Rita Korin Karl
Senior Managing Director, STEM Media and Education Department & Executive Producer, SciGirls
An accomplished leader of high-profile science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives in the U.S. and overseas, Rita current leads TPT’s multi-million dollar portfolio of STEM initiatives including the Emmy Award-winning SciGirls PBS television show and SciGirls CONNECT national outreach initiative. Ms. Karl is the Principal Investigator on several National Science Foundation grants, researching strategies that engage girls in non-traditional STEM fields and developing gender equitable and culturally responsive professional development for educators and programs for youth.Previously, Rita served as the Director of Education at the Challenger Center for Space Science Education managing the design, implementation and assessment of STEM education and outreach programs for an international network of learning centers in four countries located in schools, universities and museums. Prior to her work at Challenger Center, Ms. Karl was Director of the USAID project, Educational Technology in Schools, training over 2,500 educators and school administrators in inquiry-based teaching and learning using technology. The program won the “Best Project in USAID” award in 2004. At the NASA Johnson Space Center, Rita designed and led the NASA-award winning Aerospace Scholars program, now in its seventeenth year, encouraging gifted students, young women and minorities to consider careers in professional STEM fields by mentoring them with working engineers. Rita holds a Masters of Science Degree in Instructional Technology and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Directing.
Joan Freese is an educational technologist at Twin Cities PBS, where she focuses on projects for the K-8 audience, parents, and educators. She serves as Executive Producer for the station’s Ready To Learn project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation. The goal of this broad transmedia effort is to improve the school readiness and academic achievement of children ages 5 to 8 living in low-income households in science and literacy. She is also PI for SciGirls Code: A National Connected Learning Model to Integrate Computing in STEM Learning with Middle School Girls, supported by the National Science Foundation’s STEM + Computing Partnerships Program. And she is Project Director for Splash Screen: Students Engaging Local Watersheds Using Mobile Technologies, which combines place-based education with mobile learning to teach about urban watersheds. Under Joan’s leadership, the SciGirls website, designed to engage tween girls in STEM, earned a national Emmy Award for New Approaches in children’s programming. Joan has written numerous non-fiction books for children and has been a First Lego Robotics coach and a Girl Scout leader. She holds a M.Ed. in Learning Technologies from the University of Minnesota.
STEM Media and Education Specialist
Niki is the Outreach Coordinator for SciGirls, working to disseminate SciGirls episodes and educational resources across the nation. She provides specialized administrative and technical support while building and maintaining relationships with partnering organizations associated with SciGirls outreach initiatives.
STEM Content & Outreach Specialist
Katie is responsible for working with teams from SciGirls and National Productions to create and disseminate content and educational resources. Katie writes curriculum and other educational materials, as well as helping to develop content for media production. Katie also supports organizations around the country who are implementing SciGirls programs through monthly webinars, in-person and online trainings, supplying materials, and helping curate online tools. Katie holds a Master of Science Degree in Geophysics. She has worked in STEM education for the past 10 years, including teaching college physics and astronomy, teaching in science museums, being part of the education team for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and coaching high school robotics.
TEM Project Coordinator
Jane Gengel is the STEM Project Coordinator with the STEM Media and Education Department. She is a graduate of the College of Saint Benedict and St. John’s University. Jane is pursuing her master’s in communication and nonprofit management from Johns Hopkins University. She has three and a half years of local nonprofit development and program coordination experience.
STEM Project Development and Communications
Kristin’s work with Twin Cities PBS has had a distinct emphasis on science, health, gender equity and cultural competency. She has crafted and led educational engagement and communications initiatives for multiple award-winning projects, including SciGirls, DragonflyTV, The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s; The New Medicine, FAT: What No One Is Telling You, Depression: Out of the Shadows and Slavery by Another Name. Kristin fosters connections with diverse stakeholders, including content experts, researchers and educators, foundation and corporate sponsors, policymakers and other thought leaders, and collaborates with these partners to share STEM with children, families and educators nationwide.
Senior Producer, SciGirls
Managing Producer, SciGirls Strategies
Marie Domingo has dedicated her career to producing media with a mission to inform, inspire and impact lives. She is currently a Senior Producer of the Emmy award-winning PBS Kids series, SciGirls. Marie’s other Emmy-winning credits include: SciGirls Strategies: Real Women, Real Jobs; Kevin Kling: Lost & Found; American High; Newton’s Apple and Hoop Dreams. Marie has also taught aspiring media makers as an adjunct professor of Cinema Production at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and she serves on the board of TV by Girls, a non-profit which develops girls’ leadership skills using media production tools.
