What are Hartwick's successful museum studies alumni doing now?Our graduates go on to a wide variety of positions in museums, historical associations, research centers, and archives and many credit the strong liberal arts background they received at Hartwick for helping them define their career path.
Tamarah graduate from Hartwick in 2008 with a degree in art history and a minor in museum studies and studio art. Tamarah shares with us, "Life as an intern: As a collections care intern at the Museum of Church History and Art I am constantly kept busy with catalog and data-entry, inventory and numbering, and other such tasks that are central to the life of a registrar. I am treading in new territory every day, learning to stretch in my own growth. Luckily I gained a stable foundation at Hartwick interning and working at the Yager Museum of Art & Culture, where I gained valuable skills, learned museum etiquette, and was sustained with endless support from the incredible staff including the previous director Fiona Dejardin, Gary Norman the Collections Manager, Nancy Martin-Matthewson the Museum Shop Manager, Denise Wagner the secretary, and the current coordinator Donna Anderson. My experience at Hartwick has only enhanced my ability to perform here at the Church Museum and will aid me in my further aspirations."
Emily graduated from Hartwick College in 2007 with a degree in chemistry and minors in museum studies and art history. She took her first museum studies course as a curriculum requirement, but became hooked when she learned that museums are more than just objects and labels. She became involved with the museum studies program and Yager Museum to connect her love of museums with her love of science. Her thesis project did just that, as she investigated local pottery held in the Willard Yager collections using scientific techniques.After graduation, Emily moved to Seattle, WA where she now works at Pacific Science Center as a Science Interpreter. In this role she engages visitors of all ages in thoughtful interactions about science to make the subject more accessible for people who may otherwise find it overwhelming. This includes delivering planetarium shows, handling insects, and playing with the very scientific things like bubbles. Everyday she uses skills that she learned in her museum studies courses and believes that theses gave her the most real-world experience out of all the classes she took at Hartwick College.
Nicole graduated from Hartwick in 2000 with a degree in Art History. She didn’t work in the Yager Museum but did have an internship with Fiona Dejardin. After graduating she immediately moved to Boston. She applied for a job at the Museum of Fine Arts, and due to the competitive nature of it she took up another job. She was finally offered a job in the Visual Archives department. The Visual Archives holds the task of photographing and digitally archiving the museum’s collection, building, staff, and event for historical records. She also did benchmarking on the retail of Fine Art Prints and designed the retail shop. Currently she is working to support the frontline fundraising staff. They are in the middle of a campaign to raise $425 million dollars, which is the largest cultural campaign outside of New York City. The money will be used to build a new American Wing designed by Foster and Partners.
Lori has been working for Golden Artist Colors for ten years. Currently she is the Application Specialist. In April 2004 she went to Egypt where she climbed inside Khafra’s Pyramid and in April 2003 went to China.
Erica M. Varga
Erica graduated in 1994 with a B.A. in Anthropology. She studied several museum classes here at Hartwick, and did an internship at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City. She was accepted to University of Washington’s Master’s program in Museology. Here she did a thesis project at a historical museum on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound where she was awarded a Research Assistantship along with an internship at Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project in Seattle. She was hired as the Curator of the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum. Now she is the Executive Director of that museum.
Warren graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts, with a concentration in painting and printmaking. He enrolled in Syracuse University’s Graduate Program in Museum Studies, through the School of Visual and Performing Arts. During this time he learned all the aspects of running a gallery, worked in the University’s collection, and apprenticed with the Westlake Conservators in Skaneateles, New York. After graduating from Syracuse in 1995 he accepted the position of Curatorial Assistant at the Herbet F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. He is the Registrar of the Corning Museum of Glass (he is also the department head). He supervises all aspects of the museum’s collections management, the Preparators, the Photography department, the Rights and Reproductions department, and the collections database staff. He reports directly to the Executive Director of the Museum.
Richard K. Rabeler
Richard is currently the “Collections Manager, Vascular Plants” at the University of Michigan Herbarium, which is a collection of 1.7 million plants. He became acquainted with herbarium curation as a freshman at Hartwick working with Dr. Robert Smith on the Hoysradt Herbarium collection.
Christina is currently the State Archaeologist and Director of the Cultural Resource Survey in the Division of Research and Collections at the New York State Museum.
The career paths that lead me to work in a museum were somewhat non-traditional since I hold undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology from Hartwick and the University at Albany, SUNY. As a student at both institutions, I had the opportunity to use and learn from the archaeological collections at both the Yager Museum and the State Museum. After graduating with a doctorate from SUNY, I landed a job as an archaeologist for the museum’s Cultural Resource Survey. In this capacity, I generated and processed archaeological collections for the museum. Overtime, my job evolved to more administrative, research, and education oriented tasks. Since starting with the museum in 1996, I have held several positions including Assistant Director of the Cultural Resource Survey and my current position as the State Archaeologist.
I was always a history buff. When other kids went to Boy Scouts my dad took me to battle reenactments. So, as we traveled to all those historic sites and saw all those great museum exhibits I got it in my mind that I like displays and informative show and tell. I guess I began doing that myself as I started collecting historical items and displaying them in my room. Once at Hartwick College (already knowing I would study American history) I was presented with the concern of how to turn history into a living. I saw the museum studies program, then under Jane des Grange, as a natural and practical way to apply the study of history in a job. I pursued that strategy and the rest is history—so to speak. The internship program which I took full advantage of really helped me establish contacts. In 1982 I spent January term at the West Point Museum as an intern. After graduation, and a 10 year stint with the National Park Service as an historic preservation specialist, I transferred to the West Point Museum to work with the folks from my college experience 12 years earlier. I have been in the federal service for over 20 years now.