Denise Young has been selected to serve as executive director of the Bell Museum + Planetarium at the University of Minnesota. She will begin her duties in September 2016.
Young has served as director of education and planning at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for more than a decade. While at Morehead, she expanded the Summer Science Camps program (from 12 campers to 2,000 campers), led the production of seven fulldome planetarium shows, developed the Science Ambassadors program and co-founded the North Carolina Science Festival.
“Denise has been an incredible leader and a champion for science education at Morehead,” said Todd Boyette, Morehead’s director. “She has helped establish Morehead as a world leader among science centers and planetariums on university campuses.
“Under her leadership, I know that Bell Museum + Planetarium will experience the same growth and recognition that Morehead has gained.”
Originally established as the Bell Museum of Natural History in 1872, the Bell Museum + Planetarium shares many characteristics with Morehead. It’s based on the campus of a Research I public university; it offers a combination of exhibits, planetarium shows, educational programs and other offerings; and it provides significant programming for K-12 audiences.
As executive director of the Bell Museum + Planetarium, Young will draw upon her experiences both at Morehead and as a lead classroom educator, a gifted education specialist and a clinical assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Morehead is currently working on plans for filling this vacancy and will announce those plans soon.
About the Bell Museum
The Bell Museum is Minnesota's state natural history museum, founded in 1872 and part of the University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, is set to open a new museum and planetarium in 2018. Our mission is to ignite curiosity and wonder, explore our connections to nature and the universe, and create a better future for our evolving world. For details, visit bellmuseum.umn.edu.
About Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center delivers informal science education programs as part of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Founded in 1949, Morehead is best known for its original planetarium shows, which are distributed to dozens of planetariums worldwide, and for its history as a training center for Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Skylab astronauts. Each year, Morehead on-site and outreach programs serve more than 150,000 North Carolinians. Morehead also founded and produces the annual North Carolina Science Festival. For more information, visit moreheadplanetarium.org or call 919-962-1236.