Meet Our Volunteers
Membership in the Moon Club is reserved for volunteers who have reached 100 hours of service in support of the Space Foundation Discovery Center and Space Foundation World Headquarters. Fourteen dedicated volunteers were welcomed into the Moon Club as inaugural members (pictured above from left to right): Steven Crowe, Jane (Janie) Ganyard, Warren Pearce, Janet Carlson, George Carlson, Terry Miller, Joseph Santa, David Koster, Wendy Perelstein and Anthony Harper. Not pictured - Moselle Bernal, Joan Powers, Lou Ramon and Marla Van Derwalker. Thank you for your commitment and hard work!
Meet Featured Volunteer Lou Ramon
(Feb. 2014) Lou Ramon has been a "space cadet" his entire life. As a young boy, he had his own model plane "air force" hanging from his bedroom ceiling and he grew up reading and watching science fiction TV shows and movies. So it's no wonder he ended up turning that passion into a lifelong career in the space industry.
Lou received a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from Cal Poly University in Pomona, Calif. Accomplishments of his nearly 50-year career, in and around the Johnson Space Center in Houston, are too numerous to mention. He has been involved in nearly every U.S. human spaceflight program from Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle, the International Space Station to Orion. Among the many highlights for him was working as part of Apollo 11, alongside astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. He worked on the development of the Manned Maneuvering Unit and the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System for the Space Shuttle. He also led a team that had a hand in the design of the International Space Station. After the Columbia Disaster, Lou led a Boeing team to assure the Space Shuttle was safe to return to flight. He continues to be passionate about human spaceflight and considers himself to be an "old-fashioned spaceman."
Lou began as a docent at the Discovery Center in the summer of 2013 and he volunteers because it offers him the opportunity to combine his interests in space and education. He enjoys talking to people about the space program and says, "I feel that I can help people to better understand what the space program is about, why it is important to them and to encourage youngsters to further their knowledge in science, technology, education and math (STEM)." Not surprisingly, he says his favorite exhibits in the Discovery Center are the ones that have ties to space programs he has worked on. He's partial to both the Lunar Module and the Lunar Rock (which has recently been returned to NASA), as well as the Space Shuttle and the U.S. spacesuit exhibits. Lou receives a great deal of fulfillment from volunteering in the Discovery Center and encourages anyone who is interested in space to volunteer. He says, "Go for it! The Discovery Center has great plans for the future and a great professional staff. Everyone here helps make the Discovery Center a unique and worthwhile resource to the region."
Lou retired in July of 2013 and he and Cindy, his wife of 30 years, settled down in Woodland Park, Colo. They fell in love with the mountains and the area after regularly visiting from Houston. They have three grown children who live in Houston, Seattle and Dallas. In addition to volunteering with the Space Foundation, Lou also volunteers with the FIRST Robotics Competition, the BEST Robotics Championships in Denver and the Woodland Park Music Series.
The benefits of volunteering with the Space Foundation are numerous. To read more about them and how you can volunteer to help further the Space Foundation's mission to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity, visit http://www.spacefoundation.org/about/volunteer-opportunities.
Meet Featured Volunteers George & Jan Carlson
(Oct. 2013) George and Jan Carlson enjoy spending time together and one way they choose to do just that is by volunteering at the Space Foundation Discovery Center – together.
George and Jan are both retired and have made their home in Colorado since 1983. They have two children – a son who lives in Broomfield, Colo., and a daughter in Dallas, Tex. – and three grandsons. George spent 21 years in the Air Force working as a Communications Center Specialist and an Aircraft Control & Warning Systems operator. After retiring from the Air Force, George worked as a Certification & Accreditation Specialist and has been retired “full-time” for four years. Jan retired last year after working in the administrative field for a government contractor dealing with acquisition of systems.
George started out volunteering with the Space Foundation at the 27th National Space Symposium in 2011. On opening day of the Discovery Center in October 2012, both George and Jan volunteered for the very first shift with George helping out in the Light Security area and Jan working primarily at the Admissions Desk.
George’s favorite artifact in the El Pomar Space Gallery is the Lunokhod Rover, a Soviet lunar rover on loan from the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center. He also enjoys interacting with the children who come through the Discovery Center. He said, “It’s always fun to see the expressions of amazement on their faces when they walk in.”
Jan’s favorite part of the Discovery Center is the Science On a Sphere®. While working the admissions desk, she has also enjoyed finding out where visitors have traveled from when she gets their zip code at check-in. Over this past summer, for the Summer of Discovery, she had an opportunity to talk to visitors from all over the United States and Canada. Both George and Jan say they’ve “really enjoyed seeing the changes and the growth of the Discovery Center throughout its first year of operation.”
From helping to educate the next generation to meeting people from across the country and beyond, the benefits of volunteering with the Space Foundation are numerous. To read more about the benefits and how you can volunteer to help further the Space Foundation’s mission to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity, visit http://www.spacefoundation.org/about/volunteer-opportunities.
Meet Featured Volunteer Joan Powers
(Sept. 2013) Joan Powers is a self-proclaimed space geek. That might seem odd for a certified public accountant, but when she's not crunching numbers during her day job, she likes to do something that fuels her passion for all things space - she volunteers with the Space Foundation!
Since February of 2012, Joan has been a dedicated volunteer with the Space Foundation. She started by volunteering at the Space Symposium, the premier annual gathering of the global space community held every spring at The Broadmoor Hotel. With more than 9,000 participants, the four-day Space Symposium requires more than 300 volunteers just like Joan, who may work from as little as four hours to as much as several months gearing up for this event. Then, when we opened the Discovery Center in October of 2012, Joan jumped at the chance to volunteer as a docent, where she gets to answer questions about the exhibits in the El Pomar Space Gallery – Joan’s favorite exhibit is the Moon rock! - and assist with Science On a Sphere®. She has also volunteered to help with special events such as the Space & Science Fiction Halloween Ball, an annual fundraising event to benefit Space Foundation STEM Education programs and the Summer of Discovery, our ten-week, summer-long program of special themed activities at the Discovery Center.
Joan’s passion for space began at a very early age and was encouraged by her mother, who shared the same passion. As a young child, she vividly remembers the Moon landing in 1969 and the hardships encountered by the crew of the Apollo 13 mission, both of which made a huge impression on her. She has tried to instill a love for learning in her two children, now ages 18 and 20, by exposing them to space-related adventures such as a trip to see the final launch of the Space Shuttle program when Atlantis launched from Kennedy Space Center in July of 2011. She was also lucky enough to witness the final launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery in February of 2011, something she describes as one of the most emotional moments of her life.
It’s obvious that Joan is fulfilled by her work with the Space Foundation and she encourages anyone who has even a small amount of spare time and an interest in space and science to volunteer. “You have no idea of the quality of people you can meet to further your passion,” she says. Her own highlights include meeting Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and running into Roger Hunter, project manager of the Kepler Mission, who took time to chat with her about the mission and NASA’s search for habitable planets while charging his cell phone at the Space Symposium. “Not to mention, all the other volunteers you meet, many of whom are top-notch space industry folks,” she adds. The benefits of volunteering are numerous. To read more about them and how you can volunteer and help further the Space Foundation’s mission to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity, visit http://www.spacefoundation.org/about/volunteer-opportunities.