Amanda Womac, President
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 teaches public relations writing at UT. She 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.
Robin Hill, Vice President
Robin has been an active engineer since graduating with a BSME from Auburn in 1949. Robin has extensive Engineering Project Management experience in a variety of areas, including environmental, utilities, production facilities, experimental facilities and nuclear projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Oak Ridge Y-12 plant.
In addition, Robin served as a Knox County Commissioner for 10 years from 1970 to 1980 and was a member of the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission from 1982 to 2010. Robin served as chair of the Commission for 20 years.
Robin has been an active member of the Sierra Club since 1987 and served as chair of the Harvey Broome Group from 2010 – 2015. Robin now serves as vice-chair. Robin continues to be an active citizen participant in environmental and engineering issues facing local governments of the 19 counties in Tennessee served by the Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club.
Robin looks forward to serving as an officer of the UT Science Forum because of “my avid interest in the intersection of technology, government and society.”
Mark Littmann, Program Coordinator
Mark 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.
Former secretary/treasurer Mike Plummer passed away February 1, 2019, at his home. Mike was formerly of DeGraff and Cleveland, Ohio; Bowie, Maryland; and Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He received his bachelor’s degree from Fenn College, Cleveland, Ohio, and Master’s degree from Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. He was employed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Whiteoak, Maryland, and at Northrup Corporation, Rancho Palos Verde, California. Mike was an avid supporter of all things scientific, particularly the UT Science Forum. He enjoyed travel, classical and jazz music, playing pinochle and amateur ping-pong, walking his, (and others’) dogs. Mike considered himself to have been very fortunate in his life. He was appreciative of his loved ones and his career. Mike is survived by his wife, Katherine DeBiase Wasmund.