Our Team

Leadership

Kristin Brynteson, ED.D.
Director of STEAM
Kristin is the Director of STEAM. She leads efforts to support interdisciplinary STEAM education and technology integration through regional and statewide professional development programs and annual events such as the STEAMing It Up Conference. Kristin also works with state partners to support educators as they use data, technology and open educational resources to support student success. For over 20 years, Kristin has enjoyed helping in-service and pre-service teachers become fearless with technology while they explore innovative ways to impact student learning. She is a former industrial engineer with a M.S. in instructional technology and an Ed.D. in instructional technology from NIU.

Staff

Judith Dymond, ED.D.
Director of Development
Coordinator, NIU Center for Economic Education
Judith serves as coordinator for the Center for Economic Education and is an Outreach and Engagement Associate for STEM Outreach. She connects K-12 schools to the university through professional development for educators in economics and she connects adults and students to the university by leading the STEM Cafés program. Prior to coming to NIU, Judy spent 10 years as a K-12 administrator in Illinois and Ohio, and 23 years teaching middle and high school reading and language arts in Illinois and Wisconsin. She holds numerous K-12 certifications including superintendent in addition to a doctorate in educational leadership from National Louis University and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Judy is passionate about connecting K-12 schools and the community to learning opportunities.
Gillian King-Cargile
STEM Read Director
Gillian King-Cargile is the founder and director of Northern Illinois University’s STEM Read, which introduces readers to the science behind popular fiction. She is also the author of several books and stories for adults and children, including the Stuffed Bunny Science Adventure Series (The Toy and the Twister, The Toy and the Tide Pool, The Toy and the Test Drive). Her books tell fun, fast-paced stories that incorporate STEM concepts aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. If she’s not preparing one of our amazing STEM Read field trips or camp experiences you may find her interviewing creative authors and STEM professionals as the host of the STEM Read Podcast on NPR.
Jeremy Benson
STEM Educator and Camp Director
Jeremy develops content for STEM Outreach programs. He shares his passion for STEM with tens of thousands of students each year as a presenter for STEM Outreach's in-school and STEM Saturday programs. During the summer, he serves as camp director for our STEM summer camps. Throughout the year, Jeremy regularly presents his workshops on using LEGO Robotics in the classroom to high school teachers from all over the country at national meetings of the American Association of Physics Teachers and loves exploring the intersections of science and music and sharing those with others. Jeremy has bachelor's degrees in both communications and physics education and earned his science teaching certification from NIU.
Becky Griffith
STEAM Educator
Video Game Design, Coding and Esports Camps Becky Griffith has taught video game design camps and workshops for the past eight years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art education and a master’s in fine arts from NIU, where she focused on fiber art, drawing, painting, video and installations. Becky loves teaching video game design camps, and she encourages students to embrace their creativity through storytelling, art and coding. Her favorite game is Minecraft.
Debbie Kerman
STEAM Educator
Debbie coordinates The Stock Market Game program, a financial education simulation used in hundreds of classrooms throughout the state each school year to teach the fundamentals of personal finance while emphasizing the benefits of long-term saving and investing. She also provides professional development and assists with Social Science curricular resources for NIU STEAM. Debbie has been involved in education for nearly 15 years. She joined NIU outreach in 2008 with Econ Illinois, an education organization committed to improving the lives of students in Illinois through economic and financial literacy education. With Econ Illinois, Debbie oversaw all student programming and professional development. She holds an M.A. in Teaching from Aurora University and a B.A. from Governors State University in Business Administration.
Newt Likier
Media Associate
Newt is a media associate for the P-20 Center. Newt has an avid interest in rhetoric, specifically regarding gender and sexual identity, but is otherwise an eclectic consumer and producer of media. In this position, they create videos (and sometimes photographs) for promotional, instructional and documentation use. Because visual media are pervasive and impactful, they are interested in creating videos that engage with children of all genders in order to increase interest in STEAM-related fields. They hold an M.A. in communications from NIU, a J.D. from NIU College of Law, and a B.A. in German from Carthage College. Their dog, Bean, is pretty great.
Hollie Rodriguez
STEAM Educator
Hollie Rodriguez is a STEAM Educator with NIU STEAM and a published writer. Rodriguez started at NIU STEAM in 2015 as a student worker. After graduating from the university’s English program in 2017, Rodriguez has come on as full-time NIU STEAM associate. In her day-to-day responsibilities, Hollie develops unique and interdisciplinary STEAM programming with an emphasis in digital media, literacy and storytelling.
K.C. Sauer
STEM Educator
Meet K.C. K.C. Sauer has a life-long passion for all earth sciences, especially weather, climate and geography. Education has also been part of K.C.’s life since he was 12 and began coaching bowling to other youth bowlers. It was only natural for him to combine science and education when choosing a career. K.C. has spent his time in various aspects of education, including middle school science, special education and advocacy for students receiving special education services. He is very excited to be part of a fantastic group of NIU STEM professionals, and he’s looking forward to helping the program reach more learners.
Lise Schlosser
Program Coordinator
Lise Schlosser has an M.A. in English, and is a certified Project Management Professional. She provides administrative support for all of the amazing programming that the NIU STEAM Team delivers.
Ann Shult
STEM Educator
For Ann, nature is more than her job, it’s her passion. When not designing lesson plans, you can find her outdoors bird watching, hiking, camping, taking pictures of flowers and insects, gardening or reading about science. After 26 years in the classroom teaching biology and human anatomy & physiology, Ann joined NIU STEM Outreach in 2020. She earned her MS Ed. from Northern Illinois University in outdoor teacher education and her MAT from Miami (OH) University in biological sciences. Her emphasis is developing lessons involving inquiry-based learning.
Kerri Sosnowski
STEAM Educator
Kerri is a STEAM Educator with NIU STEAM. She assists with curricular resources for NIU STEAM's STEM Read, STEM Outreach and STEAMing It Up, as well as for the Illinois Migrant Education Program and international clients. She helps to provide professional development to educators throughout Illinois, bringing NIU STEAM's educational philosophies and resources to a growing number of schools and districts offering STEAM education to their students. Kerri holds a B.S. in elementary education from St. Xavier University and a K-9 professional educator license through the state of Illinois. She was previously a third-grade teacher and has substituted in classrooms ranging from pre-k to 12th grade.