Senior Production Manager
Kyle coordinates the various groups and personnel that come together in video production to make the SciGirls television show. Prior to joining tpt, Kyle worked as a Story Department Administrator with Paramount Pictures.
STEM Outreach Manager
Leah Defenbaugh manages local outreach efforts for students, parents, and educators. She organizes and executes trainings for educators and STEM professionals, and implements SciGirls programming in formal and informal learning spaces, including after school programs, schools, and museums. She has worked for multiple youth development organizations including the Boys and Girls Clubs and the YMCA, and was project manager for the PBS Ready to Learn initiative, third cohort, at TPT.
Senior Project Budget Analyst
Ellen manages the SciGirls portfolio of outreach and education projects funded by a combination of federal, corporate and private sources. She also partners with project development and fundraising teams to develop and manage project plans, timelines, budgets, and provide accurate planning, analysis and financial reporting across these multiple projects. Ellen has over 19 years of experience as a Budget Analyst/Contract Accountant with a demonstrated history of working with government agencies, compliance knowledge, and accounts receivables.
Lisa Love is the Coordinating Producer and manages the business aspects of the SciGirls productions. She has worked at TPT for several years in the Finance department prior to transferring to the SciGirls team.
Senior Executive Producer, Emeritus
Richard currently oversees all of tpt’s science media production, including tpt’s nationally broadcast adult and children’s science programming, and has directed the development of many multimedia and online science learning initiatives. Dr. Hudson is currently developing Sparticl, a gamified middle-school STEM portal. . Other executive production credits for PBS include the Emmy-winning family science series Newton’s Apple and the NOVA specials Flood!, Dying to be Thin and Absolute Zero.
Series Executive Producer
Angie Prindle is Series Producer of SciGirls. She joined Twin Cities PBS in 2008 on the series DragonflyTV, and was part of the original creative team who developed SciGirls for television. Formerly based in San Francisco, Angie produced hundreds of episodes for popular HGTV series. Angie has also produced for Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, BASE Productions, and Target Corporation. Other recent projects include the arts and cultural local series Minnesota Original, and the PBS Emmy Award-winning documentary film, Kevin Kling: Lost & Found.
Science Producer and Manager of STEM Media & Education
Sarah works with the production and outreach teams to create and disseminate SciGirls episodes and educational resources. Sarah works with the rest of the production team to generate story ideas and then develop science outlines that highlight the experiments, key background knowledge, and materials needed for each episode. Her focus is on making sure the STEM content is clear, correct and grade appropriate for the intended audience. Following the production of an episode Sarah creates educational resources for parents and teachers based on the content in each episode. Sarah also supports organizations around the country who are implementing SciGirls programs for girls. She represents SciGirls at national science and education conferences sharing STEM resources and strategies for engaging girls in STEM with hundreds of formal and informal educators. Prior to this project Sarah was a Professional Development Specialist and Librarian at Science House: A Resource Center for Educators located within the Science Museum of Minnesota. Her duties included facilitating professional development workshops focused on closing the racial achievement gap in Minnesota, creating content for workshops and institutes, and managing the Science House Library collection. Sarah has also been a 5th and 6th grade teacher in public schools and has her Master’s in Library and Information Science.
Sourish Ghosh develops the web games for SciGirls Season 5 and also updates the SciGirls webpage on pbskids.org. He previously worked on campaign strategy, analytics, and online promotional marketing as a Digital Project/Producer for UK Proctor and Gamble. He also had a major role in both their Facebook Campaigns and the integration of the Buy it Now/Tried and Tested feature with customer feedback video integration on their website.
STEM Outreach Specialist
Alex Dexheimer manages outreach projects for local students and educators. He coordinates and provides professional development for educators interested in making their practice more gender equitable. He also implements SciGirls programming for learners of all ages in both formal and informal educational settings. Alex has over 10 years of experience working in education including five years as a classroom teacher in Saint Paul Public Schools.
STEM Project Coordinator
Mollie Laidly coordinates outreach and education projects for grants within the STEM Media & Education Department. She recently graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, and has previous arts non-profit experience as a Development Intern for the Minnesota Orchestra and as a Patron Services Representative for the Minnesota Opera.
Gina Reis works on story design, planning, editing, and field production for the SciGirls television show, role model videos, and additional video content for STEM-based grants. Gina has worked in production for over six years as a video editor, production assistant, camera operator, and producer. She is also a professional photographer, shooting musical acts around the Twin Cities metro area. She has an internet famous cat, who you can follow on Instagram at @chompersholloway.