|A 9-year old girl once
said that she might forget a lot of what she learns in
school through the years but she would always remember
the supervised chats with NASA experts because she "got
to talk to amazing people". Those words were
part of the inspiration behind Imagiverse. Getting
to talk to amazing people can create life long memories
and be defining moments in the lives of young children.
Words from an "expert" may spark a dream,
leading to the pursuit of a faraway goal.
abound in all walks of life. It doesn't matter what
career path you choose but it does matter that you love
what you do and strive to be the best that you can be.
inside the pages of Imagiverse, you will find many truly
amazing people. They work in many different fields
and come from diverse backgrounds, from different parts
of the world. The one thing they all have in common
is the willingness to share their stories with children
around the world. Read their interviews, chats,
biographies and their replies to questions from children
around the world. Come meet the amazing friends of
are listed here in alphabetical order. See our Interviews section to
find listings based on career field or chronological
addition to this site. Browse through our Biographies section to
find the biographies of some of our experts.
Lotte Aarts is a free spirt who travels the world at every opportunity. She currently works as a home health care nurse and loves people, history, animals and the environment.
Abrahamson designs robotics and robotic special effects
for the television and film industry. Read how
watching movies as a kid and competing at BattleBots
paved the way for a really cool career!
is an astronomy and physics teacher in Copenhagen, Denmark. Students
from 7 to 18 (and as old as 80!) visit "Stjernekammeret",
the school planetarium at Bellahøj Skole.
David Anderson is a retired Social Studies teacher who now supervises
teacher interns. He developed some fun projects including "Hands
Across the World" which make Social Studies come alive for students.
Heidi Auman is a scientist who has spent 20 years researching human impacts in seabirds, specifically in the areas of toxicology, disturbance, plastic debris ingestion, urbanisation and diet. Her research is global in nature with a preference for isolated islands, including Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. She has demonstrated that our ecological footprint has reached the furthest corners of the Earth, often with disturbing consequences. Heidi has recently finished her PhD in Zoology.
Sebastien Babolat believes language learning is important. To bring the French language to others, he created a French instructional website. (Sebastien est un étudiant français qui a toujours aimé les langues et il pense que la connaissance d'autres langues est très importante. Pour cette raison, il a construit un site Web afin d'aider les gens à apprendre le français.)
Roger S. Baum
Roger Stanton Baum is the great grandson of L. Frank Baum. Since 1988 he has been taking readers back to Oz to meet old friends: Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and Toto, too!
Bastoni is a high school shop teacher and robotics
instructor in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He did not
enjoy school very much when he was growing up, but he is
passionate about education and making learning REAL for
Bracey is an educator. She has taught in the
classroom in the United States and Germany. She
travels extensively doing educational work and she's
always on the move!
Cabrera has traveled all over the world thanks to his
career in banking and also lived abroad as a child
because of his father's career in the film industry.
Read about his exciting life and how he learned to live
with a condition known as alopecia.
Caruso is an electrical engineer and pilot. He is
also a space enthusiast and a NASA Solar System
Ambassador from Illinois.
Phil Christensen, Ph.D., is a geologist and planetary
scientist who has sent five instruments to Mars.
One instrument was a casualty in the heartbreaking loss
of the Mars Observer spacecraft 10 years ago this month.
Two others instruments are currently in orbit around
Mars, and two are currently on their way to the Red
Planet. Read about the instruments he has sent to
Mars and the excitement of a successful mission and the
heartbreak of a lost spacecraft.
Eric Chudler, Ph.D., is a neuroscience researcher at the
University of Washington. In addition to studying
the brain and its pain mechanisms, Eric also does many
science presentations to local classrooms.
learned to sew at the young age of 7 years. Living
out in the country in Germany, she enjoyed spending time with her grandmother
who taught her the skills that would later lead to a career as a seamstress
(including making period costumes for Knott's Berry Farm). Today,
at the side of her real-life husband, she portrays Julia Dent Grant,
the wife of General and former President Ulysses S. Grant.
An electrical engineer by profession, Larry discovered a passion
for portraying historical figures in Living History presentations. He
became particularly fond of playing General Ulysses S. Grant and now
limits himself to recreating President Grant in the most authentic manner
possible. With his real life wife at his side, he not only portrays
the general but together they present the former First Couple and a great
Condrill went to school in Germany, France, Hawaii,
Thailand and Iran. He used his experience as a
"global nomad" to create an organization called
Mildred "Nana" LaGue is the grandmother of Imagiverse
co-founder Michelle Mock. She passed away, at the age of
97, a few months before Imagiverse was launched but was very
supportive of the project as it was being developed. This
interview was done several years before she passed and she would
undoubtedly be "pleased as punch" to see her words
on-line. Her favorite saying: "Love Ya! ok?" We
love you too, Nana! Ok?
