Shell Amega, Vice President, Communications for the California Science Center Foundation has directed more than 25 media campaigns for exhibitions including Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, Pompeii: The Exhibition, and BODY WORLDS: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies. Her crisis communications plan for the BODY WORLDS exhibition has been used as a guide by museums nationwide.
Shell’s most rewarding career challenge was directing strategic communications for the 2012 arrival and transportation of Space Shuttle Endeavour including its national flyover, 12-mile, three-day journey through two cities, and Grand Opening at the Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Pavilion.
This entailed initiating and directing media planning and logistics at national and local levels by organizing PR coalitions and collaborations with NASA, FAA, Dryden Flight Research Center, United, and Los Angeles World Airports (LAX) as well as more than 15 civic agencies in Inglewood and Los Angeles.
Through these team efforts, Shell coordinated media planning for the flyover and arrival of Endeavour at LAX including air to air, ground to air and ceremony coverage. She held news conferences and media briefings to disseminate public information and manage logistics for more than 1,000 national and international print and broadcast media outlets that captured the events.
During Endeavour’s journey through the streets, Shell served as a Science Center media spokesperson as well as Branch Manager of Communications for the Los Angeles Unified Command Center and Joint Information Command in collaboration with citywide agencies. Media coverage of the historic, shuttle spectacle global and grew to more than a billion impressions and was broadcast as far away as Dubai and Japan.
Prior to joining the Science Center in 2000, Shell served for five years as Director of Communications at the California African American Museum (CAAM). She also served as a UCLA Public Information Officer representing the administration for six years and was selected as the University’s bilingual (French/English) Communications representative for the 1984 Olympic Games. UCLA recruited Shell from Pepperdine University where she also served in Public Relations.
Shell began her career as Associate Editor of Right On entertainment magazine, interviewing such stars as Smokey Robinson, Lou Gossett Jr., Alex Haley and Maya Angelou. She is the author of The LA Wedding, published by a subsidiary of Simon and Schuster.
Shell earned a B.A. in Journalism and an M.S. in the Science of Human Services from Pepperdine University. She has received First Place Writing Awards from the LA Bar Association, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and Essence magazine. She is a two-time recipient of Pepperdine University’s Presidential Award for Journalism.
The California Science Center received the 2013 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-LA) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Publicity for the Space Shuttle Endeavour and for Excellence in PR over time.
Shell is a former ten-year member of the Executive Board of the Museum Marketing Roundtable (now called So Cal Museums) and a current Member of the Board of African Americans for Los Angeles Opera (AALAO).
In her spare time she practices Tai Chi and is passionate about enhancing the biosphere through community gardening.