AAAS Selects Richard Weibl To Head S&T Careers Center
Richard Weibl, the former U.S. editor for Science’s Next Wave, has been named project director of AAAS’s Center for Careers in Science and Technology. In the post, Weibl will serve as a linchpin for AAAS’s broad international efforts to provide career information to S&T students, post-docs and professionals.
At a time when U.S. industry, educators and government are increasingly concerned by declining interest in science and engineering careers, AAAS and the journal Science are currently engaged in more than a dozen career-related initiatives. As staffers come together under auspices of the careers center, Weibl will take a lead role in identifying opportunities for collaboration between these programs as well as funding and implementing new projects that may emerge from their discussions.
“We are truly fortunate to have been able to attract Ric back to AAAS,” said Shirley Malcom, head of Education and Human Resources (EHR) at AAAS. “He knows the organization. He can help us leverage current programs and build those things that are needed. Ric’s experience helps us bring all the pieces together.”
In an interview, Weibl described the Center for Careers in Science and Technology as a vehicle for creating new collaboration and synergy among different departments and projects at AAAS. “It’s taking advantage of and helping each other see mutual interests and opportunities,” he said. “In doing so we will offer AAAS members, and future members, high-quality career development support.”
Malcom suggested that Weibl and the careers center might seek to develop services that currently are in short supply. Among the possibilities: career guidance for pre-college students, their parents and teachers; online courses to assist in career transition; and information on new opportunities for late-career scientists.
Weibl has extensive background in educational leadership and administration, research and evaluation, and faculty development; his career reflects special emphasis on improving graduate education, assuring access and success for historically under-represented populations, and organizational change. He started work in his new post on 3 October.
The AAAS Center for Careers in Science and Technology, under Malcom’s oversight, has served to bring together all AAAS managers whose work is related to S&T careers. Among the projects involved have been ScienceCareers.org and Science’s Next Wave, both managed by the journal Science; the Minority Scientists Network; the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship; the ENTRY POINT! internship program for young scientists and engineers with disabilities; the AAAS Annual Meeting and various teacher-development initiatives undertaken by EHR.
From January 2003 until May of this year, Weibl served with the U.S. Peace Corps in South Africa as an education and community development volunteer, based in rural North West Province. He helped six primary schools, a high school and several communities to build their educational capacity. He also developed materials to support school efforts to secure community and corporate support for infrastructure improvement, and he helped small business owners with development strategies.
Before the Peace Corps assignment, Weibl served as U.S. editor for Science’s Next Wave from January 2002 to December 2002. For about six months before that, he served as an editor at Next Wave’s Postdoc Network.
From November 1998 to June 2001, he served as director of Programs, Education and Institutional Initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C.
Earlier, he served in research and administrative positions at Antioch College in Ohio; Ohio State University; and Longwood College in Farmville, Va.
Edward W. Lempinen
20 October 2005