Professor Gregory Stevens, an innovative museum educator and distinguished museum career coach, joins the College of Communication and the Arts as a faculty associate and the program director of the M.A. in Museum Professions program beginning Fall 2018. Stevens will teach an array of Museum Professions courses and will lead the College’s Institute of Museum Ethics.
Stevens brings an impressive resume of work in the museum education and professional development field to the College. From 2007-2017, Stevens directed the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Professional Development program, through which he addressed career management, leadership development, and skills-building for museum colleagues. During his time at the AAM, he launched the AAM’s first online career programming, produced over 500 programs on functional areas of museum practice, and published numerous articles and book chapters discussing career success in the museum field.
Prior to his years at the AAM, Stevens spent time teaching in various museum settings including the National Museum of the U.S. Army, Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, National Building Museum, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and Kellogg Performing and Visual Arts School.
Around campus, Stevens is a familiar face, as he previously served as an adjunct instructor for the program and assisted with the Institute of Museum Ethics. He also held a Career Lab for students and alumni in Spring 2018. At the workshop, he helped attendees develop career essentials, including 21st century skills, resume and cover letter writing, creating an online presence, and networking.
“I am thrilled to bring my broad knowledge of the museum field and my experience in professional and career development for museum colleagues to the Museum Professions program and to the University,” Stevens said. “I especially look forward to being in the classroom, working with emerging museum professionals to build their knowledge, skills, and critical thinking about this amazing museum field.”
Stevens brings a unique style of teaching to his classroom. “My teaching style is a balance of friendly and informal and probing and rigorous,” he shared. “I firmly believe the learner controls the learning. My goal is to help students plan and implement a unique toolkit of professional practice and career strategies focused on the demonstration of critical thinking and core competencies.”
As an artist himself, Stevens shared that his background in stage directing and set designing has strengthened his ability to serve the museum community. “Everything I know about being a museum professional and an educator comes from my three-plus decades of working in theatre,” Stevens explained. “Telling rich stories in a highly-collaborative environment with and for audiences is what I love most about theatre and museums. Both museums and theatres involve creating something that never existed before, doing it with brilliant, passionate, and committed colleagues, and helping the audience experience and better understand the world in which we live.”
As program director, Stevens plans to work with faculty and students to continue building upon the success of the program. “I am excited about looking strategically at the foundation of the Museum Professions program and seeing where there are strengths and growth opportunities for us to continue and improve our ability to serve our mission of preparing students for rewarding museum careers,” he said.
For the Fall 2018 semester, Stevens is teaching Anatomy of a Museum, Museum Education I, and Museum Technologies, and serving as a Master’s Thesis faculty adviser. He offered advice to students as the semester begins. “Be prepared for a lively, dynamic learning environment,” he said. “Be fully engaged in class and online discussions, and offer your honest, constructive, and respectful feedback. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and work hard, but remember do not be afraid to have fun.”
The M.A. in Museum Professions is designed for individuals interested in pursuing careers in museums or related cultural institutions. Students in the program select one of four professional tracks, including Museum Education, Museum Registration, Museum Management, or Exhibition Development.
The College currently offers three Master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, Strategic Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered.