergrad student majoring in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies, as well as pursuing a minor in photography. She has had a love for stargazing and an interest in astronomy since childhood. Working at the planetarium is an excellent way for her to express her appreciation for the universe through various forms of media outlets. Besides stargazing and photography, her hobbies include painting, drawing, and hiking.

Bio-derekDerek Jaschob (Summer 2013 – Fall 2016)

I graduated in Spring 2015 with a B.S. in Information Science Technologies and a minor in both Architecture and Business. I’m involved with co-running the stargazing events at the physics building. I’ve had a huge interest in space since I was a kid so it’s always great to see so many people show up that share that interest. I’ve also done a small amount of graphic work for stargazing that compliments my architectural and design studies. An architecture degree may be far from anything related to astronomy, but it helps give me the knowledge of how to design and improve the way stargazing events work. Mixed with a love and fascination with space, it creates a job that is not only enjoyable but very rewarding.

Holly Jeffords (Summer 2009)

I am an undergraduate student at UWM studying Journalism & Media Communication, Mandarin Chinese, and East Asian culture. I grew up in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and have lived here my entire life, so I’m looking forward to studying abroad in Beijing in the near future. I’ve always loved the night sky, and often stargazed while up north at my great grandmother’s house, so the opportunity to work with the planetarium was one I couldn’t pass up.

Gareth JohnsonGareth Johnson (Fall 2012 – 2014)

I recently graduated from PSOA with a BFA in Digital Studio Practice focusing on graphic, web, and motion design. I really enjoy designing for the planetarium. The universe is incredibly vast and beautiful and we’ve been born at an incredibly perfect time in history to experience it – right on the brink of becoming a full-blown spacefaring civilization. I think it’ll give us a lot of perspective, and being involved in getting others interested in that goal is pretty rewarding. In my free time, when I have it (and money,) I’m a computer-builder-hobbyist and gamer, photographer, and freelance graphic and web designer.

Madeline-bio-pic-fixedMadeline Jordan (Fall 2015 – Summer 2017)

I am an undergraduate student going into mechanical engineering. In addition to a love of building, designing and drawing, I also find astronomy fascinating. It is always exciting to me to talk about things that the human race doesn’t understand yet. The planetarium will always inspire my sense of wonder.

Matt KarwoskiMatt Karwoski

I began my internship at the UWM Planetarium in Spring 2011. I worked at the Planetarium until February 2012. It was a great experience; I learned a lot and the staff was extremely nice. Definitely consider it if you’re looking for a JAMS for-credit internship. I’m going to miss you guys! Peace, Matt

ellieknipferEllie Knipfer (Fall 2012 – Spring 2015)

I am an undergraduate student at the UWM majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Psychology. Working at the Planetarium, my organization and time management skills have increased tremendously, as well as my knowledge for astronomy. My expanded knowledge and skills I am obtaining from the job will stay with me forever and will help me prepare for my future. After I earn my degree from UWM, I plan to attend medical school to become a plastic surgeon. I have a long journey ahead of me, and I am honored to be a part of the wonderful Planetarium team!

bio-pic-fixedJamie Kelling (Summer 2013 – Summer 2016)

In Fall 2014 I graduated with a B.A. in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations while minoring in Business. Working at the Planetarium has helped me to get some real-world experience in both designing and writing for publicity purposes. I have even gotten to work on both campaigns and event planning with the staff. When I find myself with some free time I enjoy reading or playing tennis.

Kaitlyn Ann KohlKaitlyn Ann Kohl (Fall 2010)

I am in my fourth year at UWM, majoring in journalism with a strategic communication concentration. This is my first year interning at the Manfred Olson Planetarium. It is a great privilege to work alongside a team with such passion for astronomy. Upon graduation, I look forward to a career in advertising copywriting, and will always have the starry night sky to remind me of my time at the planetarium.

Rachel KoromRachel Korom

I am an undergraduate student at UWM double majoring in Jewish Studies and History. I began working for the planetarium in the summer of 2009. I have always been captivated by the night sky and thoroughly enjoy when I am lucky enough to escape to the country and see its full extent. Having grown up in Milwaukee, experiencing the stars without light pollution is an absolute treat!

tomlittleTom Little (Fall 2011 – Fall 2015)

I am an undergraduate student majoring in I.T. Management. When I heard about the opportunity to work at the planetarium, I jumped at it. I said that I’d even work for free. I get to combine my creative side by helping produce the shows in the planetarium with my knowledge of computers. When I’m not saving the world from evil space aliens from space, I enjoy creating music, the outdoors, and chillin’ with my friends.

