Lou Marchionda, CGP 2018
Every year for the Introduction to Museum Studies class with Dr. Sorin, first year students jump in to the deep end of the pool. They are assigned to work with a local museum to research and make recommendations on some aspect of the institution’s operations. The first year project provides students with an opportunity to dive deep into every aspect of the museum from visitor services to finances and this experience really helps to set the tone for the next two years. Interested students apply to lead the project and are interviewed for the job. This year, Robert Katz led the team. The student split into task forces based on the needs of the work and always research the community demographics.
This year, the Class of 2019 worked with the Utica Zoo, a regional zoo in Utica, New York, located in a section of Roscoe Conkling Park. In addition to animal exhibits, including several endangered species, the Utica Zoo has a children's petting zoo and is actively involved in animal conservation efforts.
CGP students compiled a feasibility study making recommendations on the acquisition of Beaversprite, a property within the Florence J. Reineman Nature Sanctuary. A donor offered the Sanctuary and Beaversprite, located in the Adirondack foothills and made up of approximately 1500 acres of protected forest and wetlands, to the Zoo as a gift. The students’ research provided the board with the information they needed to determine whether or not to accept the gift. The first year project provides students with an experience that encompassed every aspect of museum operations and provided the Utica Zoo with a useful document for future growth.