Karen Jennings named publicity director of the Astronomy Foundation

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Credit: Nate Jennings
Many of you know the Astronomy Foundation (AF), the outreach group that promotes events to spread the joy of astronomy, whose board consists of various executives from the telescope industry. It‘s my distinct pleasure as president of the group to announce that Karen Jennings, the AF’s vice president, will become its director of publicity.

The additional role of managing public relations will be seamless for Jennings as she has already been working to build relationships between the professional and amateur astronomy communities and science organizations, and has been helping to improve AF community outreach efforts. “I will work passionately to build a bridge between the Astronomy Foundation and the community to help fulfill our mission in stimulating a greater public interest in astronomy and assist everyone in becoming more engaged in activities that allow them to learn more about the universe,” she says.

As a dedicated astronomy sciences advocate and amateur astronomer, Jennings brings professional experience in public and community relations, and nonprofit management to her new role with the AF. She is serving her third term as an elected town council member in Townsend, Delaware, chairs the Energy & Environment Committee, and has established a light-pollution ordinance in her municipality as well as regular community outreach events such as “Astronomy in the Park.”

Those of you who follow the foundation’s activities know that Karen has recently produced “Sidewalk Astronomy” and “Star Party” resource guides that are available to astronomy clubs, educators, and advocates as downloadable PDFs. Jennings is also the astronomy club committee chair for the foundation and has been communicating frequently with astronomy clubs in the United States and elsewhere to solicit their participation in AF activities.

Moreover, she is the author of “Why Gen X and Y should care about astronomy” in the February 2011 issue of Astronomy magazine.

Karen began her undergraduate studies as a dance major at the University of the Arts, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in psychology. She is currently working on outreach initiatives that include collaborations between the astronomy and arts communities; amateur telescope making; observing aids that will help those with physical and intellectual disabilities; and programming to help broaden diversity in amateur astronomy and to increase participation by Gen X and Y in the hobby.

Karen is married to amateur astronomer and telescope maker Chuck Jennings, and they have two children.

For more information, see the Astronomy Foundation website , the Astronomy Foundation’s page on Facebook, and the Astronomy Foundation area on Astronomy.com.

To contact Karen regarding astro events, email her at  k.jennings@astronomyfoundation.org.

Congratulations, Karen!

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