Dr. Reese Barrick
Dr. Reese Barrick

Title: Museum Director

Areas Overseen: the Museum

Phone: 785-628-5664

Email: rebarrick@fhsu.edu

Additional Info:  Reese is from the small town of Osage, Iowa, and grew up a fan of the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau and Tyrannosaurus rex.   His interests led him to graduate research at the University of Southern California where he studied Miocene oceans and the thermal physiology of Tyrannosaurus rex.  He taught paleontology for 8 years at North Carolina State University before embarking on the journey of working in museums.  Reese enjoys the opportunities to bring the stories of the history of life on the planet to a greater audience that comes with running a natural history museum and the opportunities for research and working with students that arise from the museum being apart of Fort Hays State University.

Victoria Staros
Victoria Staros
Victoria Staros

Title: Administrative Specialist

Areas Overseen: Main Office

Phone: 785-628-5516

Email: v_staros@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: She is responsible for the financial record-keeping of the museum, oversees the day-to-day operation of the business office, and coordinates the scheduling of facility rentals.

Brad Penka
Brad Penka

Title: Manager of Visitor Services

Areas Overseen: Excavations Gift Shop, Admissions Desk, Membership Program

Phone: 785-628-5569

Email: bpenka@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Brad began working as a volunteer for Sternberg Museum in 1998 while attending FHSU and advanced to his current position in March 1999, two weeks before the museum opened. He holds a B.A. in Communications degree with an emphasis in business and public relations. Brad has over 20 years of experience in retail management, museum administration, and community development and serves on the boards of directors of several historical and economic development organizations. He has authored several historical publications and books on regional history and tourism and has recently published a new book on Post Rock Limestone. He currently resides in La Crosse.

Dr. Jackson Roberts
Jackson Roberts

Title: Zoological Collections Manager

Areas Overseen: Zoological Collections Department

Phone: 785-628-5504

Email: jrroberts6@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Jackson was born and raised in May of 1992 in Nashville, Tennessee. Regardless of whether he was on the water or in the woods, Jackson has always been interested in the animals around him and how to tell them apart. His undergraduate research with Dr. Michael Collins at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, comprised surveying Southeastern birds for avian malaria. His Master’s at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, with Dr. Ash Bullard focused on trematode parasites of freshwater turtles.

During his PhD, Jackson focused on the systematics and taxonomy of New Guinean snakes, specifically two different groups: the New Guinea Worm-eating Snakes (Elapidae: Toxicocalamus) and the New Guinea Keelbacks (Natricidae: Tropidonophis). At LSU, Jackson contributed to the LSUMNS through outreach, research, and continued growth of the collection. He has contributed to domestic collecting, as well as a life-changing eight-week expedition in Papua New Guinea to the Ghost Mountain of Mt. Obree.


Ian Trevethan
Ian Trevethan

Title:Paleontology Operations Manager

Areas Overseen: Paleontology Prep Laboratory, Fossil ID, Paleo education tour

Phone: 785-628-5512

Email: ijtrevethan@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Ian earned a Bachelor of Science in earth sciences from Montana State University and a Master of Science in Geosciences from Fort Hays State University. His works consist of isotopic analysis of core body temperature in mosasaurs. He has also participated in research projects regarding individual cranial variation in dinosaurs. He is committed to educating the general public in all facts of paleontological and geological sciences, particularly through tours and fossil prep training and demonstrations.

Alicia Gaede
Alicia Gaede

Title: Naturalist and Education Manager

 Areas Overseen: Animal Care, Tours, Education programs

Phone: 785-628-5517

Email: algaede@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Alicia Gaede is from Blue Hill, Nebraska. She grew up with a love for animals which encouraged her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology. While attending Fort Hay State University, Alicia was a volunteer at the Sternberg Museum which eventually turned into a work-study position. In 2019 she accepted her current role of Naturalist. Her duties include caring for the many live animals, facilitating birthday parties, giving guided tours, and hosting children’s programs. She enjoys teaching the public about positive human-animal relationships.

Gregory Walters
Gregory Walters

Title: Exhibits Director

Areas Overseen: Exhibit Galleries

Phone: 785-628-4289

Email: gwalters@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Greg received his B.S. and M.S. in Geology from the University of Iowa. While in graduate school, he also went through the Museum Studies program and served as a curatorial assistant in the university’s herbarium. He moved to Hays in 1989 to take the position of Conservator/Preparator at Sternberg Memorial Museum, then located on FHSU’s main campus. Shortly after arriving, plans were initiated for a major expansion and consolidation of the university museums and Greg spent much of his first decade on staff working on the development of the museum’s present facility. He has served as Exhibits Director since 1998.

Dr. Laura E. Wilson
Dr. Laura E. Wilson

Title: Chief Curator

Other Title(s): Curator of Paleontology, Curator of Geology

Areas Overseen: Collections Department

Phone: 785-628-4963

Email: lewilson6@fhsu.edu

Additional Info: Laura joined the Museum staff in July 2012 as Sternberg’s paleontologist. She received her M.S. from Montana State University (2006) and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder (2012). Her research focuses on reconstructing ecosystems from the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, with a particular interest in using bone histology to study vertebrate paleobiology. As the Curator of Paleontology, Laura is committed to safeguarding fossil specimens and their associated data housed at the Sternberg Museum, as well as utilizing the Museum’s fossil collections for public education and outreach.

Link to Dr. Wilson's FHSU Faculty Page 
Link to Dr. Wilson's Research Website

David Levering
David Levering

Title: Museum Assistant Director For Science Camps

Areas Overseen: Summers Camp

Phone: 785-628-5502

Email: dalevering@fhsu.edu

Additional Info:
 David joined the Museum staff in August 2013 as a museum educator and camp coordinator. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Geology in 2007, and for the last three years (2010 – 2013) he worked as a teaching assistant in the Zoology department at Oklahoma State University where he graduated with a Masters of Science. David worked for The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry outdoor science education camps for four summers. He also worked three summers with the National Park Service at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in southern Idaho. There, he carried out the paleontology field and lab work and worked with kids showing them geology and paleontology. David started the Sternberg Science Camps+ program in 2014, and has grown it from a handful of participants to hundreds of alumni and current participants across the United States and beyond. In 2024, it will host 130 campers and employ over 20 seasonal staff.