what's Next-emp symposium (1)

What’s Next/Why Museums- Nicole Krom, Marilyn Torres

A conversation between two established museum professionals about careers in the museum field.

How I Got Here- Helen Shannon, John Orr, Charles McGhee Hassrick, Jason Allen

A panel made up of professionals some who took “traditional” routes to end up working in the museum field, and some who did not.

Interview Tips- Allison Titman, Jason Allen, Saralyn Rosenfield
A panel made up of current or former hiring managers. Panelists will share stories and give advice on making or breaking an interview.

Resume Workshop- Allison Titman, Saralyn Rosenfield, Jamie Hughes, Jason Allen, Patrick Wittwer, Allison Krisch, Mickey Maley
An interactive workshop designed to help navigate the field’s jargon and translate the skills young professionals already have into the skills museums are looking for.

Panelists Include:

Jason E. Allen is the director of community engagement at the New Jersey Council for the
Humanities. Previously, he was executive director of the Richard Allen museum at Mother Bethel A.M.E. in Philadelphia. Jason is a museum and non-profit consultant, specializing in exhibitions, programming, community engagement and development for his company, ABCDEdu, where he works with arts, culture and heritage organizations seeking to engage under-served and under- represented communities, histories and memories. Jason is a contributor to Rutgers University’s Public History program and the National Council on Public History. Jason serves on the boards of Historians Against Slavery and the New Jersey Association of Museums. He graduated magna cum laude from Montclair State University, with a B.A. in Education and History, after which he taught and wrote curriculum for high school Social Studies in New Jersey.


Jamie Hughes was elected Treasurer of the Museum Council in 2014, after having served as an at-large board member for two years. She has ten years of experience in Philadelphia’s arts and cultural community, including positions in visitor services, membership, and development at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Please Touch Museum, and Fleisher Art Memorial. Jamie has a B.A. from Villanova University, where her coursework included an internship in visitor studies at the Philadelphia Zoo. She has served as a grant review panelist for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Program, and earned certificates in Principles of Fundraising offered by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Digital Media for Print & Web from Moore College of Art & Design.


Allison Krisch is the Manager of Science and Community Programs at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University where she where works closely with community groups, museums, and cultural organizations across the city in order to make science accessible. She has spent the past 10 years working as an educator, primarily focused on museum programming that integrates children, teens, and young adults into the museum experience. Allison has an M.A. in Museum Education from the University of the Arts and a dual B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a huge bibliophile and loves dinosaurs, anthropology, and history, especially early Medieval English history.

Allison was recently elected as the Programming Chair for Museum Council. She was originally elected to the Board in 2014 and has been a part of the Programming Committee since 2013.


Nicole Krom is the current President of Museum Council although her day job consists of being the Membership and Outreach Manager at Longwood Gardens. She is an advocate for all things visitor-centered and founded the Visitor Experience Conference in 2011, aimed at those in visitor serving roles of arts and cultural institutions. Passionate about community services, Nicole also serves as Vice President of the Board for her local library. Prior to working at Longwood Gardens, she spent time at the Arts and Cultural Office of the City of Wilmington, Easter Seals of Southeastern Philadelphia, Chester County Historical Society, Shofuso, and most recently, Fleisher Art Memorial. Nicole graduated with an M.A. in Museum Education from the University of the Arts and a B.A in Art History from Villanova University.


Mickey Maley is the Assistant Director of Public Programs at The Franklin Institute responsible for overseeing the education experience for visitors to the museum, school programs, special events, and oversees the operation of staff training for the education department. He has 10 years of nonprofit management and leadership in informal education, volunteer management, training, and experiential program development. Mickey has a M.S. Ed. in Leadership in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education, and a B.S. in Physics and Theatre Arts from Susquehanna University.


