Join us for a 30-minute informational webinar on June 22, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Prospective applicants, as well as supervisors and managers of prospective applicants, are welcome. Register here.


For nearly two decades, the ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows Program has nurtured emerging leaders from underrepresented groups employed by ASTC-member science and technology centers and museums. In 2022, the program was reimagined under the new name, the New Leaders Fellowship.  

This fellowship was updated in 2022 to provide professional development, a peer network, and opportunities to acquire and develop leadership skills that leverage the unique perspectives and experiences the Fellows bring to their work. Our curriculum centers diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity (DAIE) and supports future leaders who embody inclusive and visionary leadership and are skilled in managing the people and processes to make those visions happen.  

The fellowship benefits the participants, ASTC-member institutions, and the field at large by:

  • Offering skill-based leadership development opportunities to science center and museum professionals from historically underrepresented or marginalized backgrounds who aim to move into leadership roles in their career. 
  • Providing opportunities for ongoing learning and dialogue between participants and established leaders who model skilled leadership and shared identities with fellows. 
  • Providing ASTC-member institutions with an opportunity to diversify their leadership pipeline, contributing to future innovation and growth.  
  • Supporting an ever-expanding network of highly skilled leaders in the field. 

Program Highlights

The New Leaders Fellowship is a 9-month hybrid program that includes monthly virtual workshops, kicking off in September 2023 and an in-person component at ASTC’s 2023 Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina from October 7-10. Ahead of the conference, fellows will participate in a one-day workshop on Friday, October 6. Fellows will then participate in the full conference experience. Through May 2024, Fellows will take part in monthly virtual, skill-building workshops, as well as conversations with peers and other leaders in the field.  

Who Can Apply

ASTC’s New Leaders Fellowship is intended to provide people from historically marginalized backgrounds the opportunity to develop leadership skills. To qualify for this program, fellows must belong to one of the following communities that have historically been underrepresented in science center and museum leadership positions: 

  • American Indian, Alaska Native, or First Nations; Asian; Black or African descent; Hispanic or Latino/a/x; Middle Eastern or North African; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and/or Asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities 
  • Experience a physical or intellectual disability and/or difference 

Fellows must be currently working for an ASTC-member institution located in the United States or Canada. We welcome applicants from a variety of institutional roles and backgrounds. In the interest of ensuring institutional diversity within the cohort, we especially encourage candidates who work in small (fewer than 15 paid staff) or rural institutions (outside a major metropolitan area) to apply.  

Candidates must be mid-career and currently work in a role with supervisory or managerial responsibilities. Candidates must be in their current role for at least one year at the time of application. Current responsibilities may include the regular coordination of work and performance management for direct reports (including paid staff or volunteers), project management, as well as budgetary accountability. Candidates without supervisory or managerial experience or candidates in executive or senior leadership-level roles do not qualify for the New Leaders Fellowship.

How to Apply

In addition to Application Information and Demographic Information, the application includes three 500-word essay questions. Preview the essay questions here. Applicants will be able to pause their application and return to it at any time during the application period. The application period starts on June 6 and ends on July 10, 2023.  Applicants will also be required to submit a current resume, as well as a Statement of Understanding signed by the applicant’s direct supervisor and Chief Executive. Download the statement here.

Review and Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed in July by ASTC staff. Applicants will primarily be evaluated on their responses to the essay questions. These questions are designed to evaluate the following: 

  • Ability to identify an effective leader and describe the skills and knowledge used by that leader 
  • Ability of applicant to assess their own leadership skills and knowledge, including room for growth and development 
  • Ability to embrace a forward-thinking perspective, considering long-term possibilities and outcomes 

After a blind review of applicant’s essay and resume, demographic information will be considered by reviewers to ensure the cohort demographic composition reflects multiple dimensions of diversity. 

Prospective fellows can expect to learn of their acceptance via email by Monday, July 31, 2023. 

For questions about eligibility, the application process, or other aspects of the New Leaders Fellowship, please email You can also join our informational webinar on June 22, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Register here.

