Planetarium Staff and Interns
Jean Creighton, Director
I have always lived in big cities where the city lights tend to obscure the stars of the night. 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 me, Physics was the gateway to Astronomy, and so I studied (in the Physics Department) at the University of Athens, graduating in 1991. My honors thesis was on the planet Neptune. Researching and writing about this great planet caused me to realize that I really wanted more Astronomy in my life; and so much so that I was willing to cross the Atlantic to get a masters degree from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With that, I was on a roll, and attended the University of Waterloo, graduating with a Ph.D. in Astrophysics in 1998. After that, I was fortunate enough to be 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. It's great fun to share my excitement with my audience as well as with my own two boys.
Adam 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.
Derek Jaschob (Summer 2013 - )
I'm an undergraduate student working towards a major in Architecture and a minor in 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.
Gareth Johnson (Fall 2012 - )
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.
Jamie Kelling (Summer 2013 - )
I'm working on a degree towards Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies with an emphasis on 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 some event panning with the staff. When I find myself with some free time I enjoy reading or playing tennis.
Ellie Knipfer (Fall 2012 - )
I am a 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!
Tom Little (Fall 2011 - )
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.
Charo Martin-Kingsby (Summer 2013 - )
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.
Trevor 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.
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!
Zabrina Tamarkin (Fall 2013 - )
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 Thomas (Fall 2011 - )
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.