Planetarium Director Honored by Science Convention
Amie Gallagher, Director of the Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium, has been honored with the Thomas Fangman Award from the New Jersey Science Convention (NJSC). Gallagher received the award at the Convention’s recent banquet, held October 17 at the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal.
Established in 2002 by members of the Science Convention Steering Committee, the award is given to someone who has contributed exemplary service to the Convention over a long period of time. The award was named for Thomas Fangman, a former and much-admired member of the NJSC Steering Committee.
Gallagher, a resident of Somerset, has attended the NJSC for 20 years and is actively involved with the Convention and assists in selecting banquet speakers.
A member of the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS) and the International Planetarium Society for more than 30 years, Gallagher serves as Secretary of the Society, is a member of the MAPS Education Committee, and has been honored as a MAPS Fellow for service to the organization. She also authored two volumes of a children's encyclopedia on space; has acted as an editorial consultant for various publications for children and adults about space and the solar system; and has co-created educational guides for teachers.
Gallagher also served as a keynote speaker and as a panelist at StarFest, an astronomy event held November 3-5 at Bays Mountain Nature Center in Kingsport, TN. This year’s theme was “Sky Tales: Telling the stories of the sky through the world’s cultures.” Gallagher engaged participants in discussion and activities that focused on exploring various codes that may have been used by enslaved people traveling the Underground Railroad. Some of those included secret messages spread through quilt squares, and learning to follow the Big Dipper and the North Star. Gallagher used the RVCC Planetarium’s star show for children, "Follow the Drinking Gourd,” as a springboard for the activities. The show, which is based on Jeanette Winters’ same-titled book, focuses on the astronomy used during the time of the Underground Railroad.
RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.
November 7, 2023
Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383