The 2022 New Leaders Fellows

The New Leaders Fellowship develops future leaders from backgrounds underrepresented in science and technology centers and museums by offering skill-based leadership training in a diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity (DAIE)-centered curriculum. This year’s cohort includes a range of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. Read on to discover more about each Fellow in their bio below.

Tyler Begneaud (he/him)

Guest and Member Relations Manager
Scott Family Amazeum
Bentonville, Arkansas

Tyler joined the Scott Family Amazeum in 2019 as Membership Manager and was recently promoted to Guest and Member Relations Manager. In his new role leading both Guest Services and Membership, he focuses on creating an engaging experience for all Amazeum guests and members. Prior to joining the Amazeum Tyler spent more than four years as Director of Guest Services at the Children’s Museum of Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana. He also worked for several years in attractions and hotels at Walt Disney World. Tyler is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Kyelle Byne (she/her)

Manager of Grant Programs
Science North
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Kyelle is a professional science communicator and an amateur podcast enthusiast. An experienced grant writer, Kyelle is proud to be part of the team at Science North where she manages the organization’s grant cycle, including identifying grant opportunities, liaising with funders, coordinating high quality proposals, leading impactful funding announcements, creating, and maintaining grant tracking tools and producing comprehensive reports. Kyelle serves on Science North’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Committee, is a board member for Fierté Sudbury Pride, and has a passion for advocating for and telling stories about equity, diversity, and inclusion issues.

Stephanie Drzymala (she/her)

Staff and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator
Buffalo Museum of Science
Buffalo, New York

Stephanie is a proud Latina from the West Side of Buffalo, New York, and coordinates volunteer engagement at the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. She is a Certified Volunteer Administrator and loves working with volunteers of all abilities. She is a bibliophile and has a passion for non-fiction and thrillers. In her spare time, Stephanie can be found with her face deep in a book or spending time with her wonderful husband.

Darius Jordan (he/him)

Program Manager
Discovery World
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Darius is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has a background in graphic arts and neighborhood outreach. He has a passion for helping others and has always prided himself `on being a community-minded team player. As the Program Manager of the Kohl’s Design It! Lab at Discovery World, he’s spent the last three years focusing on providing hands-on STEAM-based programs to schools and families in underserved areas of the city. Prior to this role, he worked in Guest Services, where a discrepancy between visitor attendance and visitor ZIP codes led him to co-create Access 414: a program that allows discounted admission and memberships to families within our state who rely on government assistance. Recently, he started serving on his organization’s DEI Committee, to help promote an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding for everyone. He is excited to become a part of the New Leaders Fellowship and for the opportunity to learn alongside other emerging leaders within the ASTC community.

Ben Kinion (he/him)

Museum Manager
The Science Zone
Casper, Wyoming

Ben was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming, which is where he has also been working at the Science Zone for the past 11 years. He has a great love for science centers, museums, and non-profit work in general, so this is where I have found my calling! He graduated with a bachelors in 2016, and he is starting his graduate school journey the fall of 2022 in Public Administration with a focus in nonprofits. In his free time, he can be found traveling (to other museums!), reading, or gaining more knowledge!

Colette Militello (she/her)

Exhibits Experience Technician
Fleet Science Center
San Diego, California

Colette was born to be a museum professional, though her initial path saw her serving her country first as a mechanic in the U.S. Army. While deployed she rediscovered her love of learning. Once returned to home, she earned her BA in History and, during her studies, she developed a passion for museum work while interning at the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum. So, she set off to make this her career by pursuing an MA in Museum Studies at the University of San Francisco. She interned at the Oakland Museum of California where she enjoyed all the museum had to offer, including its science related collection. Once her studies were complete, she returned home and began working as Exhibits Experience Technician at the Fleet Science Center. She is a hardworking, ambitious, and dedicated professional who has goals of running her own museum one day. For now, she is focusing her purpose on her life’s work of bringing education, joy, and the betterment of communities through museum learning.

