Professional Development

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By Joseph Govednik, Museum Curator, Foss Waterway Seaport & President, Washington Museum Association

Being a recipient to the Wanda Chin Grant is something I am grateful for.  Without the assistance of this grant my attendance, and professional development opportunities associated with participation, would likely not happen this year.  The WMA annual meeting in Phoenix was a treasure of...
By Claire Blaylock
From October 23-25th, the Oregon Museums Association hosted our annual meeting in the scenic college town of Eugene, Oregon. The conference theme, “Engage!” drew representatives from museums across the state. From small local institutions to large regional museums, volunteers and staff members discussed how museums can engage with their audiences in the 21st century.
OMA was...
On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Labor Department announced overtime final regulations that, when they go into effect on December 1, 2016, will mean that many employees earning less than $913 per week ($47,500 annually) will be entitled to overtime compensation.

In this interview, Christine Searles discusses how her museum is preparing for the new overtime laws. Christine Searles has been the Human...
By Anne Rowe
In Phoenix we kicked off the conference with a lively meet and greet free program called Speed Networking. Brave participants entered gingerly into the space; a slow trickle at first and then a small surge thanks in part to Niki Cuccinotto of the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix who took matters into her own hands.  She tweeted to her contacts in attendance and ran over to the...

By Kate Skelly
The benefits of having a mentor can be invaluable to professionals at any career stage. Mentors can help with setting and achieving career goals, learning new skills, or offering a fresh perspective when you are facing challenges at work. Mentor relationships don’t exclusively benefit the mentee alone, however. Many mentors report feeling a sense of satisfaction from being able to...
By Kate Skelly

Burnout is a problem in all sectors, but non-profit workers can be especially vulnerable to workplace fatigue. Many museum workers face expanding job responsibilities, long hours, and stagnant wages. Koven Smith does a good job of outlining the current spate of museum worker fatigue in his blog post, “Why are we so tired?”.
 
Becoming overwhelmed at work is not only bad for you,...
Professional conferences are a fantastic arena to learn and grow through attending sessions, networking with peers, and exposure to organizational, theoretical, and geographical perspectives. However, taking advantage of this type of opportunity often is a matter of finances.
The Western Museums Association (WMA) offers the Wanda Chin Scholarship to assist member’s financial needs and ultimately...
By Monica Moncada
Growing up in a predominately working-class, Mexican community, I had never truly understood the power that history and awareness can hold. I grew up hearing stories about my family, my community, and my culture, but I did not realize how much power my family’s stories had. Going through grade school none of the knowledge that I learned from my parents was ever validated during...

The Western Museums Association (WMA) presents the third installment of WestMusings | 10 Minute Museum Talks, which took place during the 80th Annual Meeting. WestMusings is a program of short, engaging presentations by unique voices—intended to inspire others in the field. This year, speakers delved into topics that explored how museums can be more engaging and relevant to the communities we...
By Kate Skelly
Dr. Julie K. Stein, Executive Director of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture received the 2015 WMA Director’s Chair Award. Julie has been an invaluable leader to the Western Museums Association, and has served as a WMA Treasurer and President. In this interview, Julie shares her thoughts about leadership in the field and the future of museums.
What do you think your...

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