- What does an average day look like working in the UC? What are your day to day responsibilities?
My position as UC Arts Manager means that every day is different than the one before. It keeps me on my toes, and I am by no means ever bored. Overall my position entails overseeing Roberta’s Art Gallery, Permanent Artwork throughout the University Center, and overseeing the continued development of the Old Main Lane Permanent Historical Display. Daily, I’m working with my student staff to ensure that exhibits and displays are being installed and maintained, that we’re preparing for upcoming workshops and events that Roberta’s Art Gallery hosts, and that other projects are getting done. I work with my Gallery Leads to keep communication open with artists, as well as other collaborators, to plan and prepare for our exhibits, receptions, and workshops. I edit and approve posters and other marketing materials, which also includes meeting one on one with our Gallery PR Intern to edit and discuss press releases. I also meet regularly with my Gallery Leads who form our leadership in the Gallery, as well as the UC Videographers and UC Promotions Coordinator. In addition to all of this, I spend a lot of time doing research for various projects such as Permanent Artwork Videos, temporary history displays like the James R. Connor University Center Retrospective display that is currently on display in Old Main Lane until April 26, the permanent Old Main Lane Historical Display, and for the Historical Documentation Subcommittee I co-chair for the Sesquicentennial. I love history, and research is very exciting to me because I feel like I’m solving a mystery as I put all the puzzle pieces together.
- What does being a UC employee mean to you?
Being a UC employee means that I am a part of an organization that is striving to make a difference in student’s lives. I’m really happy to be a part of this because we’re not only impacting students by helping them make memories at the events we host, but also by providing quality work experience. I’m honored to be able to impact and pour into the students that work for me in Roberta’s Art Gallery, and help prepare them for their careers after college. No matter what field they go into, they are learning skills while working in the Gallery that are making them better candidates and employees, as well as well-rounded individuals. This is something that I see in all departments throughout the UC, and that tells me that we’re doing something very special here.
- What has been the most memorable/unusual day working in the UC?
I think one of the most unique days that I’ve had so far was when an alumni couple came to visit me to share about their experiences at UW-Whitewater when they were students in the late 1960s, early 1970s. Through my research for both the Old Main Lane Permeant Display and the Historical Documentation Subcommittee for the Sesquicentennial, I have been reaching out to Alumni to begin to collect artifacts relating to campus history. I had met a UW-Whitewater alum from Fort Atkinson who had a photo of Old Main on Fire on February 7, 1970 but he did not take the photo. So in my quest to find the original owner of the photo, I was directed to Ron and Lynnette Klatt from Neenah, WI, who directed me onto yet another person. But after fascinating phone conversations with Ron, they came to visit me at the UC and brought with them many artifacts from their time as students, as well as older pieces that they had collected through the years. They were full of fun and interesting stories about going to school at Whitewater, including the impact of the 1970 Old Main fire on them. A few weeks later, they mailed more items to me, including things that had belonged to Ron’s mother, who had also been a student in the 1930s. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning reading and looking through all the fascinating things he sent and donated to the University. We’ve continued our relationship ever since.
- What is one piece of advice you can give to current UWW students?
Stay organized. I was a student at UW-Whitewater, and I found myself making lots of to-do lists and even going so far as color-coordinating my assignments and exams to ensure that I stayed on top of everything. And even now as a professional, to-do lists help me to stay on track, although I no longer color-coordinate them. College is a time when you really come into your own as an independent person. Professors help with that by leaving it up to you to remember when assignments and papers are due. They will not hold your hand because that’s not how it is in the “real world,” so use that as an opportunity to learn how to stay organized and on top of things. And try not to procrastinate. I know, it’s very hard, but at least try. You’ll thank yourself in the end.
- What is an accomplishment you are most proud of?
I have many accomplishments that I am very proud of. I graduated with a BA in Public History and Art History, got a job right after graduation, and just recently was accepted into Graduate School. But another thing that I am very proud of happened during my undergrad, when I was accepted into a program called Object Lab at the Chipstone Foundation after my junior year. It was a weeklong, intensive study on the interpretation of objects, and I had the opportunity to work with and be mentored by scholars, artists and curators such as Glenn Adamson, who was at the time the Director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. I learned so much and was really honored to be selected to be a part of the nine students from across the country, especially since the other students came from schools like Harvard, Yale, and Berkeley.
- What is your favorite item in your office/desk? Is there a story behind it?
This is a tough question, I have so many things on my desk that are important to me. I guess my favorite though would be all my pictures of my loved ones. Pictures are snapshots of a moment in time, a piece of history, and I love that they preserve that moment for years to come. The photos on my desk help me to keep those who I love close to me even if we are physically a part, and remind me of special events like my college graduation, going to Disney World for the first time last April, ice skating with my mom, and celebrating my older brother’s graduation from UW-Milwaukee, and my little brother’s graduation from high school. I spend a lot of time looking through historic photos for research, and I like to think that someone could potentially look through my photos someday to understand an event or period of history better. Or who knows, maybe I’ll be famous someday and someone will want to document and understand my life better!