Team Transitions at CAISE

CAISE Square

August 18th, 2019

With a tear, and a smile, the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) announces that three members of the team are transitioning to new professional roles in the field. 

Since its inception, CAISE has evolved by continuing to include and invite the expertise and perspectives of professionals working in a variety of informal learning settings.

CAISE staff is housed at the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), working closely with co–principal investigators (co-PIs) from academic institutions and other organizations across the United States.

Bronwyn Bevan heads to the Wallace Foundation

bronwyn bevan caise pi meeting 2019
Dr. Bronwyn Bevan, second from left, facilitates a small-group discussion at the 2019 NSF AISL PI Meeting in Alexandria, VA.

Bronwyn Bevan, who has served as a CAISE co-PI since 2017, and as a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle, College of Education, has been named the new Director of Research at the Wallace Foundation in New York, New York.

According to the Wallace Foundation’s press release, in her new role Bronwyn will “contribute significantly to the design of initiatives in the foundation’s program areas, integrate research in all areas of work and, as a member of the senior management team, share responsibility for strategic planning, public policy engagement, and organizational policy and development.”

CAISE is deeply grateful for Bronwyn’s many contributions to research and practice in informal STEM learning and for her vision and leadership related to our broadening participation and research and practice work. Her scholarship and legacy of design work provide a rich source of knowledge that we will continue to draw on and learn from. We wish her all the best in her new adventure.

CAISE’s other co-PIs, Kevin Crowley, Cecilia Garibay, and Martin Storksdieck, continue to help guide the project’s directions and the development of our activities and resources.

Other CAISE staff “goodbyes”

ASTC is in the midst of its own exciting transition—building an expanded team to offer new programs, updated services, and strengthened partnerships and collaborations.

Melissa Ballard, CAISE’s Communications and Community Manager, is transitioning to her new role over the next few months as ASTC’s Senior Manager of Communications, where she will focus on building tools and facilitating programs to help science centers and museums “make the case” for the value and impact of their work in their local communities, and collectively on a national and global scale. Rachel Diamond, who recently served as CAISE’s Project Manager, has moved into new position as ASTC’s Manager of Operations and Board Relations, where she supports ASTC’s leadership and board in delivering on new strategic priorties and projects.

The CAISE co-PIs and I appreciate the thoughtful, dedicated work that Melissa and Rachel have done to establish a strong foundation for the next phase of CAISE work. While we will miss their close collaboration, we are heartened to know that they will be just down the hall at the CAISE and ASTC offices!

We are now seeking three new team members to help us to continue to build knowledge and infrastructure for the field: a Senior Manager of Community, a Project Manager, and a Communications Coordinator. Please refer any potentially promising candidates who are looking for new opportunities to us at

astc 2018 melissa rachel caise booth
Melissa and Rachel staffing the CAISE exhibit hall booth at the 2018 ASTC Annual Conference in Hartford, CT.