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What You Gain by Attending the Annual Meeting as a Scholar: An interview with Jeanine Pollard

Category: Annual Meeting
Two photographs of a young black woman smiles broadly wearing black rimmed glasses and mustard colored sweater.
Jeanine Pollard, Project and Research Manager, Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Art. Photos by Ana Taylor/Minneapolis Institute of Art

We recently had a chat with Jeanine Pollard, Research & Project Manager at the Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Art, who was awarded an AAM scholarship to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting. Here she talks about how the experience helped grow her network.

How did it feel to get the scholarship? 

Before getting the scholarship I’d only ever participated in AAM Annual Meetings vicariously through other participants’ tweets and share-outs. I was excited to attend in person in order to provide access to sessions focused on topics I’m really excited by—evaluation and access for people with disabilities.   

How did attending the AAM Annual Meeting shape your career? 

Attending the AAM Annual Meeting in Phoenix was an opportunity to grow my network and to strengthen the connections that I already had. So often we communicate via email, calls, and video chat. It was great to spend quality time talking face to face about the ways we are committed to changing museums. This energy is key in helping me persist in museum work. I actually met and hatched a plan for a conference session proposal for the upcoming annual meeting in New Orleans while in Phoenix.  

What was most surprising about your experience as an AAM Scholar? 

This was my first time at an AAM Annual Meeting. I knew that the conference was large, but I had no idea just how overwhelming that would feel. I’m thankful that my EdCom Professional network mentor, Sheri Levinsky-Raskin, offered such a warm welcome that made the conference a little less daunting.  

Name one thing you want everyone to know about why museums matter. 

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In my current role researching empathy and emotions, I get to hear many visitors’ stories of finding both connection and alienation in museums. I think listening to and learning from their perspectives will help museums become places that are more meaningful to more people.

Read more about the impact of the scholarship from alumni James Burns.

If you want to help Alliance scholars like Jeanine, you can donate to our Giving Tuesday campaign. 100% of donations go to 2019 Alliance Scholarship Program!

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