Friday, June 12, 2015

Meet the 2015 Camp Explorations Staff!


Liz Abbott-Beaumont (Morning Sessions, Red Group) is a recent graduate from U-M with a triple major in Political Science, Anthropology and Spanish and is fully bilingual in Spanish and English having grown up in Mexico. She loves working with children and is looking forward to camp this summer!

Nathan Carillo
(Morning Sessions, Orange Group) is an Ann Arbor native. He will be a senior at the University of Michigan studying Computer Science and German. Nathan is involved in music, and play the viola and piano.  He studied in the School of Music at Michigan his freshman year, and helped mentor and instruct younger musicians at his local high school, Pioneer.  He is looking forward to a fun summer of camp!

Ryan George (Morning Sessions, Yellow Group) has lived in Ann Arbor all of his life and will be a sophomore at the University of Michigan. He plans to major in history or classical civilization. As a child, he frequented the University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History and loved every exhibit, diorama and display. To this very day, he still enjoys the amazing things the museum has to offer. Paleontology, and the study of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals remain among his passions, and he is excited about sharing his interests and knowledge as a counselor at Camp Explorations.

Sara Ann Knutson (Morning Sessions, Green Group) is from Holland, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan in Spring 2015 with a B.A. in History, Scandinavian Studies, and Medieval & Early Modern Studies. She lived a year in Sweden and enjoys teaching, reading, and outdoor activities, including camping, snowmobiling, ice climbing, and hiking. She will be pursuing a master's degree in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, England in the Fall. She is looking forward to Camp Explorations this summer!

Alaina Moreno (Morning Sessions, Blue Group) is a recent double alumni of the University of Michigan, completing her Masters of Social Work to complement her Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Working at the museum and camp adds to her social work focus of working with children and adolescence. If not at the museum, Alaina can be found swimming at a pool, reading a good book, or playing/watching video games and movies. 

Taylor Barinka (Afternoon Sessions, Red Group) is a counselor at Camp Explorations for the second time. He just received his bachelor’s degree, so this is his last summer in Ann Arbor, and he can’t think of a better way to spend it. Here are a few important personal details: His favorite dinosaurs are Sauropods (those giant, long neck dinosaurs), and the reason is simple: they’re just so big. Foreign languages are his main hobby, and most of his free time is spent working on his Greek. The rest of it is portioned out between watching movies, chatting, running, and brushing up on natural history and all those other things people tell him “folks ought to know about,” because at the end of the summer he will be shipping off to do more school and won’t have time for any of that anymore.

Maggie Jones (Afternoon Sessions, Orange Group) is going to be a Junior in the School of Education, majoring in Elementary Education with a concentration in language arts. She has lived In Ann Arbor her whole life, and loves it here! She loves to sing, dance, and read, and is so excited to be working as a counselor this summer. 

Katrina Lewandowski (Afternoon Sessions, Yellow Group) is from Bellaire, MI, and is a recent graduate of U of M with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Eventually, she hopes to perform research of her own in graduate school. Katrina's favorite dinosaur is Carnotaurus.

Veronica Long (Afternoon Sessions, Green Group) spent the past school year as a kindergarten teacher for the Ann Arbor Public Schools. She graduated from the University of Michigan's School of Education with a double major in Elementary Mathematics and Social Studies in May of 2014. At Michigan, Veronica was a five-year member of the Michigan Marching and Athletic Bands, where she traveled all over the country playing her euphonium. Veronica was happy to participate in a lot of other groups as a student at school, including the Residential College’s German Theater program. Veronica has been working at the Museum of Natural History since May of 2012, and was a counselor for Camp Explorations last summer. She is excited to return for camp this summer once again to learn alongside enthusiastic, young scientists!

Anna Volante (Afternoon Sessions, Blue Group)  just completed her 4th year here at the University of Michigan.  She is majoring in Near Eastern Civilizations and Anthropology with a minor in Museum Studies.  Her passion and focus while an undergrad has been on ancient Egypt, which she hopes to continue studying in Graduate School along with museum education.     She was a Camp Explorations counselor last summer and is so excited to do it again!  She loved teaching the campers about science and the beautiful planet we live on.  She is most excited to play all of the fun games we have lined up, nothing can beat burning off energy at lunch or snack time! 

Mary Holt (Morning and Afternoon Sessions Substitute, Purple Group) graduated two years ago with her Bachelor's in astrophysics. Since graduating, she has been happy to have the opportunity to branch out to many more areas at the museum. A lot of her time has been spent doing outreach at libraries and schools, giving tours and planetarium shows, working on planetarium projects, and working at various events at the museum. In her spare time, her favorite thing to do is hang out with friends and family. Her family is spread all around the country, so that can make hanging out in person a rarity. But she also loves to travel, so visiting family is a win- win for her! She also loves reading, hiking, going to see movies (especially at the Michigan and State theaters in Ann Arbor), and trying out new restaurants. She was a camp counselor last year, and I am very excited to return this year! Some of the main things she looks forward to with camp are getting to know the kids, spending a lot of time doing fun and interesting activities, being outside, and finding new ways to get kids interested and excited about science!"


Emily Peirce (Morning Assistant Director) is a senior at the University of Michigan studying economics and evolutionary biology.  She loves taking walks in the Arb or exploring the city.  She likes to read, paint, or watch science fiction films when she has the time.  She is excited to get to know the campers a little better, too.  This is her third summer with Camp Explorations and she is eager to learn and work with her counselors and campers.  She’s ready to have fun at camp and hopes you are too!

Lori Petrelius (Afternoon Assistant Director) is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan, having studied history and museum studies.  This is her third year on the Camp Explorations team and has loved getting to know the campers and learn with them!  She loves reading and hiking in her spare time, and has wishful hopes of learning how to paint and play a new instrument over the summer.  Lori is very excited for a summer full of fun and learning!

Brittany Burgess (Camp Director) is ready for her fourth year at Camp Explorations. Brittany holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a M.A. in Museum Science from Texas Tech University.  She has experience in developing, planning and teaching summer camps at other museums. In addition to Camp Explorations, she coordinates the student docent program and manages K-12 school programming at the Museum. She is excited for another fun-filled summer!

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