Teaching Fellows

The Teaching Fellows are a group of paid student guides who serve as the primary museum educators for our K-12 school visits. Every week, they deliver dynamic tours for the many school groups who visit the MMA annually. Teaching Fellows work closely with classroom teachers to ensure that a group’s visit to the museum is as meaningful as possible, crafting a customized, thematic tour that aligns with the class’s curricular goals.

Teaching Fellows are full-time students at Belhaven University, Jackson State University, Millsaps College, or Tougaloo College who were chosen for their academic rigor and interest in teaching and museums. Coming from a breadth of disciplinary interests, they are extensively trained on the museum’s permanent collection on an ongoing basis. The Teaching Fellows Program is generously supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Interested in planning a visit? Click here.

Meet the 2016-2017 Teaching Fellows

Lauren Barger is a Junior at Belhaven University, majoring in Music Education with an Instrumental Emphasis. Lauren claims many places as home, as her family moved around a lot growing up. One of those stops was four years in Italy before moving to Mississippi five years ago. Lauren was drawn to the Teaching Fellows program, as she wanted to learn more about Mississippi culture and history and figured a great place to do that was with visual art. She says that the TF program has made her step back and think about the purposes of a museum and to understand everything that goes into the work of a museum. After graduation, Lauren hopes to teach elementary music and to develop her own music curriculum for beginning musicians.

Daria Butorina is a Junior at Jackson State University. Daria is originally from a small town in the Ukraine called Nova Kakhovka, and made her way to Jackson State to play tennis. She is also an artist and applied to the Teaching Fellows program in order to learn more about art. Daria’s biggest surprise with the program thus far has been the approach to object-based teaching the Teaching Fellows have learned: “When we started to practice the close looking, my perspective totally changed. I found the way of teaching in the museum so unique…it really works, and it helps to think about art deeply.”

Nina Byrd is a Senior at Tougaloo College. Nina is originally from Chicago, Illinois. In her free time, Nina enjoys crocheting, drawing, painting, and cooking. Nina loves museums and the Teaching Fellows program affords her the opportunity to learn and spend more time in museums. After graduation, Nina hopes to teach art and would also like to attend graduate school

Gabriella “Ella” Castro is a Junior at Belhaven University, where she is majoring in Music Education. Ella grew up outside of Houston, Texas, and was homeschooled for her school-age years. The hands-on learning she experienced during her childhood makes her a believer in active, experiential education, something she wants to continue as she gives tours at the MMA. Ella wanted to be a Teaching Fellow because she is interested in considering the educational mission of the Museum and to learn how to be an educator herself, which is what she ultimately hopes to do after college. She says she even might start her own international school someday! In her free time, she enjoys reading, crafting, and socializing with friends.

Deja Nicole Patterson is a Senior at Tougaloo College. Deja was born in Georgia, yet throughout her childhood her family relocated to numerous places such as Chicago, IL, Magee MS, and Clinton, MS. Studio courses have appealed to Deja the most throughout her time at Tougaloo, and she especially enjoys painting. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, painting and browsing social media. She applied to the Teaching Fellows Program because of the genuine interest she has in visual art. Because of hery participation in the program, Deja says she now has a more in depth understanding of art aesthetics and criticism. She is pleased that she has learned how to conduct a museum tour in a fun, innovate and informative way. After graduation, Deja anticipates pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts as well as a career in nursing.

Detrice Roberts is a graduate student, pursuing her M.A. in History from Jackson State University. Originally from Chicago, IL, Detrice received her Bachelor’s degree from Tougaloo College, so knows Jackson well! Detrice applied to the Teaching Fellows program to be around two things that she loves: art and children, and says that the program has opened her thoughts to new ideas from the range of people she has had the chance to encounter. After obtaining her Master’s degree, Detrice plans to pursue her doctoral degree in History, ultimately teaching. “Working with the Museum has really given me so many more ideas of things I could do, and I’m so excited to see what’s to come in the future.”

Maria Welch is a junior at Millsaps College, where she is majoring in Studio Art. Originally from Naugatuck, Connecticut, she moved to Flowood when she was seven and has called it home ever since. As an artist herself, she spends much of her free time making art as well as running. She applied to the Teaching Fellows program for the opportunity to learn about teaching and to gain some experience in doing so. After college, Maria is considering continuing her studies to get her MFA and possibly Ph.D., ultimately wanting to teach art at the college level.

Interested in becoming a Teaching Fellow?

This position is ideal for a person with an interest in museums, history, child development, or education and offers both course-credit through independent study and a $2,500/semester stipend (as earned through fulfilling hourly time commitments).

The Museum accepts applications on an annual basis for its Teaching Fellows. The application period is open from January 1, 2017- February 24, 2017. All applications are reviewed, at which point a select number of applicants will be contacted for an interview. Interviews are conducted during the month of March, and all applicants will be notified of the final decision in early April. Please note that the application process is very competitive, with a new cohort size limited to eight individuals.

Click here to apply.

Questions? Contact the Director of Engagement and Learning, daniel johnson, at djohnson@msmuseumart.org.