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Program Faculty

Museum Studies Certificate - Online Program

Caroline Goldthorpe is director of the museum studies certificate program at Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies, where she received the 2008–09 Distinguished Teaching Award. Goldthorpe also teaches in the University of Oklahoma’s online MA program in museum studies. In addition to lecturing widely, she is a lifetime fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the American Alliance of Museums, the United Kingdom’s Museums Association, the Museum Education Roundtable, the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, the Costume Society of America, and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Textile Society. Born and trained in England, Goldthorpe began her career as a curator in the Department of Textiles and Dress at the Victoria and Albert Museum before serving as curator of the Willis Local History Museum in Hampshire and keeper of costumes and textiles for the Hampshire County Museum Service. Subsequently she was deputy head of the costume department at the Museum of London and a curator at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she curated the 1988 exhibition From Queen to Empress: Victorian Dress 1837–1877 and wrote the accompanying book. Goldthorpe has also served as a curatorial consultant for Ringwood Manor, taught in the MA program in museum studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and provided expert testimony for Sotheby’s New York. Her writings have appeared in such publications as Museums Journal, Connoisseur, Museum News, and Curator.

Debra Kerr (pronounced “car”) is executive director of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, the premier museum dedicated solely to outsider art. Kerr is also founder and director of YouthMuse, which advocates for youth engagement and jumpstarts youth-led, museum-based campaigns for change. Its campaigns include IntuiTeens, where teens use art to help fellow teens explore their inner creativity; One With Nature, a joint project of Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, and Chicago Botanic Garden that focuses on environmental action in an urban setting; and Seattle Aquarium’s Puget Sound: We Love You, promoting Puget Sound conservation. Kerr provides consulting in the areas of teen engagement and strategic planning for cultural organizations and facilitates interactive teen career and personal exploration group sessions. During her 17-year career at Chicago’s world-renowned Shedd Aquarium, she held positions of progressively greater responsible, serving as executive vice president for 11 years. Kerr is a past board member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, past chair and instructor for its professional development committee and management courses, and past chair of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions zoo and aquarium committee. A member of the American Alliance of Museums and a past board member of the National Veterans Art Museum, she serves on the Merit School of Music board and the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Leaders Council. Kerr is a frequent guest speaker on issues related to museum relevance, teen empowerment, and activating the public for social good. In 2013 she won a distinguished teaching award from Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies, where she has taught museum management since 2005.

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