OUR STAFF

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: RACHEL HOPKINS

Through strategic thinking, effective fundraising and a vibrant approach, Rachel is dedicated to not only serving the needs of the Science Museum but impacting the local economy through creative place-making.

She previously served as the Vice President of Development for Center in the Square and led the development of the popular Roanoke Pinball Museum.

Before relocating to Roanoke in 2012, Rachel lived abroad for 10 years, both in Leipzig, Germany and Amsterdam, Netherlands.

“Many people have asked why Roanoke? It was love at first sight! I am captivated by Roanoke’s pristine and nostalgic beauty, not to mention the limitless potential.”


SCIENTIFIC DIRECTOR: DEREK KELLOGGDerek Kellogg_SMWV

Derek Kellogg is from Lawrence, Kansas, and received a Master of Science degree in entomology from the University of Kansas.

Derek joined the Science Museum in November 2012 after four years as chief entomologist at the National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, where he oversaw the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden and three aquaria. As the Science Museum’s “butterfly guy,” Derek oversees the Butterfly Garden.

“Science is all around us. It is in the water we drink, the ground we walk on, the structure and function of our body’s organs, even the keyboard I am typing on was put together with materials created through scientific knowledge of the chemical properties of their constituent parts. I am psyched about science because I am psyched about the world that surrounds us and I have the desire to always learn more.”


DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS: BECKY LATTUCABecky

Originally from Massachusetts, Becky moved to the New River Valley 15 years ago with her husband. She has worked primarily in the art and framing industry but is now very happy to be involved with the science museum and share in the excitement as people gather new knowledge.

“I am psyched about science because I am awed and amazed by the world around me. Those who know me know my favorite two words are ‘how’ and ‘why’!”


MARKETING & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: SARAH VAN ZELESarah Van Zele updated

Sarah’s love affair with museums and libraries began during her childhood in central Illinois and grew as she did.  She realized a lifelong dream to “work behind the desk” in the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library branch in Shawsville, Virginia.  Now she is living another dream by working behind the scenes at the Science Museum of Western Virginia.

“Science fascinates me because there is always something more to learn.  Each new fact leads to another question and each tangent leads to a new idea.”


EDUCATOR/ANIMAL CARE SPECIALIST: HANNAH WEISSHannah Weiss

Hannah Weiss was born and raised in the New York City area. During college, she moved across the state to attend the University of Rochester, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in mathematics. Throughout college she also gained a lot of experience working in science labs and in education with different summer camps. After her undergraduate degree, she worked in a variety of museums, nature centers, laboratories and public aquariums before enrolling in a Masters program at Radford University. There, she earned a Master of Science in Curriculum  and Development. She is also licensed to teach biology and life science in Virginia.

“Science is magic. In what other field can you spend your days learning about things both too tiny to see and too vast to comprehend while still maintaining your sanity? Well, most of it anyway…”


EDUCATOR: FRANKLIN STINSONFranklin Stinson

A native of Roanoke, Franklin Stinson graduated from Penn State with a degree in Environmental Education and Outdoor Recreation.

Franklin has worked as a naturalist at Shafer’s Creek Environmental Center at Penn State and the Piedmont Environmental Center in Greensboro, N.C., an outdoor recreation specialist (aka “Ambassador of Fun”) at Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing in Craig County, a middle school classroom teacher in Roanoke City Schools, and for the last three years an Educator for the Science Museum.

“My classroom has been the middle of a river, the top of the mountain, in caves, on a rock wall … anywhere outside! I’m psyched by science because it can explain so many things that are mysteries; but even with knowing these explanations, they can still be amazing and awe inspiring!”


EDUCATOR: ADAM DANIELAdam

Originally  from Brookneal, Va., Adam received his Bachelors degree in Environmental Science and a Masters in Science Education from Virginia Tech. I taught high school science in Roanoke City Schools for two years and have been an Environmental Educator at York River and Grayson Highlands State Park.

“I’m psyched by science because it is a vehicle to better understand this amazingly interdependent, dynamic, and ever-changing planet we are a part of and inhabit. Science allows us to comprehend the complexities surrounding us, from weather patterns and seasonal change to ecosystems and the inner workings of our own bodies. I’m psyched by science because it helps us learn not only how the world impacts us but how we impact the world.”


ANIMAL CARE SPECIALIST: GUY BYRD

Growing up in Roanoke, Guy graduated from  Patrick Henry High School and attended Ferrum College, where he gained experience working with children as a camp counselor.

After graduating from Ferrum with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Environmental Science, Guy left the area and moved to Seattle. There he gained valuable experience working with developmentally challenged children as a teacher’s assistant, as well as  pursuing his lifelong hobby of caring for exotic pets and taking a professional position as a Senior Aquarium Technician,  where he maintained custom made commercial saltwater and freshwater aquaria.

“My lifelong interest in caring for exotic animals really got its launch here at the Science Museum! I volunteered here at the Science Museum, working in Animal Care, as a student in middle school when Center in the Square first opened. Pretty awesome how things come full circle!”


 

EXHIBIT TECHNICIAN: MARK HODGESMark Hodges_web

Born and raised in Roanoke, Mark Hodges started with the Science Museum in the late 1980s as a part time employee at the front desk, then in the planetarium and as the exhibits technician.

Mark’s training and education is in auto service, electronics and medical equipment service technician.

“I’m psyched by science because I’ve always been curious and I like science.”