Janet Cook is an educator who was inspired to live
overseas after a mission to Peru she went on for her
church. She is currently teaching high school in
Germany and most recently taught English in Japan.
Her two daughters provided a little input for her latest
interview. Read what they like best about living in
different countries and what they don't like.
a young girl doing in a job like this? Donna
started driving big rig trucks at the age of 18 and has
been at it for 28 years now!
Robert Daps is founder of the popular Disney fan site DAPs Magic. He loves Disneyland and all things Disney and it shows at his site, a place where young and old can "share their love of Walt Disney and his legacies in a safe and fun atmosphere".
Eileen Davie's job is to promote the Midway Islands, in the North Pacific Ocean, as a tourist destination. She describes her work and the charms of the Midway Islands.
Davis is a rocket scientist. Do you have the "right
stuff" to become a rocket scientist too? You
might! Find out what things you can do now to
prepare yourself for an exciting and challenging career
John de Guzman
John de Guzman graduated from MIT with a degree in chemical engineering which he turned into a career in management consulting in New York City. He is also a musician who is launching a musical career and speaks and writes fluent English, Spanish and French!
Felipe Díaz Galeano
Felipe Díaz Galeano is a writer and business consultant
in Madrid, Spain. He has been writing "seriously"
since he was 17 years old and is equally prolific in
English and Spanish. He supervises the Spanish
content at Imagiverse and writes most of the Spanish
Roy Patrick Disney
Roy Patrick Disney is the son of Roy Edward Disney (Walt Disney's nephew) and grandson of Roy Oliver Disney (Walt Disney's older brother and partner in Walt Disney Productions). In this interview, Roy Pat gives us a glimpse of what it was like "growing up Disney" and he shares some special memories of his grandfather and great-uncle.
Do taught 7th and 8th grade math and physics classes in
Vietnam before emigrating to the United States. She
currently runs her own business.
Dunev is an art dealer and art gallery owner in Girona,
Spain. He developed an appreciation for art as a
young child and enjoys it to this day. Living in
many different locations around the world contributed to
his appreciation of art from all cultures.
Cynthia Duquette Smith is the Director of Public Speaking and a professor at
Indiana University. She credits the outgoing aspects of her personality
to her penchant for "putting on shows" for family and friends from
a very young age and acting in school productions.
teaches middle school robotics in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He
developed the Mars Exploration Rover Robotics
Education Project and uses many fun techniques
to spark the imagination of his multicultural, multilingual classroom.
Englehart is a writer from California. He has
written several books for young readers and is an icon in
the world of comics. One of his books (Countdown
to Flight!) was used by NASA as the literature unit
of their "Exploring Aeronautics" curriculum.
Ericastilla was born in Guatemala but lived in many
different countries around the world because of his
father's job with the United Nations. As an adult,
he moved to California where he joined the Air Force and
continued to travel. Today, he is retired on his
ranch Vera Pax (True Peace) in Guatemala.
Sarah Ewing has always liked being around people and helping others. Considering the many job possibilities that would fit her lifestyle, she found a "perfect match", as a realtor.
Farron is Community Health Director for Lodi Memorial
Hospital. She enjoys making sure the hospital is
meeting the needs of people who live in her community.
Eighty-two year old David Flatau is a retired teacher who has been composing music from a young age. His ballad "Our Love", which he sent to Prince William and Kate Middleton, has received royal recognition and reached over 2,000 hits on YouTube.
Foote is a former dancer who found her passion and a
steady income working as a wardrobe attendant for Celine
Dion's "A New Day" show in Las Vegas.
Cynthia also is an entrepreneur and runs her own Avon
Don Garate is an interpretive historian at Tumacácori National
Historical Park outside of Tucson, Arizona. An expert on Juan Bautista
de Anza (of which there are father and son of the same name) he portrays
Anza in living history presentations. He is currently writing
the second book in a series of three about the father and son.
John Grant, Ph.D., is a planetary geomorphologist (a
geologist who specializes in how various processes
combine and interact over time to create a landscape).
Find out what herding cats has to do with Mars
Dr. Victoria Hamilton,
Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Hawai'i Institute
of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) at the University of
Hawai'i. Learn why this psychology major changed
paths in college and went on to a career she "wouldn't
trade for anything" as a planetary geologist
actively involved in Mars research.
