"I really enjoyed the people I met in the Museology Program. Many I consider to be my good friends, while others are colleagues I feel comfortable calling with questions and ideas both brilliant and ridiculous."
What do you like most about your current position?
My position as Museum Director at the Oregon Historical Society provides me the time and opportunity to explore new museum practices. I am currently working on intercultural dialogue models that hopefully lead to exhibitions that are more historically inclusive and accessible. Plus…OHS is located near an inordinate number of awesome food trucks, so that is a good thing.
What classes or experiences (field trips, internships, ...) did you enjoy the most while in the Museology Program?
I really enjoyed the people I met in the Museology Program. Many I consider to be my good friends, while others are colleagues I feel comfortable calling with questions and ideas both brilliant and ridiculous.
What skills from your museology degree have been most useful in your current position?
A solid skill set in collections care and management has proved invaluable throughout my career. I also appreciate the lessons in organizational management and communication I received from Wilson O’Donnell. These lessons continue to inform my management style and leadership process today.
What advice do you have for current or future museology students?
Use your time in the program to reach out and make a significant contribution to the museum field in some form, whether that be as a volunteer, an intern, an employee or an unpaid parking lot attendant. That investment of time, energy and passion will undoubtedly be measured when you apply for a job.
What is your favorite museum, exhibit, or museum experience?
I had a wonderful experience at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu during a Western Museums Association conference a few years back. A number of conference attendees arrived for an evening program and a group of young school children placed leis around our necks and gave us all hugs. I loved the experience because it wasn’t rushed- time was taken to simply say hello and mark the moment of introduction. I thought to myself, this is exactly how every guest at a museum should feel: welcome, comfortable and valued. It would be impossible to recreate this experience for all museum visitors, but it established a gold standard that I will forever push myself, and museums I’m affiliated with, to reach for.