Hutchinson, Kan. – As preparations begin for the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center to embark upon its recently announced major plan for revitalization, current Director of Education Tom Holcomb will assume responsibility of a newly created position at the Cosmosphere – one deemed integral to the success of revitalization efforts. In his new role as Director of Visitor Experience, Holcomb will oversee customer service and visitor experiences at the Cosmosphere, fostering an institutional mindset of providing exceptional experiences for all visitors – including the creation of training materials and workshops for all front line employees. Under Holcomb’s direction, a keen understanding of institutional and space history as well as working knowledge in support of new Cosmosphere initiatives and programming will be part of ongoing orientation and education for front line employees. Holcomb will continue to oversee scheduling, training and customer service in Dr. Goddard’s Lab and the Justice Planetarium while working closely with the Education department in the development and implementation of new programs and their delivery in both theater venues. To insure successful operation of the Carey Digital Dome Theater, Holcomb will be responsible for customer service and training, working with the COO and Marketing on the selection of new documentaries, feature films and alternative programming in the theater. Additionally, box office staffing, training and development; booking school and group programs while working with Education and other appropriate departments to insure all groups are treated in an exceptional manner; facility rental oversight; and responsibility for growth, recruitment and preparation for a well-trained and engaged Cosmosphere volunteer base are included in Holcomb’s new area of responsibility.
Holcomb completed a Bachelor of Science in Education at Sterling College in 1996 and began working at the Cosmosphere in 1997 where he developed the Hall of Space Tour Guidebook and training procedures for tour guides. He assumed additional responsibilities for programming delivery in Dr. Goddard’s Lab and the Justice Planetarium before joining the Education Department as the Program Manager for the renowned Cosmosphere Camp, Future Astronaut Training Program (FATP). In 2009, Holcomb was promoted to the position of Director of Education and assumed overall responsibility for educational programs at the Cosmosphere including school field trips and homeschool programs, Boy and Girl Scout programs to achieve Merit Badge requirements, maintenance of camp equipment and curriculum development.
Tom Holcomb has been employed at the Cosmosphere for 17 years. His deep knowledge of Operations, passion for the Cosmosphere and all that it represents make him an ideal choice for this critical, customer-facing role. Holcomb will report to Jim Remar, Cosmosphere President/COO.
The Smithsonian-affiliated Cosmosphere houses the largest collection of U.S. and Russian space artifacts in the world. The Cosmosphere’s mission is: Inspiring innovation through science education and honoring the history of space exploration. Camp KAOS, the Cosmosphere’s summer camp program for students entering second grade through high school, is dedicated to inspiring explorers of all ages using STEM principles and building leadership and teamwork skills.
The SpaceWorks division has an international reputation for historic artifact preservation, replication and exhibit design. SpaceWorks has completed projects for NASA, the Smithsonian, and Hollywood films, including Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 and the HBO Miniseries From the Earth to the Moon.
The Cosmosphere is located at 1100 N. Plum in Hutchinson, Kan.