Indiana GEAR UP Team

Purdue Team Members

Dr. Virginia L.J. Bolshakova

Dr. Virginia L.J. Bolshakova

Executive Director

Dr. Bolshakova is the executive director and principal investigator of the Indiana GEAR UP Program. In her role she provides logistical and conceptual oversight for the entire program, monitors budgeting and compliance, manages reporting, engages in research, and disseminates information to stakeholders. Virginia advises science work for Indiana GEAR UP and conducts research focused on out-of-school programs’ impact, community ecology, and student self-efficacy in STEM.

Dr. Carla C. Johnson

Dr. Carla C. Johnson

Data & Research

Dr. Johnson is overseeing the data and research aspects of the program. She is a professor of science education and has many national and international projects focused on STEM education.

Tabitha Cinowski

Tabitha Cinowski

Assistant Director

Tabitha Cinowski is responsible for all logistical aspects of the Indiana GEAR UP program. Her duties include developing processes/procedures, oversight and analysis of data to inform programming, marketing, communications, supervising tutors, training, approving, reviewing and tracking expenditures. Her background is in travel, office administration, and accounting.

Dr. Kevin Kaluf

Dr. Kevin Kaluf

Director of Out-of-School Programs

Dr. Kaluf is the director for Out-of-School Programs for Indiana GEAR UP. He designs STEM-focused, afterschool, and camp programs that enrich student, family, and community learning opportunities and networks.

Jean Trusedell

Jean Trusedell

Mentoring & Community Partnerships

Jean Trusedell is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher with extensive experience working with K-12 Educators and students. Before beginning her work with GEAR UP, she worked with the EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) Program at Purdue University. In this position she worked to create curriculum used in Middle School and High School throughout the country to integrate best classroom practices with engineering principles to create projects to serve the community. Previously, she was the Science and Technology Coach for MSD of Decatur Township in Indianapolis, IN.

Nancy Killian

Nancy Killian

Program Data Coordinator

Nancy Killian is the Data Coordinator for Indiana GEAR UP. She receives, enters, and tracks the data created by the individual schools to provide the reports needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program. Her background has been in federal financial aid administration.

Carli Harger

Carli Harger

Administrative Assistant, part-time

Carli Harger assists in the day-to-day functions of the program by placing and tracking orders, logging expenses, managing inventory, and completing special projects. Her background is in customer service and organization.

Regional Directors

Indiana GEAR UP has four regional directors. The regional directors are in charge of oversight for multiple partner schools. They provide additional instructional support to students each day during regular school time and supervise after-school programming at their partner schools as well.

Pamela Bailey

Pamela Bailey

Regional Director, Warren Central HS

Pam Bailey is a Regional Director for the Indiana GEAR UP program with a specialization in mathematics and physics. She works with students, teachers, and building coordinators at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis to provide educational and instructional support and facilitate a tutoring program. Prior to GEAR-UP, Pam was a mathematics and physics teacher at Warren Central for 35 years where she specialized in a lab-based approach for teaching mathematics.

Joshua Faith

Joshua Faith

Regional Director, Greater Clark Community Schools

Joshua Faith is a Regional Director for the Indiana GEAR UP program with a specialization in mathematics. Joshua works with students and building coordinators at partner schools in the southern region of Indiana providing educational support and direct instruction. Joshua has been an educator for over 13 years in middle and high school settings, specializing in teaching mathematics to students with disabilities.

Steve Heinold

Steve Heinold

Regional Director, Lafayette School Corporation,

Gary Community Schools

Steve Heinold is a Regional Director for the Indiana GEAR UP program specializing in mathematics. He provides educational support to administrators, teachers, and students with a focus on STEM-related activities and curriculum. Prior to working at GEAR UP, Steve has nearly a decade of diverse teaching experience. He has taught in public, alternative, and private secondary schools in both urban and rural settings in California and Indiana. Besides his experience as a mathematics teacher, Steve has experience as a teacher in all-subject classrooms and job training programs.

Stacy Kitchin

Stacy Kitchin

Regional Director, Crawford County Schools

Stacy Kitchin is a retired principal who loves teaching and kids. Stacy is excited to be the Regional Director for Indiana GEAR UP supporting the Crawford County School District. Stacy will work with students and building coordinators providing educational support in the classroom and the afterschool tutoring and enrichment sessions.

