Director: Dr. SueAnn I. Bottoms
Dr. SueAnn I. Bottoms is committed to creating accessible, inclusive, and equitable STEM opportunities for children and families. She is passionate about providing outreach that is culturally responsive and able to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population. She has been involved extensively in STEM partnerships and particularly interested in how partnerships can reshape and reframe how STEM is defined, who has access to STEM and who participates in STEM.
SueAnn came to OSU in 2000 to work for the SMILE program, when she completed her Ph.D. in Science Education in 2007, she moved into the College of Education, first as the Department Chair and then as an assistant professor of science education preparing educators in formal and informal settings. Becoming Director of Precollege Programs is coming full circle. She will continue to focus on partnership opportunities that support a more inclusive vision of STEM.
Associate Director: Jay Well
Jay Well is the Associate Director of the Science Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) program at Oregon State University. After spending seven years researching wildlife genetics, genomics, and population health, Jay discovered his passion for working to advance equal access to science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) curriculum and opportunities for rural underserved students. Over the past 10 years, Jay has worked toward that goal through creating innovative teacher professional development and linking K-12 teachers and students to OSU research, faculty, and students. This effort works to establish a pathway to success for SMILE students as they transition through K-12, college, and then on to STEM careers. Outside of the office Jay can be found spending time with his family or running on local trails.
Program Coordinator: Dr. Adam Talamantes
Dr. Adam Talamantes has been involved with the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experience (SMILE) program for several years. His graduate research revolved around integrating project-based learning into SMILE’s summer bridge program and evaluating the impact of the summer bridge program on college self-efficacy. His research also focused on building community-university partnerships to support out-of-school time STEM education. Currently, he is working closer with SMILE as a Program Coordinator.
Program Coordinator: Dr. Dominique Brooks
Dr. Dominique Brooks is dedicated to improving the lives of underrepresented youth, primarily through working towards equitable access to education and enrichment opportunities. This often includes informing, preparing youth for, and providing some of these opportunities. In graduate school, Dr. Brooks researched ways to increase the rate of underrepresented students pursuing STEM career through higher education. In her current role, she is focused on growing the reach and impact of Precollege Programs.
Research, Grants and Engagement Manager: Dr. Susan Rowe
Susan Rowe joins Precollege Programs and the SMILE team with a diverse array of professional experiences in science education research and practice in informal learning settings (e.g. museums, zoos, aquariums, and other out-of-school learning settings such as our very own STEM afterschool clubs). She holds a doctoral degree in Environmental Sciences with a focus on environmental education from OSU; a master’s degree in Animal Ecology with a focus on environmental literacy from Iowa State University; and a double degree in Biology and Education from Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, her home university in Brazil.
Susan has worked as a K-12 science teacher in Brazil and at various education venues the US, developing curriculum and delivering science education programs. As a science education scholar, her research focuses on conservation education from a critical environmental literacy standpoint and via community engaged models. Prior to joining our team, she filled the role of OSU Carnegie Community Engagement Reclassification Project Manager helping collect, analyze and document important aspects of OSU’s institutional mission, identity and commitments to outreach and engagement, engaged scholarship, teaching and service. As a first-generation student and a Latina woman in science, Susan is also committed to help build equitable pathways for success for underserved students in STEM and STEM education. She is focused on bridging her research, education and community engagement skills to support the mission of Precollege Programs and SMILE.
Administrative Program Specialist: Kami Hammerschmith
Kami Hammerschmith has worked at Oregon State University for more than 20 years, previously with Orange Media Network/Student Media. She provides administrative support for Precollege Programs and The SMILE Program. Kami is also a proud OSU alumni.
Media and Branding Student Assistant: Karthiyesan Balasankar
Karthiyesan Balasankar is one of the Media & Branding Assistants for the SMILE programs at Oregon State University. Karthiyesan is working towards a major in computer science and a minor in psychology to explore the relationships between humans and computers. He has a strong passion for encouraging diversity, inclusion, and equity and enjoys working to empower underrepresented communities. Among many other things, Karthiyesan enjoys creating art, coordinating events, and organizing.
Media and Branding Student Assistant: Alyssa Pratt
Alyssa is an undergraduate student studying Biochemistry and Computer Science at OSU. In the past, she has worked as an instructor with out-of-school programs that engage K-12 students in computer science and the general sciences. She has also directed multimedia projects such as booklets and videos that explain concepts to general audiences. With SMILE and Precollege Programs, she is excited to integrate her passions in science, education, and media design to create content for the OSU community and beyond.