McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
Jeanne T. Gerulskis beganher tenure as Executive Director of the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in January, 1998. Upon the passing of Derry NH native Alan B. Shepard, America’s first astronaut, in July 1998, Gerulskis and staff began work with community leaders and educators, scientists and engineers, the State of New Hampshire and NASA to transform the Planetarium into a 45,000-square-foot science center dedicated to Christa McAuliffe and Alan Shepard. The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center opened in March 2009, with two floors of interactive exhibits on astronomy, aviation, Earth and space science, an observatory, full-dome digital planetarium, science store, dedicated parking lot and outdoor exhibits.
Gerulskis received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Williams College in 1979. She came to New Hampshire with a background in the museum field, the tourism industry, and a lifelong interest in astronomy. Prior to her present position, she was Senior Curator of Programs for Ketchikan Museums, overseeing all programs and exhibits at a Native American cultural center and museum, Totem Heritage Center, and a history museum, Tongass Historical Museum, in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Gerulskis currently serves on the New Hampshire Space Grant Board and on the Bow NH Rotary Club and Foundation boards as immediate past president. Born and raised in Norwood, MA, Gerulskis spent childhood vacations in New Hampshire. She gathered together with family and friends around a small black and white TV in 1969 on Tucker Pond in Warner, NH, to watch Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step onto the surface of the Moon. Gerulskis is delighted to be able to play a role in inspiring the next generation of space explorers, scientists and engineers through her work at the Discovery Center and on the NH Space Grant Consortium board. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.