The Launch Team
Dr. Ben Hackenwerth Executive Director
I’ve built a number of things for various home improvement projects, minus those involving electricity and plumbing.
Dr. Nichole Lemmon Director, Digital Learning
Thanks to the help of a lot of talented team members, we built Launch! The best project of my life!
Janna Elfrink Coordinator Digital Learning
I built a snowman family once.
Christopher Kensinger Specialist of Student Services
My wife and I tore down and remodeled our kitchen in our 1944 house by ourselves.
Dave Schuman Launch Counselor
I built a K’NEX roller coaster that had an upside down loop. It was a 3,000-piece build.
Caitlyn Kapple Executive Secretary
I built a teepee for my hedgehog, Stella.
Shelby Blankenship Launch Registrar
I built a shelf for my living room last week… It was from Walmart and came with really great directions.
Jessica Johnson Launch Attendance Secretary
When I was 7, my brother and I helped our dad build a go-cart from scratch! (We also fixed it after I crashed it into the house.)
Shannon Gilliland Launch Support Specialist, Kansas City
We built a retaining wall next to the garage in my first house. Twice. It was a great lesson in structural engineering!
Missy Sandbothe Launch Support Specialist, St. Louis
I successfully put together an IKEA desk. I think they cut the materials into the smallest pieces possible just to increase the piece count in the box. It is more like putting together a puzzle than furniture!
Stacey Walker Administrative Assistant, Kansas City
I built a triple scoop banana split once! It was complete with nuts, sprinkles and whipped cream!
Caitlin Seiler Administrative Assistant, St. Louis
I built a pretty epic fort with my nieces and nephews! We hung sheets from the ceiling fan, which gave it a total circus vibe.
Savannah Waszczuk Manager, Marketing
I built some make-shift planters to create my very own patio garden. I’ll do anything for fresh herbs and homegrown tomatoes!
Jared Chester Graphic Designer
When I was 8 I made a robot friend complete with a turning head and moving eyebrows. I made it from a table fan. His name was Steve.
Daniel McDonald Video Producer
When I was a kid, me and a friend built a massive fort that spanned about 90% of my basement. It was up until my mom wanted to vacuum.
Sean Wright Video Producer
I made my living room furniture from wood my Grandpa brought back from the California Redwoods in the 1980s!
Dr. Meghan Roe Coordinator, Course Development
I love building travel itineraries. My husband and I visited Europe a few years ago, and I planned the whole thing: six countries, 17 days, and not one missed connection!
Linda Ayres Quality Assurance Specialist
I’ve built some pretty spectacular Valentine’s Day boxes, both for my kids and for work competitions. I’m the reason we no longer have Valentine’s Day box competitions at Launch—1st place, baby!
Nicki Dickson Digital Developer
I built some shelves for my closet.
Justin Thomas Digital Developer
In various shop and technology classes, I’ve built toolboxes, chess sets and small motors. I’ve also manufactured my own computers and firearms.
Brad Maples Digital Developer
I have built several computers for friends and family, but the newest one I built for myself is probably the coolest one I’ve ever built.
Amy Jackson Digital Developer
When my siblings and I were kids we built model cars. I built a Ford Model T.
Melissa James Digital Developer
I built a Halloween cake that was supposed to look like a witch’s hat.
Darren Rush Launch Software Developer
I rebuilt a Game Boy and loaded it with a Raspberry Pi Zero that could play all of the retro, old-school games.
Adam Shawley Launch Help Desk
I built a floor-to-ceiling climbing wall in my kids’ room.
Tyler Gray Launch Help Desk
I built my first computer a few years ago. I have taken it apart to upgrade various parts—it still runs great today.