Alex MaringAlex Maring (Fall 2012)

I am a senior at UWM majoring in journalism with a concentration in advertising and public relations. As an intern at the Planetarium, I am responsible for writing articles about events and working with social media. I am a huge Minnesota sports fan (I like the Brewers too) and I enjoy playing basketball. I also watch a lot of TV shows and movies. Someday I would like to work for a Minnesota sports team, SKOL Vikings!!!!

sam-bio-pic-fixed-blargasoreousElisabeth Markman (Spring 2017 – Summer 2018)

Elisabeth is a Junior here at UWM working her way towards getting her BFA in Acting. When not working or in class you can usually find her knitting, painting or playing with her Golden Retriever Dory.

charo-bio-pic-fixedCharo Martin-Kingsby

I am an undergraduate student majoring in Physics/Astronomy, however I wish it were just an astronomy major then I could possibly finish sooner. I have always been fascinated with the skies and beyond. For me working at the planetarium is one step closer to my dream of becoming an Astronomer. This opportunity will give me the chance to learn as many things. I love It! I also have a BA in Anthropology, which is my second love. I enjoy other things that take me to far out places like, watching anime, and reading fantasy/sci-fi novels. This is my first step to the worlds greatest advantage.

Carolina Matamoros (Winter 2019)

I am an undergraduate student here at UWM working towards a BS in Information Science and Technology. I play CS:GO almost religiously, and like to make little movies. I’m a huge lover of technology and space, and working at the planetarium feels like fate and a true honor to be here. My focus is on production and website design, making pretty space images for others to enjoy. I’ve co-lead the website’s redesign in Winter of 2017, lead the production of the show Exoplanets and Ice Cream, and more!

Steven MeaneySteven Meaney

I am an undergraduate student at UWM going for a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. I also conduct research on pulsars and neutron stars with the ARCC group. I started working for the planetarium at the beginning of 2009. Born in Oakland, CA, I spent a few years growing up first in California, then Two Rivers, Kewaunee, and finally Green Bay. I love the night sky, so being able to work for a planetarium is a lot of fun.

Madeline-bio-pic-fixedElise Murphy (Fall 2016 – Spring 2020)

I am currently an undergraduate student here at UWM working towards a BA in Communication and a minor in Psychology. I’m really excited to be involved with the presenting aspects of the Planetarium, considering it relates to my major. My fascination for astronomy is something I’ve had since I was a little girl and having a job that I’m passionate about is such a privilege. In my free time I enjoy hiking, socializing, and editing videos or taking photographs. I’m thrilled to discover everything the Planetarium has to offer here at UWM, and continue my passion for space and the stars.

Stephen NelsonStephen Nelson

I worked with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Manfred Olson Planetarium until completing my B.S. in Computer Science at UWM in May 2008. I configured and deployed many of the planetarium’s computer and multimedia systems, and helped establish the ARCC program at UWM. I am now employed as a system administrator and internet security specialist. I enjoy viewing the sky with binoculars and with my 8-inch dobsonian telescope.

Vanessa NicholasVanessa Nicholas (Fall 2014)

I am a journalism major with a focus in media studies, and I am the publicity intern here. Originally I am from Illinois, but after a college visit to Milwaukee I knew this was the place I wanted to be. With only a year or so left of college, I am both nervous and excited for what the future holds. No matter what happens I am glad I chose UWM and proud to have done my internship at Manfred Olson!

derek-bio-pic-fixedDerek Palecek (Fall 2015 – Winter 2018)

I’m currently an undergraduate at UWM majoring in Computer Science. My fascination for the stars has traveled with me throughout my life and is the reason I decided to work at the planetarium. Helping invigorate curious minds about the wonders of the cosmos is my dream. Being employed here is an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to help spread my love of astronomy to others. If I’m not already busy learning more about astronomy, I enjoy playing video games and socializing with friends.

