Co-Chair: Sam Dean*, Scott Family Amazeum, Bentonville, Arkansas, United States
Co-Chair: Jonah Cohen, McWane Science Center, Birmingham, Alabama, United States

  • Katie Anderson, U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama, United States
  • Irena Cieślińska, Copernicus Science Centre, Warsaw, Poland
  • Andrea Durham, SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity, Sacramento, California, United States
  • Robin Gose, MOXI The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, Santa Barbara, California, United States
  • Maribel Ibarra, Sietecolores Ideas Interactivas, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Alexandra Jackson, Sciencenter, Ithaca, New York, United States
  • Megan Ramer, Connecticut Science Center, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
  • Tifferney White, Louisiana Children’s Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • Darryl Williams, The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

*Member of ASTC Board of Directors

ASTC Staff Liaisons: Adam Fagen, Rose Hendricks

Are you interested in serving as a member of the Awards Committee? We invite staff at all levels from ASTC members (both Science Center and Museum Members and Allied Members) in good standing to raise your hand to be considered for a committee or other volunteer opportunity. See additional information about volunteering to serve.

Awards Committee Charter


In the context of ASTC’s vision, purpose, and strategic direction, the Awards Committee (the “Committee”) is an ad-hoc committee of the ASTC Board of Directors (the “Board”). This Committee provides perspective and advice to ASTC’s Board and staff on ASTC’s work to support and connect its members, including on how ASTC might recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of ASTC members and/or their employees.

Structure and Membership

The Board Chair will have the power to appoint a Chair or Co-Chairs for the 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 Awards Committee.

The Committee will comprise no fewer than eight (8) members and no more than 16 including the two Co-Chairs, of which at least two Committee members will be Directors currently serving on the Board. Committee members will serve two-year terms. No person may be appointed to serve on the Committee for more than three (3) consecutive full terms 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 Board Chair will endeavor to ensure that the membership of the Committee reflects and represents the breadth of ASTC member organizations.

The Board Chair also will endeavor to ensure that at least one (1) member of the Awards Committee serves concurrently on Conference Program Planning Committee and at least one (1) member serves concurrently on the Leadership and Field Development Committee, to act as liaisons between the committees.

Focus and Responsibilities

The primary focus and responsibilities of the Awards Committee include:

  • Identify opportunities to recognize excellence and extraordinary accomplishments among ASTC member organizations and their staff—and others committed to public engagement of science.
  • Contribute to the development and management of award programs—currently the Roy L. Schafer Leading Edge Award—including identification of award categories, criteria, and processes.
  • Serve as reviewers of award nominations and applications based upon review rubrics and select the finalists and award winners. (Nominees, finalists, and award winners will be subject to technical review to ensure eligibility criteria are met, including current ASTC membership, as warranted.)
  • Provide guidance to ASTC leadership and staff, as needed, on opportunities to nominate members of the ASTC community for recognition by external awards.

Procedures and Administration

  1. Conduct Consistent with Bylaws. As an ad-hoc committee of the Board, the 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 Committee may advise the Board, any committee of the Board, or ASTC staff. The Committee shall have no power or authority to bind ASTC or the Board on any matter.
  3. Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest and Recusal. 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 Committee will meet in person or 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, Equity, and Inclusion. 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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