The Center for the Study of Science Fiction's educational-outreach project is
University of Kansas student employees have served as AboutSF
Volunteer Coordinators since our inception: From 2005-2007, the Volunteer Coordinator was
Thomas Seay, who also
the first iteration of
Nathaniel Williams held the position; in spring 2010, it was
Simmons; from summer to fall 2010,
Kristen Lillvis; from
2011-2012, Benjamin Cartwright;
from 2012-2013, Isaac Bell; and from 2013-2014,
Meagan Kane and Mackenzie VanBeest.
Our first Web Developer/Designer (2011-2012) was Patrick Flor.
Call for applications open now for AboutSF Volunteer Coordinator:
How to Apply
These positions are funded by grants and donations to the Center,
and all donations go entirely to paying the Coordinator's salary, with a small
amount to help cover expenses such as travel to libraries, conferences, and conventions where the Coordinator
talks and leads workshops. The position is currently fully funded. If you'd like
to donate, please let us know!
AboutSF.com website is the project's resource center, hosting
information about and collaboration on SF and education in the field. Among our projects:
- A speakers' bureau (Speculation Speakers) for
futurists, science fiction
and fantasy authors, and other experts on speculative
- Sharing courses on teaching SF via the Center and the University of Kansas.
- Curriculum resources for
fiction at the primary, secondary, and university levels.
- Hosting a consortium of SF-friendly university
- Coordinating volunteer efforts across the speculative
- And much more!
AboutSF is a joint project of the University of
Kansas Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, the
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the
Science Fiction Research Association,
with generous support from Tor Books,
SF Convention, and several
To read the latest news on AboutSF projects, keep an eye on the
AboutSF News and Announcements Forum.
Call for Applications:
AboutSF Volunteer Coordinator Position
Are you a KU student who's passionate about speculative fiction? Do you want to get involved in
SF while helping keep it vital and growing strong? Then, perhaps you're the
person we're looking for!
Who are we?
Gunn Center for the Study of Science
What is science fiction?
We are looking for a KU student (graduate or undergraduate) to work within our growing programs and
leverage volunteers, educators, librarians, and students across the world. You
have the opportunity to shape the position to best serve our mission while
ensuring all our existing projects are successfully maintained and kept
The AboutSF Coordinator
works to organize educational outreach programs for the Gunn Center. This
includes contacting educators, recruiting volunteers, presenting workshops on
using science fiction in the classroom to local schools and libraries,
presenting panels on SF education at conventions, and regularly updating and
enhancing the AboutSF.com website and our social-media presence. To succeed, you
must be good at self-direction and completing tasks without constant
supervision, enthusiastic about making regular contacts with SF professionals
and educators, and excited about using your creativity to help educate the world
about the possibilities in science fiction.
- Familiar with science fiction literature, media, and the field.
You need not be an expert, but must be willing and able to learn.
- Willing and able to work at least 10 hours per week, and willing to work up
to 20 hours if needed.
- Strong communication skills, including
making regular contacts with new people, keeping the Center's
(informal, weekly progress reports and occasional meetings) and
(formal, semi-annual reports) informed of your progress, and writing the
occasional proposal for grants or other fundraising.
attention to detail (tactical thinking) with the ability to see the big
picture (strategic thinking).
- Self-motivated, self-directed, and able to
work creatively toward novel solutions.
- Excellent at managing time and
prioritizing projects. The tasks of this job are wide and varied, some a few
minutes long and some long-term.
- Excited about meeting the movers and
shakers in the SF field as well as coordinating volunteers around the nation
and world. A successful AboutSF Coordinator stays in regular touch with
writers, editors, publishers, donors, volunteers, and many others via phone
calls, email, snail-mail, blogs, social-networking services, and more.
- Excellent at and interested in research.
- Able to communicate clearly via
the Web, email, telephone, and in person, and an interest in maintaining
- Experience with Microsoft Office and other
- Enthusiastic about traveling to SF conventions and
other venues in the area or around the country to meet people, promote our
programs, and deliver the occasional talk or workshop.
- Experienced with
or have a passion for developing educational programs and teaching.
- Familiar with building and maintaining websites, or able to quickly learn
how to do so.
- Open to mentoring and direction, when needed.
- Familiar with communicating via social networks, blogs, and video sites.
If you have these skills, you're awesome:
- Experience recruiting and working with volunteers.
- Experience with consumer-grade video and audio editing software.
- Experience writing grants.
- Familiar with Web-development languages including the Drupal platform tool, CSS, and HTML.
- Comfortable with graphic-design software such as Photoshop.
- Familiar with content-editing programs (text, presentations, and so on).
- Able to work year-round (our funding is Endowment-based, so we are not limited to academic semesters).
- All the above, plus:
- Coordinating worldwide volunteer activities in
support of science fiction education.
- Creating content for website,
including educational materials, and editing and approving content provided
- Informative and useful weekly posts to the public via our
- Weekly or bi-weekly progress reports to the
- Semi-annual, high-level reports to our Board of
Advisors and regular donors.
- Updating the AboutSF website and working
with KU Web developers on tasks beyond your programming abilities.
- Regularly sharing information about programs, resources, and other material
of interest via social media, direct contacts, and other means.
with volunteers and "AboutSF Agents" on various projects.
proposals, grants, and otherwise helping secure donations and funding to
support AboutSF programs.
- Sharing educational-SF resources with
educators, librarians, and students locally and around the world.
- Presenting panels locally, with opportunities to travel to science-fiction
- Other initiatives: Prior Coordinators have created podcast
series, made videos, and lots of other great projects. In additional to
meeting all the requirements of the position, what can you contribute to AboutSF's core mission that's uniquely yours? If we approve your idea, you
could create something great!
This is a part-time,
student-hourly position funded entirely by grants and donations (fully funded),
with contract re-appointment reviewed by the
CSSF Board each semester.
To apply, you must go through the formal KU Human Resources application process.
Also send your resume and letter (to Chris McKitterick at
describing how you fit our vision and why you're passionate about science fiction and education.
Explain how you understand the AboutSF mission and how you feel you match our needs - and suggest how you are the right person to extend our reach.
We hope to make our hiring decisions ASAP during late September or early October 2014, so sooner is better!
This is a part-time (10 - 20 hours/week), student-hourly position funded entirely by donations (fully funded for at least another year).
Contract re-appointment is reviewed by the CSSF Directors and Board semi-annually based on performance, feedback, and clear and regular self-reportage.
Beyond a paycheck, the benefits of working inside science fiction are immeasurable!