One of the many strengths of the Museum Communication program is the professional or “in the field” learning opportunities offered to students. These include independent study, internship, and thesis capstone supervised, site-based professional development and hands-on learning opportunities. They are predicated on notions of learning by doing and combining classroom knowledge to real-world know-how; the classroom informs practice and practice informs the classroom.
This post is dedicated to giving some insight into the process, and what three first-year students are doing and learning in their first-semester Independent Study placements.
Elizabeth Clay, who entered the program with commercial communications experience, is interested using her existing talents for social media communications and learning and developing skills in institutional advancement and fundraising and philanthropy. We found a placement with the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation, a foundation that states that, “we love Philadelphia and we love the arts, and we work hard to support and celebrate the arts in our local communities. Our work includes offering many grants each year to small arts organizations who are making a big impact, and presenting regular professional training events to help teaching artists better share their gifts and support their careers. We are artists ourselves, so we know very personally how challenging and rewarding a life in art can be.” You can read Elizabeth’s Tumblr journal to see how she’s bringing together her former commercial background with her academic and professional goals to learn more about non-profit communications, development, and philanthropy.
Maddie Clifford, a recent graduate from Arcadia University came to the program with a degree in History, with minors in Education and Art Entrepreneurship/Curatorial Studies. She is seeking to hone her experience in historical research while expanding her knowledge and skill set in communications. We were able to link Maddie with the Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia, where she is working to digitize their organizational records with archivists from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In addition, she is providing communications support for Museum Council’s fall programs. You can read more about Maddie’s experience in her Tumblr journal.
The third student we are featuring is Erin Gregory, a recent graduate of Elizabethtown College, with degrees in Sociology/Anthropology and English Professional Writing, she seeks to combine her academic interests in social science and museum work with her training in applied writing. We made a great connection for her in the Marketing & Communications Department at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Here, Erin’s able to exercise her professional communications skills and grow her exposure to anthropological collections through assisting on a variety of social media projects. You can read Erin’s “tell all” in her Tumblr journal.
Stay tuned to their journals to get the scoop on their learning experiences and to see what they’ll be up to next semester!