Meet the Team. Who We Are?
Sharon Locke is Professor and Director of the STEM Center. Before joining SIUE, Dr. Locke served two years as Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, where in addition to her guidance in funding of STEM projects she assisted in science teacher training. From 2006 to
Georgia Bracey conducts STEM education research and assists with program evaluation and implementation in both the formal and informal educational settings. As an experienced classroom teacher, she supports educators as they incorporate innovative technologies and integrated STEM activities into their current teaching environment.
Hello, I am Dr. Carol Colaninno (she/her), research associate professor at the STEM Center. I grew up in sunny Florida, spending as much time as humanly possible in the outdoors exploring the world around me, whether that was the longleaf pine forests or the bays of the Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. Charlie Blake is a post-doctoral fellow at the STEM Center, as well as an instructor in the Department of Environmental Sciences. Before landing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Dr. Blake spent several years doing field ecology and environmental education in many different habitats across the country, from the montane
My name is Andreia Figueiredo Dexheimer (she/her) and I am a biologist interested in learning and education. I was born and raised in Sao Luis, Brazil, and have always been passionate about nature and people. My background includes degrees on Biology, Project Management and Science Teaching. My PhD research focused
Candi earned a BA in Biology from Saint Louis University, a MAT in Science Education from SIUE, and a MS in Biology from SIUE. She enjoys using her experience to generate knowledge and passion around STEM education for youth in Madison County. Her work includes coordinating STEM curriculum and programing
Dawn has spent the past 25 years working to support science education in both formal and informal settings. Her philosophy is simple: Everyone has something worth teaching, and there’s always more to learn.
Emily earned a bachelor's of science in biology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a master's of science in zoology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has 20 years experience in informal education and most recently was responsible for the STEM initiative and robotics programs for Girl Scouts in southern
Henriette Burns is a STEM education researcher with a focus in Math and Science Education. She comes to the STEM Center from the Portland, Oregon area, but grew up in St. Louis and once saw Bob Dillon at a summer concert at Edwardsville! Her research interests include student STEM identity
Matt received his bachelor's of science in integrative biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his master's of arts in teaching at SIUE. From there, Matt taught math and science at the SIUE East Saint Louis Charter High School for four years and worked with the STEM Center as
Colin graduated with a Masters from Washington University from the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department after completing his Bachelor’s degree at Vassar College. He took his experience from both of those to pursue a passion for STEM education and has delivered outreach lessons at many schools, youth programs, and afterschool
Paul graduated from Ambrose Alli University in Nigeria where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics. He enjoys learning about data collection and analysis. Currently, he is working toward his master's degree in computer management and information systems at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Paul serves as a graduate assistant on the STEM Center’s Y-CITYSCI
Pratigyan Bhusal earned her bachelor of science degree in environmental sciences with honors from Naaya Aayam Multi-Disciplinary Institute College affiliated with the University of Northampton, United Kingdom. At SIUE, Prati is pursuing her masters in environmental sciences. In addition to her studies, Prati is assisting with various projects at the
Dwayne graduated from Virginia State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in biology in 2019. He is currently working towards a master’s of science degree in environmental sciences at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Dwayne serves as a graduate assistant on the STEM Center’s National Institutes of Health Science Education
Josh graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor degree in geography and a certificate of geographic information systems (GIS). He is currently working towards a master’s of science degree in environmental sciences at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Josh serves as a graduate assistant on the STEM Center’s National Institutes
Margaret earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She is currently working on her master’s in environmental science with a concentration in environmental biology. Margaret serves as a graduate assistant on both the Innovative Technology Experience for Students and Teachers (ITEST) and GEOPATHS
Lily graduated from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with bachelor's of science degree in geography and a minor in biology. Since then, she has worked as a field technician at the Great Rivers Field Station, Illinois Natural History Survey, in Alton, Illinois, assisting in the gathering and compilation of
Elizabeth graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, with a bachelor of science in education with certifications in K-12 education. During her time as undergraduate student, Elizabeth worked at The EDvolution Center at Southeast Missouri State University where she helped with the teaching and learning of STEM
Carolyne graduated from Wellesley College with a bachelor in biological sciences. She previously implemented a national academic chemistry competition for middle schools students. Currently, she is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental science with a focus on environmental education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Carolyne serves as a graduate assistant
