ASTC Fellow Award Recipients


Lesley Lewis, former CEO, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto
For providing exemplary leadership as the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Science Centre—a founding member of ASTC—and as the President of the ASTC Board—the first Canadian to serve in that capacity—while acting as a trusted colleague, respected advisor, and cherished friend to the global science center field. Lesley’s years of service were truly transformational; she personifies what it means to be an “agent of change.”


Jeffrey N. Rudolph, president and CEO, California Science Center, Los Angeles
For not only transforming the California Science Center into a premier institution, but for providing exemplary leadership to ASTC as President, developing a strategic planning process to help guide the Association’s future. During his years of service, Jeff has exemplified collaboration and displayed a good-natured collegiality and willingness to serve not just his science center, but the entire field. His impact on ASTC and STEM education has been profound.


Colin Johnson, former director and CEO, Techniquest, Cardiff, Wales
For his distinguished career as a chemist and educator, from the classroom to the museum. Colin’s determined advocacy, tactful diplomacy, and persuasive compositions have helped build bridges within the field and between science centers and the people they serve. His generosity and dedication know no limits.

2011 Fellow Award Press Release


Bonnie VanDorn, former Executive Director, Association of Science-Technology Centers, Washington, D.C.
For leading ASTC from its modest beginnings to a truly global community of science center professionals, while simultaneously expanding the size, stature, and strength of the entire field. Bonnie used a reflective encyclopedic knowledge of ASTC’s members – the people they employ, the challenges they face, and the audiences they serve – to help build capacity, nurture creativity, and cultivate inclusiveness in all. Buoyant, brilliant, inquisitive, and persevering, she steered ASTC’s course steadfastly for twenty-seven years, earning our deepest admiration and respect.

2009 Fellow Award Press Release


Dennis Wint, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
For selflessly providing more than three decades of exemplary leadership, long-term vision, and integrity to the science center field. Often called upon to impart his counsel and experience, Dennis has, time and again, responded with wisdom and generosity. Your grateful colleagues are forever in your debt.

2008 Fellow Award Press Release


Per-Edvin Persson, Director, Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, Vantaa, Finland
For combining an unwavering belief in sound science with a truly global vision for the science center field. ‘Pelle’ has traveled the world—literally—on behalf of ASTC and our members, serving as a respected and welcoming source of inspiration, encouragement, and advice for his peers. For a maestro of museum diplomacy, we shout “Bravo!”


Dennis Schatz, Vice President for Education, Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Washington
For devoting more than thirty years to promoting informal science learning, inspiring science center visitors and educators, and helping colleagues achieve excellence. Dennis’s creativity, commitment to sharing and partnering, and truly “stellar” leadership have quietly, yet deeply, touched us all.

2006 Fellow Award Press Release


Sheila Grinell, former founding President & CEO, Arizona Science Center, Phoenix, Arizona; current interim CEO, Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, Cailfornia
In recognition of her role in the pioneering development and growth of the science center field and of ASTC itself. A respected leader, a passionate teacher, and a thoughtful analyst and writer, she has, for more than 30 years, offered inspiration to all who seek to start and sustain places for learning science. We honor her exceptional commitment, advocacy, and vision.

2005 Fellow Award Press Release


Alan J. Friedman, Director, New York Hall of Science
In recognition of his far-reaching expertise and the thoughtful eloquence through which he shares his knowledge with others. We honor a true leader who has pioneered creative ways to engage the public with science, demonstrated formidable advocacy on behalf of the field, and influenced and strengthened science centers worldwide.

Barbara A. Mikulski, United States Senator, Maryland
In recognition of her many years of unwavering advocacy on behalf of science centers, museums, zoos, and aquariums in Maryland and across the United States. We honor her, a true champion of the informal science education field and the people and communities we serve, with warm gratitude and endless appreciation.


James L. Peterson, President and CEO, Science Museum of Minnesota
For the leadership and guidance that he generously provides, the capacity for turning vision into reality that he modestly demonstrates, and the commitment to equity and diversity that he faithfully champions.


Thomas H. Krakauer, President and CEO, North Carolina Museum of Life and Science
In recognition of his unique vision, passionate leadership, and tireless advocacy on behalf of science centers of all sizes. His dedicated commitment to science learning and the science center field knows no limits. We honor him for truly “Advancing the Field.”


Michael M. Gore, Founder and Former Director, QUESTACON, The National Science and Technology Centre, Australia
For his unwavering passion for teaching, his masterful creation of Questacon, the first interactive science centre in the Southern Hemisphere, and his ingenuity in spreading science learning across vast Australia. Michael is a resourceful, creative giant, an inspired internationalist, and an energetic instigator of networks like ASTEN. We enjoy his irreverent humor, hail his vision, and honor his distinguished leadership.