Sarah Newsom

Regional Director, Arsenal Technical HS

Sarah works at Arsenal Technical High School as the Regional Director and provides on-site educational and instructional support to both teachers and students. Her background is in science.

Bill Reed

Bill Reed

Regional Director, Muncie Central HS,

Purdue Polytechnic HS

Bill Reed a Regional Director specializing in Mathematics. He works with Indiana GEAR UP schools, teachers, and students. He assists students with tutoring and S.T.E.M. educational opportunities. He assists schools and teachers observing and giving feedback on educational prodigy, helping with mathematics instruction, and giving teacher professional development. Prior to working with Indiana GEAR UP Bill was a Secondary Math Teacher for over 31 years until he retired. He then worked for the Indiana Department of Education as the Secondary Math and S.T.E.M. Specialist.

Gretchen Zientek

Gretchen Zientek

Regional Director, Kokomo School Corporation,

Maconaquah School Corporation

Gretchen Zientek joined the Indiana GEAR UP team as Regional Director for Kokomo and Maconaquah Schools. She works directly with administrators, building coordinators and students to help facilitate S.T.E.M. projects, after school tutoring programs, and community outreach opportunities. Prior to working with GEAR UP, Gretchen was an Instructional Coach for Chicago Public Schools and a Mathematics Interventionist for Noblesville West Middle School.

Indiana Commission for Higher Education Team Members

Indiana GEAR UP is proud to partner with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Through this partnership we work directly with the staff included below.

Jarod Wilson

Jarod Wilson

Director of Postsecondary Outreach and Career Transitions

Jarod Wilson serves as the Director of Postsecondary Outreach and Career Transitions at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. As such, he works closely with colleges around the state to provide strong support services for students receiving state financial aid. Jarod holds a bachelor’s in international studies from Butler University and a master’s in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University.

Barbie Martin

Barbie Martin

Director of School and Community Outreach

Barbie Martin is the Director of School and Community Outreach for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. She is responsible for facilitating outreach efforts for the Commission with a variety of programs, but the focal point is the 21st Century Scholars Program. She has worked with 21st Century Scholars for more than six years in a variety of capacities. Prior to her work with 21st Century Scholars, she taught high school English for fourteen years. She holds a bachelor’s in English from Indiana State University and her master’s in public service administration from the University of Evansville.

Brittany Collins

Brittany Collins

Postsecondary Outreach and Career Transitions Manager

Brittany Collins serves as Postsecondary Outreach and Career Transitions Manager at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. She leads CHE’s partnership with several federal grant programs focused on capacity-building for college access and success. Brittany holds a bachelor’s in psychology and certificate in public relations from IUPUI, and her graduate work in higher education and student affairs at Indiana University.

Greg Harrell

Greg Harrell

School & Community Outreach Manager

Greg serves as the School & Community Outreach Manager at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE). In his role, he supports K-12 outreach initiatives and provides bilingual services to schools, families, and community partners across Indiana. Recently, he launched Padres Estrellas, a statewide initiative led by the CHE and funded by Indiana GEAR UP, which is designed to improve higher education access and attainment for Hispanic and Latino learners within the state. Greg earned both his bachelor’s and associate’s degrees from Vincennes University. Prior to joining CHE, he served as an English teacher with the United States Department of State in Valencia, Spain.

Building Coordinators

Indiana GEAR UP has a building coordinator within each of our partner schools. The building coordinator is the school-level person in charge of organizing programming in and out-of-school time.

Leah Lahue

Crawford County Community School Corp.

Crawford County High School

Dr. LRoselia Colaire

Gary Community School Corporation

West Side Leadership Academy

Eric Metcalfe

Greater Clark County Schools

Charlestown High School

Curtis Esarey

Greater Clark County Schools

Jeffersonville High School

Madison Combs

Greater Clark County Schools

Jeffersonville High School

Cindy Dodd

Indianapolis Public Schools

Arsenal Technical High School

Jenifer Scott

Kokomo School Corporation

Kokomo High School

Melanie McGuire

Lafayette School Corporation

Lafayette Jefferson High School

Nick Atkins

Maconaquah School Corporation

Maconaquah High School

Julie Holtke

MSD of Warren Township

Warren Central High School

Sherri Nelson

MSD of Warren Township

Warren Central High School

Kristen Carlson

Muncie Community Schools

Muncie Central High School

LaTrice Crawford

Purdue Polytechnic High School