Elizabeth Kennick: President, Teachers in Space, Inc.
Liz Kennick has directed the Teachers in Space (TIS) program since 2011, initially as a project manager for the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF). In 2014 Liz and her management team incorporated TIS as an educational nonprofit organization in the state of New York.
A member of SFF’s Board from 2009-2013, Liz was previously Vice President of Client Technology at Morgan Stanley with a $2M annual budget for 1700 software users. She holds degrees in Information Systems / Operations Analysis, English, and Education and is certified as a Project Management Professional and as a Network Engineer. Liz is co-founder of NYC’s Software Process Improvement Network and has produced Yuri’s Night NY, a space-themed party for 200+ guests, annually since 2008, and TEDxMidTownNY, as space-themed speaker series, in 2010-2011.
Liz created the Space Frontier Foundation’s Business Plan Bootcamp for the 5 finalists in the foundation’s 2011 Business Plan Competition, and was a judge at the 2011 SEDS Student Business Plan Competition. She created Escape Guesthouse LLC, a boutique bed and breakfast in Brooklyn, New York in 2006 and sold it in 2013 for 3 times purchase price.
She has flown on ZeroG, experienced centrifuge and hypobaric chamber training, scuba dived to 70 feet, and climbed Cotopaxi, Earth’s highest extinct volcano. Liz is a frequent speaker on The Space Show, The Invisible World, Rotary Club and TEDx events, and at conferences such as NewSpace, SpaceVision, Project World and the International Space Development Conference (ISDC). Her 2014 TEDx presentation “Gimme Some Space!” can be seen at: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Space-adventures-get-real-Eliza
Jim Kuhl: Vice President
James Kuhl retired in 2017 from teaching Earth Science to 6th grade students at Central Square Middle School in Central Square, NY. Over the years he has taught many summer STEM classes including Flight Science for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and Cape Cod Community College’s Summer of Science (SOS) Maker Movement Class. He applied for the original NASA Teacher in Space program in 1985 and was a finalist for the NASA Educator Astronaut program in 2004. Jim has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Education and serves on the board of directors of the Science Teachers Association of New York State. He has presented numerous workshops at national, state and local conferences. He has also published in peer-reviewed journals and trade magazines and consulted on the Master Teacher Board for Pearson’s Interactive Science textbook series. His students are currently preparing an experiment to fly on the Perlan 2 glider’s record-breaking, high altitude flight.
Joel Jackel: Treasurer
Joel Jackel studied geology, education and anthropology at CUNY: Queens College and has been teaching in New York City since 2003. He currently teaches earth science, astronomy and astrophysics at Forest Hills High School. He has been involved in Teachers in Space as a workshop participant since 2012 and in administration since 2013.
Chris Murphy: Board of Directors
Chris Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Plant Science from SUNY Cobleskill and A Masters in Elementary Education from the College of Saint Rose. He currently teaches High School Earth Science and Living Environment at Gloversville Enlarged School District in upstate New York.
After participating in a suborbital workshop through Teachers in Space in 2012, Chris has established a high altitude balloon program with his students and local agencies. The High Altitude Achievement program has successfully launched and recovered balloons carrying student payloads from various schools for over three years. The club has represented Teachers in Space at the World Science Festival annually since 2015. Chris and one of his students participated as members of the first TIS ground crew in Minden, Nevada developing payload procedures for the student experiments which flew on initial flights of the Perlan II stratospheric glider in Argentina 2016.
Chris is a member of NSTA, STANYS and AIAA He now serves as TIS Director of High Altitude Balloon operations.
Carol Pinchefsky: Board of Directors
Carol Pinchefsky is a freelance writer who has written for The New York Times, Forbes.com, IT World, Syfy Wire, and many others. She lives in New York City with her husband and their books.
Luther Richardson: Missions Specialist
Currently teaching science at Columbus High School, Luther is an award winning educator and published author. He is a specialist in high altitude balloon operations sending both hydrogen and helium based systems over 100,000 feet for groups such as NASA’s Ames Research Center. Luther’s experience in ‘hands on’ operations make him a natural fit for Teachers in Space.