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School of Art + Art History

Museum Studies

Faculty and Collaborators / Affiliate Faculty

Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler

Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler is the Exhibits Coordinator at the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries and Adjunct Professor of Museum Studies. At the Libraries, she oversees an exhibition program that enhances research and learning opportunities by sharing and interpreting the Libraries’ collections. Her work addresses an increasing imperative to academically engage students outside the classroom, and reveal collections to a broader public. She specializes in exhibitions, technology, community engagement, and broad access.

John Nemmers

John Nemmers is Associate Chair of the Department of Special & Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. He oversees multiple hybrid archives-museum collections including the Architecture Archives, the Panama Canal Museum Collection, and the Governor’s House Library in St. Augustine. He has curated multiple exhibitions on diverse topics including architecture, Florida history, and landscape architecture. He is a Past President of the Society of Florida Archivists, and has held multiple leadership positions in the Society of American Archivists. He has delivered numerous workshops to archives, library, and museum professionals and students on topics such as the arrangement and description of historical collections and digital project planning and management. He has written several successful grant proposals, and has served as project manager for grant projects relating to the digitization, conservation, and promotion of cultural heritage resources.

Darcie MacMahon

Darcie MacMahon is the Director of Public Exhibits and Public Programs at the Florida Museum of Natural History. As part of the Florida Museum executive team, she oversees everything related to the public experience, from exhibitions and educational programs to security guards, gift shops, and live butterflies. Directing this program requires developing strong teams, collaborative partnerships, and strategic, innovative initiatives to serve multiple audiences. From archaeologist and collections manager, she grew quickly into exhibition development, which remains an important part of what she does. Over the years this has included numerous permanent, temporary, and traveling exhibitions, of various levels of complexity and cost, with both in-house and outside teams, all collaborative and based on a strong foundation of museum science and research.

Fletcher Durant

Fletcher Durant is the Head of Conservation and Preservation at University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. He is responsible for the care and treatment of the Libraries’ 6+ million volumes and 13+ million items in the Digital Collections. His work focuses on the preventive conservation of library and archival materials, the sustainability of cultural heritage, and risk management. He is a trained book and paper conservator and a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation. Prior to joining the University of Florida, he was the Preservation Archivist for NYU Libraries and an Assistant Conservator for Special Collection at the New York Public Library. He received his MSIS and CAS in the Conservation of Library and Archival Materials from the University of Texas.

Laurie Taylor

Laurie N. Taylor, PhD, is UF’s Digital Scholarship Librarian. Her work focuses on socio-technical (people, policies, technologies, communities) needs for scholarly cyberinfrastructure. She works heavily with the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) where she is the Digital Scholarship Director, LibraryPress@UF where she is the Editor-in-Chief, Digital Humanities Working Group and the DH Graduate Certificate, and Research Computing with these and other activities geared towards enabling a culture of radical collaboration that values and supports diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

Elise LeCompte

Elise LeCompte is registrar and administrator for the Florida Museum of Natural History.  Ms. LeCompte has served as collections manager, exhibit registrar, and conservation technician at museums in Florida, and consults on collections management, curation, exhibit design, and artifact treatment for museums throughout the southeast.  She organizes workshops and does presentations on these topics as well. She has several publications on collections management and artifact conservation.  Ms. LeCompte is a member of several international, national, regional, and state museum and conservation organizations.  She serves as an accreditation and museum assessment program reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums, council member and coordinator of the Southeastern Museums Conference Career Center, Travel Grants Coordinator for the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, and mentor for the Florida Association of Museums Connecting to Collections program.  She is also an adjunct professor for the University of Florida Museum Studies program (teaching collections management and museum ethics), as well as the Johns Hopkins University Museum Studies Program (teaching collections management).  Ms. LeCompte holds an M.A. in archaeology and chemistry from the University of Florida and a B.A. in anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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