About

Our team of researchers and content creators works to define best practices in STEM initiatives. From organizing and judging Science Fairs to providing innovative curriculum advancing computational thinking, we engage communities to broaden STEM teaching and learning in southwest Illinois. Our research is as diverse as our activities! From cognitive science to computer usability, we strive to understand how people best learn and teach STEM in formal and informal settings. Visit our Research and Outreach pages for a complete list of our current activities. Support the STEM Center with a monetary or equipment contribution. Please take the time to designate that the donation is for the STEM Center.

Our Team

Dr. Sharon Locke
Dr. Sharon Locke
Director
Sharon Locke is Associate Professor and Director of the STEM Center. Before joining SIUE, Dr. Locke served
Dr. Georgia Bracey
Dr. Georgia Bracey
Research Assistant Professor
Georgia Bracey conducts STEM education research and assists with program evaluation and implementation in both the formal
Henriette Burns
Henriette Burns
Research Fellow
Henriette Burns is a STEM education researcher with a focus in Math and Science Education. She comes
Dr. Carol Colaninno
Dr. Carol Colaninno
Research Assistant Professor
Hello, I am Dr. Carol Colaninno, research assistant professor at the STEM Center. I grew up in
Candi Johnson
Candi Johnson
Program Coordinator
Candi earned a BA in Biology from Saint Louis University and a MAT in Science Education from
Matt Johnson
Matt Johnson
Instructional Designer and Curriculum Specialist
Matt received his BS in Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his Masters of
Samantha Murphy
Samantha Murphy
Research Assistant
Samantha graduated from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with a bachelor degree in psychology and
Dawn Olive
Dawn Olive
Office Manager
Dawn has spent the past 25 years working to support science education in both formal and informal
Emily Stanley
Emily Stanley
Program Coordinator
Emily earned a bachelor's of science in biology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a master's of
Colin Wilson
Colin Wilson
Instructor
Colin graduated with a Masters from Washington University from the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department after completing
Carolyne Banks
Carolyne Banks
Graduate Assistant
Carolyne graduated from Wellesley College with a bachelor in biological sciences. She previously implemented a national academic
Cristal Campocasso
Cristal Campocasso
Graduate Assistant
Cristal assists with various programs at the STEM Center supporting both student program and education research. Cristal
Lisa Drennen
Lisa Drennen
Graduate Assistant
Lisa graduated from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri with my bachelor of science in biology and
Christine Favilla
Christine Favilla
Graduate Assistant
Christine graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado with a BA in sociology and a minor
Josh Gifford
Josh Gifford
Graduate Assistant
Josh graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor degree in geography and a certificate of geographic
Xander Kalna
Xander Kalna
Graduate Assistant
Xander is currently pursuing a master’s of science in environmental science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with
Olivia Middendorf
Olivia Middendorf
Graduate Assistant
Olivia received her bachelor degree in nutrition from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2020. She is continuing
Aryaki Nagirddy
Aryaki Nagirddy
Graduate Assistant
Aryaki received her a bachelors in computer science and engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India.
Juliana Okonya
Juliana Okonya
Graduate Assistant
Julie graduated from Principia College with a bachelor degree in biology and a minor in sociology and
Clark Sturdevant
Clark Sturdevant
Graduate Assistant
Clark received his bachelor degrees in anthropology and performance (music) from the University of Iowa and a
Waleska Do Valle Santos
Waleska Do Valle Santos
Graduate Assistant
Waleska graduated from University of São Paulo, Brazil with a natural resources teaching degree. Waleska is pursuing
Suprasanna Aryal
Suprasanna Aryal
Former Graduate Assistant
Suprasanna is pursuing her master’s degree in Environmental Sciences with concentration on environmental policy and public administration
Jannatul Ferdous
Jannatul Ferdous
Former Graduate Assistant
Jannatul completed her master’s degree in environmental science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a focus on
Danielle Fischer
Danielle Fischer
Former Graduate Assistant
Danielle is pursuing her master's degree in environmental science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a focus
Manuel Gomez
Manuel Gomez
Former Graduate Assistant
Manny graduated from the University of Illinois – Springfield with a bachelor degree in global studies and
Katrina LaCombe
Katrina LaCombe
Former Graduate Assistant
Katrina graduated from the University of Missouri- Kansas City with a bachelor degree in psychology and foreign
Morgan Tallman
Morgan Tallman
Former Graduate Assistant
Morgan received her BS in Psychology from SIUE. She completed her master's degree in Clinical Psychology with

 

About our Logo:

You may recognize parts of our logo as a “Buckyball” or Fullerine atom. This atom is Carbon 60, and can be modeled using 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons.  In 2012, then student and artist Chris Spangler designed our logo. The atom is named for Buckminster Fuller, an American designer and inventor. He was also a professor at SIU Carbondale. You can see evidence of his amazing architecture when you visit SIUE’s campus – our Center for Spirituality and Sustainability is a geodesic dome and is the result of a partnership between Fuller and architect Shoji Sadao.