In the Loop
Alumni News : Oct 21, 2015

First graduate to earn museum studies certificate finds success in Nashville

UF School of Art + Art History alumna Kathleen Boyle (MA Art History ‘14) is the first student to complete a graduate certificate in museum studies at the University of Florida. Boyle pursued the certificate program in order to enhance her art history research with museum instruction. 

“When I decided to come back to graduate school in 2010 and study art I only looked at schools that also offered museum studies support,” says Boyle. “I wanted to make sure that I had completely covered all of my bases in terms of academic and professional experience in order to make me a solid, competitive applicant in the tough museum and gallery job market.” 

As part of the museum studies requirement, Boyle held internships with the Harn Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Jacksonville where she assisted the museum’s education departments in exhibition research, program creation and interpretive material development. In addition, Boyle and two of her classmates, Laura Ferrante and Hannah Soh, curated an exhibition entitled Framing the Frame for the Harn Museum that was exhibited from February through July of 2012.

“It was such a great experience to have been able to work with the Harn's curators and educators, and to have been given an opportunity to actually curate a museum show,” says Boyle. “Also, MOCA allowed me to develop a number of public education projects in addition to providing research and administrative support to the entire education department.  

“Again, that was an incredible experience that not only overlaps but also extends beyond the confines of art history academics.”


Boyle currently live in Nashville, Tennessee, where she works for a prominent art gallery called The Arts Company. She is also an art history professor at Watkins College of Art, Design, and Film and Volunteer State Community College. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering in the education department for the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, an art museum in downtown Nashville. She is also very interested in arts in medicine, and is in the process of becoming involved with the arts offerings at Vanderbilt’s hospital.

“I love working in art with the public, and my students are amazing,” says Boyle. “It is so great to see people smile or become inquisitive when I inform them about art.”

The museum studies graduate certificate is a 16-credit program that offers a strong professional and academic supplement for graduate students interested in pursuing a variety of careers with museums and nonprofits.