Board Service: A Closer Look
It is recruitment season once again here at Museum Education Roundtable, and we are excited to see board applications rolling in. But what is board service actually like? We chat with MER co-treasurer Rebecca Ljungren (left) and co-vice president Michelle Dezember (right) to learn more.
How did you first connect with Museum Education Roundtable?
RL: My first experience with MER was through the Journal of Museum Education! I was introduced to the scholarship of colleagues in the JME during my graduate school experience.
MD: When I was working in the rural setting of the Aspen Art Museum, I found myself feeling very isolated, not working in a big urban setting or with community all around me. This was before COVID and how much I appreciated that I can stay connected in either ways! I looked to MER as a source of building community given that the JME had given me a lifeline to the field through scholarship.
What is your favorite part of serving on the board?
RL: I am truly inspired by the amazing staff and board members that serve MER and make the JME happen. I love being around so many colleagues committed to creating a compassionate and equitable work environment.
MD: I like working with people who are highly motivated, justice-oriented, and caring for one another. It’s wild to see real-time system shifts, and to experience what it’s like to build a supportive working environment that is more like what I wish museums could behave like.
What have you learned from your board service?
RL: I have learned so much in just a year! From gaining a better understanding of the publishing process to getting a handle on how non-profits handle financial management, my experience on the MER Board has made me a more well-rounded museum educator and a more helpful colleague in my institution.
MD: I’ve gained some amazing exposure to sharpening leadership and listening skills, and how important it is to put relationships first in the work we do. I thought I had been doing that in my 9-5 museum work, but being a volunteer board member with MER has really made me pay attention to practicing collective care as the only way to sustain anything!
You can find more information about board service, including how to apply, here. Completed application forms and a copy of the applicant’s resume must be received by May 6, 2022 at 11:59 PST to be considered for the 2022 board member recruitment cycle.
Michelle (she/her) currently serves as the Director of Learning & Engagement at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.
Rebecca (she/her) currently serves as the Education Specialist, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.