Letter from the Director, June 2014

The academic year has come to an end and MSP students are now spread around the globe pursuing their practicums. Caitlin Townsend (MSP 13, History) is on her way to the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow; Justin Meyer (MPS12, Urban Planning) is working at the Portland Art Museum; Rebecca Cassidy (MSP13, Public Policy) is at the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C.; Nick Malzahn (MSP13, Information) is developing technology at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art; and Molly Malcom (MSP13, Information) is working in the archives of The Henry Ford. Two MSP students are gearing up to launch their doctoral research supported by the MSP Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Museums. Justin Meyer will be studying how museums and art districts enrich urban spaces through comparative research in Dallas and Portland; and Courtney Cottrell (MSP12, Anthropology) will explore the performance of expertise among German Indian hobbyists through studying their interactions with museums in Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg, and Munich.

Near the end of the academic year, members of the MSP13 cohort presented on their capstone projects. We thank our hosts in the U-M Museum of Natural History, Ella Sharp Museum, and Grand Rapids Public Museum for inviting our teams into your museums and supporting their work. Thanks also to the museums who hosted site visits this year. In May, eight of ten members of the MSP13 cohort joined Brad Taylor and me for our first MSP trip to Chicago, where we visited the Chicago History Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Hull House Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. We had a great time, and hope this is the start of an annual tradition.

We have admitted a talented group of 13 students to our MSP14 graduate cohort; they come from four colleges (Education, Information, Law, and LSA) and a broad array of academic disciplines. We are looking forward to another year of fascinating discussions, exciting site visits, and challenging capstone projects.

Our March conference Museum Technologies/Museum Transformations was a great success. The conference was well attended. In addition to U-M students, faculty, and museum professionals, representatives of 19 different museums and universities also joined us for an exciting day of discussions by leading museum innovators and scholars. If you could not attend the conference, you can .

We were delighted to welcome Elaine Heumann Gurian back to MSP as our visiting scholar in March. Elaine presented in the proseminar, advised MSP students on their capstone projects, led a seminar on intentional civility in museums, and served as discussant for the Museum Technologies/Museum Transformations conference. In between, Elaine squeezed in many meals at Zingerman’s and visits to some of the campus museums.

Here in the office, we are hard at work planning events for 2014-2015 and looking forward to summer travels and museum visits. Stay tuned to our web site for new updates from our students in the field and information on upcoming fall events.

Wishing you a wonderful summer,

Warm regards,

Carla Sinopoli