Chapter Coordinator Profiles
Greg Stoewer is a Project Engineer with the City of Duluth.
Greg finds it rewarding to help the community by offering this opportunity for students. MATHCOUNTS acknowledges and rewards students for their extra efforts in math, Greg says.
City of Lakes Minneapolis
Brian Simmons has been a coordinator since 2010, a volunteer since 2007, and an MSPE member since 2004.
He is a design engineer working for Bolton & Menk Inc. in their Chaska office. He works primarily on design and project management of municipal engineering projects, and has enjoyed working for this employee owned firm since he joined them as a summer intern while he was still a student at North Dakota State University.
Brian appreciates MATHCOUNTS for bringing the importance of using math in problem solving and real world applications to the kids who will someday be performing some of the same duties he does on a day to day basis. “I hope they’ll use their knowledge to come up with better and more innovative ways to solve the problems we’re tasked with in keeping up today’s infrastructure.”
City of Lakes North
Derek Van Heuveln is a staff engineer with American Engineering Testing, Inc. His responsibilities include being the project manager of construction testing and geotechnical exploration projects.
Derek is on the MATHCOUNTS state committee as well as Chapter Coordinator.
One of the things Derek likes best about volunteering with MATHCOUNTS is seeing the students excel and enjoy the spirit of friendly competition. "The competition allows students to challenge themselves in a fun environment. It’s more than ‘just’ a math competition – it allows the students to work both individually and as a group to achieve the best score possible, much like working professionals do on a daily basis. "
City of Lakes South
Sheila Krohse is coordinator for the City of Lakes South Chapter and a state MATHCOUNTS committee member. She is also a past president of City of Lakes Chapter.
Sheila is a project manager at the Chaska Office of Bolton & Menk, designing and managing municipal engineering projects. What she likes best about MATHCOUNTS is "interacting with kids who are actually excited about Math and talking to them about their future goals."
She adds, "MATHCOUNTS allows math-inclined students to use their skills in a competitive nature that further fuels their desire to learn and to meet other kids with their same interests."
Height of Land
Jon Pratt and Bob Schlieman co-chair the MATHCOUNTS event for the Height of Land Chapter and are past presidents of the chapter. Both are employed with Apex Engineering Group in Detroit Lakes. Apex is a Civil Engineering firm focusing on water, transportation, and municipal consulting services to public and private entities.
As project manager, Bob’s duties are to provide civil engineering services to various communities throughout Minnesota. Jon works as a municipal engineering consultant which means he provides city engineering services to smaller communities who do not have a staff engineer.
Bob says his favorite thing about working with MATHCOUNTS is interactingwith the coaches and students on competition day. Jon echoes that sentiment and added, "It's enjoyable getting to know some of the team coaches who attend year after year."
Bob feel that schools not involved with MATHCOUNTS are missing a good opportunity for students to showcase their math skills through friendly competition." This also provides students with good experience in working with others as a team, which is an important quality needed to succeed in today’s world.”
"I think MATHCOUNTS is a great alternative extracurricular activity," Jon says, "for those students who are not as interested in sports or other such activities."
Graig Gilbertson is a materials engineer with the Minnesota Transportation Department and works out of MnDOT’s Bemidji office. Part of his duties involve using the pavement management system to determine when and how to repair roads and managing the Materials Lab for testing of aggregate, bituminous and concrete.
As for his favorite part of being involved with MATHCOUNTS, Graig says he really enjoys the enthusiasm the kids bring to math. “Students not participating are missing an opportunity to work with a team of students trying to improve their math skills and learning and sharing the skills in a group setting which makes the learning more fun and in many cases more efficient.”
Wayne Stark is the president/owner of Stark Engineering based out of Sauk Rapids. He wears many hats, including marketing, contracts, designing, drafting and project management for various construction projects. Civil engineering, site planning and sustainable design are the primary service areas for Stark Engineering.
“MATHCOUNTS is a way for me to give back to the community,” he says, “and to bring positive exposure to the engineering profession through my interaction with student and teachers. I’m continually amazed at how smart these middle school students are.”
MATHCOUNTS is a great opportunity to increase math fun, teamwork and achievement in schools, Wayne feels, as well as showcasing the math excellence of students.
Chad Davison is the North Capitol Coordinator.
He is a project manager with Stantec and works out of their headquarters on Highway 36 in St. Paul. Stantec is one of the Midwest’s largest engineering and planning firms.
Chad likes helping the students experience mathematics in a fun and competitive setting.
Steve Dodge manages the storm water requirements and maintenance andstreet maintenance, and reconstruction programs for the city if Inver Grove Heights. In addition, he works with developers to negotiate agreements, and review plans submitted on residential and commercial developments. He also works with residents to facilitate responses to their calls and concerns.
Being an Engineer, Gary says, "I believe in helping promote a Mathlete competition because it is important for these kids to have a venue to express their talents just like any athlete would.
Steve encourages schools not to miss out on a great afternoon (the chapter competition), the camaraderie of other people and students who are interested in math, and to have a place for those kids that enjoy math to compete. "It is especially rewarding to see first hand the bright future we have of talented kids."
Angela Kolz is a project manager with WHKS & Co.
At WHKS & Co., she works on water and wastewater design projects and infrastructure inspection projects and works in the firm’s Rochester office. WHKS & Co. provides professional services for civil engineering, planning and land surveying projects.
Angie likes the excitement the students have with the competition. “Schools that don’t participate are missing a fun and challenging program that can further their interests in math studies.”
Lindsey Meek is a project manager in the Facilities Project Services department at Mayo Clinic. She manages construction projects in the downtown Rochester campus outpatient setting through all phases including programming, budgeting, design, and construction. She work with a wide variety of people including architects, contractors, administrators, and physicians. Lindsey says she enjoys working in the health care setting because nearly every day she get to see how these projects ultimately benefit the health and wellness of our patients.
"I look forward to being a Mathcounts chapter coordinator as a way to help promote the pursuit of STEM careers, especially for the girls! Too often girls see from women role models only disdain for math, rather than women in professional engineering roles who share their excitement for it. I hope my passion for math and engineering will encourage young girls to be interested in a field that can lead to a really fun and rewarding career!"
Susann Karnowsk, coordinator for the Southwest Chapter, works as a project manager and pre-design engineer also for MnDOT in Willmar, managing transportation projects, including preparation of environmental documentation and geometric layouts and coordination with local “partners.”
Susann like working with the math students. “I like showing students that math can be fun,” Susann says. “It’s also great to see how smart these students are and to give them a first look at engineering as a possible future career choice.”
“MATHCOUNTS is great opportunity to get kids excited about math,” she adds, “and have access to tools and resources to help students. In addition, students could miss out on the opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for doing well at math at local and state levels.”
Traverse Des Sioux
Teresa Burgess is coordinator for the Traverse Des Sioux Chapter, which consistently has the most schools participating.
Teresa is a project engineer in Mankato with Bolton and Menk. At work she does municipal and private civil engineering design. Bolton and Menk provides engineering services to communities and agencies in Minnesota and Iowa, in addition to surveying, land development and environmental services for public and private clients.
So many kids have a fear of being different, Teresa says. “MATHCOUNTS is a great chance for them to see that being good at math is a good thing and that’s it’s okay to have fun doing math.”