Another new face has joined the ranks of the Homestead Museum: Jennifer Scerra. Jennifer recently relocated to Southern California from Boston, where she worked as the Interpretation Coordinator for the Museum of Science’s temporary exhibits. In addition to training paid and volunteer staff, she got to develop new hands-on and inquiry-based activities for temporary exhibits. Jennifer holds a B.A. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University, and an M.F.A. in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design from the University of the Arts. Here at the Homestead, she is taking on the role of Programs Coordinator. Her responsibilities will include coordinating the execution and evaluation of public programs and assisting with program development. Her passion for museums is evident, as you can read in the answers to her Q & A below.
What are some of the thing you missed about Southern California?
Southern California is a wonderful place. There are lots of things that I missed here and reasons why I am so happy to be back. I grew up in the Inland Empire and most of my family (grandmother, parents, siblings) still live in Southern California. I have a twin sister who had a baby girl recently and I am looking forward to spending more time with the two of them.
Other things that I missed about Southern California: I think a lot of people are surprised when I tell them that I missed the weather here during the summer more than I missed it during the winter. I’m not very fond of humidity and New England can be terribly humid in the summer.
Also I missed good tacos.
What do you like most about working in the museum field?
I think that I am wonderfully lucky to work in museum education—a field where the primary purpose is to get visitors excited about something and maybe interested in learning more. Museums are all different, but they can all help to create a society of people who are curious and engaged with the world around them.
What was your proudest achievement at the Museum of Science?
My last project before I left Boston was to develop and coordinate hands-on activities for a temporary exhibit about Pixar Animation Studios. The topics (coding, computational thinking, algorithms, etc.) were entirely new to me. It was really satisfying to find out what was compelling and accessible about the computer animation process and then to get to share that with visitors through our programming.
You are switching gears from science to history! What excites you about working in a history museum?
I love to read and to hear stories about people’s lives so I am really excited to work in a field where stories are so important.
Finish this sentence: I know a visitor has had a good time when….
…they want to bring a friend or relative back to share the experience.