Angela received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Boise State University, an M.S. focusing on microbiology, a B.S. in biology and chemistry, and a teaching certificate in science. She spent 14 years in high school and college STEM classrooms inspiring students to participate in science competitions and community service events. She transitioned to the State Department of Education where she served as Assessment and Accountability Director. In August 2015, Governor Otter appointed her the Executive Director for his newly formed Idaho STEM Action Center where she oversees a variety of STEM opportunities, ensuring Idaho’s long-term economic prosperity.
Erica Compton is an Idaho native with over 30 years of experience in hands-on STEM education and training. In February of 2010 Erica joined the Idaho Commission for Libraries as a Project Coordinator. She co-developed the Make It at the Library project with the goal of strengthening STEAM skills and supporting entrepreneurship for people of all ages through maker-centered learning. Erica has had the privilege of participating in the Maker Movement at a national level through a variety of presentations and committee memberships including the Capitol Hill Maker Faire, Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship, and the National Advisory Board on 3D Printing in Education & Accessibility. Erica joined the Idaho STEM Action Center as Program Manager in November 2015 and oversees grant development and management, best practice research and dissemination, and building partnerships with STEM organizations nationwide.
Finia graduated with a B.S. from Boise State University. She has collectively gained more than 10 years of recruiting experience within private, educational and public sectors. Finia brings a wealth of experience to the Center with her experience as a Regional Business Specialist at the Department of Labor, which allowed her to partner with key stakeholders and helped identify workforce gaps in the community. She collaborated with businesses, community partners, municipal agencies and educational institutions to strategically form long term workforce solutions that allowed companies to grow and thrive; this, in turn, allowed Idaho to maintain a healthy economy. Finia joined the Idaho STEM Action Center in July of 2016 and oversees the Computer Science program which includes grant development and management, best practice research and dissemination, and building partnerships with STEM organizations nationwide.
Sondra received Bachelors of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship Management and General Business and a minor in Marketing from Boise State University. Her engagement with the Idaho STEM Action Center preceded working as a member of its staff. She previously aided in accounting and management services for nine different agencies while tracking and disbursing multi-million dollar cash flows with the Idaho Division of Financial Management. Sondra became an official member the STEM Action Center team in July 2018 where she prepares the Center’s budget and manages financial and accounting services, personnel functions, and Foundation financials.
Stephanie is a native Idahoan with more than 10 years of experience in the development, deployment, and administration of statewide programs. She worked at the Idaho State Department of Education supporting districts, schools, and state-wide education leaders with student development and innovative testing programs. Most notably, Stephanie demonstrated her proven leadership skills as the Idaho State Assessment Program Specialist overseeing the design and facilitating implementation of the Idaho Reading Indicator Program and monitoring the program’s multi-million dollar budget as well as providing legislative reports. She also collaborated with numerous state agencies, districts and schools throughout Idaho to directly advise and support the special needs of Idaho students and educators.
Stephanie continues to demonstrate her extensive working knowledge of Idaho state education systems and has achieved progressive growth throughout her career. She eagerly joined the Idaho STEM Action Center team in October 2016 to lead and guide effective implementation of the Idaho STEM AC Grants and Contracts Programs.
Crispin was born in Pocatello, and grew up in various places along the Snake River. He graduated from Boise State University with degrees in Sociology, French, Gender Studies, and Economics. In 2014, Crispin was selected to represent ten states and various US territories as a human rights delegate, discussing the ways technology changes education around the world. Crispin also volunteers in his community to foster stronger relationships between business, nonprofit, neighborhood, and educational organizations. He is dedicated to ensuring that education opportunities exist for all people, regardless of any existing barrier. Crispin joined the Idaho STEM Action Center team in March 2016 to help facilitate the grants process and ensure effective accountability.
STEMazing Part-Time Contractors
A lifelong Idahoan Cindy almost followed her parents into teaching but instead graduated with a degree in marketing from Boise State. She worked in the non-profit field for 10 years with Junior Achievement of Idaho, including three years as Executive Director before transitioning to software training/testing and IT project management. Returning to her education roots in 2013 she started a social media campaign under the moniker, STEM Idaho, to expand awareness of the many STEM activities educators and after-school programs were offering. Cindy is one of two Idaho trainers for CryptoClub, a math program for middle grade students and is the co-chair of Million Women Mentors – Idaho which works to increase women and girls participation in STEM programs and careers. In 2016 she joined the newly formed Idaho STEM Action Center as Mentoring Coordinator and created and administrates the virtual mentorship portal for student projects.