Mikaela-bio-pic-fixedMikaela Perry (Summer 2015 – Summer 2016)

My name is Mikaela Perry and I am an undergrad at UWM majoring in JAMS with a concentration in Public Relations. I am interning with the Planetarium and will be putting my Public Relations skills to use by spreading awareness about the Planetarium and it’s events through creating flyers and assisting with social media outlets. I also hope to contribute a few new ideas of my own. I have always loved looking at the stars, and I was excited to hear about this internship opportunity. When I am not working or at school, I enjoy taking care of my toddler at home. If there is time after that, I indulge myself in reading, dancing and singing karaoke.

Devan PinionDevan Pinion (Summer 2014)

I am an undergraduate majoring in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies with a minor in English. I have come to intern at the Planetarium for the summer of 2014 to gain experience in publicity and design. My time here has taught me various skills that will significantly help me in off campus work. Outside of school, I am a certified yoga teacher and healthcare professional. I love to write, read, run, bike, or anything outdoors that includes moving about.

Maria-bio-pic-fixedMaria Pretzl (Summer 2014 – )

Maria graduated from UWM in Spring 2014 with a BFA in Film and BA in Theatre Studies. A spring 2014 SURF grant recipient, her previous experience includes assistant directing Ruined at UWM, Projections Assistant on the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s production of The Detective’s Wife, working on the documentary Healing Hearts and Transformers: Dark of the Moon and directing the Midwest premiere of Songs of Love: A Theatrical Mixtape. In her free time, she likes to watch movies/Doctor Who, go on adventures with her boyfriend and write things. She’s excited to work at the planetarium and expand her knowledge of Astronomy.

nikolaus-bio-pic-fixedNikolaus Prusinski (Fall 2015 – Spring 2020)

Stargazing’s youngest team member is from Saint Francis High School’s Gifted and Talented Program. Nik is in a two year HS program, having matriculated at UWM in the fall of 2016 majoring in physics and math, emphasis in astronomy. Since Nik’s youth, he’s demonstrated an acute appreciation of Mathematics, Physics, Robotics Programming and Music. His interest in astronomy started here at the Manfred Olson Planetarium with Dr. Creighton’s Friday Night Shows. Nik’s ambition is to perpetuate this team’s enthusiasm of astronomy to our visitors. Find more information regarding Nik’s endeavors in the blog post written about him. In Fall 2020, Nik will begin his Ph.D. in astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Jourdan-bio-pic-fixed-copyJourdan Richardson (Fall 2015)

I am an undergraduate student majoring in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies, with a concentration in Public Relations. During my time interning with the planetarium, I hope to be able to bring students to the planetarium and get them excited about space and astronomy. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends, exploring Milwaukee, and practicing my photography.

Camille RidgewayCamille Ridgeway

I’m majoring in political science and international studies with minors in Chinese and Arabic. I first got involved with the planetarium/physics department at UWM when I was a senior in high school. My AP biology teacher helped me join the Astronomy Club on campus and from there I did pulsar viewing in my free time. I had an interest in astronomy from a young age and as I get older I find myself liking topics involving black holes and string theory. I sometimes wonder why I didn’t pursue astrophysics as a major!

Trevor RipleyTrevor Ripley (Fall 2013)

I am an undergraduate student working towards a degree in Communications. I am very excited to be working at the planetarium and to gain awesome marketing and PR experience. In my free time I enjoy naps, playing Halo and watching the Vikings. After graduation, I plan to go into sports broadcasting.

Cassandra RossoCassandra Rosso (Fall 2011)

My name is Cassandra Rosso and I am in my last year at UWM majoring in journalism with an emphasis on photography. I am currently interning at the Planetarium and hope to take my experience with me for future job opportunities. I am also working on my digital arts and culture certificate while being in a local sorority. Born and raised in Milwaukee I enjoy the Brewers, volleyball, and doing anything artistic in my spare time. I am also looking forward to learning more about astronomy and the stars.

Shane SampoShane Sampo (Fall 2012)

I am an undergraduate student studying for Meteorology and Mathematics. After graduation I hope to pursue a career in being an “On Air Meteorologist” for a broadcast station. I am interested in Astronomy and I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to work for the UWM Planetarium. This experience has been so eye-opening and interesting. I am constantly learning about different astronomical events and phenomenon that occur in space. I really enjoy working here.

