Get to know us

Our Team


Carie Lemack

Carie Lemack

Co-founder and CEO

Experienced in entrepreneurship, advocacy and making things happen, Carie is Co-founder and CEO of DreamUp. She develops space-based educational opportunities for learners everywhere, with an emphasis on creating innovative partnerships with educators, the private sector, rocket companies and anyone else who believes in empowering the next generation of explorers. Carie is grateful to her first grade teacher Mrs. Shull for inspiring her love of space and considers her experience as a Space Camp Crew Trainer life-altering. Prior to her time at DreamUp, Lemack co-founded Global Survivors Network, providing a global platform for victims of terror to speak out against terrorism, and produced an Academy Award-nominated documentary. She also co-founded and led Families of September 11. Carie has testified before Congress and been interviewed on numerous national and international media outlets. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Council and is a lifelong member of Red Sox Nation.

Favorite astronomical body: the Sun

Lauren Milord

Partnerships and Outreach Manager

Lauren Milord brings her belief that a learner’s early educational experiences can make or break their pathway to STEM to her role at DreamUp, where she focuses on expanding access to space-based educational opportunities. Prior to joining DreamUp, Lauren was Community Engagement Specialist in the Office of Engagement at Boston Public Schools where she engaged all sectors of the BPS community in conversations about district policy changes and ensured that community-based and faith-based organizations partnered successfully with BPS schools. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a concentration in International Security at Tufts University. When she’s not inspiring dreamers, you can find Lauren Irish dancing wherever a good wooden floor can be found.

Favorite astronomical body: Comet 67P

A Cygnus launches!
Ryan Gallagher

Ryan Gallagher

Curriculum Development Consultant

In addition to his curriculum consulting work with DreamUp, Ryan Gallagher supports teachers and pre-service teachers as a researcher and STEM instructional lead in San Diego. In this role, he coaches continuous improvement projects within K-12 schools; co-facilitates a networked improvement community focused on college, career, and civic readiness; and directs the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Early Implementation Initiative. Ryan taught middle and high school from 2004 to 2017 and co-designed and facilitated a MOOC on Deeper Learning. He recently facilitated improvement workshops at the Carnegie Summit and the Deeper Learning Conference, among others. Ryan holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Philosophy from UC San Diego. He was a proud member of the Distinguished Educators Panel at the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center and the California Science Expert Panel that made revisions and recommendations for California adoption of NGSS. In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his kids, future astronauts Luke and Grace.

Favorite astronomical body: Ever since Spirit and Oppy sent their panorama pictures of Mars, the Red Planet has been Ryan’s favorite celestial body.

Erik Lane

Technical Consultant

Erik has been fascinated by space his entire life and is excited to have the chance to help today’s students share this passion while learning through real space-based experiments. Erik brings his background as a mechanic and electrical engineer to the program to help run the technical side of things.

In his free time, Erik enjoys swing dancing, watersports, gardening, and spending time outside in beautiful Washington state, where he lives with his wonderful wife and three boys.

Favorite astronomical body: the Moon

Erik Lane
Jenny Pieratt, Ph.D.

Jenny Pieratt, Ph.D.

Curriculum Development Consultant

Jenny Pieratt, Ph.D. is a Progressive Educator and Teacherpreneur.  She was a founding staff member at High Tech High North County, a former School Development Coach at New Tech Network, and National Faculty at BIE.  In 2016 Jenny became the Founder and President of CraftED — a leading voice for the “mainstream wave” of PBL implementation. With a PhD in educational philosophy, specifically PBL, Jenny prides herself on staying in the trenches with teachers and advocating for teacher support to bring HQPBL to classrooms across the U.S. Jenny is an active blogger and speaker, former teacher of grades 5-10, equity advocate, and proud small business owner. Jenny resides in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA with her husband and two children. You can follow her work on Twitter and Instagram.

Favorite astronomical body: Star clusters


Chief Snuggle Officer

A graduate of the Never Too Late Class and two-time graduate of Middle School Marvels at Wagtime Training, Brody brings relentless snuggles and loyal companionship to the DreamUp team. Once left at an animal shelter, Brody dreamed of long mountain hikes, lazy midday snoozes, and helping kids reach for the stars. Thankfully, all of his dreams (and more) have come true. When he’s not befriending elk in the wilderness and chomping down on his Mr. Monkey Man toy, Brody is a lifelong supporter of space cadets everywhere.

Favorite astronomical body: the Moon because it’s made of cheese, like the cheese in the sandwich he once got from a 1 1/2 year old, which he’ll never forget

Brody, Graduate

Board of Advisors

Bart Epstein

Bart Epstein

President and CEO of Jefferson Education Exchange and Research Associate Professor at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education

Bart is a unique leader who brings a fascinating mix of experience as a teacher, entrepreneur, investor, corporate attorney, professor, author, and nonprofit leader.