Before joining the STEM Action Center, John was a classroom Science teacher for 33 years - the last 30 of which were in the Basin School District in Idaho City, where he also served as secondary principal and superintendent. New to the STEM Action Center, John is coordinating the MakerMinded program, serving on the STEM AdvancED review team, and working with the State Board of Education on STEM School Leadership training. He has a B.S. in Environmental Studies and an M.Ed. in Secondary Curriculum from Western Washington University, and an Ed.S. from the University of Idaho.
Kaitlin received her Ph.D. in integrative biology from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in geology from Ohio University and her B.S. in biology from George Washington University. She coordinates the i-STEM summer institute programs that provide professional development for educators throughout Idaho. She also supports STEM AC with grant writing and fundraising. In her free time she enjoys doing research as a curator of paleontology at the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History and sharing her passion for paleontology and natural history with others.
Heather Lee is a longtime early childhood educator and advocate who has worn many hats over the years, including teacher, director of a nationally accredited program, classroom assessor, teacher mentor, and owner of a STEM preschool. She holds an M.Ed in Early and Special Education from Boise State University and a graduate certificate in Early Childhood Technology from Tufts University. Her passion for early STEM grew out of her commitment to providing enrichment for her four daughters and their friends. Heather currently serves as the director of the Boise State University Children's Center. She joined the Idaho STEM Action Center in 2017.
Joanna is a development professional with a background in supporting the goals of small businesses, non-profits, tribal entities and local governments. She leads the Foundation’s fundraising and grant writing functions to support STEM AC programs. Joanna has a BA in Business Administration and International Business with a minor in Spanish Literature from Portland State University. A native to the Pacific Northwest, Joanna has lived with her family in Idaho for nearly 20 years where she participates in various advisory boards, and enjoys skiing, trail running and camping.
Tony has worked for more than 30 years as a public relations counselor, representing STEM-related clients throughout his career that range from biotech firms, health care systems, and conservation programs to hardware and software companies, innovative building products manufacturers, and agriculture. Prior to opening his own PR practice, COMMposition, in 2007, he worked for renowned PR and advertising agencies in New York City, Phoenix, and Boise. Tony has helped the Idaho STEM Action Center raise awareness of its mission and programs since January 2016. He is the Idaho member of Unified Strategies Public Relations, a national network of senior-level PR consultants that boasts representation in virtually every major U.S. market. Born and raised in Boise, Tony earned his B.S. in communication from University of Idaho.
Jonathon is an artist and designer with an emphasis in print-media. He is responsible for the visual style of STEM AC designs used in advertising campaigns and public relations. He works with each department to create artwork, images, and informational graphics that clearly communicate the importance and impact of the Idaho STEM AC. Jonathon received a BA in Advertising Design from Boise State University and has over 20 years of experience as an artist and art director working on regional, national, and international marketing campaigns and publications.
Cory was born In Takoma Park, Maryland and raised in Boise. She graduated from Whitman College with a double major in Psychology/Sociology. After graduating she moved to Seattle, WA where she entered the world of investment banking. In 1989 she retired to raise her family and became a community advocate and fundraiser for several educational institutions helping to provide scholarships to underserved children. In 2013 she returned to Boise and joined the Idaho Youth Ranch as their Capital Campaign Manager. She joined the STEM Action Center in 2016 which has allowed her to combine her years of experience fundraising, producing events and community activism with passion for education.
MaKayla, currently a freshman at Boise State University, grew up in small-town Declo, Idaho, and later moved to Pocatello, Idaho her sophomore year of high school. Her plan is to major in Biology and Chemistry, and to continue her passion in STEM. Before joining the Idaho STEM Action Center team she had competed in ISEF and later went on to the Intel International ISEF as an observer in 2017. In July of 2018 she became part of the team helping support various projects such as a Resource Portal for Idaho public school teachers and MakerMinded, an advanced learning manufacturing platform.
Asana was born in California and moved to Boise, Idaho when she was 12 years old. She started her adventure in technology over 30 years ago, working for Hewlett Packard and other local technology companies. She began her career in website development and graphic design in the mid-90s and became an independent contractor in 2003. She has worked with several local businesses and the State of Idaho. Asana joined the STEM team in March 2018.