Public programs facilitate dialogue between academics and professionals, informing scholarship and strengthening practice.

Multiple day conferences, year-long colloquia, individual lectures, “conversations” between individuals, hands-on workshops, and Museums at Noon talks featuring our graduate students all contribute to the remarkable richness of MSP offerings.

Video recordings of many MSP lectures are archived for viewing in our Media Gallery.

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Learning by Leading: A New Model for Expanding Museum Impact

November 28 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

A conversation between:

Kathleen Socolofsky – Director, Arboretum and Public Garden, University of California, Davis

Bob Grese – Director, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, U-M


During this time of immense and sometimes disorienting change, museums are perfectly positioned to step into new leadership roles for the universities, their towns, and their cities.  Building on foundational strengths in education and community engagement, museums are poised to be the natural hub that can help people band together to identify, understand, and begin to solve the real problems that the community and nation face. This brief presentation will share the lessons that the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden has learned over the last ten years as we developed and launched our Learning by Leading program. This student-centered program, focused on step-by-step leadership training, staff mentorship, and project-based learning, helps undergraduates engage and lead a broad community of partners, donors, and volunteers to “make real change happen in the real world.” Because we are a living museum, our teaching focuses naturally on plants, biodiversity, and ecological systems. Learning by Leading, therefore, is intentionally designed to empower the next generation of environmental leaders. As we move forward to explore, test, and share our Learning by Leading model nationally, we invite you to bring your own best ideas about how we can improve and expand this program that is dedicated to “inspiring human potential to help people and environments thrive.”

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum at the University of Michigan also aspires to train environmental leaders through its student internship, work-study, and volunteer programs, including the Campus Farm.  The summer internship program, known as the “Nature Academy” strives to provide professional training for students while engaging them in caring for the arboretum and botanical gardens properties.  Following Kathleen Socolofsky’s presentation, she and Matthaei-Nichols Director Bob Grese will compare notes on what each of their respective institutions has learned from these innovative student engagement programs.

Co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Bicentennial


November 28
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


U-M Museum of Art, Helmut Stern Auditorium
525 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 United States
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