He currently leads an ambitious effort to discover why any given education technology performs differently in various educational contexts. This effort is a combination of complex academic research, national consensus building, and crowdsourcing of data from tens of thousands of educators nationwide.

Bart is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. He has served as a civilian evaluation pilot for NASA human factors research and a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight.

Favorite astronomical body: Enceladus

Lawrence B. Friedman, Ph.D.

Vice President at American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Lawrence B. Friedman is a vice president at AIR. He contributes to the leadership and strategic direction of AIR’s education work, and of the organization, as well as the growth of its evaluation and research capacity. He also leads the program’s System Supports portfolio, directs the AIR State and Local Evaluation Center, and leads or advises on a range of large-scale evaluation and research studies of high-priority K–12 education reform issues.

Favorite astronomical bodyPluto

Dr. Lawrence W. Friedman, Ph.D.
Christian Greer

Christian Greer

Chief Officer for Science, Education and Experience at Saint Louis Science Center

Christian Greer is Chief Officer of Science, Education, and Experience at Saint Louis Science Center, a certified project manager, independent consultant, and former chair of NSTA’s Aerospace Education Committee. Over the past 25+ years, Christian has served in leadership positions at Adler Planetarium, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Chicago Architecture Foundation, and Shedd Aquarium, where he launched NOAA/MATE Midwest Regional Underwater Robotics Competition. He has extensive experience working with teens and tech at Upward Bound, Project Exploration, and the Hive Chicago. Recently, Christian guided the development of the Science Center’s full scale augmentation of Smithsonian’s Destination Moon exhibition, featuring the Apollo 11 Columbia Module. Christian is a graduate of Morehouse College, a Northwestern University Kellogg Executive Scholar, a Chicago Community Trust Leadership Fellow, and a doctoral candidate in learning technologies at Pepperdine University.

Favorite astronomical body: ‘Oumuamua

Donald G. James

Sr. VP, Strategy, Communications & Education, The Collaborative

Donald began a 35-year NASA career at the Goddard Space Flight Center in 1982. He transferred to NASA’s Ames Research Center in 1984.

Career hi-lites: co-leading Ames’ first open house (1997), attracting a record-breaking quarter-million visitors; serving as Education Director from 1999 to 2006; and leading NASA’s successful bid to host the International Space University’s 2009 Summer Program.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden selected James as Associate Administrator for Education in 2014. James retired March 2017.

James’ forthcoming book, “Manners will take you where brains and money won’t” is scheduled to be published in the Spring of 2019.

Favorite astronomical body: Earth

Donald James
Abner Oakes

Abner Oakes

President, Oakes Educational Consulting

Abner Oakes consults with schools, school districts, and companies in the K-12 arena, helping clients with research, report writing, on-site professional development, and sales and marketing counsel. Previously, he was Director, Outreach and Partnerships for the Alliance for Excellent Education, an advocacy and policy organization focused on ensuring that all students, particularly those that are underserved, graduate from high school and go on to a fruitful post-secondary pathway and career. He has also worked at the education technology company JumpRope, Learning Point Associates, and Modern Red SchoolHouse. For 16 years he taught language arts to middle and high school students.

Favorite astronomical body: The InSight spacecraft on Mars

Katrina Stevens

Director of Learning Science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

As Director of Learning Science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Katrina Stevens works to capture research insights and apply learning science in schools and tools. Previous to CZI, Katrina brought her experience as a teacher, administrator, and startup cofounder to her role as Deputy Director for the U.S Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology where she oversaw Future Ready, education innovation clusters, rapid cycle evaluations, and developer outreach. Katrina also served as founding entrepreneur-in-residence for JFF Labs, Senior Advisor for UVA’s Jefferson Education Exchange, EdSurge Summit Director, and Founding Executive Director of EdTech Maryland, as well as co-founded #edtechchat. She has also consulted with a wide range of education startups, foundations and nonprofits.

Favorite astronomical body: The binary star I registered for my partner’s 50th birthday


Katrina Stevens
Nicole Stott

Nicole Stott

Retired NASA Astronaut, Artist and Founder of the Space for Art Foundation

Nicole Stott is an Astronaut and Artist who creatively combines the awe and wonder of her spaceflight experience with her artwork to inspire everyone’s appreciation of our role as crewmates here on spaceship Earth. She is the first person to paint a watercolor in space.

Nicole spent over 3 months in space aboard the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle; and she is also an Aquanaut, who lived underwater for a 3-week mission on the Aquarius undersea habitat. She believes that the international model of peaceful and successful cooperation we have experienced in these extreme environments of space and sea hold the key to the same kind of peaceful and successful cooperation for all of humanity here on Earth.

She is the founder of the Space for Art Foundation.

Favorite astronomical body: the International Space Station