Kristin Glomstad, MA History and Museum Studies (AG'17)
Collections Manager and Registrar
National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, Dubuque, Iowa
In this position, I manage and document the collection for the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, a property of the Dubuque County Historical Society. Our mission at the NMRMA is to inspire stewardship by creating educational experiences where history and rivers come alive.
Like our institution itself, with a focus on both history and science, our historic collection is unique and interdisciplinary. As a county historical society, our collection ranges from natural history to a Victorian era house museum to industrial boat building. With our added focus on the people, culture, and natural environment of the Mississippi River Valley, our collection becomes even more eclectic.
My daily activities are those of a typical Collections Manager. I facilitate research requests, document incoming and outgoing loans, review offered donations, and accession approved objects. Our dual purpose as an aquarium brings added challenges. Water is an inescapable part of our daily reality and requires heightened vigilance and intradepartmental communication between those caring for the historic collection and the living collection.
Having come to the NMRMA from a very small institution, the Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center, where my responsibilities went well beyond that of collections work, I have enjoyed working in museums of varying sizes. My time at Tufts prepared me well for this transition and helped me to anticipate the benefits and challenges that come with museum work at every size. Furthermore, Tufts provided me with the resources needed as I grow my career, helping me to approach my work with flexibility, creativity, and a desire to be always learning.
Max Metz, MA in Museum Education (AG'18)
Manager of School and Teacher Programs
Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois
I manage programs such as teacher in-service trainings, a science educator conference, dissection and water testing labs for students at Shedd and at their schools, and a series of tablet-based, exhibit-based learning programs used in the aquarium galleries.
I enjoy contributing to the direction of the aquarium's programming and infusing my work with my knowledge of outdoor and environmental education and museum education. I empower and support the aquarium's Learning Specialist and Facilitators to create and deliver innovative, interesting, and inquiry-based curriculum. I am inspired daily by K-12 teachers who use our programs to enrich the lives of their students.
Prior to this position I was a Learning Specialist (called an aquarium educator at other organizations), which included curriculum development, program facilitation, and program logistics. While I finished my degree at Tufts I served as the Manager and Educator at the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds of Historic Newton in Newton, Massachusetts.
I use my professional network of colleagues and friends made during the Tufts program to share resources, stories, professional connections, and empathize with each other about situations each of us thought as unique to our job. Our connection has helped me see that the difficulties and joys I find in my position exist across the museum landscape and across industries. I continue to leverage these connections as I improve my craft in the museum world.
Lauren (Carey) Szumita, Museum Studies Certificate (AG '12)
Curatorial Assistant of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
In my current position I work closely with the curator, paper conservator, and matter/framer in the care and display of our collection. Our department oversees more than 25,000 works on paper, roughly two-thirds of the museum's entire collection. My job is uniquely poised between the traditional research and writing duties of a curatorial assistant and more object-based work. I also manage our Study Room, where classes, individual researchers, and the public can make appointments to view works from the collection.
The program at Tufts helped me recognize a museum career with no prior experience besides a position at an art gallery after college. I concluded it with an inspiring curatorial practicum at the Martha's Vineyard Museum, my very first museum experience. I then earned a master's degree at the University of Oregon and, through a networking connection, lucked into an internship at the Worcester Art Museum shortly after moving back east. From there I became a curatorial fellow at the Fitchburg Art Museum, taught a continuing education class on the history of photography, and maintained a steady writing gig with a nearby college gallery before landing a job back at the Worcester Art Museum.
I was recently talking to a group of interns about how I got to where I am, and I delivered one of my usual lines about my career path being serendipitous and a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Their supervisor stopped me and reminded me to not dismiss the hard work and persistence that it requires, which I thought it was a lovely acknowledgement of the effort it sometimes takes to establish yourself in this field. I believe my career is still in its early stages and know that there are probably twists I can't even anticipate yet, but I have learned to slow down and appreciate the process.