Falculty & Staff


Meet the faculty and staff behind SATALLITES.

Falculty Members

Dr. Kevin Czajkowski (Dr. C)

Dr. Kevin Czajkowski
  • Email: KCzajko@UTNet.UToledo.Edu North Tonawanda, New York
  • Birth place: North Tonawanda, New York
  • High school: Barker Central School
  • College: Graduate – University of Michigan, Undergraduate – State University of New York at Oneonta
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Residence: Toledo, Ohio
  • Married to: Kathleen
  • Children: Robby and Timmy
  • Person you most admire My Dad
  • Pets: Bubblesquish, the goldfish
  • Hobbies: playing ice hockey and volleyball
  • Favorite movie: Star Wars
  • Favorite Food: Pizza
  • Favorite music: Pop – Elton John, Billy Joel, singers like that.
  • Favorite book: Leon Uris’ Mila 18
  • Least favorite class in high school / why: English – I have trouble reading and spelling. I was told in high school that I would have trouble in college, because I read so slowly. I worked at it, and now I am a professor.
  • Most favorite class in high school: I didn’t really have a favorite class. I enjoyed snow days. I watched the weather during the winter hoping for a day off from school which lead me to take meteorology in college. I didn’t have an Earth Science class in high school. That would probably have been my favorite class. This is one of the reasons I work with teachers and students. I want more students to learn about earth science and technology in school.
  • Who or what inspired you to go into teaching: My family (Mom, Grandmother, Aunts, sister-in-laws) are all and have been teachers. I recognize how difficult it is to teach and the demands placed on teachers. I wanted to do what I could to help teachers and inspire students to go into science and math.

Dr. Patrick Lawrence

Dr. Patrick Lawerence
  • Email: patrick.lawrence@utoledo.edu
  • Education:
    • Ph.D. University of Waterloo (Canada), 1996 – Geography
    • M.Sc. University of Guelph (Canada), 1991 – Geography
    • B.E.S. University of Waterloo (Canada), 1989 – Geography

About: Dr. Patrick L. Lawrence is an environmental geographer with interests in water resources, watershed planning, landscapes, land use change, natural area planning, the Great Lakes, and natural hazards. He has been involved in numerous research projects and studies including community decision-making for watershed planning, parks and protected areas, human responses to flooding and erosion hazards, bioregional planning efforts, the use of remote sensing and GIS technologies for land use planning and landscape studies. His studies have focused on the Great Lakes basin with work undertaken in both the United States and Canada and at the local, regional, and international scales. He has served in active or leadership roles with many professional and community organizations including the Association of American Geographers, The Coastal Society, Canadian Coastal Zone Association, and International Association for Great Lakes Research. He was a founding Board member for Partners for Clean Streams Inc., a non-profit water quality organization formed in the NW Ohio area and since 1999 has been actively involved with the Maumee Area of Concern and Remedial Action Plan. His work has been published in many leading journals and funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Staff Members

Alison L. Spongberg

Alison L. Spongberg
  • Birth place: The Heart of Ohio…Delaware, Ohio
  • High school: Rutherford B. Hayes …although I never graduated
  • College: Texas A & M University
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Residence (State): Ohio
  • Spouse/Partner in Life: Jeff
  • Children: No, thank you.
  • Person you most admire: Linus Pauling
  • Pets/ what kind/ name: Two cats, Woody and Ferguson, numerous unnamed frogs and fish.
  • Hobbies: Bicycling, making stained glass objects, gardening, making and dressing in Victorian clothes.
  • Favorite movie: Fantasia
  • Favorite Food: Tomatoes, raw
  • Favorite music: Classical
  • Favorite book: To Know a Fly
  • Least favorite class in high school / why: I liked them all, but Poetry was my least favorite.
  • Most favorite class in high school: Typing or gym
  • Who or what inspired you to go into a science-related field or teaching: My grandparents. My grandfather was a Physics and a Greek professor at Princeton. My grandmother always talked about living longer than Linus Pauling.
  • Something my friends would be surprised if they knew this about me: I got my first F in second grade on a Weekly Reader, and I never officially graduated from High School.

Mark A. Templin

Mark Templin
  • Birth place: Toledo, OH
  • High school:
    • DeVilbiss High School
    • Toledo Public Schools
  • College:
    • BE, MS & Ed. – The University of Toledo
    • Ph. D. – The University of Michigan
  • Title: Assistant Professor of Science Education
  • Residence (State): Michigan
  • Spouse/Partner in Life: Carolyn Templin
  • Children: Carl (17), Veronica (16), Michelle (15), and Alissa (11)
  • Person you most admire: My parents and my father and mother-in-law; each is an unsung hero.
  • Pets/ what kind/ name: 1 rabbit, 2 dogs, 4 cats, 4 guinea pigs and a horse named “Snippy”
  • Hobbies: restoring antique tractors and cars
  • Favorite movie: “Star Wars”
  • Favorite Food: pizza
  • Favorite music: a variety from classical to rock
  • Favorite book: I don’t really have a favorite.
  • Least favorite class in high school / why: Typing class – it was mindless
  • Most favorite class in high school: chemistry
  • Who or what inspired you to go into a science-related field or teaching: Both of my parents were teachers. They inspired me to go into teaching.
  • Something my friends would be surprised if they knew this about me: In the distant past, I played guitar in a music group.

