Meet Our Staff
Email | Phone: 785-587-2741
Susan Adams is no stranger to the Flint Hills Discovery Center. Susan joined the Discovery Center in 2011 while it was still in the development stages and was instrumental in opening the facility in 2012. She has served at the facility in many capacities and became the Director in 2016. Susan worked for several non-profits before joining the FHDC. Susan and her family have lived in the Westmoreland area since 2002 in their beloved limestone home that was built in 1877.
Katharine HenslerAssistant Director/Development Officer
Email | Phone: 785-587-2742
Katharine has worked professionally in the museum field since 2003. She has held positions from curatorial and collections/archival management to development, administration, and executive level museum management. She is originally from Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Arts in History from Lock Haven University. She obtained her Master of Arts in Historic Preservation from Goucher College, Baltimore. She and her husband Craig, have had the opportunity to travel the world and live and work in various geographic locations due to Craig’s position in the military, which is what brought them to Manhattan, Kansas (and the FHDC) in 2017.
Roy GarrettExhibits/Operations Manager
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5606
Roy Garrett serves as manager for the 10,000 square feet of permanent exhibits on display at the facility. He supervises building operations and is responsible for the implementation and development of engaging temporary exhibits. Roy is a seasoned museum veteran, having worked for 15 years at the Corpus Christi Museum of Natural History. He is a Kansas State University alumnus and a proud parent.
Stephen BridenstineCurator of Education
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5603
Stephen is responsible for the development, delivery and assessment of the Discovery Center’s educational, interpretive and public programming offerings and supervises one full-time educator and several seasonal educators. He most recently held the position of Oral History Coordinator with the Seminole Tribe of Florida at their Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum in Clewiston, FL.
He also has experience with the National Park Service in Wyoming at Yellowstone National Park and Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in North Dakota as a park ranger heavily involved in on-site interpretation. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in History with a minor in Spanish as well as a Master of Arts in History from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Jonathan MertzEvent Supervisor
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5607
Jonathan is responsible for facility rentals as well as special events at the FHDC. He assists in all event needs, from hosting a small group meeting to planning a dream wedding. A graduate of Wamego High School and then Kansas State University, he is the fourth generation of his family to live in the Flint Hills. After spending several years working with non-profits in Washington, DC, Jonathan returned to his home in the Flint Hills.
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5610
Kynedee grew up in St. George, Kansas and is a lifelong resident of the Manhattan area. She graduated in May 2018 from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications- Public Relations and a Business Minor. During the summer of 2018, Kynedee completed a marketing internship with the Flint Hills Discovery Center and was excited to have the opportunity to return to the FHDC full-time as the Marketing Coordinator. She is passionate about all things communication and loves being able to promote an organization that strives to involve and reach its community.
Programs and Education Animals Supervisor
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5608
Amber has had a long relationship with FHDC beginning as a volunteer in 2012. In her first four years, she served as a volunteer, intern and an Education Assistant. Amber holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University in Park Management and Conservation, as well as Natural Resources and Environmental Science. Most recently Amber worked as a Naturalist at Milford Nature Center, where she taught people of all ages about Kansas' native plants and animals.
Mary HildrethGuest Services/Membership Manager
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5609
Mary manages the guest services team, gift store coordinator and our membership program. She has 14 years of experience working in management with a focus on customer service and efficiency, working as a practice manager and corporate trainer in the medical field. She moved to Kansas to attend the University of Kansas, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She is a proud Midwesterner and loves the Flint Hills region. Mary, husband Robert, and their three children live in Wamego.
Gift Store Coordinator
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5604
Penny is responsible for the purchasing of new products, inventory accountability and sales at the Gift Store. She previously worked for fifteen years as a manager and buyer for Varney’s Book Store in Manhattan, and brings her retail experience along with her love of the Flint Hills to assist in the Gift Store’s success. Penny has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from Kansas State University.
Email I Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5602
Jurina coordinates volunteer recruitment and is responsible for the management of the volunteer program. She has several years of experience in customer service, administration and program management. Jurina has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Fort Hays State University and Master of Science in Administration with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Central Michigan University.
Operations Manager Assistant
Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5605
Zac began working for the City of Manhattan in 2006 as a custodian for City Hall and transitioned to the Flint Hills Discovery Center in early 2012 shortly before the facility opened.