Alumni News

Alumna Denise Young named director of Minnesota museum

Denise Young

Denise Young (A.B.Ed. '93, M.S.A. '03, Ed.D. '12), director of education and planning at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, has been named executive director of the Bell Museum + Planetarium at the University of Minnesota.

Young, also a clinical assistant professor in Carolina’s School of Education, joined the Morehead in 2002 as its first-ever full-time outreach educator. She became education director in 2004.

In addition to co-founding the North Carolina Science Festival, a multi-day showcase of science and technology, Young directed educational programming that included summer camps, children’s classes, adult classes and “visitor experiences.” During her tenure at the Morehead, science center annual visitation nearly doubled to 150,000 and philanthropic support increased dramatically.

Young earned her three degrees from the School of Education: her Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction, a master’s degree in school administration and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and American studies. She was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow and was also awarded the prestigious North Carolina Principal Fellowship.

She has served North Carolina’s public schoolchildren as a classroom teacher, a gifted education specialist and a school-based curriculum facilitator, working at an inner city integrated arts magnet school and a science-focused elementary public school in Durham.

In 1998, Young was awarded National Board Certification for demonstrated excellence in teaching.

In Minnesota, Young will oversee the Bell Museum + Planetarium as it prepares to move to a new, facility with improved exhibits space, a 120‐seat planetarium/digital theater and expanded educational areas on the university’s St. Paul campus. The new building will open in 2018.

The Bell Museum of Natural History was established in 1872 as the official natural history museum for the state of Minnesota and includes world‐class collections and award‐winning public programming. In 2011, the Bell Museum was joined by the Minnesota Planetarium Society in a merger that expanded the capacity and range of educational experiences for youth and adults.

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