Dana Harper is an archaeologist. Her job has taken
her all around the United States and to other countries
as well. She became interested in the past as a
young child in school and her family vacations through
archaeological ruins allowed her to discover this
a "military brat", Chris Harris grew up in many
different places. Today he enjoys traveling all
over the world, moving to a new location every few years.
Harris works for the U.S. State Department as a Diplomat.
Find out what she thinks is so great about a job that
lets you "have incredible adventures almost every
Belinda He 29 January 2008
Belinda He works as a tour guide in China.
He Guo Quan
He Guo Quan talks about Macau, China.
Christopher Herd, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of
Mineralogy at the University of Alberta. Chris is
an expert in meteorites, comparing rocks from space with
their more earthly counterparts. Read about how he
got interested in planetary geology at an early age, and
how "imagination is the root of the creativity that
underlies the very foundation of science."
(Sonny) Hickam grew up in a small coal mining town in
West Virginia. In 1957, a small satellite inspired
him to become part of the United States space program.
The story about his childhood friends and their interest
in rocketry became a major motion picture called October
Ayanna Howard, Ph.D., is a robotics engineer at the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. At
11 years old, she was inspired by the television program,
"The Bionic Woman" to enter the field of
robotics. Read about this "dream come true"!
Terri is a retired teacher who found herself in the "right
place at the right time" and now is the Education Director for
Quality West Wing Museum, an educational museum which includes a recreation
of the Presidential Oval Office.
Johnson is a police officer with the Virigina Beach
Police Department. In his spare time he coaches
youth soccer and football teams and he loves to ride his
Honda Gold Wing motorcycle.
Johnson is a senior creative director and a writer for a
major advertising agency in New York City. He has
done ads for companies like Pepsi and Gillette, with
sports stars like Shaquille O'Neal and Warren Sapp.
Johnson is a Communications Officer for the Virginia
Beach Police Department. Do you have what it takes
to do her job?
Johnson is an estate and business planning attorney.
He grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, a city rich in
culture, and says he was both a "country boy"
and a "city boy". Since his teens, he has
lived and traveled all over the world, including Europe,
Africa, the Middle East and the Far East.
Astronaut Gregory H. Johnson dreamed of becoming an
astronaut from the time he was 7 years old, but to
actually be one of those selected in 1998 surprised him!
Find out what steps it took to put himself at the top of
Timothy Karr, Ph.D., is a professor of Biology at the
University of Chicago. He also researches "giant
killer sperm". Find out why uninteresting
drosophila are so interesting to study!
Kellogg was in the US Navy for 15 years. He is now
a computer expert at NASA's Ames Research Center and has
worked on space missions such as Pioneer and Lunar
James Kevlin is a newspaper editor. Find out how
rewarding and busy a career in the newspaper business can
Joe King is a political cartoonist. Read about how he developed
his artistic talents and the source of his inspirations.
LaClair is a geology student at Central Michigan
University currently doing planetary research.
LaGue is retired from the grocery business. He
performed in movies as a child actor in the 1930s and
later acted in community theater whenever time permitted.
He talks candidly about some of the obstacles he has had
to overcome in life.
Larocca is a meteorologist in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
She fell in love with meteorology in her first class.
Arnaud Le Floch
Arnaud Le Floch works in the aircraft manufacturing
business in Toulouse, France.
Jenny Leonard was a volunteer worker who helped Project MARC find villagers in the South Pacific country of Vanuatu who had cataracts or very poor vision. The project then provides these people with corrective glasses to improve their vision or sunglasses for preventative measures. Read about her experience to this small island and the humanitarian work that she has done.
Darlene Lim, Ph.D., is a geobiologist who studies lakes
and ancient lakes, like the ones that might have existed
on the planet Mars in the past. She is currently
conducting research at NASA's Ames Research Center, and
in her free time, tries to spread the word about science
to kids through various outreach projects.
Jessi Lohman draws upon her experience in social work and law enforcement to help others gain control of their lives and reach for their dreams. She is also a published author who has two new books soon to be released. In her spare time, she loves to paint.
Carol Love is a National Park Ranger in the beautiful Blue Ridge
Mountains and Mabry Hill. As an interpretive ranger, she tries
to "connect the visitor to the resource". Among her many
other occupations -- past and present -- lobbying is one.
