Association of Science and Technologies Centers

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Co-Chair: Kirsten Ellenbogen, Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Co-Chair: Heather Norton, Orlando Science Center, Orlando, Florida, United States

  • Kim Amey, Carnegie Science Center (2020 Conference Host), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Daniel Bateman, Exploration Place, Wichita, Kansas, United States
  • Abigail Bysshe, The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Angela Colbert, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Miami, Florida, United States
  • Mary Jane Conboy, Ontario Science Centre (2019 Conference Host), Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Abigail Curran, Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
  • Benjamin Dickow, Columbia Memorial Space Center, Downey, California, United States
  • Christian Greer, Michigan Science Center, Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • Chip Lindsey, Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Andy Lloyd, International Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
  • Mimi Meredith, Cosmosphere, Hutchinson, Kansas, United States
  • Andrea Motto, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • Talance Orme, The Tech Interactive (2017 Conference Host), San Jose, California, United States
  • Barbara Punt, Punt Consulting Group, Redondo Beach, California, United States
  • Megan Ramer, Connecticut Science Center (2018 Conference Host), Hartford, Connecticut, United States
  • Melissa Reynolds, Carnegie Science Center (2020 Conference Host), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Kalie Sacco, The Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, California, United States
  • Allison Schwanebeck, Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa, United States
  • Karen Wise, Wise Strategic Advising, Santa Monica, California, United States

ASTC Staff Liaison: Wendy Hancock

CHARTER

PURPOSE

In the context of ASTC’s vision, purpose, and strategic direction, the Conference Program Planning Committee (the “Committee”) is an ad-hoc committee of the ASTC Board of Directors (the “Board”) that provides strategic leadership of the Annual Conference, including: reviewing proposals for future conference sites making recommendations to ASTC’s Board of Directors on future conference locations, setting the overall goals for the direction of the conference, reviewing session proposals, and providing input to ASTC staff as needed. The Committee will ensure that the structure and content of ASTC Annual Conferences are closely aligned with ASTC strategic priorities and responsive to the diverse needs, capabilities, and activities of ASTC members.

STRUCTURE AND MEMBERSHIP

The Board Chair will have the power to appoint a Chair or Co-Chairs for the Conference Program Planning Committee from the staff of ASTC Science Center and Museum Members or Allied Members. At least one of the Committee Co-Chairs, or the Sole Chair, will be a Director serving on the Board. The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Board Chair, and the Board Chair shall have the power at any time to fill vacancies of, change membership of, or discharge the membership of the Committee.

The Committee will comprise no fewer than eighteen (18) and no more than twenty-five (25) members, including the two Co-Chairs, of which at least two Committee members will be Directors currently serving on the Board. In addition, the Committee will include up to two (2) ex-officio representatives of the conference-host institution in the year that institution is hosting the conference, who do not count against the cap of total members. Committee members will serve six-year terms. No person may be appointed to serve on the Committee for more than one full term without a break in service of at least two (2) years following the third full term. Committee members may serve on other ASTC Committees and task forces. The Chair will endeavor to ensure that the membership of the Committee reflects and represents the breadth of ASTC member institutions and includes a broad range of professional expertise and experience that is required to evaluate the full range of conference session proposals.

The Board Chair also will endeavor to ensure that at least one (1) member of the Leadership and Field Development Committee, at least one (1) member of the Global Trends Committee, and at least one (1) member of the Advocacy and Stakeholder Engagement Committee serve concurrently on this Conference Program Planning Committee, to act as liaisons between the five committees.

FOCUS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The primary focus and responsibilities of the Conference Program Planning Committee include:

  • With the ASTC Board of Directors and the ASTC staff, establish, and, as needed, refresh, the purpose and goals of ASTC’s Annual Conference.
  • Provide input to an annual call for conference session proposals and support the ASTC staff in conducting outreach to prospective presenters, including identifying, engaging, and supporting first-time presenters in developing and submitting strong session proposals.
  • Review and select poster and session proposals to be presented, ensuring that the program of sessions advances the goals of the conference, advances ASTC’s commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, and aligns with ASTC’s strategic plan and priorities for supporting the science center and museum workforce, as well as the broader science-engagement ecosystem.
  • Mentor and guide session presenters to ensure engaging presentations and high-quality content, including working with ASTC staff to identify, curate, and develop key conference sessions that advance priority topics and issues.
  • Provide advice and support to ASTC staff in designing and administering the annual conference evaluation, and other approaches to seeking feedback from conference participants and ASTC members, helping to ensure continual improvement in the conference content and overall attendee experience.
  • Review conference-location proposals and recommend conference sites to ASTC’s Board of Directors.

PROCEDURES AND ADMINISTRATION

  1. Conduct Consistent with Bylaws. As an ad-hoc committee of the Board, the Conference Program Planning Committee will conduct its activities in a manner consistent with ASTC’s bylaws. The business of the Committee will be conducted as nearly as possible in the same manner as provided by the ASTC Bylaws for the Board, unless otherwise provided for by the Board in rules for the Committee’s business.
  2. Advisory Capacity with No Power to Bind. The Conference Program Planning Committee may advise the Board, any committee of the Board or ASTC staff. The Conference Program Planning Committee shall have no power or authority to bind ASTC or the Board on any matter.
  3. Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest and Recusal. Conference Program Planning Committee members will disclose any conflicts of interest and be recused from any matters on which they have a conflict of interest, in accordance with ASTC’s conflict of interest policy.
  4. Meetings. The Conference Program Planning Committee will meet in person twice per year, approximately six (6) months prior to the ASTC Annual Conference to select conference sessions and once at the ASTC Annual Conference to debrief on the activity of the conference and make recommendations for future years. In addition, the Committee will meet via telephone or videoconference at the discretion of its Chair or Co-Chairs, or at the request of the Board Chair. A majority of the members of the Committee will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the affirmative vote of a majority of those present shall be necessary for any action by the Committee. The Committee will keep such records of its meetings as its Chair or Co-Chairs shall deem appropriate.
  5. Commitment to Diversity, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Equity. The Committee and its members will conduct committee business in a manner consistent with ASTC’s diversity policy and stated commitment to diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity.
  6. Ad-Hoc Working Groups. The Committee Chair or Co-Chairs may form working groups (including those consisting of a single member), as it deems appropriate from time to time.
  7. Reports to Board. The Committee will report on an as-needed basis to the Board, including by providing an annual summary and evaluation of committee activities to the Board.
  8. Charter. At least annually, the Committee will review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter and recommend any proposed changes to the Board for approval.
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