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January 27, 2012 09:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2012-09

Space Telescope Science Institute Awarded for Being a "Best Place to Work" in Baltimore

The full news release story:

Space Telescope Science Institute Awarded for Being a "Best Place to Work" in  BaltimoreView this image

Space Telescope Science Institute Awarded for Being A "Best Place to Work" in Baltimore

In its February 2012 issue, Baltimore Magazine has cited the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) as one of the best places to work in metropolitan Baltimore.

Established in 1981, STScI is the science operation center for the Hubble Space Telescope and its planned successor the James Webb Space Telescope.

Baltimore Magazine gave high grades to STScI for its contributions to employee retirement plans and for offering tuition reimbursement, extremely flexible scheduling, and telecommuting opportunities.

The magazine editors added these kudos for STScI: "In addition to doing fascinating stuff related to space, they've pushed hard to recruit women and under-represented minorities into careers in science. STScI is a place where it's cool to be smart, . . .and their benefits are out of this world."

The article emphasizes that STScI employees are "passionate about what they do. Although STScI does some extremely serious work, it's the opposite of stuffy. Office doors are covered with family photographs and oddball humor. The dress code is über-casual and emphasizes personal expression."

"From the outset, we envisioned STScI to be the crown jewel for the entire astronomy community in terms of the quality of its work and the quality of its workplace. It is gratifying to see this so clearly recognized today," said William S. Smith, President of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., which operates STScI for NASA.

"Our job here is to explore and make astronomical discoveries every day. Everybody's contribution is welcomed and tremendously valued. Our staff is extraordinarily intelligent, hard working and dedicated. We bring the universe to the public," said Matt Mountain, STScI's director.

"This is a wonderful achievement for us that acknowledges all of the dedicated people who work here at STScI. This is a very special place in Baltimore," said STScI Human Resources Manager Sheryl Bruff.

The Institute's staff of 530 people is involved in science program selection, grant administration, planning, scheduling, and public engagement activities for NASA's Hubble and Webb Space Telescope flagship missions. STScI provides data archive and distribution for all of NASA's space missions that observe the universe in visible and ultraviolet light. STScI is located on the Homewood Campus of the Johns Hopkins University.

Based on submitted nominations, Baltimore Magazine conducted research to select 25 top companies in the metropolitan Baltimore that meet their selection criteria, which included quality of health benefits, contributions to retirement funds, financial stability, and, above all, availability of job openings. In addition, Baltimore Magazine looked for other factors that appeal to employees: dynamic leadership, a fun culture, or an especially meaningful mission.

"In short, we were looking for workplaces that employees really want to roll out of bed for, ones with a bright future, and with serious rewards, be they financial, in the form of perks, or intellectual gratification," wrote the editors.



Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.