Student volunteers Kimberly West, Nathaniel Murry, and Emily Oshita conducting a chemistry demonstration as part of a planetarium show
Dr. Jonathan Breitzer received his Ph.D. in chemistry (inorganic) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. After postdoctoral work in nanotechnology education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he joined the faculty at Fayetteville State University in 2002.
Because Dr. Breitzer had a long interest in astronomy, as well as the cosmic significance of inorganic chemistry, he was asked to direct the Planetarium in 2012. He is excited to use the Planetarium as an outreach tool for the University, as well as to deepen the educational experiences of student volunteers.
Natisha Hall is a junior majoring in biology. She thought about switching to chemistry, but decided that living things are more interesting than endless mathematical equations. She started work at the Planetarium in the fall of 2013, after bothering Dr. Breitzer about chemistry class to the extent that he figured she might as well come to the Planetarium and help out. She fell in love with the Planetarium from the very first day as she learned about the beauty of the Universe and how vast it is. She is an enthusiastic helper and is great with kids.
Nathaniel is majoring in chemistry, completing his upper-level courses. He has found that enjoyable moments in life do not occur every time nor are capable of being scheduled every waking moment. But he was always sure to check his schedule for planetarium shows because of the joy and satisfaction he gets from seeing and almost feeling the surprise and joy of others as they learn of their home, the Universe. It is enjoyable, enlightening, and exciting working in the Planetarium.
Emily Oshita is a student at FSU majoring in Chemistry, with a particular interest in promoting STEM in K-6 education. Outside of school she enjoys playing a variety of video games, which is probably why she has so much fun working the Planetarium controls. She enjoys working with children and shares their unquenchable curiosity. Being involved in the day-to-day operations of the Planetarium, Emily's work and ideas are transforming the Planetarium into a valued asset at the University and the Community.
Kimberly has many talents, and uses them to contribute in many ways. She volunteers to tutor students in her major, chemistry, and also does a lot to help out in the planetarium. She also has a degree in music, having studied abroad in Portugal to learn about native music there (and she speaks fluent Portugese). In fact, she composed the music we often use in shows and meditation sessions. And just in case the unexpected arises, she is EMT-Paramedic certified, with advanced certifications including Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
Destinee Monroe graduated with a major in mathematics. Working in the Planetarium was an enjoyable experience to her because she likes seeing people's awestruck faces when they see the stars and constellations. She also enjoys the peaceful atmosphere of the Planetarium and the view it shows of the stars in the country sky.