BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Long Island Explorium is governed by a dynamic process of broad, transparent multi-stakeholder engagement. The Board of Directors will establish an Advisory Council to ensure continuous incorporation of best thinking and practices into the Explorium’s mission and activities. The Board will have ultimate decision-making authority on recommendations coming from the Advisory Council.
Members of the Board will
Oversee strategy, budget and operations of the Long Island Explorium, including oversight of management, compensation, and development
Demonstrate support for the Vision of the Explorium by promoting its good work, generating goodwill for the organization, encouraging support for its efforts
Assist in identifying and cultivating potential donors and stakeholders to ensure the financial sustainability of the Long Island Explorium.
Jacqueline Grennon Brooks, Ed.D., President
Professor Emerita, Department of Teaching, Literacy and Leadership, Hofstra University
Research Professor, Department of Technology and Society, Stony Brook University
Jackie has studied how people learn as a teacher, researcher, professor, and co-founder of a children’s museum. She has investigated the role of crosscutting concepts in STEM learning for many years. She consults nationally and internationally on topics of problem-based instruction and its role in language acquisition and cognitive development. Author of multiple publications on constructivist pedagogy, with a focus on STEM education, Jackie has served as the founding director of the Biotechnology Teaching Lab and Discover Lab, and director of Secondary Science Education at Stony Brook University. She was the director of the Institute for the Development of Education in the Advanced Sciences, STEM Studio, and both Elementary STEM and Secondary Science Education at Hofstra University. For many years, Jackie has served as president of the board of directors and architect of the exhibits and educational programs for the Explorium, a non-profit, interactive museum and professional development center in Port Jefferson, NY.
Karin Abrahamson-Ryon, Vice President, Operations
Aaron Foss, Vice President, Development
Aaron Foss is an accomplished serial entrepreneur with 5 companies under his belt.
In 2011, he was a part of Techstars (NYC) with SideTour, a marketplace for unique experiences, which was acquired by Groupon in 2013.
His current startup, Nomorobo, has stopped over 500 million unwanted and illegal robocalls from reaching consumers since launching in 2013. Nomorobo was chosen as the winner of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Robocall Challenge and named "Best New Product" by CableLabs.
Aaron has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, CNN, CNBC, and Fox News and has testified as an expert witness in front of the US Senate. He lives in Port Jefferson, NY.
Mary Loesing, Secretary
Mary Loesing, Ed.D. is currently the STEM Chairperson for the Connetquot School District. Dr. Loesing has been involved in science education for thirty-five years. In addition, she serves as the President of the Long Island STEM Education Leadership Association, and is the President-Elect of Long Island ASCD. Dr. Loesing also serves as the National Science Teachers Association’s District IV Director representing New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; and is the current chair of the NSTA’s Safety Advisory Board. In collaboration with her colleagues in each of these organizations, Dr. Loesing strives to bring high quality professional development to teachers and leaders on Long Island and throughout the United States.
Jessica Gregory, Treasurer
Jessica MS Gregory, LAc, is an acupuncturist and co-owner of Carriage House Chiropractic and Acupuncture in East Setauket, NY. She earned her master’s degree from the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at New York Chiropractic College in 2007. When not working, Jessica enjoys family time with her husband and two sons. They all enjoy learning through hands on experimentation; it is this interest which originally drew them to the Maritime Explorium and why they continue to return a regular basis. Jessica is committed to seeing the Explorium as a destination for families for years to come.
Nicole Leavey, Ph.D
Nicole J. Leavey is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. She holds a Ph.D. in Technology, Policy and Innovation from Stony Brook University, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Prior to joining the Board of the Explorium she was Co-Chair of the Junior Board of Girls, Inc. of Long Island. Her research is interdisciplinary and focuses on the intersectionality of STEM, gender roles and social impact. More specifically, Nicole’s research explores the impact of mentoring on female representation (within STEM disciplines) and program design.
Stephanie Buffa, J.D.
Andy is a 30 year veteran of the high-tech industry holding senior engineering roles in CA Technologies, Cisco, IBM and others. He has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, an MBA Degree in Banking and Finance, and is a PhD Candidate in Advanced Management Decision Sciences. He has helped some of the top Fortune 100 companies implement operations automation of cutting edge software solutions. Andy has very strong technical and research skills. He holds a patent for information technology device management. He has a strong passion for the “Maker” movement and STEM learning
Bryan Frank is the District Director of Social Studies for the Smithtown School District, Prior to that he was the Chairman of the Social Studies Department at Schreiber High School in Port Washington. He is the former vice president and executive board member of the Long Island Council for the Social Studies. Bryan has taught numerous courses ranging from global history to college level government and politics. He has two masters degrees in education and bachelors in history and political science. Bryan has taken numerous graduate level archaeology/Anthropology courses at SUNY Stony Brook and completed their underwater Archaeology field school. He also participated in several archeology site surveys. He has been involved in wreck and technical scuba diving for almost twenty years and has dove on numerous shipwrecks in the United States and around the world. In 2004-2005 Bryan served with the Army National Guard as an intelligence analyst stationed in Tikrit, Iraq.
