She’s a force of nature - naturally

Marilyn Hoyt, CEO and President of the New York Hall of Science, will be concluding her tenure as the Hall this year, but still has bright plans for her future in Queens.
Hoyt, who has been working at the Hall for almost 20 years, is ready to step down as CEO and president and start a new career for herself. “I came here in 1985 to work with the board and staff to do the initial campaign to open the Hall in 1986,” said Hoyt.
Her dedication to her job and the community makes her time spent at the Hall unforgettable. “It has been such a privilege to work here at a cultural institution in New York City of all places.”
Hoyt started her career working as a grant maker in the arts, and has risen in the ranks ever since. “I was always interested in how cultural institutions grew, and how the pieces that came together either made them grow or fail,” she said.
The Hall of Science is currently in the top five percent of museums by attendance in the city, and is the second largest private employer in Corona. An ecstatic Hoyt said, “We see one in every eight elementary school kids every year.”
Besides her work at the Hall, she is deeply involved in numerous non-profit organizations around the community. She is on the advisory board at the Louis Latimer House museum in Queens, and is on the board of trusties at the Salvadori Center, which provides a core-engineering curriculum for middle schools in New York.
“Marilyn is probably the hardest working person that I’ve ever met,” said Eric Siegel, the Hall’s Director and Chief Content Officer. “She is like a force of nature, and is tireless in her commitment towards the institution and the community.”
Thinking back to a specific exhibit or experience that stands out to her, Hoyt reminisces about the Hall’s 100,000 square foot science playground. “The Hall built one of the first and one of largest of these playgrounds,” she said.
The concept for this type of playground derived from India. The one in the Hall is the largest in this country, but the concept spread all the way to Brazil, which has the largest one in the world.
Another memory that Hoyt will never forget is the Science Career Ladder. This program creates an opportunity for women, new Americans and different religious and ethnic groups to gain the knowledge and experience to grow in the trained sciences.
Hoyt’s parents were both scientists, so she said her life has always been steered towards that field. “When I was given the opportunity to create programs and oversee the Hall from the ground up, I jumped all over it,” she said.
The search for Hoyt’s successor is being conducted throughout the summer. She plans on staying at the Hall and holding these two positions until they find a replacement.
The Hall of Science has been a staple of the community for many years now, and Hoyt’s departure will be a great loss to the institution.
“I’m going to keep moving forward and I’m definitely going to find some way to still be involved in Queens in the near future,” Hoyt said.

More from Around New York