Christina Moscat (she/her)

Manager, Youth & Bilingual Offerings
Museum of Science, Boston
Boston, Massachusetts

Christina is a museum professional with over 15 years of experience working in science, art, children, and history museums in the Greater Boston area. She has a passion for informal education, STEAM initiatives, early childhood education, youth development and multilingual offerings. In her current role at the Museum of Science, she works with the Community Engagement department and works on co-creating learning experiences for school, family, teen, and Spanish-speaking audiences. She is especially excited to help grow the Museum’s new initiative, MOS en Español, which focuses on creating in-museum, in-community, and digital experiences that are culturally relevant and/or bilingual in English and Spanish for the Latinx and Hispanic community. When not working, Christina enjoys traveling with her family to explore new sites, finding creative ways to entertain her two cats, and introducing her one-year-old to the great wide world.

Corey Thomas (he/him)

Manager of Visitor Services
Kentucky Science Center
Louisville, Kentucky

“I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams.”
Corey is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. Born and raised in the west-end of Louisville, he was fortunate enough to graduate from the Central High School Magnet Career Academy, a historically and predominately Black high school in the inner city. He continued his studies at the University of Louisville, where he earned his BS in Pan-African Studies with a minor in Communication. It was there that he gained his passion for knowledge through an Afro-centric lens, which led him to pursue his track in Pan-African Studies. Through this program he was able to travel and study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and in Trinidad and Tobago, where he gained an intensified love for his people. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just words to him but are morals that he stands and lives by every day. As the manager of Visitor Services at the Kentucky Science Center, he cultivates these morals in spaces that were systemically and systematically designed to exclude and neglect those who look like him. He looks forward to this seat at the table for continual learning and sustainable growth.

Louise Tollisen (she/her)

Lead Designer
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Portland, Oregon

Louise is a designer with a decade of experience working directly with organizations to build inclusive and accessible products with thoughtful practices. Her background is in designing for public education—this is where she found her passion for the intersection of learning, thoughtful inclusive design, and fun. Louise is the Lead Designer for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and she specializes in finding creative ways to make knowledge easier for anyone to access. In her free time, Louise enjoys applying principles for interactive learning and design to developing video games with her friends.

David Valentine (he/him)

Museum Access and Equity Program Manager
Science Museum of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Born in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, and raised in the Pacific Northwest, David is a writer, woodcarver, musician, and conversationalist who specializes in equity and community engagement at the Science Museum of Minnesota. He focuses on power-sharing and collaboration with communities, seeking to subvert white supremacist culture in organizations, and creating fertile ground that helps genuine relationships to grow. He is also currently a Community Science Dialogue & Deliberation Fellow for the Association of Science and Technology Centers.

David has founded, chaired, and been a member for various committees for inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, including the Seattle Cultural Accessibility Consortium, the Seattle Center Racial Equity Cohort, and MASS Action’s Anti-Racism Community of Practice. He has also participated in cooperative screenwriting groups, musical collaborations, festivals, arts institutions, and community organizations. When he finds time away from the nonprofit grind, you can find him dancing in a crowd, flying somewhere new, or enjoying a few picklebacks around a campfire with his closest friends.

Prinda Wanakule (she/her)

Senior Director for Inclusive Research, Development and Impact Measurement
The Tech Interactive
San Jose, California

Prinda is the Senior Director for Inclusive Research, Development and Impact Measurement at The Tech Interactive. She leads a creative, multidisciplinary team of experience developers, researchers, and prototypers, working on a diverse range of projects that integrate inclusive design into the visitor experience. Taking a systems-level approach to integrating these practices, Prinda also serves as a continuous improvement process leader and is responsible for ensuring that STEM inclusion is an outcome for all programs at The Tech. Prinda is passionate about creating learning experiences that build creative confidence, perseverance, and empathy, and encourages everyone to discover their creative problem-solving potential. Drawing from her lived experience and identities as a member of an immigrant family, ethnic minority, and gender minority in the engineering profession, she strives to advocate for all communities that have been marginalized in STEM. Prinda earned her PhD in Biomedical Engineering and has more than 15 years of experience in making and engineering design in informal learning environments.

Staff Contact

For questions about the New Leaders Fellowship, please email Melissa Ballard, Director of Programs.

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