Jane Luu, Ph.D., is an astronomer who, with her colleague
Dave Jewitt, discovered the Kuiper Belt which lies beyond
Neptune. She is also a world traveler with an
Maas is a computer graphics artist, whose credits include
creating NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers animation.
He also started his own company while still in his teens.
Chuck Magdalena is now retired from a full and rewarding career
in law enforcement. When he was a college student, a classmate
(who was a police officer) invited him to go on a "ride-along". One
exciting night riding in a patrol car hooked him on policework and he
applied for a job the following day.
Lucas Martell is a professional animator and visual effects artist who also writes, animates and directs his own animated shorts. His "Pigeon: Impossible" was uploaded to YouTube four months ago and has been viewed over FOUR MILLION times since then!
Martin is a meteorologist and weather presenter at a
local news station in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Martín Gaddi (in Spanish)
Juan Martín Gaddi is an airline pilot and meteorologist.
He studied meteorology on his way to becoming a pilot.
He enjoys both careers.
Donald M. Mazibuko
Donald M. Mazibuko is a counsellor working at the Embassy of Swaziland located in Taiwan. Imagiverse's student ambassadors talk about their visit to the embassy.
McCarter is the current president of London Centre of the
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
Mitchell is a Systems Engineer working as a Contract
Technical Manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, California. He also is a neuromuscular
massage therapist and he plays lead and rhythm guitar in
a band! Did you know that a lot of science is
involved in making a band sound good?
Morrella is a Regional Director for FIRST Robotics.
He teaches a FIRST Robotics class for grades 9 through 12.
Read more about the program called "For Inspiration
and Recognition of Science and Technology".
Miguel was born in Peru and grew up hearing other languages. He
always loved art and turned that joy into a career where he now works
as a freelance graphics design artist.
Murphy is a marine biologist. He has worked with
Jacques and Jean-Michel Cousteau as a diver, scientist
and underwater photographer since 1968 and is currently
the director of Science and Education at the Ocean
Future's Society. Be sure to check out his
incredible underwater photographs!
Jane Nelsen, Ph.D., is a licensed Marriage, Family and
Child Counselor, an author, a speaker, and a workshop
leader. Find out how her experiences a mother of
seven children opened up an unexpected career path which
has taken her all around the country and to appearances
on television with Oprah, Sally Jesse Raphael and others!
Naomi Nguyen is a professional model/actress who is pursuing a law degree. Upon completion of her studies, she hopes to establish her own law firm dealing with criminal, entertainment, divorce, international, and malpractice matters.
Karen Nugent began her work in graphics arts designing video games. She
most recently worked as a painter on Disney animated feature films. In
her "spare" time she works as an instructor trainer in CPR/First
Aid for adults, children, dogs and cats and Emergency Response for disasters.
Robert "Bob" Olszewski is a painter and a sculptor. He is best known today for his series of 1/220th scale models of the buildings on Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A. Visit the Olszewski Art Gallery.
Ray Olszewski is a retired Navy "boat yeoman", having served on the USS TUNNY. After leaving active duty, he held many other careers, currently now the webmaster of OlszewskiStudios.com. As Ray has said, "I'm not retired! I just have another career but now, I pick and choose what I do, when I do it, and who I do it with."
David Pacheco always knew he would work for Disney. As a young child, he would often fix the illustrations in his Disney books to "make them better". At the age of 7 or 8 he planned to create a line of Disney figurines. When he grew up, he did these things, and more, for the Walt Disney Company where he has worked for almost 30 years!
Phil Plait, Ph.D., has gained fame as the "Bad
Astronomer" who debunks the nonsense that
pseudoscientists inflict on the general public. He
gives some very good pointers on how you can too learn to
question some of the silly stories that others try to
convince you are factual.
Andrea Ploc is a teacher in Vienna, Austria. Learn what it's like to go to school in Austria!
Poliat is a freelance artist who lived and travelled
around the world with his parents who were also artists.
He grew up in the arts community and was inspired by the
many great works of art he was fortunate to be able to
visit in person.
Charline is a retired teacher whose children's book Counting Little Geckos is
due for release in August 2005. Read about her path to becoming a published
Pyke is a Medical Radiological Technologist where she
takes "pictures" of what's inside your body to
help diagnose ilnesses. Lisa also is very involved
in scouting, being a scouting leader for one of the local
Pyke is a supply technician in the Canadian Armed Forces,
and has travelled all over the world. When he was
stationed in Kosovo, he helped start the first Scout
troop in that region.
