History Department Hosts Museum Studies Conference at Gordon College
April 5-6, 2019, the Gordon College History Department hosted its first Museum Studies Conference, co-sponsored by Gordon’s Career and Connection Institute. The theme of the two-day event, Museums and the Future: Challenges and Careers focused on the future of the museum profession and the challenges faced by museums and those who aspire to become museum professionals.
Keynote speaker Richard Pickering, Deputy Executive Director of Plimoth Plantation, highlighted the mission of keeping museums relevant in a global age, and the need on the part of America’s museums to extend friendship, hospitality and kindness to their guests in making museums places of welcome. He also announced Plimoth Plantation’s desire to help provide student summer internships, formal job training and employment opportunities to Gordon museum studies/public history graduates.
Saturday, Dr. Pickering moderated a panel discussion of Gordon College museum studies alumni currently employed in the museum and archival professions. Each discussed his or her own personal experiences and insights drawn from professional experiences in the field and answered questions from the audience.
Quotes by panelists
Jeff Barraclough, ’03, Mill Yard Museum/Manchester (NH) Historical Society: “Take advantage of internships…the wealth of museums in this area is great.”
Timothy Chung, ’16, Tufts University, Museum Studies program: “Get the experience where you can.”
Cheri Grishin, ’99, Marblehead Museum/Essex National Heritage Area: “In a smaller museum you do everything…it is rewarding to taste it all.” “Build your network of people you work with.”
Dave O’Ryan, ’08, Peabody Essex Museum: “It is a very valuable career.”
Sarah Larlee St. Germain, ’17 Wenham Museum: “It is a lot of fun, a joyful experience… a little bit of Sherlock Holmes…a little bit of Indiana Jones.” “The Museum Studies Program has changed my life.”
Katie Willeman, ’18 Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth University: “An internship gave me confidence and the skills to join the field.” “Learn from mistakes and learn from collaboration to meet the interests of museum visitors.”
Read related article in The Bell, "Saving the Future by Preserving the Past."