In order to develop an intelligent tutoring system to improve
science learning, it is necessary to collect and annotate a significant amount
of data during dialogs between human tutors and students. BLT hired an expert
team of project tutors to collect the audio and video data necessary to
develop an initial tutoring system that can be tested and refined in Wizard of
Oz (WoZ) experiments. Each project tutor is
either a former science teacher or a science graduate student at the University
of Colorado specializing in science education. All tutors are trained in
the FOSS modules and
the Questioning the Author (QtA) approach to individualized
tutoring.The tutors used these
techniques to develop and refine tutor dialogs and implement them into the data
Brief bios of the project tutors are listed below.
am a math and science teacher currently taking time off to raise my two young
children, Julia and Benjamin. I have lived in Colorado since starting
college at the University of Colorado in 1992. I have an undergraduate
degree in Biology and Masters in Instruction and Curriculum in Secondary
Science. Tutoring for BLT has been very rewarding because it has enabled
me to stay connected to the classroom and science education. I love
interacting with the students as they deepen their understanding of science.
In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, running, reading, and spending time
with my family.
Cindy has spent her entire career working as a science
educator.From developing a public
hand’s on science center in Panama and teaching middle/high school science, to
researching, writing and facilitating the development of a k-5 elementary
science curriculum, her passion is to use the amazing qualities of
understanding the natural and physical worlds, as a catalyst to get kids to
love not only science, but to help them become fully engaged in the process of
learning and critical thinking.I guess
you would say she likes to help people become empowered in their own
learning.Currently she works as an
educational consultant and is excited to be part of the research and tutor team
that will create a virtual science tutor.In her free time she loves to travel, take long walks, sing, do art and
make tasty food!Recently she created
carmalized onion and beet pizzas!
Jeannine is a project tutor and core team member for BLT. She has a
background in multiple areas of science and education and when she is
not studying FOSS materials or talking with elementary school students
she can be found at the University of Colorado, Boulder where she is an
In her down time, Jeannine likes to run, play games from
her granny closet and hang out at Fort Cody.
Linda Hill-Blakley is a licensed teacher, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology and Research Methods. In addition to her work as a Science project tutor at Boulder Language Technologies, she currently teaches reading and language to students with learning disabilities in a specialized neuro-psychology clinic. She is thoroughly enjoying both of these exceptional opportunities to work with students one-on-one, and to promote quality education in basic language skills and science for students of all abilities.
Over the past several decades, her experience has included a range of work in teaching, social research, human services, human rights, and affordable housing. Linda takes pride in her involvement with several projects in particular, including: establishing a statewide program to support families with children with severe disabilities; helping in the start of the Family Outreach Program, a joint City-school district initiative to help at-risk families and students in the Boulder Valley School District; structuring and implementing the City of Boulder’s first domestic partnership ordinance; and, working to develop affordable housing options in Boulder. Linda has lived in Boulder since starting college at CU in 1971; she and her husband, Mike, have two children in their early 20’s. She enjoys the outdoors, hiking, skiing, swimming, as well as traveling, reading, writing, and cooking.
Suzan K. Heglin
Suzan graduated from
the University of California, San Diego in Communications and also
Psychology. She took graduate classes in sensation and perception and won
SCURI grants for original research with EEGs. She was the principal
researcher in the cognitive psychology lab of Norman Anderson. She also
wrote a Master's Thesis on Hwabyung, working with Naropa University.
Most of her professional life she has been a writer. She has won SPJA awards
and has nearly a hundred articles to her credit that have appeared in
newspapers, magazines and reports. She has also worked in Public
Relations and Marketing.
She has worked in and around school districts in three states. She taught art
history at the elementary level, taught business at the college level, wrote a
science-based curriculum for an international program and was a TAG Advisor
with the Boulder Valley School District.
Heidi Henkel came to us with over 10 years teaching
experience as both a successful classroom teacher and science tutor.Her professional experiences span 5 different
states including Washington, North
Carolina, Alabama, Maryland, and Colorado
due to her husband’s career in the army.While in AL,
she initiated a school wide online grading program, continuously integrated various
forms of technology into the classroom, and earned the highest teaching marks
among her peers at one of the largest schools in the south.Throughout her teaching career, she also
coached both the boys and girls varsity tennis teams, earning Coach of the Year
titles and developing an academic accountability program for athletes.
Heidi is a Colorado native
who initially attended BaylorUniversity, but completed her Biological Sciences
degree at ColoradoStateUniversity.Her diverse teaching background lends itself
to furthering our research program and she is very excited about joining the
team of fellow tutors!In her spare time,
in addition to spending time with her family, she enjoys skiing, biking, and tennis.She also volunteers often with various church
programs, including a camp for impoverished children and initiating an outreach
to families of veterans, helping them cope with the effects of war.
I came to Boulder Language Technologies with 20 years of
teaching experience at Eisenhower Elementary in Boulder Valley School District.During the last 13 years I taught fourth
grade.We had a very strong hands-on
science program, and I really enjoyed working with the students.During this time,I helped develop several classes in regard to
outdoor education.During the summers, a
fellow teacher and I taught model rocketry and robotic classes to elementary
and middle school students.
I have a BA from
Western State in Gunnison and a masters degree from CU Boulder.In my spare time I enjoy gardening, working
in the community through my church and having fun with my wife Judy and our
I am a retired BVSD teacher, having
taught 6th, 4th and 3rd grades at Eisenhower Elementary School in Boulder. I
also taught in the areas of math and science in Aurora, Colorado and in the Bronx, New York. My
undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education, and I have a masters degree in
retiring, I have been able to spend more time with my family, my parents in
particular. I am also enjoying working on my needlework projects, and my
husband and I love to travel.
for BLT has allowed me to continue to fulfill my passion for working with
elementary aged children in the areas of science and math.
I am a retired BVSD teacher,
having taught 3rd, 6th,
and 4th grades at Eisenhower Elementary for 29 years. I have a
bachelor’s degree in psychology from C.U. I’m enjoying my time as a tutor for BLT
because I’ve always loved working with children and it enables me to indulge my
passion for improving elementary school science education.
retiring I have had more time to work on improving my skills as a guitarist and
to pursue my enjoyment of drawing by creating a line of humorous greeting cards.
I enjoy cooking, fly fishing, backcountry skiing, backpacking, hiking, traveling,
reading, and volunteering in my daughter’s 4th grade classroom.