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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.

2020-2021 Monthly Meetings

  • September 2
    2020 GAC Welcome Meeting with the GAC Board
  • October 7
    Empathetic Collections Management with Dr. Sanchita Balachandran, Associate Director and conservator, The Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum
  • November 4
    Discussing Public Programming at the Penn Museum with Zoë Rayn Evans, Collaborative Programs Manager, Penn Museum
  • December 2
    Curating The Stories We Wear with co-curators Dr. Lauren Ristvet, Dyson Associate Curator, Near East Section, and Associate Professor of Anthropology, and Dr. Sarah Linn, Research Liaison

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 2020–2021 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 early-contact-period land management and later British-colonial maritime cultural landscapes. Trained in maritime archaeology and studying paleoethnobotany, she works both terrestrially and underwater to connect land and sea, focusing on ports. She is currently involved in projects in Virginia and India. 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, helped develop the Creating Academic Museum Professionals program, held a Graduate Assistantship in digital archaeology in 2019–2020, and will work as a Graduate Assistant for CAAM’s Charleston Foodways Project during 2020–2021.

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Janelle Sadarananda

Janelle Sadarananda

Vice President

Janelle is a Ph.D. candidate in Penn’s graduate group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World (AAMW). Her dissertation research focuses on pottery production in Archaic Boeotia, Greece. She currently works at the site of Eleon in Boeotia, and has worked at Hacımusalar Höyük in southwestern Turkey, as well as at Gordion in central Turkey. She is a member of CAAM’s Pyrotechnology Research Group (CPRG) at the Museum and was a Graduate Assistant during the 2019–2020 academic year in the Learning and Public Engagement department, where she worked with the teaching collection.

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Charlotte Williams

Charlotte Williams

Professional Development Chair

Charlotte is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology, whose research focuses on the 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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Autumn Melby

Autumn Melby

Academic Development 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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Mark Van Horn

Mark Van Horn

Social Programming Chair

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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Eric T. Hubbard

Eric T. Hubbard

Communications Chair

Eric is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology whose research interests sit between history, cultural heritage politics, and landscape archaeology along marginal environments and frontiers (particularly of the Ancient Near East and South Central Asia). There he focuses on topics of settlement strategy, exchange network formation, the negotiation of ancient identities, and the political implications of their study or display today. He has participated in archaeological projects in the U.S. Midwest, Israel, and Cyprus, and recently managed the Afghanistan Heritage Mapping Partnership at the OI Museum/UChicago. At the Penn Museum he assists the curatorial team planning the reinstallation of material from the eastern Mediterranean (currently the Canaan and Ancient Israel Gallery) and enjoys contributing to Graduate Guide and Daily Dig programming.

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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