Alumni Profiles

Meg Trau '12

Curatorial Assistant, Museum of Science, Boston


Home state: Georgia
Senior project: The Human Ecology of Weeds: A Museum Exhibit
Internships: Spruce Knob Mountain Center, Circleville, WV; Delaware Museum of Natural History, Wilmington, DE

After graduation, Meg worked part-time as an exhibit development intern at the EcoTarium in Worcester, MA and as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Science, Boston. Now working as a full-time museum employee, Meg curates the Natural Mysteries exhibit, works on exhibit installations, and cares for the museum’s collection of natural history and technology objects.

Why did you choose to attend COA, and what kept you here?
I was looking for a community that shared my values, that really cared about learning, and was engaged with the world. That is precisely what I found and what kept me there.

What was the most valuable skill you gained while at COA, and how does it influence your career today?
Learning to question the status quo and think outside of typical boundaries, and even questioning "what is science." I think being able to think across disciplines is a very helpful skill.

What was your favorite class at COA? Why?
Can I have a favorite term instead? Edible Botany, Animation, and Ethnographic Research & Writing. Learning about plants from a different perspective, making art that moves, and attempting to understand our fellow humans made for such a good fall term.

Please describe one of your most meaningful experiences at COA.
The process of putting together a senior project is a wonderful opportunity that many college students do not have in their undergrad years. It allows for the synthesis of ideas and the practical application of skills that are valuable bridges from college to the "real world." For me, working on a long-term project that had a concrete result — an exhibit in the Dorr Museum — was challenging and fulfilling, and having created all of the components of my very own exhibit was a unique experience to have when entering into the museum world. And the skills I gained from my senior project are still relevant in my work today! (watch her senior project presentation)

Why is a COA education still relevant - both in your own career and for current students?
It is always relevant to be able think across disciplines. Nothing is ever neat and tidy and can be solved with just biology or just statistics or just artistic skill. Life is complex like that.

Is there anything else you want to make sure others know about COA?
It's a special place: professors dedicated to their students; students filled with curiosity and compassion for each other and the world; and a ridiculously beautiful and inspiring locale. Go and visit...if it's right for you, you'll just know.

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