Quesada is a chemist in the Canary Islands. He
enjoys all aspects of science and loves spending his free
time at the beach or in company of good friends and
Raab is a retired airline pilot and former Marine F-4
Phantom Fighter Pilot. Read about his exciting life
in two adrenaline pumped interviews and be prepared for a
surprising twist or two.
Lisa & Laura Schnaidt
Schnaidt Sisters independently decided to become dentists.
Learn why they did so and what they thought about dental
school. See how their close family relationship has
helped them through their lives and careers.
Sewell is a historical impressionist with an uncanny
resemblance to the 16th President of the United States.
Besides looking very much like Abraham Lincoln, who he
portrays at schools and libraries around the country,
there are 35 coincidences between the two "Abes".
Shackelford is an Air Traffic Supervisor with the FAA.
He acquired an extensive knowledge of the Wright Brothers
by reading virtually every book he could find about them.
He has portrayed them on the Internet and in person.
Bethany James Leigh Shady 5 May 2010
Bethany Shady is a freelance writer and author of children's books. While living in Hawaii, she had the opportunity to participate in the ABC television series LOST as an extra.
Dan Sindel is a guitarist and entrepreneur who recently developed his own online guitar instruction business. Through the use of audio-visual and web technology, Dan can teach guitar to anyone in the world, and even play "duets" with himself!
Smith is an artist, sculptor, cartoonist, storyteller,
performer, voice-over actor and... he sings too! He
also works at a major theme park which he says is more
fun than work.
Szulc Ginn is a former journalist and international civil
servant who has lived in many different countries and
speaks 5-1/2 languages. She still does some writing
for newspapers and, during the upcoming U.S. campaign
season, she will be involved in getting Americans abroad
registered to vote, so they can vote next November.
Francis Terranova, O.D., is a doctor of developmental
optometry. Did you know that 20/20 does NOT mean
perfect vision? Learn what 20/20 really means and
how important good vision is to success in school.
Torres-Rangel is a high school computer programming
instructor and robotics mentor. Find out more about
BotBall by reading her interview.
Turner is an author and illustrator of internationally awarded children's
books. He visits preschool and elementary
classrooms around the nation to promote literacy, self-esteem
and a love of reading in young children.
Vasconcellos is an actor and independent filmmaker.
He also enjoys photography. See some of the pictures he has taken
on his travels to other countries.
Veenenbos is a web content manager in The Netherlands.
His hobby is making artistic renderings of what ancient
Mars might have looked like. Kees' artwork has
accompanied scientific articles, and has been presented
at various scientific conferences.
Jennifer Wagner is an educator who thinks teachers need to be having fun in order for the kids to have fun. She organizes online projects for schools, including JenuineTech.com (formerly TechnoSpudProjects.com).
Walker is an industrial designer. He invents or
helps design new products. Most of his designs have
been for medical devices but next time you mop the floor
or slice a bagel, you might be using one of Doug's
first love is medicine. She has spent over 20 years in the medical
field as a respiratory therapist. Her second love is astronomy. She
is an amateur astronomer, a volunteer technical operator for the Telescopes
in Education project at Mt. Wilson Observatory, and a Solar System Ambassador
for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
David L. Weatherford
Imagiverse received one of those "mail to everyone you know" emails about a dying girl who supposedly wrote a poem called "Slow Dance". After verifying that the email was a hoax, we contacted the real author of the poem: David L. Weatherford. Read what inspired him to write poetry in the first place and then visit his site (http://www.davidlweatherford.com/) to read all of his beautiful writing.
Winston is a man of few words who speaks primarily
through his music as a musician and composer. His
compositions are inspired by the seasons and topographies
of the different places he has lived in or visited.
Woodmansee is a "rocket scientist" or more
accurately, a propulsion engineer. Imagine working
on something that will carry a spacecraft to someplace
like Mars! Find out what subjects gave Paul trouble
when he was a student and what strategies helped him
Wendy Wooten, Ph.D., teaches high school Physics and
Robotics. Her curiosity to understand how things
work motivated her to get a Ph.D. in biological chemistry
and physiology. Find out what type of students she
remembers through the years and what motivates her to
keep teaching ... and learning.
Yap is an Astronaut Flight Instructor for NASA.
Read all about who he is and how he helps astronauts to
have a safe trip into space.
Paulo Younse has a dream job... if he takes you on a tour of his
toy shop (i.e., the robotics lab at JPL) you can tell he loves his job! He
can't talk about his work without a large grin on his face.
American School of Madrid
Interviews | Biographies