Roy Shafer, organizational coach, President of ASTC, CEO, COSI, Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry
For his true belief in what the Association can do for its members and what science centers can be for their visitors. Roy’s unwavering sense of mission for our field is infused with progressive thinking and dynamic leadership, projected with enthusiasm and innovation, and always enriched with humor and caring for his colleagues. For nurturing the team spirit, outrageous fun, and hard work – Thanks Coach! More


George Moynihan, Executive Director, Pacific Science Center
In appreciation of his commitment to fostering innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. He has advanced science education and raised the bar on business practices in our profession. His collegiality, generous counsel, and high expectations are greatly valued. We salute his dedication and service.


Saroj Ghose, Director General, National Council of Science Museums, India
In recognition of his energetic leadership within the National Council of Science Museums of India, International Council of Museums, and science centers worldwide. Our global community is richer for his fervent perseverance in fostering collaboration and professional exchange. We salute the grandeur of his vision, tenacity of his effort, and success of his achievements.


Lee Kimche McGrath, first Executive Director of ASTC, first Director of Institute of Museum Services
In recognition of her tenacity and acumen in launching this Association and establishing the Institute of Museum Services. She was formidable in promoting the role of education at museums as our strongest purpose and raison d’etre. As our trailblazer she was sagacious, politically savvy, and powerfully persuasive. We hail her persistence and honor her significant achievements.


Freda Nicholson, President of ASTC, President and CEO, Discovery Place
In appreciation of her gracious leadership throughout the museum community and her valuable counsel to science center organizers and aspiring professionals. She has mentored many rising stars, strengthened collaborative endeavors among her peers, and cultivated professional exchanges worldwide. We honor her abiding commitment to children and her dedication to advancing our field.

George Brown, Member of Congress from California, strong advocate for funding informal science education
In recognition of his thirty years as a vigorous advocate for science education that challenges the young minds of our nation, and for his commitment to the environment. We honor his vision, his perseverance, and his distinguished leadership.


Watson M. Laetsch, a Founder and President of ASTC, Director, Lawrence Hall of Science
For strengthening and advancing the science center movement both in the United States and in India. Mac fostered the creation of groundbreaking curricula, advocated careful program evaluation, and inspired a generation of talented, young scientists and educators. We honor his foresight and leadership.

Frank Oppenheimer, a Founder of ASTC, Founder and Director, Exploratorium (posthumous)
In fond memory of his passion for exploring the treasures of science and art-for observing what is beautiful and exciting. He achieved a style of investigation, discovery and learning that is emulated by science museums worldwide. We cherish his vision and aspire to his excellence.


Joel N. Bloom, a Founder and the first Chairman of ASTC, President and Director, The Franklin Institute Science Museum
In recognition of his sage leadership and distinguished service to the science museum community. His unique contributions as a persuasive advocate and valued mentor have significantly advanced the science museum profession and the Association. We salute his dedication, his vision, and his chutzpah.

Roger L. Nichols, director, Museum of Science (posthumous)
In honor of his dedication to improving science literacy and his eloquence as an advocate for informal science education. The science museum community is richer for his leadership in forging collaboration and his service on the ASTC Board and Legislative committee. We are inspired by the memory of his energy, his tenacity, and his commitment to excellence.


Victor J. Danilov, President of ASTC, President and Director, Museum of Science and Industry
In recognition of his outstanding service to the science museum field by assisting new museums; chronicling the evolution of science centers and documenting their achievements; and promoting ASTC worldwide. As a pioneer of international cooperation and communication among science museums, his accomplishments have fostered the growth of the field and the development of the Association of Science-Technology Centers.


George Tressel, Division Director of Materials Development, Research, and Informal Science Education, National Science Foundation
In recognition of his devoted support of informal science and technology education. As a profound thinker, persuasive spokesman, and effective advocate, he has contributed significantly to the growth of science centers and museums and to the development of the Association of Science-Technology Centers


Bradford Washburn, a Founder of ASTC, Director, Museum of Science
In recognition of his contributions to the development of contemporary science museums; of his energetic leadership for more than four decades at Boston’s Museum of Science; and of his dedicated service to the museum profession.


John Brademas, Member of Congress, later president of New York University
In recognition for his pioneering efforts in the applied science museum field. He was largely responsible for the passage of the Museum Services Act, the first law to provide museums with federal assistance that includes unrestricted operating funds—the legislation that established the Institute of Museum Services.

Loren McKinley, a Founder and President of ASTC, Director, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
In recognition of his pioneering efforts in the applied science museum field, his unsurpassed personal dedication and devotion to education, and his generosity in assisting new and small science museums in their growth and development.


Dixy Lee Ray, a Founder of ASTC, Director, Pacific Science Center, later Chair of the Atomic Energy Commission
In recognition of her pioneering efforts in the applied science museum field; for her assistance to other communities in founding and operating science museums; and for her efforts in helping to establish the Association of Science-Technology Centers.

Daniel McMaster, a Founder of ASTC, Director, Museum of Science and Industry
In recognition of his pioneering efforts in the applied science museum field; for his assistance to other communities in founding and operating science museums; and for his efforts in helping to establish the Association of Science-Technology Centers.