Mallory-bio-pic-fixedMallory Sawyer (Spring 2015 – Fall 2016)

I am currently an undergraduate student at UWM majoring in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies with a concentration in Advertising and Public Relations. During my time as an intern at the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium, I will be assisting in planning events for the Planetarium’s 50th anniversary at UWM, as well as public relations that promotes visibility of it to students and the community. While working with the Planetarium, I am looking forward to valuable experience outside of the classroom and improving my PR writing. After my time here, I hope to continue working in public relations and event planning in the Milwaukee community.

Meredith Scharinger (Fall 2018 – Spring 2019)

I’m currently a senior pursuing a degree in advertising and public relations and will graduate in May of 2019. After graduation, I hope to find a job in the Milwaukee area. Besides being an intern at the planetarium I am also a dance teacher in the Mequon area. I have been dancing all my life and working with children is very rewarding. In my free time, I love to be outdoors and go hiking, spend time with friends, explore what Milwaukee has to offer and dance. I started working at the planetarium Fall of 2018 and it definitely has sparked my interest in astronomy. My favorite program I’ve seen during my time at the planetarium is “Constellations of the Zodiac”. It was very interesting learning about the stories behind the constellations and pointing them out in the night sky.

Ashley SchurAshley Schur (Summer 2014 – Spring 2015)

I am an undergraduate student at UWM pursuing a degree in Public Relations. I am originally from a suburb of Chicago and when I visited UWM, I absolutely fell in love with the city of Milwaukee and I’ve had a fantastic experience here so far. I hope to one day pursue a career in PR by working in an agency or corporate PR. For the planetarium, I have specialized in coordinating the fundraising events, specifically the one coming up in the Spring of 2015! I have also helped with some designing of flyers and other PR related work. While I am interning I hope to sharpen my writing/design skills as well as expand my knowledge of PR for the work place, and also in astronomy. In my free time I enjoy watching movies, shopping and hanging out with my friends. I am also a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority here on campus where I serve as the Public Relations Vice President and it is a lot of fun! I am thrilled to be a part of the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium Team and can’t wait for what lies ahead!

Joel ShultisJoel Shultis

I am an undergraduate student at UWM majoring in geophysics. I always found astronomy to be interesting, but it was when a friend of mine showed me “A Brief History of Time”‘ by Stephen Hawking that I began studying physics and astronomy. When I was a freshman, I went to a few planetarium shows and loved them. My astronomy professor suggested applying and now I am lucky enough to be working here!

Melanie SignerMelanie Signer (Spring 2012)

I am a senior at UWM majoring in journalism, with an emphasis in strategic communications. During my time as an intern at the Manfred Olson Planetarium, my goal is to produce media that will help promote the Planetarium on campus as well as in the community. After college, I hope to obtain a job in the field of advertising. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, as well as cheering on Wisconsin sports teams!

Jackie SmethurstJackie Smethurst (Fall 2014)

I am a senior this year, and am finally graduating in May. I am majoring in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies, with an emphasis in advertising and public relations. I am also obtaining my DAC certificate, and a minor in political science. This is my third internship so far, and I am hoping to expand my knowledge of astronomy, while sharpening my design and PR skills. I am a strategic communications intern for the Planetarium, and am working on an effort to reach out to all the departments on campus that might benefit from using the Planetarium in one way or another. I also hope to contribute to the 50 year celebration, and help out wherever I can. I am from Door County, and have an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paralegal. I am very excited about this internship opportunity and hope to make the best of it!

Brooke SorensonBrooke Sorenson

I am an undergraduate student at UWM double majoring in German and Journalism & Media Communication with an emphasis in Strategic Communication. Upon graduation I hope to have a career in public relations. Interning at the planetarium gave me a new appreciation for astronomy and science in general.

Margie Sponholz (Winter – Summer 2019)

I graduated from UWM in May of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Since then, I’ve been more drawn to marketing and have done social media work for a few local businesses. I became interested in space and physics recently when I discovered the podcast Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe. When I’m not working or listening to podcasts, I enjoy painting, reading and spending time with friends.

