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Forum Officers

Amanda Womac, President

Amanda Womac is the director of communications for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a freelance science writer.

Amanda received a BA in creative writing from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in 2003. She studied science journalism at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and received her MS in 2008. While attending graduate school, Amanda worked in the College of Engineering Communications where she had many opportunities to publish science-based articles in the college’s newsletter, annual reports and other publications. Amanda also interned at the Oak Ridge National Lab’s Spallation Neutron Source. Amanda has contributed regularly to Quest and The Ledger.

Amanda is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, past president of the East Tennessee Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and vice chair for Three Rivers Market board of directors. She contributes to Smokies Life and is the former editor and publisher of Hellbender Press, East Tennessee’s environmental newspaper.

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Mark Littmann, Program Coordinator

dr. mark littmannMark Littmann is professor of journalism and electronic media and holds the Julia G. and Alfred G. Hill Chair of Excellence in Science, Technology, and Medical Writing. He received a BS in chemistry and literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MA in creative writing at Hollins College, and a PhD in English at Northwestern University.

Professor Littmann’s most recent books are Totality: Eclipses of the Sun (3rd editions 2008, 2009, coauthors Fred Espenak and Ken Willcox; 2nd edition 1999, co-authors Ken Willcox and Fred Espenak; first edition 1991, co-author Ken Willcox); Planets Beyond: Discovering the Outer Solar System (1988, 1990, 2004); The Heavens on Fire: The Great Leonid Meteor Storms (1998, 1999); and Comet Halley: Once in a Lifetime (co-author Donald K. Yeomans, 1985). Planets Beyond won the Science Writing Award of the American Institute of Physics. Comet Halley won the Elliott Montroll Special Award of the New York Academy of Sciences. Both were also chosen by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific as Astronomy Books of the Year. The Heavens on Fire, Totality, and Planets Beyond were Astronomy Book Club selections.

Littmann received the College of Communication and Information Research Award in 2000 and Teaching Award in 2009. Before joining the journalism faculty in 1991, Littmann taught astronomy at Loyola College in Baltimore, astronomy and literature at the University of Utah and Westminster College in Salt Lake City, and literature and writing at Northwestern University. In Salt Lake City, he was director of the Hansen Planetarium from 1965 to 1983. He wrote and produced 35 planetarium programs, some of which are still performed worldwide.

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