Coordinator, Education
Pacific Science Center

"What I enjoy most about my position is the opportunity to match people with volunteer opportunities that both positively impact the volunteer and Pacific Science Center.  Witnessing volunteers make a difference while enjoying themselves is a huge highlight!"

1. What do you like most about your current position?
I am the Volunteer Specialist at Pacific Science Center.  The many volunteers of Pacific Science Center contribute toward the common goal of supporting Pacific Science Center’s mission of “inspiring a lifelong interest in science, math and technology by engaging diverse communities through interactive and innovative exhibits and programs.” Over 200 full-time volunteers and hundreds of special event volunteers contribute thousands of hours every year.  In addition, volunteers are integrated throughout every Pacific Science Center division and work in many capacities, including: providing science interpretation with guests on the museum floor, assisting with office projects, supporting the educational offerings at the Mercer Slough Environmental Educational Center, blogging on the life sciences blog, and even traveling with the Science on Wheels educators while delivering innovative science education programming across Washington.

In my position, I have the opportunity to meet many different people that want to donate their time towards something they are passionate about.  What I enjoy most about my position is the opportunity to match people with volunteer opportunities that both positively impact the volunteer and Pacific Science Center.  Witnessing volunteers make a difference while enjoying themselves is a huge highlight!

2. What classes or experiences (field trips, internships, ...) did you enjoy the most while in the Museology Program?

The hands-on internships and practicums proved the most beneficial for me. Through these experiences I gained valuable work skills and made connections with other museum professionals.

3. What skills from your museology degree have been most useful in your current position?
The program’s interdisciplinary coursework provided me with a broad understanding of the inner-workings of museums. Although my position is within the Human Resources department, understanding how other departments operate is a valuable skill that benefits me.       

4. What advice do you have for current or future museology students?
Try different things.  When I entered the program, I thought I wanted to work in collections. After several different internships and work experiences, I realized that my passion for museum work is focused on volunteers.  Only after I exposed myself to different museum careers did I realize this.  

5. What is your favorite museum, exhibit, or museum experience?
I was previously the Education Coordinator/Volunteer Specialist at EMP Museum. My experience with the Mudgarden Experience puppet theater has been my most rewarding museum experience thus far. The puppet theater was an EMP add-on to the travelling Jim Henson's Fantastic World exhibition that was at EMP in the summer of 2009.  The hands-on puppet theater enabled visitors to experience what it's like to perform with puppets in front of a television audience. Visitors selected between four custom-made Northwest inspired puppets and selected a short muppets song to perform with while viewing their puppet performance on tv monitors.  The puppet theater was a favorite amongst visitors and it was particularly rewarding to witness families perform together. Through the puppet theater, visitors of all backgrounds were able to create memories while also gaining first-hand puppeteer experience.  Volunteers facilitated the puppeteer experience.  Their role was critical and a huge factor for why the theater was a success.

The puppet theater was also the catalyst for re-launching EMP’s volunteer program. Over the course of a short few months we created a thriving volunteer program composed of diverse volunteers from varying ages and backgrounds. The puppet theater was open 7-days a week from opening to closing and staffed exclusively by volunteers.  Through this exhibition, I realized the importance of volunteers, as well as that I wanted to make volunteer coordination a career focus!