About Meridian StoriesThe People
Executive Director and Founder
Brett is a program developer, producer and educator who spent over 25 years working in media production that entertains around a defined curriculum.
Along with his work on Meridian Stories, Brett is the Co-Executive Producer of a US Institute of Peace radio drama in the South Sudan that targets youth about issues of gender equity and tribalism, and a consulting producer on Iftah Ya Simsim, the new Arabic version of Sesame Street that launched it’s second season in the fall of 2017. Prior to that Brett served for four years as the Co-Executive Producer of a TV series targeting Iraqi teens called Salam Shabab (“PeaceYouth”), as well as the Executive Director of Panwapa, a digital initiative about global citizenry from Sesame Workshop, the creators of Sesame Street. This project capped over 8 years as a Supervising International Producer for Sesame Workshop, working on projects about a wide range of topics including math, science and conflict-resolution. He has worked in over 20 countries including China, Macedonia, Indonesia, Poland, Cyprus, Mexico and Ecuador.
Brett holds Master Degrees from both Middlebury College and Columbia University, and a BA from Kenyon College. He teaches an annual intensive course at Colby College called ‘Developing Media for Social Change’. Brett lives in Maine with his wife, Kerry Michaels, and two children.
Kai is an educational technologist with more than a decade of experience working with K-20 schools and nonprofits in the U.S. and Asia. An avid tinkerer, Kai is a strong supporter of educational opportunities that allow kids to have fun, experiment, and develop 21st century skills while they create personally meaningful digital content or physical objects. Kai studied Anthropology and Computer Science at Hamilton College and holds an MSEd degree in Learning Sciences and Technologies from the University of Pennsylvania. A recent Maine transplant, Kai currently lives with his wife in Brunswick and is a Curricular Technology Consultant at Bates College.
Zoe graduated from Bowdoin College in 2014 with a double major in Mathematics and Neuroscience. She started working with Meridian Stories in 2012 creating science challenges, and she has since expanded her role to include math challenge creation and mentoring. She enjoys hiking, playing ultimate Frisbee, making homemade fruit leathers, and backcountry cooking. Zoe is currently an Associate Content Specialist for the Pearson Higher Ed. Math team.
A San Francisco native and a veteran of four Maine winters (Colby College), Alexander Morris lives, works, and plays in the SF Bay Area. An analyst by profession and a strategist by nature, Alexander’s interests lie in leveraging existing technologies to better serve the modern student, building software that works elegantly, and getting lost in a good book. He is an avid ultimate frisbee player, splitting his time between representing the San Francisco Dogfish of the MLU and coaching a middle school team of budding ambassadors of sportsmanship.
Josef Biberstein is an undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying physics and aerospace engineering. He was raised in Maine and participated in Meridian Stories challenges in High School. He is proud to have been able to help work on a project as great as Meridian Stories.
David M. Coleman
Instructional Media Consultant
David is an engineering graduate from the University of Maine and holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technologies from the University of New Mexico. For the past 15 years, David has guided educators through a unique process specifically designed for developing instructional media projects. He has worked as an instructional multimedia developer for the University of New Mexico, Santa Fe Community College and Ithaca College. Currently, David is owner of MyOnlineLearning.com and lives in New York State with his wife and two children.
Jennifer is a web developer and technical writer. Jennifer has been working in the field of web design and development since 1995, and writing about web design since 1997. She has worked as a web developer for small solo operations, small and medium-sized businesses and enterprise websites. Jennifer’s books and videos can be found at http://htmljenn.com/. She currently lives on a small farm with her family and many pets in Washington state.
Board of Advisors
Kathy Biberstein is a Sr. Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Alkermes, a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Ms. Biberstein held several senior legal positions prior to joining Alkermes in 2003, including General Counsel and member of the Executive Committee at Serono in Geneva, Switzerland from 1993 to 2000, where she built a worldwide legal department. Just prior to joining Alkermes, Ms. Biberstein was Of Counsel at Crowell & Moring LLC, and earlier in her career, Ms. Biberstein was a member of the Executive Board of the World Economic Forum. Ms. Biberstein received a Bachelor of Science degree from Kettering University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School.
Dr. Sarah Childress
Dr. Sarah Childress is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Bowdoin College. After spending ten years as an advertising executive, Sarah earned her Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. Sarah has taught Introduction to Film Studies as well as courses in avant-garde cinema, documentary cinema, and Latin American cinema at Vanderbilt University and Bowdoin College.
Charlotte Cole is co-founder and executive director of Blue Butterfly Collaborative, a group of media professionals who help producers in low-income countries develop high quality, localized educational media for children. Dr. Cole has supported large-scale educational media projects in more than thirty countries across the globe. Formerly she was senior vice president of global education at Sesame Workshop in New York City where she oversaw the education, research, and community engagement activities associated with the company’s international co-productions of Sesame Street. Dr. Cole received her doctorate in human development and psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is the editor of The Sesame Effect: The Global Impact of Longest Street in the World, which was published recently by Routledge.
Dr. Christina Finneran
Dr. Christina Finneran is the Vice President for Institutional Research, Analytics & Consulting at Bowdoin College. Prior to her current position, she served as Bowdoin’s Director of Academic Technology & Consulting where she provided strategy and vision for enhancing teaching and learning via technology. Along with technology training for Bowdoin faculty, staff and students, Dr. Finneran oversaw the support of technology to enhance student learning, such as digital storytelling, mobile learning, academic software, and the learning management system. Finneran holds a bachelor of science from Cornell University, a master’s degree in geographic information systems from the University of Buffalo, and a master’s of library and information science and Ph.D. in information science and technology from Syracuse University.
Gregory Gettas has been a feature film, television and internet producer/writer for 35 years, working for, among others, Warner Brothers, Jim Henson, CBS, Sesame Workshop, Disney Interactive, LeapFrog Toys and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Currently a doctoral student at Columbia University, Gettas is the Global Co-Head of Employee Development Solutions/ Talent Development at Morgan Stanley, New York.
Dr. Fiona Wilson
Dr. Fiona Wilson joined the faculty of the Whittemore School of Business at the University of New Hampshire in Fall 2011. Previously, she spent 9 years on the faculty at the Simmons School of Management, in Boston, MA, where she taught MBA and Executive Education courses in Business Strategy, with a special focus on the intersection of strategy and society/sustainability, as well as running experiential, study abroad and service learning courses with mission-driven, social ventures. Dr. Wilson has undertaken extensive work with mission-driven organizations, including being the volunteer co-founder and Director of a social venture, the Team with a Vision, an initiative of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, where she also served on the Board of Trustees.
Key Volunteers and Advisors
There have been a small host of undergraduate student interns and volunteers whose contributions have been critical to the development and ongoing success of Meridian Stories. Hailing mostly from Colby College, they include:
- Johanna Neeson
- Veronica Jones
- James Lindberg
- Sydney Hammond
- Katrina Morris
JOIN THE MERIDIAN STORIES' COMMUNITY OF SCHOOLS TO ACCESS ALL THE COMPETITIONS, ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES.
Singular Curricular Area
$150 per year
- One of three curricular areas
- Language Arts
- participation in up to 5 Competitions (which includes posting Student Video, receiving Mentor Feedback, and earning Digital Badges);
- access to 8 Activities and 10 Projects; and
- access to the entire Media Resource Collection.
All Curricular Areas
$350 per year
- All three curricular areas
- Language Arts
- participation in up to 15 Competitions;
- access to all Activities and Projects; and
- access to the entire Media Resource Collection.