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Penn Museum Graduate Advisory Council

The Penn Museum Graduate Advisory Council (GAC) is a representative council that facilitates student involvement with the Penn Museum and collaboration with other interested graduate students. Any Penn graduate student interested in opportunities at the Museum is welcome to join GAC.

Penn Museum Graduate Advisory Council

GAC Mission

The Penn Museum Graduate Advisory Council (GAC) is a representative council dedicated to facilitating lateral engagement among graduate students and promoting their involvement both as collaborative stakeholders within and as advisers to the Penn Museum.

GAC Objectives

  • To develop and maintain inclusive representation of graduate students from the various disciplines and departments that engage with the Penn Museum
  • To facilitate academic, professional, and social opportunities for graduate students within the Penn Museum
  • To build a collaborative relationship with the Penn Museum
  • To provide graduate students with a means to advise the Penn Museum on issues of interest to graduate students
  • To build interdisciplinary relationships among graduate students through the Penn Museum

Membership and Meetings

GAC meets once a month. GAC also organizes a weekly writing group, professional and academic development workshops, and social events, including trips to other Philadelphia institutions. Any interested graduate student enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania may become a member of the Penn Museum Graduate Advisory Council.

Spring 2022 Monthly Meetings

  • February 2, 12-1 pm, Penn Museum Classroom L2
    Marketing in Museums with Joanne Tiongson-Perez (Chief Marketing and Communications Officer)
  • March 2, 12-1 pm, Archives
    Archives and the Museum with Alessandro Pezzati (Senior Archivist)
  • April 6, 12-1 pm, East Entrance
    Oceania Section Tour with Stephen Lang (Keeper of the Asian Collection)
  • May 4, 12-1 pm, Penn Museum Classroom L2
    End of Year Wrap Up and Celebration with the GAC Board

Interested in attending PMGAC virtual events? Please join our listserv below.

Meet the Board

GAC is made up of the General Council and an annually elected Board. Meet the 2021–2022 GAC Board below!

Chelsea Cohen

Chelsea Cohen

President

Chelsea is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology with interests in archaeology, maritime heritage, and museum anthropology. Her dissertation focuses on relationships between contact-period landscape change and later British-colonial maritime cultural landscapes. Trained in maritime archaeology and paleoethnobotany, she works both terrestrially and underwater to connect land and sea, focusing on urban port sites. She is currently involved in projects in Virginia and India, and has previously worked in West Virginia, Lake Champlain, Illinois, Turkey, and Greece. She previously interned with the National Hellenic Museum, completed ethnographic work with the Field Museum, and worked in collections at the J. Wayne Stark Galleries. She contributes to Graduate Guides and the Daily Dig at the Penn Museum, and helped develop the Creating Academic Museum Professionals program. She currently works in CAAM’s archaeobotany lab on the Charleston Foodways Project and serves as a Research Assistant for the Heritage West Project.

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Mark Van Horn

Mark Van Horn

Vice President

Mark is a Ph.D. candidate in the graduate group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World at Penn. His dissertation focuses on household economic practices in the Roman Empire during the first centuries BCE and CE, specifically in southern Tuscany. He is a member of the Pyrotechnology Research Group (CPRG) at the Penn Museum, as his research often intersects with metallurgy and ceramic production. Mark has excavated at the Roman city of Cosa and the medieval cemetery at Badia Pozzeveri, both in Tuscany, the Roman city of Augustodunum in France, a Roman frontier fort near Koblenz, Germany, and at the Phoenician site of Tel Akko, Israel. He also serves as one of the Penn Museum’s Graduate Guides, giving gallery tours and Daily Digs on a wide variety of topics, while seeking to promote student involvement at the Penn Museum as much as possible.

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Charlotte Williams

Charlotte Williams

Academic Development Chair

Charlotte is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology, whose research focuses on how American imperialist projects of industry in Latin America literally and figuratively paved the way for the extraction of archaeological material culture in the 18th through 20th centuries. She has worked on cultural heritage projects in Huanchaco, Peru, and most recently with the Penn Cultural Heritage Center on a digital photo voice project in Huancavelica, Peru. She has held internships at the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, worked as a consulting scholar for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and will participate as a Summer Institute Scholar at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. in 2021. At the Penn Museum she serves as a Graduate Guide, contributes to Daily Digs, and helped develop the Museum Assistantship Program.

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Chris LaMack

Chris LaMack

Professional Development Chair

Chris is a Ph.D student in the Department of Anthropology. His dissertation research focuses on the archaeology of economic change in the eighteenth and nineteenth-century Kingdom of Mysore (modern-day Karnataka, India). Chris has previously worked in the southeastern United States, including in his home state of North Carolina at the Wall site, a Late Woodland village in the NC Piedmont, and at Fort Raleigh, the first English colonial outpost in North America; he also contributed to the Catawba project, run through the Research Laboratories of Archaeology at UNC Chapel Hill, investigating the use of Euroamerican ceramics at three late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Catawba sites. Currently, Chris holds a museum assistantship working on the CAAM-based Historic Greenhouse Archaeology Project, an effort to locate and explore an eighteenth-century greenhouse in West Philadelphia. He also enjoys giving museum and campus tours as a Graduate Guide.

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Arielle Hardy

Arielle Hardy

Social Chair

Arielle is a Ph.D. student in Penn’s Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World interdisciplinary graduate group (AAMW). Her academic research focuses on the Hellenistic intersections of sacred space, ritual practice, and mythology, and she has participated in archaeological projects based in Pollena Trocchia and Roccarainola, Italy and in Gluhite Kamani, Bulgaria. Arielle also has a professional background in museums, with connections to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and to the Manetti Shrem Museum of UC Davis. She is passionate about facilitating connections with the past through access to material objects, and is excited to be part of the Penn Museum community! Outside academic life, Arielle loves finding fresh air—whether that be on a long hike, in the crisp air conditioning of an art museum, or on a roof deck having dinner with friends.

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Autumn Melby

Autumn Melby

Public Engagement Chair

Autumn is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology, focusing her research on the Precontact archaeology of the American Southeast. Her dissertation project examines how households within the southern periphery of influence of the Cahokia site in Illinois responded to the presumed 'collapse' of the center during the 13th century CE, engaging with notions of resilience, identity, and the archaeology of everyday life. Her other research interests include ceramic technology, paleoethnobotany, indigenous archaeology, and public and museum archaeology. She continues to contribute to the Penn Museum’s Graduate Guides and Daily Dig programs, often highlighting objects and stories found in the Native American Voices exhibition, and was a Graduate Assistant in Spring 2020.

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Brigitte Keslinke

Brigitte Keslinke

Communications Chair

Brigitte is a third year Ph.D. student in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World program. Her research focuses on the intersections of food, identity, and cultural exchange, particularly in the cult of the Cybele/Magna Mater, and she has worked at sites in central Turkey and on Cyprus. At the Penn Museum, she enjoys engaging with the public through the Graduate Guides and Daily Dig programs, and most recently, she worked on the curatorial team for the temporary exhibition “The Stories We Wear.” When not in class or the museum, you can find her exploring the city, taking walks in the Woodlands, sharing meals with friends, or napping (usually with her most adorable cat Clio).

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Resources

How to Get Involved at the Penn Museum

Besides joining PMGAC, a few ways for graduate students to get involved at the Museum are the MTL Certificate, the Grad Guides program, Penn Museum Graduate Assistantships, and the Creating Academic Museum Professionals summer camp.

For more information, contact GAC President Chelsea Cohen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Penn Museum Research Liaison Sarah Linn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Contact

Academic Engagement Department
215.898.1018