IDATA mentor Tia Bentz is a student at the University of Wisconsin Marshfield. For many years, she has been involved with the Yerkes Observatory, a collaborator on the IDATA. She has a strong passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), evident in her desire to educate and empower people through that very field. Tia, who is visually impaired herself, has not allow her limitation to stand in the way of her life goals. Outside of the IDATA program, she enjoys daydreaming about future technology, spending time with friends and family, along with 3D printing and has made 3D models for a diverse clientele.
IDATA mentor Katya Gozman is in her second-year study of astrophysics at the University of Chicago. As a small child in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, she fell in love with astronomy. And in high school, that love led her to work as a volunteer at a local community college observatory. There she helped run telescopes and addressed visitors during public viewing sessions. Katya is thrilled to be part of the IDATA undergrad work, which combines her love of astronomy and outreach.
IDATA mentor Kendal Mehling is a second-year math and physics major at the University of Chicago. His work in the IDATA project to assist project leaders, teachers, and students is providing him and the students with amazing opportunities to learn and grow. Kendall is looking forward to the impact of the project on the blind and visually impaired student community. And is a personable individual from Cleveland, Tennessee who enjoys football, reading, biking and sharing a good laugh with anyone.
IDATA mentor Andrea Salazar is in her second-year studies of Astrophysics and Russian at the University of Chicago. She comes to the IDATA project from San Antonio, Texas, with beginner’s flight school experience and hopes to one day set foot on Mars. Andrea is a life-long learner who enjoys engaging new people and the amazing experiences made available through the IDATA project. Her love of science and astronomy is outdone only by her passion for theater and arts which began at an early age.
IDATA mentor Ben Shafer is a second-year student at the University of Chicago. Majoring in geophysics with a minor in Spanish. The IDATA program has been an enriching experience where he has come to grasp the perspective of the blind and visually impaired. He is eager to contribute to the design and research process of the IDATA program, which he considers to be a unique educational endeavor. Ben is an active leader of house and residence hall council as well as a campus literary journal. His interests outside of the classroom include environmental science and physics. And he dreams of one day working aboard.