Museum Colleague Shoutouts for 2023

Museum Colleague Shoutouts for 2023

American Alliance of Museums

Thank you, American Alliance of Museums for honoring Barb Oehlschlaeger-Garvey and her outstanding involvement in Champaign County museums and local public history! 


Published Date: February 2, 2023

By Joseph O'Neill

Last month we asked readers of our Field Notes newsletter to share their shoutouts for outstanding museum colleagues in honor of the new year. Here were some of the responses they shared:

“Sarah Curran, Museum of Discovery and Science’s Early Childhood Education Manager. She is always ahead of planning and keeps her team on positivity and growth. Sarah has worked hard and diligently to grow the Early Childhood department where early childhood visitors have more than doubled. She is just incredible and binds relationships with many members and new guests.”

– Aruna Ragbir

“The Curator of Anthropology at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, Dr. Emily Early, has done exceptional work in her many years here. In 2022, she secured several hundred thousand dollars in grants for our institution to collaborate and consult with local tribes in the renovation of our Southwest Cultures gallery. Dr. Early has been fundamental in increasing positive relationships with the Four Southern Tribes here in Arizona and has dedicated her career to decolonization. I’m honored to have her as a mentor!”

– Samantha Bomkamp

“We have an absolutely amazing team of 5 engineers [at the USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum]. The work they do is incredible, especially during the rainy season in California. They’ve been keeping leaks and the rain at bay, keeping our ship open to the public and our staff dry! Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to put on our amazing New Year’s Eve Gala. They’re rockstars!”

– Eli Beutel

“[Iowa Jewish Historical Society Director] Sandi Yoder successfully manages multiple tasks, multiple personnel (board, staff and volunteers), multiple grants, and remains calm under what I consider trying circumstances. Her memory and attention to detail amaze me! … Sandi’s diplomacy and dedication to maintaining productive, collaborative relationships is beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed in my 15 years in the museum field and 17 years as a librarian.”

– Susan Jellinger

“Christie Cain, Anthropology Collections Manager at the CU Museum of Natural History. She deserves a shout out to the field as she just received the Chancellor’s Employee of the Year Award for the University of Colorado at Boulder. And beyond that, she is a tremendous colleague, student mentor and fun person to work with.”

– James S. Hakala

“Wendy Harris, Britannia Mine Museum’s People and Culture Manager. Wendy is an experienced HR leader who is does a great job of sharing resources with her team (including Field Notes articles!). Since joining us in 2022, she has done a stupendous job of recruiting, onboarding, and retaining staff at a time when a competitive job market, high fuel prices and rising cost of living have made it challenging to operate a staff-heavy historic site. Her professionalism, wisdom, and embodiment of the Mine Museum’s mission, vision, and values set a great example for employees. Thanks for being a superstar, Wendy!”

– The Britannia Mine Museum Team

“Barbara Oehlschlaeger-Garvey! She’s been involved in Champaign County museums and local public history since the early 90s, including her service the last 10 years as Director of the Museum and Education Dept for the Champaign County Forest Preserve District (includes the oversight of the Museum of the Grand Prairie and Homer Lake Interpretive Center). After her long career, Barb will be retiring in early February. A true champion of local history in central Illinois!”

– Pat Cain