Kate Dinneny, a student pursuing her M.A. in Museum Professions, a graduate program within the College of Communication and the Arts, is leveraging her experience as a children’s librarian into a career as a museum educator.
From a young age, Dinneny was drawn to working with children outside of a classroom setting. She went on to earn her B.A. in English and Writing and Master of Library and Information Science to prepare for a career as a children’s librarian.
“I love my job,” Dinneny explained. “I have daily interactions with children and families and I get to build collections of books and resources that help children find their passions and learn more about the world. It is a truly rewarding experience helping children and teens find that one book that sparks their interest in reading.”
Dinneny realized her passion for museums during her undergraduate coursework and while working at the library. “I looked for something that would help me grow as a professional, challenge me as an individual, and allow me to meet new people,” Dinneny shared. “I discovered Seton Hall’s M.A. in Museum Professions program and figured if I did not explore this lifelong interest now, I might never have the chance to do so.”
She began the program in Fall 2017 with a concentration in Museum Education figuring it was natural fit to build on her experience with planning events for youth. Several months into the program, Dinneny is pleased that her coursework complements her career as a children’s librarian.
“The more classes I take, the more I come to realize the similarities between museums and libraries,” Dinneny said. “For example, my Audience Research and Program Evaluation course inspired me to do an analysis of our summer reading program at our library.”
Dinneny shared that working full-time and pursuing graduate studies part-time can come with its challenges. “Time management is key,” she said. “It is a balancing act, but I find it an advantage to be able to draw on my professional experiences both in class and for assignments.”
Looking forward, Dinneny is excited about leveraging her experience as a librarian and current coursework into a career as a museum educator. “The Museum Professions program provides me a solid basis from which to begin my museum career. The coursework is eye-opening and the journey that each faculty member took to get where they are today is inspiring. I look forward to further exploring the relationship between museums and libraries and how they can work together to further benefit children.”
The M.A. in Museum Professions is an innovative program 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 offersthree 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. A Ph.D. program is currently under development.
This story is part of a series highlighting why students selected the M.A. in Museum Professions program.
Categories: Arts and Culture