Jill Zucker received her BA in Sociology with a concentration in Applied Urban Studies from the University of Delaware. Her MA in Human Resources Management is from Stony Brook University where she worked in Student Affairs for 12 years. Presently she is the Director of Student Affairs at the Touro School of Health Sciences in Bay Shore where amongst other duties, she plans weekly and annual events for the campus community.
Prior to Touro, Jill was the Director of The Helping Hand Project which provided care packages to those living below the poverty line on Long Island. This job touched a place in her heart as she is born and raised here and truly loves it. Her initial draw to the ME and the Makers Faire was simply her adoration of Port Jefferson harbor.
Jill hopes to continue to bring her love and experience in event planning to the ME. She has attended many conferences and trainings in higher education student affairs including, marketing/social media, and outreach as well as intensive development and fundraising workshops including planned giving, major gifts, e-philanthropy and the annual campaign. These professional skills are often used in her myriad of personal endeavors including the Makers Faire!
Angeline Judex, MPA, Executive Director
Angeline serves as the Executive Director of the Maritime Explorium. She is a veteran nonprofit executive with academic and professional experience through North America, Europe and Asia. She aims to advance the learning of science and engineering concepts that can translate into skills that address social, economic and environmental issues. Angeline brings to the Explorium an in-depth understanding of the diversity in educational systems and academic standards.
Carole Van Duyn, Museum Programs Manager
Carole taught grades 1-4 in West Islip School District for xx years. Carole was the Explorium’s first teacher when the museum opened in temporary quarters. She now serves as the Explorium’s Museum Program Manager, where she offers pre-school, scout, and professional development programs, as well as welcomes families to public hours. Carole also serves as an adjunct professor of education at SUNY Oneonta and Marist College.
Eileen Tambone, Educational Programs Manager
Eileen taught grades 4-6 in the Eastport/South Manor Schools for over 30 years, serving as lead teacher, science coordinator, and Camp Invention director. Prior to her tenure at the Explorium, Eileen developed and led programs for a local science museum. She continues to bring the joy of learning and scientific discovery to children and educators on Long Island through her current role as the Explorium’s Educational Programs Manager.
Jacob Haff, Technology and Infrastructure Manager
Lindsey Steward, Office Assistant
Sally is an elementary, biology and general science teacher who has taught in several Long Island school districts. She is well known among local teachers for her role as an outdoor educator and site director of an outdoor learning lab with Western Suffolk BOCES. Growing up in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, hiking and being in nature was a cherished part of her life. She joined the staff of the Explorium in order to explore and create with children within the type of learning opportunities she finds so exciting and enriching.
Julia is a biologist and marine scientist with a special interest in environmental education. She has worked as an educator at the Ward Melville Heritage Organization in Stony Brook, the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, and Stony Brook University. Julia’s three children enjoyed the Explorium for years before Julia joined the staff. From creating habitats for frogs to creating paint to draw them, Julia finds children’s questions intriguing.
Vivian has held several roles in early childhood and elementary education. She has taught grade Pre-K to 5 as a classroom teacher, served as a school district computer facilitator, created and implemented a districtwide stem enrichment program for students in grades 3 to 5, and offered STEM professional development for elementary teachers. She brings an appreciation for children’s inventiveness to her work at the Explorium.
Annika is a fusion energy physicist and children’s book author. She has worked as an educator at all levels, from preschool programs to university engineering physics programs. Her interest in how people learn brought her to the Explorium. She joins the teaching staff as an educator who is a life-long learner herself.
Francesca G. Polo
Francesca is an electrical engineer and engineering educator currently researching middle school students' self-efficacy and career exploration as it informs pedagogy. She has worked in academia, industry, and a DOE sponsored laboratory. She is a member of multiple teaching and engineering associations and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She joined the Explorium staff to participate in and forward the constructivist approach to teaching.
The Long Island Explorium could not operate without the contributions of our volunteers who contribute their time, ideas, and energy. Their unique talents enable the Explorium to offer its current level of services to the community.
The program is flexible, matching available opportunities to your talent and availability.
All volunteers can earn the prestigious Presidential Volunteer Service Award, by logging the hours you volunteer at our Explorium through a calendar year (April 1, 2017– April 1, 2018).
All of us at the Maritime Explorium are committed to provide an enriched experience for children and their parents through a constructivist approach to learning. We strive to provide an engaging experience that can only be achieved by the combined effort of a dedicated skilled team of employees and volunteers.
To apply to be a volunteer, please complete this online form. Our volunteer coordinator, Carole Van Duyn will contact you shortly.
Work for us
The Long Island Explorium supports diversity in the workplace. The Explorium is an equal opportunity employer (EOE) and supports a drug-free workplace. Available positions are updated on a regular basis.