Terri Benko

Terri Benko
  • Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio
  • High school: Villa Angela Academy
  • College:
    • BS – The University of Toledo
    • AAB – Lakeland Community College
  • Title: Senior Research Project Manager
  • Residence (State): Ohio
  • Spouse/Partner in Life: Lenny
  • Children: 1 son
  • Person you most admire: My Aunt Mary
  • Pets/ what kind/ name: 1 dog, Kiska, who acts like a horse, but thinks she is part human. She is a Black Labrador/Rottweiler mix.
  • Hobbies: Studying/watching animals (whale watching); camping; exploring new places.
  • Favorite movie: Harry Potter series
  • Favorite Food: Sushi rolls and my homemade applesauce
  • Favorite music: Old-time Rock-n-Roll and Jazz-Fusion
  • Favorite book: “God on a Harley” and “The Celestine Prophecy”
  • Least favorite class in high school / why: Science – Go Figure! All my life, I had a very strong interest in learning about animals. But back then, no one communicated to me that science classes would help me learn about and study animals !!!
  • Most favorite class in high school: Accounting
  • Who or what inspired you to go into teaching: I have always had a personal interest and belief to keep growing and sharing. I chose to initiate this passion in a non-formal manner by going to Hawaii and partnering in the creation of a whale watch business and a whale research foundation.
  • Something my friends would be surprised if they knew this about me: When I was 27 years old, I quit my very successful career and went to Hawaii with a duffle bag and “boom box” to study whales.

Timothy W. Ault

Timothy W. Ault
  • Birth place: Canton, Ohio
  • High school: Canton McKinley
  • College: The University of Toledo
  • Title: Geographic Research Associate
  • Residence (State): Ohio
  • Spouse/Partner in Life: none
  • Children: none
  • Person you most admire: JFK
  • Pets/ what kind/ name: Ditzy – cat
  • Hobbies: Singing, Cycling, and collecting hobbies.
  • Favorite Food: Indian.
  • Favorite music: Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention
  • Favorite book: The Lord of the Rings
  • Least favorite class in high school / why: Government & Economics. I had horrible (lazy) teachers.
  • Most favorite class in high school: Jazz Band
  • Who or what inspired you to go into a science-related field or teaching: My parents. They have always nurtured my curiosity about the world by taking me to the library, buying me road atlases, giving me music lessons, and helping me buy my first computer at age 11.
  • Something my friends would be surprised if they knew this about me: I never took any Geography courses until my last year as an undergraduate in Theater.

Jackie Kane

Jackie Kane
  • Birth: place Bangor, Maine
  • High school: Amherst HS, Amherst, MA
  • College: Baldwin-Wallace College
  • Title: Physics and Geoscience Teacher
  • Residence (City/State): Toledo, OH
  • Married to/ name of spouse: John
  • Children: Mike, Jeff, Dan,
  • Person you most admire: My husband, John
  • Pets/ what kind/ name: Beagle, named Check
  • Hobbies: Remote Sensing
  • Favorite movie: Space Camp
  • Favorite Food: Pistachio Ice cream
  • Favorite music: Modern Christian Music
  • Favorite book: Left Behind Series, A Wrinkle in Time
  • Least favorite class in high school / why: Latin/ Poor teaching
  • Most favorite class in high school: Shop
  • Who or what inspired you to go into teaching: College English Teacher
  • Something my friends would be surprised if they knew this about me: Of all the places on Earth I would like to be, it would be above timberline

Jason D. Witter

Jason D. Witter
  • Birth place: Pensacola, Florida
  • High school: Bayonne High School, Bayonne, NJ
  • College: University of Toledo – Earth, Ecological, And Environmental Sciences
  • Title: Geology Graduate Student
  • Residence (State): Ohio
  • Person you most admire: Father
  • Hobbies: The outdoors in general, woodworking
  • Favorite movie: Last of the Mohicans
  • Favorite Food: Mexican, Italian
  • Favorite music: Jam Band, Grunge Rock
  • Least favorite class in high school / why: Algebra, just could not foresee its uses
  • Most favorite class in high school: History
  • Who or what inspired you to go into a science-related field or teaching: Community College Biology Professor, and the necessity not to work in a cubicle
  • Something my friends would be surprised if they knew this about me: I am an Eagle Scout

Takelia Bragg

Takelia Bragg
  • Birth place: Ohio
  • High school: Jesup W Scott High School
  • College: University of Toledo
  • Title: Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Person you most admire: My mother
  • Pets/ what kind/ name: I have a cat, but I’m not going to tell you his name. I will tell you that it starts with the letter S, has two syllables, and ends with the letter D. My cat was also name after a famous sailor.
  • Hobbies: My hobbies are drawing, writing, cooking, and swimming, although I’m not very good at swimming. I often try to play an instrument every now and then.
  • Favorite movie: I love so many movies I cannot pick just one. But, my favorite types of movies are cartoon movies. I never get tired of watching cartoons.
  • Favorite Food: Medium rib-eye steak with homemade mashed potatoes and beef gravy on the side.
  • Favorite music: Classical / acoustic / R&B / Rock / All sorts of music anything with an instrument.
  • Favorite book: “The Skin I’m In” by Sharon G. Flake
  • Least favorite class in high school / why: Home Economics, because we never made anything worth eating.
  • Most favorite class in high school: Biology, and of course, Art class.
  • Who or what inspired you to go into a science-related field or teaching: My third grade teacher Miss Rodriguez. I guess her love for science rubbed off on me. I remember that we always did exciting stuff. At the end of the school year, I had all kinds of pets, including two snails and an Africa Water Frog, that I kept for years.