Olivia received her bachelor degree in nutrition from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2020. She is continuing her education at SIUE with a master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics. She currently serves as a graduate assistant working on the STEM Center’s National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Environmental
Suprasanna is pursuing her master’s degree in Environmental Sciences with concentration on environmental policy and public administration at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her graduate research is primarily focused on agricultural runoff and water pollution, and the political and social aspects related to them. She is interested in the interrelationship between
Jacob earned his bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He completed his master's in biological sciences with a focus on biology education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. His graduate research focused on the impacts of Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) on student retention rates. At the
Cristal assisted with various programs at the STEM Center supporting both student program and education research. Cristal received her bachelor degree in psychology from Lindenwood University. Cristal continued her education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a master's in Social Work. Her primary interest is mental health therapy with children,
Lisa graduated from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri with a bachelor of science in biology and an emphasis in research and technology. Lisa pursued a master’s of environmental science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Lisa was a research assistant in the STEM Center working on Y-CITYSCI, a program that
Christine graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado with a BA in sociology and a minor in environmental policy. Christine pursued her master’s in environmental sciences at SIUE, focusing on environmental education and toxicology. She worked in the STEM Center on the Youth-Led Citizen Science Network for Community Environmental
Jannatul completed her master’s degree in environmental science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a focus on technology and assessment in 2020. Her primary interests included soil contamination, demographics, and conservation. Her main goal with her work at the STEM Center was to improve sustainability by enhancing the planet’s environmental
Danielle is pursuing her master's degree in environmental science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a focus on chemistry and toxicology. She graduated from Webster University with a bachelor degree in education and a minor in biology, chemistry, and general science. She has worked previously as a middle school and
Manny graduated from the University of Illinois – Springfield with a bachelor degree in global studies and a minor in business administration. He completed the environmental science management professional science masters program at SIUE in 2020. As part of his graduate research, Manny analyzed the environmental conditions for fish species
Xander is currently pursuing a master’s of science in environmental science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a focus on technology and assessment. His graduate research focuses on fluvial geomorphology and large wood interactions. He obtained a bachelor of science in biological sciences from Lindenwood University and currently works as
Katrina graduated from the University of Missouri- Kansas City with a bachelor degree in psychology and foreign languages and literature. Katrina earned her master's degree in art therapy counseling at SIUE in 2020, where she focused her research on the impacts of applying art interventions into programming for homeless youth.
Samantha graduated from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with a bachelor degree in psychology and certification in trauma studies. Samantha graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and plans to continue research as a large component of her career. Samantha has conducted
Aryaki received her a bachelors in computer science and engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India. She attended SIUE to pursue her master’s degree in computer science. At the STEM Center, Aryaki assisted with the research associated with our “Exploring Global Challenges: A STEM+C curriculum for Girls” program. Through
Julie graduated from Principia College with a bachelor degree in biology and a minor in sociology and anthropology. She received her master’s degree in environmental sciences at SIUE with an emphasis on environmental education in 2021. Related to this, she and STEM Center director, Dr. Locke, conducted research investigating how
Waleska graduated from University of São Paulo, Brazil with a natural resources teaching degree. Waleska completed a master’s in Environmental Sciences at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a focus on environmental education. Waleksa has conducted research into informal education and urban greening with vulnerable youth in Brazil. She also studied
Clark received his bachelor degrees in anthropology and performance (music) from the University of Iowa and a master's of music in vocal performance from Washington University. He received his master's degree in cultural heritage and resource management at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. At the STEM Center, he supported virtual outreach,
Morgan received her BS in Psychology from SIUE. She completed her master's degree in Clinical Psychology with a focus on how emotional life experiences affect cognitive performance at SIUE in 2020. At the STEM Center, she worked on virtual outreach, helping to develop the Center’s webpages and social media efforts.