Ivel Gontan (she/they) is a museum professional with a background in research, evaluation, and program management, now serving as a Civic Science Fellow with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)’s Community Science Initiative. Ivel holds an M.A. in Museum Studies with a focus in Education (STEM focus thesis) from John F. Kennedy University, and a B.A. in Philosophy and Anthropology from SUNY Purchase. She is particularly interested in learning ways underrepresented audiences become engaged and succeed in STEM fields and ways that science can be a catalyst for communities to advance their own priorities. In her current work with ASTC Ivel is building a framework for community science in informal science learning spaces, focusing on attributes and outcomes of successful collaborations that prioritize community led initiatives.
Ivel believes museums are institutions uniquely positioned to affect real and meaningful change in communities. A two-time ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellow and a Civic Science Fellow with the Rita Allen Foundation, her work in museums and professional associations has revolved around social justice, focusing on how to make the scientific enterprise more equitable and helping make museums more inclusive institutions for local communities, visitors, and staff.