Museology Master of Arts Program

Core faculty

Headshot of Jessica Luke.

Jessica J. Luke, Director

What inspires me
I’m inspired by ideas, especially ideas that are different than my own. I’m inspired by questions, in particular questions that challenge assumptions and turn a situation on its head. I’m inspired by compassion, both individual acts of kindness and community-based work. I’m inspired by potential, the idea of what something could be and the contribution I can make to change. (And of course, my daily muse can be found in a well-made cappuccino.)

I come to museums through the lens of learning and education. When I started volunteering at my campus art museum as an undergraduate Art History student, I realized almost immediately that what I cared about more than the art itself was people’s interactions with the art. I have a master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Maryland College Park. Before coming to the UW, I spent 15 years at the Institute for Learning Innovation, conducting evaluation and research with museums across the country to help them better understand their visitors, how and what they learn, and what that means for developing meaningful museum experiences.

My areas of specialization include research and evaluation; art museum education, critical and creative thinking; and youth development, family learning, and parent involvement.

Recent Publications

Head shot of Meena Selvakumar.Meena Selvakumar, Assistant Teaching Professor

What inspires me
People inspire me. I am constantly moved and humbled by the stories of people across the world, their resilience, compassion, and grace. I am inspired by the audacious ideas and actions of people who are willing to challenge the status quo and for the common good of humanity. I am also inspired by the sheer magnitude of natural beauty of our planet. I see museums as memory-keepers, reminders, and connectors to these ideas and stories.

Growing up in India, I was highly influenced by Richard Feynman’s and Oliver Sacks’ books, by Carl Sagan’ television series Cosmos, and by the genius of Marie Curie. Naturally, I wanted to be a scientist and I eventually moved to the US in 1991 to pursue a PhD in molecular biology. Towards the end of graduate school, I realized that my passion really lay in science communication and soon after, I joined the Museum of Science, Boston as they pioneered rapid response programs that connected the worlds of contemporary research, the mainstream media and public audiences. I had found my niche in the field and continued this work at the Museum of Life and Science, Durham. I was hired by Pacific Science Center in 2008 to conceive and implement the Portal to the Public effort, which brought local research into the museum through exhibits, programs, and forums funded by grants from NSF, NIH, NASA, IMLS amongst others. One of the award winning frameworks has currently been adopted by more than 60 institutions.

My areas of specialization include informal science education, community engagement, and program development.

Profile of woman with blonde hair, blue and maroon shirt standing in front of a tree.Lane Eagles, Assistant Teaching Professor

What inspires me

While I’m a lifelong fan of museums of all shapes and sizes, my heart lies with art museums in particular. I’m inspired by artists and makers who create works of art, whether visual, written, or performative. As an art historian and curator, I’m constantly struck by new artistic techniques and meanings, both historically and now. Art is one of the few universal forms of human expression and communication. Art existed before text; there are cultures in history that can only be understood by analyzing the art objects left behind, produced for both form and function. Everyone has the capacity to create—and inspire.


Museums have always been spaces of learning and solace for me. While earning my undergraduate degree in Art History at the University of Oklahoma, I landed an amazing role working between the School of Art, art media library, and Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. I knew what I wanted to do with my life early on and was fortunate enough to pursue it.

I’ve always been drawn to the intersection of museums and education. While working toward my master’s and then PhD in art history at the University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design, I also taught classes at Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, and Cornish College of the Arts. At the same time, I took as many museum jobs as I could while balancing teaching, research, and writing, mostly serving in curatorial and collections roles at the Henry Art Gallery, Museum of Pop Culture, and Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Before joining the faculty at UW, I worked as the Associate Curator at Bellevue Arts Museum, a local institution that focuses on modern and contemporary Pacific Northwest artists, designers, and craftspeople.


My areas of specialization include curation, collections, and museum history. My art historical background comprises early modern art and craft, with a particular focus on fashion history and gender studies.



Image of Lisa Hayes and family member standing in front of the Stonehenge. Lisa Hayes
Program Coordinator

What inspires me: People who are passionate about what they do, especially all things related to museology and/or education. After spending several years as a PTA board member, I am inspired by people who work or volunteer at schools and organizations like museums that provide learning opportunities in and out of the classroom.


I grew up in the Spokane area and moved to Seattle in 1984 where I received a BA in Political Science from the UW. I worked for 11 years at UW Medicine advancement, supporting staff with annual giving/major gift efforts. Since 2008, I have worked at UW Museology where I very much enjoy supporting our staff and instructors and helping students. Every year I look forward to welcoming a new cohort to the UW.

Headshot of Dylan High. Dylan High
Graduate Advisor

What inspires me
I am always inspired by the creativity and curiosity of students of all ages. I love the excitement of someone learning something new, discovering a new passion, or the satisfaction of taking your interests to the next of level of expertise.

I have a BA in Anthropology and a BA in Music from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. I have an MA in Museology from the University of Washington.

I have worked in museum education, youth programming, and event planning prior to my role as a graduate advisor in the program. I now advise on internship opportunities, course selection, and career preparedness for Museology students.