Charles McGhee Hassrick is an exhibit and content developer and writer with experience in art, science, history, and natural history museums. As CHF’s Digital Projects Manager, Charles directs and manages the Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum’s many digital initiatives. These efforts include a redesign of the Theo Gray Media Column that has been a centerpiece for the Museum since opening day; an online exhibition and game that explores the history of 20th century scientific instruments; a digital interactive visualization of national, regional and local air quality; and a video game that invites users to investigate the connections between alchemy and contemporary experimental science through alchemical art and symbology.

John Orr was elected to the Museum Council Board in June of 2014 and served as President from June 2014 through June 2015. Prior to his role on the Board, he served on the Marketing and Communications Committee. He has spent 19 years in Philadelphia’s cultural community with stops at the Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences, Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania, Fleisher Art Memorial, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation.  He currently serves as the Executive Director at Art-Reach. His focus in recent years has been on increasing arts accessibility through community engagement and the process of co-creation with underserved communities. He also serves on the Conference Planning Committee for the Small Museum Association to assist in planning the largest annual conference for small museum professionals in the mid-Atlantic region.


Saralyn Rosenfield is the Director of Education at the Delaware Art Museum, where she oversees a range of programs, outreach, and interpretation initiatives.  Before starting at the Delaware Art Museum in 2006, she worked and interned at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Walter’s Art Museum in Baltimore. Ms. Rosenfield received a M.S.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education in Leadership in Museum Education and a B.F.A. in Illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art.   

Helen M. Shannon’s interest in museums was initiated by visits to the St. Louis Art Museum in grade school. Her career in museum education began at the same institution by working in their Teacher Resource Center. In 1976 she started at the Detroit Institute of Arts with responsibilities for school and teacher programs. In 1987 Ms. Shannon moved to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where, as head of the Office of Public Programs, she led a team of 20 people who organized adult and out-reach programs. Believing that directors are crucial to making education central to museums, from 2001 to 2006 she served as Executive Director of the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.

Ms. Shannon holds degrees in art history: a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate from Columbia University. Her teaching career has included positions at Rutgers-New Brunswick and at Sarah Lawrence College. She has spoken at museums and colleges, as well as at academic and professional conferences on such subjects as the state of museums, the influence of African art on American modernism, and the history of African-American art.


Allison Titman is an Accreditation Program Officer at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), where she works with museums of all types and sizes in accreditation and AAM’s other Excellence programs. She is the current Board Vice President of the Small Museum Association (SMA) and has just completed a three-year stint as the Chair of SMA’s Conference Committee. Allison previously served as the Assistant Director/Curator of the Hammond Harwood House in Annapolis, Maryland, and has also worked at the Women’s Memorial at Arlington Cemetery and the National Museum of American History. She holds an MA in Museum Studies from the George Washington University and a BA in Women’s Studies from Barnard College at Columbia University.


Marilyn L. Torres, a mother of 5, lover of animals, and nature enthusiast, is the current Senior Director of Visitor Experience at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. She has a passion for books, anime, Sci-Fi movies, astronomy and any good cause.  She is a graduate of Temple University, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resources in 2009. She received a Master of Science in Accounting from The University of Phoenix in 2012. Marilyn has 13 years of experience in Retail Management. Prior to joining The Academy of Natural Sciences, she worked at The Philadelphia Zoo in the Guest Relations Department for 4 years.


Patrick Wittwer, currently the manager of the Wells Fargo History Museum, has served in the Philadelphia museum community since 2002, with roles in education at the Franklin Institute, visitor experience at Please Touch Museum, and as the director of the Museum of Elfreth’s Alley. Patrick is the chair of the Emerging Museum Professional Committee for the Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia, which is dedicated to assisting museum workers as they begin and advance their careers. Patrick also serves on the Marketing Committee for the Visitor Experience Group, the Corporate History Committee for the American Association of State and Local History, and is the Philadelphia representative to the National EMP Network. Outside of the museum world, Patrick enjoys camping, West Wing reruns, all things whimsical, and is very likely the biggest Muppet fan you will ever meet.