The International Planetarium Society’s Service Award, the highest honor conferred, was presented to Youngstown State University’s Planetarium Lecturer, Sharon Shanks at the annual IPS Conference www.ips-planetarium.org held July 22-27, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Shanks was recognized for her work during the past six years as executive editor of Planetarian, the quarterly IPS professional journal. She was also named a Fellow of IPS at the Awards Banquet.
Standing Rules of IPS state, “An IPS Service Award shall be bestowed, from time to time, by the Society upon an individual or institution whose presence and work in the planetarium field has been, through the years, an inspiration to the profession and its members.” Between 1982 and 2010, twenty-one Service Awards were presented.
Shanks, a 1978 graduate of YSU, worked seven years as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Columbiana County before returning to work at YSU in 1985. She has been the planetarium lecturer for 15 years and is a member of the Great Lakes Planetarium Society and a fellow of the GLPA, the Mid-Atlantic Planetarium Society, associate member of the Southeastern Planetarium Association, and the Cleveland Regional Association of Planetariums.