M.A. in Museum Studies
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
IUPUI’s Museum Studies program is one of the top programs not only in the Midwest, but in the nation. It not only provides a strong academic and theory-based program for the museum field, but provides a wide range of practical learning opportunities as well as networking opportunities to help turn my knowledge into actual employment, something many programs cannot offer.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
Since coming to IUPUI, I’ve had so many wonderful academic accomplishments. The first and foremost, however, is that I was selected to speak with one of the foremost experts in cultural accessibility and experts in accessibility from the Smithsonian at a conference that was supposed to take place in August. While that conference has been postponed to 2021, I am still working closely with these experts to develop a conference plan once things return to normal.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
The freedom to reinvent myself. Since moving to Indianapolis, I have been able to really start to explore my social life and be a much more independent person. I have discovered a love for cooking and my cohort is a wonderful group of friends that I am excited to continue to work with and spend time with as we push through graduate school together.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
First and foremost, I am involved with a corporate research study by a company called InfiniTeach to better understand how their apps are used. They provide accessibility apps for individuals with autism to better be able to participate in the museum, and I am providing my research and investigation skills to help them and their client organizations better understand how technology can be a part of this. I have also, for classes, worked with a wide number of museums to find out what programs and supports they have put in place to help people with autism get involved at their museums. Since then, I have started working with a number of local museums on their own accessibility initiatives, including the Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Children’s Museum, the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, and more. This work has also led me to an internship at the Eiteljorg Museum doing accessibility work as well, starting this fall. This is something that is incredibly important to me; I have autism myself. So many people are underserved by museums and institutions, and as someone who is able to share my experience, I feel like my voice and help provide one for those who can’t share their own.
Beyond that, I am currently working as the archives intern at the Great American Songbook Foundation. Most of my work there revolves around the digitization of the audio-visual material of Meredith Willson, as well as learning about the methods of taking old media and making it accessible to the general public as well as researchers. In what free time I get, I enjoy video games as well as reading books, and am currently working through a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories.