Faculty

Whitney Baker
Head, Conservation Services, KU Libraries

Whitney Baker received her MLS with an Advanced Certificate in Library and Archives Conservation from the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her undergraduate work at KU (BA Chemistry and Spanish), and has held the post of Conservator for KU Libraries since 2002.  She previously worked in conservation at the Library of Congress and the University of Kentucky.

Baker teaches MUSE 706, Conservation Principles and Practices, for the Museum Studies program.

Robert Keckeisen
Former Director, Kansas Museum of History

Robert Keckeisen was the director of the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka for more than 30 years. He holds an M.A. in history from Wichita State University. Keckeisen teaches MUSE 701 Museum Management for the Museum Studies program.

Brittany Keegan
Curator-Collections Manager

Brittany holds a B.A. in American History and an M.A. in Museum Studies both from the University of Kansas. She has been working with the Watkins Community Museum of History collections and exhibits in various capacities since 2007. In addition to managing the collections, Brittany coordinates volunteers and maintains the Museum’s research resources.

Brittany teaches MUSE 704, Museum Collection Management, for the Museum Studies program.

Elizabeth Kowalchuk
Associate Professor
785-864-8218
Chalmers Hall, room 320

Liz Kowalchuk is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Visual Art Department and the Museum Studies Program.  She formerly served as the Associate Dean of the School of the Arts. With degrees in drawing and painting (BFA, University of Georgia), painting (MFA, University of Illinois), and art education (PhD, Ohio State University), her research interests center on how the arts and museums function in communities, create a sense of place, and contribute to civic engagement.  In her creative endeavors, she makes useful things from recycled and found materials. She teaches MUSE 301 and graduate seminars focusing on education and local museums.

Mary Madden
Director, Kansas Museum of History

Mary Madden is the director of both the Museum and Education for the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field of museum education and interpretation. Mary holds an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Kansas. She teaches MUSE 705 Introduction to Museum Public Education.

Steve Nowak
Executive Director, Watkins Community Museum of History

Steve joined the staff at the Watkins Museum in February 2011. He has had a 25-year career in museum work, with experience in collections management, exhibition development, public programming, and education. His background is in American art, history, and material culture. In addition to his management responsibilities, Steve looks forward to developing public programs, increasing museum involvement with schools and teachers, and working with members of the Douglas County Historical Society.

Steve co-teaches MUSE 704 Museum Collection Management and teaches Museum Audience Development for the Museum Studies program.

Sandra Olsen
Professor of Museum Studies, Senior Curator of Archaeology, Biodiversity Institute
785-864-6511
Spooner Hall, room 6E

Professor Olsen is an Old World Prehistorian, specializing in zooarchaeology, the study of animal remains from ancient sites, and Arabian rock art. She was formerly the director of the Center for World Cultures at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Dr. Peter H. Welsh
Director & Professor of Museum Studies
785-864-5702
Lippincott Hall, room 6

Professor Welsh's research has addressed a range of issues including the historical and legal background by which museums have come to control culturally sensitive objects; the public representation and interpretation of culture; and concerns over the sustainability of local history museums. He has worked with native cultures in Wyoming and the Southwest, and has conducted archaeological research in Arizona and China.  He earned his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sherry Williams
Curator of Collections and Curator of the Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library

Sherry Williams is Curator of the Kansas Collection in the Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas. She holds an MLIS from the University of Oklahoma. Williams teaches MUSE 707, Practical Archival Principles, for the Museum Studies program.


Read the latest MUSE News!

Find out what KU's Museum Studies Program and our alumni are up to:

September 2017 Newsletter
January 2017 Newsletter
 

 

Museum Events

German-American History Talk and Gallery Tour
Saturday, October 21 | 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
Prof. William Keel of KU speaks on local German-American history, then we move to the third floor for a special tour of our new exhibit Community and Culture: The Lawrence Turnverein, with Watkins curator Brittany Keegan and Dr. Lorie Vanchena of KU.

My Name is Sallie Performance
October 25-26 | 7 p.m.-8 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317, Sam & Connie Perkins Central Court
This experimental, immersive musical theater experience tells the story of the founding gift of art to the University of Kansas that became the Spencer Museum of Art. Created by Spencer Archivist Robert Hickerson and featuring the talents of artists and students from across the community. The performance is a free special preview event and part of the centennial celebration of our collection. Tickets are available through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/my-name-is-sallie-tickets-37725266287.

Science of the Macabre
Thursday, October 26 | 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd. 
Join us for a spooky night in the KU Natural History Museum as we celebrate Halloween. From spiders and snakes to parasites, we will explore the science of the creepy things that go bump in the night. See museum specimens, explore blood under black light, and enjoy free refreshments and win prizes.

Stories from the Museum Archives: Sallie Casey Thayer Collects
Sunday, November 5 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm 305, Stephen H. Goddard Study Center 
Spencer Museum archivist Robert Hickerson and student assistant Rose Wolf open up the archives for an exploration of primary resources that document the collection that initiated an art museum at KU. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Civic Leader and Art Collector: Sallie Casey Thayer and an Art Museum for KU and the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

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