GREAT LAKES SCIENCE CENTER NAMES DR. KIRSTEN ELLENBOGEN AS PRESIDENT
Internationally Recognized Leader in Informal STEM Education Coming to Cleveland
March 4th, 2013
CLEVELAND (March 4, 2013) – Great Lakes Science Center’s Board of Directors named Dr. Kirsten Ellenbogen as president of Great Lakes Science Center, starting May 6.
A widely published science center veteran, Ellenbogen brings more than 20 years of experience as an informal educator, learning researcher and senior leader to her new role as the third president for the science center. Her appointment follows a six-month-long national search, lead by board chair Paul Dolan and managed by international recruiting firm, SpencerStuart.
“Kirsten is an expert in how families learn together in informal science environments. Her proven ability to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education outcomes will be a valuable resource for the entire region,” said Paul Dolan. “Great Lakes Science Center is the leading provider of informal STEM education for Northeast Ohio, and we could not imagine a better fit for our strategic direction.”
Her energetic leadership during the last two decades has advanced informal STEM education through four centers with a national or international scope, and a combined funding of more than $30M. These centers were designed to create infrastructure, provide training, and measure the impact of informal STEM education. For example, Ellenbogen was the founding project director of the Center for Informal Learning and Schools at King’s College London, which was designed to develop a new generation of leaders who could better understand and support learning across formal and informal settings. Currently, Ellenbogen is co-principal investigator of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education that works in collaboration with the National Science Foundation to strengthen and advance the field of informal STEM education and its infrastructure by providing resources and building community.
“I am delighted to lead an organization where our staff is passionate, our audience is inspired, and our community is strong,” said Ellenbogen. “Great Lakes Science Center is uniquely positioned in the region to make today’s rapid advances in science and technology a relevant part of everyone’s life. I am confident that we will be able to develop the Science Center’s collaborations and community partnerships to stimulate innovation, improve STEM education, and advance the 21st century skills of our current and future workforce.”
Ellenbogen’s extensive involvement in the science center field has included learning research and evaluation that pioneered methods and professionalized practice. She has dozens of publications including articles in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Science Education, Curator, and the Journal of Museum Education, as well as book chapters. Her Ph.D. in Science Education is from Vanderbilt University and her B.A. is from the University of Chicago. Her appointments include serving as a committee member for Section X of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and serving on the National Academy of Sciences committee that produced the volume, Learning Science in Informal Environments. In 2007, she was elected president of the Visitor Studies Association, a national association dedicated to understanding and enhancing learning experiences in informal settings through research, evaluation, and dialogue.
Ellenbogen has worked at five museums during the past two decades and consulted for more than thirty museums. Most recently, Ellenbogen served as senior director for lifelong learning at the Science Museum of Minnesota. She was charged with leading strategic visioning and a culture of innovation around lifelong learning in STEM at the organization. She served there eight years, securing more than $13M in grant funding during that time.
“ASTC is delighted with the choice of Kirsten Ellenbogen as president of Great Lakes Science Center, one of our leading member institutions. Ellenbogen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our community of professionals who are shaping the future of our field. She is held in high regard for her broad expertise in informal science education research, practice and evaluation. She is a consummate, multi-dimensional professional who will apply all of her talents and vision to the projects, programs and institutions she leads – and she has the full support and best wishes of ASTC in this exciting new endeavor,” said Bud Rock, executive director, Association of Science-Technology Centers.
“Kirsten is an excellent choice to lead Great Lake Science Center. She represents a unique blend of leadership, managerial acumen, fundraising ability, scholarship, and humanity. She brings a vision to this challenging position that is informed by her myriads of national and international connections, and her ability not only to think strategically but get things done will be essential to make the Science Center blossom in a radically changing STEM education landscape,” said Dr. Martin Storksdieck, director of the Board on Science Education at the National Research Council.
Ellenbogen was born and raised in Detroit, and came to Cleveland frequently while growing up to visit her mother’s family. Her husband, Charles Ellenbogen, is an English teacher and they have two children.
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About Great Lakes Science Center
Great Lakes Science Center is one of the nation’s leading science and technology centers and home to Northeast Ohio’s NASA Glenn Visitor Center. Its mission is to stimulate interest in and increase understanding of the sciences, with a particular emphasis on the interdependence of scientific, environmental and technological activities in the Great Lakes region. It features hundreds of hands-on exhibits, themed traveling exhibits, daily demonstrations, the awe-inspiring OMNIMAX® Theater and the Steamship William G. Mather. The Science Center is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Discounted parking is available for guests in the attached 500-car garage. Great Lakes Science Center is generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. For more information, contact the Science Center at (216) 694-2000 or visit www.GreatScience.com.
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