2014 Special Election Candidates' Statements from:
Candidate Statement from Steve Savage
The young man pictured behind John Paris, the then Technical Director of the Strasenburgh Planetarium, Rochester, New York, was getting his first lessons in preparing special effects projectors for a new show. Some of you may not even know of this era and how we got to where we are now. In 1968 the Strasenburgh was the most advanced planetarium in the world and I was lucky enough to work with the very best people in the planetarium profession. My name is Steve Savage and I was 15 years old when we shot this picture.
Now some 45 years later I continue to work with the best people in the planetarium profession. I am honored to be nominated as president of IPS, which I have been a member for a long, long time. Since my beginnings at Strasenburgh I have been nurtured in many of the re-inventions of planetarium technology and content. I would like to nurture IPS in the same way, to keep IPS modern, relevant and fun.
There is incredible diversity in IPS and it has only just begun to stretch its global legs. Now, domes of every size and flavor are inspiring children in every corner of every country. It’s my desire to help IPS continue to grow its membership in every country, sweeten the professional development of our membership, and nurture our organization to stay sharp, modern and nimble in the digital era. The Vision 2020 project will help shape that work ahead of us.
The far-reaching impact of our work under the dome is a testament to the lifelong dedication to many of our members. The evolution of the planetarium as a vibrant venue for education and entertainment requires relentless work. No single individual can accomplish all of this; it comes from all of us, in every corner of this planet. It would be an honor to serve as your president to continue our inspiring work under the dome.
Steven T. Savage
Candidate Statement from Joanne Young
I am both humbled and thrilled to be nominated for IPS President in this special election. This is indeed a great honor for me and I thank you.
Permit me this opportunity to introduce myself to those of you who may not know me. I am the co-founder and Managing Director of Audio-Visual Imagineering, a company that has proudly been serving the planetarium community for the past 37 years. I became a member of IPS 32 years ago and, during that time, it has been my privilege to support IPS as a vendor, sponsor and contributor of many programs and new technologies. I can state, with great pride, that my professional life has been dedicated and devoted to serving both you and the formal and non-formal educational communities we support.
I would like to take this moment to recognize and thank our president of the past two years, Thomas Kraupe. Under his leadership we have witnessed so much innovation and strive for excellence. Perhaps the most noteworthy is Vision 2020. This extraordinary idea endeavors to shape a globally productive future for our organization. As your IPS President, I would continue working with the Planning Team, the Vision 2020 Committees, the Councils and the officers in IPS having a stronger voice in the shaping of educational guidelines, communicating exciting new discoveries in astronomy and space sciences and delivering, in an understandable way, the result of scientific research.
What have I done to demonstrate my commitment to forwarding the interests of IPS?
- I have been actively involved in the building, restoration and renovation of planetariums of all sizes and in many settings, from academic to museum. Seeing many planetariums underfunded or closed causes me to shudder with fear for our industry and has forced me to wonder, “What would it truly take for planetariums to become viable and essential for their schools, universities, museums or even communities?”
- I have come to realize that our institutions and the customers they serve need to see results of viable research on the positive effects of planetariums and the teaching practices of those who operate and educate within them. Working with this realization, my company began to take steps. Working together with Kim Small of Arcadia University and Dr. Julia Plummer of Penn State, we researched students’ retention of core information taught in a planetarium days after a presentation and then again one year later. The results will serve as a guide to help us improve as we develop and deliver our programs.
- I watched our researchers at work and realized how planetarium educators are also a rich resource for supporting local schools and training teachers in science education.
- In keeping with the goal of establishing and cementing planetariums as being essential and invaluable, IPS can grow to become an effective conduit in the world-wide distribution of news and research, not only to our planetarium professionals but also to science educators of all fields.
- Little did I know when I set out to work in the planetarium industry that I would find my heart. While attending the 2001 IPS Conference in Sri Lanka, I discovered a love for the children that I could barely contain. As a result I partnered with Dave Weinrich and Jon Elvert to work with Jacob Ashong of Ghana to build the first planetarium for the children of Ghana.
When Kyle Doane announced his project to bring a portable digital planetarium to Kenya schools I was excited and thankful to be one of his supporters. It fills me with almost overwhelming joy and pride to report that, because of this collective undertaking, teachers and children in Ghana and Kenya are joyful in learning about their solar system and universe.
Why I am qualified
- Having run my own business serving many industries including the planetarium world, I have developed successful business and management skills as an overseer of multiple projects occurring simultaneously.
- I was one of the founding directors of the International Laser Display Association and a past president.
- I have spent the last few years actively engaged in promoting research in our industry.
- I currently work in Kenya with orphaned children.
If elected – and I am excited about the prospect! – I promise that I will work diligently and tirelessly alongside you all in bringing Vision 2020 to the next level so that we may reach our collective desire to be better educational resources and inspire the next generation of learners.