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Say Hello to the New CAISE Team Members!

November was an exciting and busy month, as CAISE welcomed two new staff members to the CAISE team—Shannon Sullivan as our Project Manager and Sasha Palmquist as our Senior Manager of Community.

Both have rich and varied experience in the informal STEM education field and are looking forward to working with the InformalScience.org community. CAISE is housed at the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) in Washington, DC.

Shannon Sullivan, our new CAISE Project Manager, has an MA in Museum Studies from Georgetown University and a BA from Mount Holyoke College in Politics and Art History. After growing up in the Greater Yellowstone area, she managed cultural and natural history collections at a museum in Jackson Hole, WY, for seven years and parlayed that experience into encouraging small institutions to be both innovative and inclusive.

For the last four years she worked at the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street (MoMS) initiative, developing traveling exhibitions that serve rural, underserved audiences in all 50 states and Guam. Her primary focus at MoMS was fostering the expansion of STEM engagement through Stories: YES, a grant program that develops strong community collaborations between cultural organizations and youth audiences. She also conducted research for the upcoming exhibition Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture, which will premiere at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in March 2020. Shannon’s expertise includes partnership-building, collections and digital asset management, rights and reproduction, project management, and interdisciplinary projects combining STEM and humanities.

In her role at CAISE, she will manage tasks associated with our National Science Foundation (NSF) cooperative agreement, Principal Investigator meetings for NSF's Advaning Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, and reporting to NSF. She will also provide administrative support and curation of InformalScience.org’s digital repository. Shannon can be reached at ssullivan@informalscience.org.

Sasha Palmquist, our new Senior Manager of Community, is a learning science researcher and professional evaluator of informal learning experiences. She earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied the learning impact of afterschool science programs on urban middle-school youth. Sasha completed MS and PhD degrees in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and produced research that explored the impact of young children’s interest and knowledge on family learning conversations in museums.

She contributed to CAISE's Principal Investigator's Guide to Managing Evaluation in Informal STEM Education Projects and to the planning process for the launch of the new InformalScience.org website in 2012.

Sasha will plan and manage CAISE’s community engagement efforts, particularly with NSF AISL Principal Investigators and project teams, shepherding a redesign of InformalScience.org, managing the development of new online resources, and supporting overall project management. She can be reached at spalmquist@informalscience.org.


As a reminder, a couple months ago we said goodbye to co-PI Bronwyn Bevan, who is now the Director of Research at the Wallace Foundation, and Melissa Ballard, who is now the Senior Manager of Communications at ASTC. Melissa will continue to support CAISE’s communications efforts until a new Communications Coordinator is hired.

Posted by James Bell