Sean SuelflohnSean Suelflohn (Spring 2010)

I am a student at UWM pursuing an undergraduate degree in journalism with a minor in media graphics, as well as a digital arts/culture certificate. Born and raised in Green Bay, I am naturally a die-hard Packers fan. In my free time I enjoy going out with friends, searching everything the internet has to offer, watching/playing sports, going to Brewers/Badgers/Packers games, and of course catching up on my studies.

Taka-bio-pic-fixedTaka Suzuki (Spring 2015 – Fall 2016 )

Takahiro Suzuki is currently pursuing a MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from UWM. He received his BA in Studio Art, concentrating in photography and cinematography from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. His works have screened nationally and internationally, with recent screenings/exhibitions at ACRE TV in Chicago, IL; Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, OR; Montreal Underground Film Festival in Montreal, Canada; and the Berlin International Director’s Lounge in Berlin, Germany. He comes to the Manfred Olson Planetarium with a contemplation for the sky.

Zabrina TamarkinZabrina Tamarkin (Fall 2013 – Spring 2014)

I am a senior majoring in Journalism, Advertising & Media Studies with a concentration in Advertising/Public Relations and planning graduate in May 2014. In my second to last semester here at UWM, I decided to apply for an internship and the one that was offered at the Planetarium stood out to me, mainly because I took an Astronomy course previously. I love working at the Planetarium because of the valuable experience I am gaining with graphic design, p.r., event planning, communications, and working independently while reaching team goals. I am also very excited to see how Art in Space 2014 plays out.

Guy ThomasGuy Thomas (Fall 2011 – Fall 2014)

I am an undergraduate film student here at UWM. After graduating, I hope to pursue a career in the film industry as a director and cinematographer. I have always had an interest in astronomy and am very excited to be given this opportunity to work for the planetarium and learn more about the subject. I am the founder and president of Bam! Pow!, UWM’s comic book club. I enjoy any and all kinds of art, both what I can and cannot create myself.

Kate ValdovinosKate Valdovinos (Spring 2010)

I am majoring in Journalism and Media Communications with a Media Studies and Strategic Communications concentration at UWM. I also have an Associate Degree in Electron Microscopy from Madison Area Technical College. I hope to pursue a career in healthcare or social welfare public relations. I enjoy networking and experiencing the subcultures of Milwaukee.

Aidan-bio-pic-fixedRebecca Van De Laarschot

I’m an undergraduate at UWM working towards a double major in English and Political Science. Space has always intrigued and fascinated me. I’m from an area with low light pollution, giving me the ideal conditions for stargazing as I grew up. Astronomical curiosity lead me straight to the planetarium when I came to college. I hope to help out with production at the Manfred Olsen Planetarium to learn work and life skills while simultaneously learning about space. When I’m not learning about the stars, I’m watching Star Trek or Star Wars, or reading X-Men comics.

Sheng VangSheng Vang (Spring 2009)

I’m from Milwaukee and I’m an undergraduate student at UWM majoring in journalism with an emphasis in strategic communications. Working at the planetarium, I made fliers, posters and brochures. After graduation, I hope to either start my career in an advertising agency or continue with graduate school.

William-bio-pic-fixedWilliam Warmath-Freemon (Spring 2015)

I am a undergraduate student majoring in Physics with a love for the cosmos. The Planetarium gives me hands on experience with what I love to do. I help run the stargazing opportunities at UWM and I love sharing a passion of space with others who are just as intrigued by the mysteries, the questions, and the exploration. My dream job would be to teach Physics or to work for NASA and the Planetarium gives me a great head start towards this goal. I believe there is life out there. And if there weren’t, it would sure be a waste of space.

Dave Wichlacz (Fall 2016 – Fall 2017)

“I am a senior this year at UWM and I’m currently pursuing a degree in journalism, advertising and media studies. (JAMS) As of this semester, I am an intern for the planetarium and I mostly focus on promoting through various channels. This job is great because I get to gain experience and I enjoy science as a hobby. Having an interest in the subject matter makes everything I write a learning experience and I often find myself researching astronomical subjects in my spare time now. Having stumbled into this opportunity by word of mouth, I truly appreciate everything that I can work on and create with the amazing staff. My other interests include the Green Bay Packers, long boarding, fishing, wearing hats, and the Green Bay Packers.