Some extra patience paid off for thirteen Museum Studies undergraduate students and alumni. Students who had previously taken Dr. Billie Follensbee’s Basic Conservation of Art and Artifacts class (MST 488) had the opportunity to develop poster presentations from their course research for the Missouri Archaeological Society‘s annual conference on April 9, after the event was canceled and postponed the past two years.
As Dr. Follensbee explains, this chance to present in the conference is worth waiting for, “The most significant and exciting aspects of attending the Missouri Archaeological Society conference is the opportunity for the students to present on their research at a state and regional level as undergraduates. I organized this poster symposium to give our art history students and museum studies students the opportunity to present on their research because students generally do not have the opportunity to present on their research at scholarly conferences before they go to graduate school.”
The presenters came from two separate classes. Seven students were accepted from the Fall 2019 MST 488 class for the 2020 conference, which was canceled due to Covid-19 protocols. The posters were then accepted a second time for the 2021 conference, which was postponed to April 2022. Dr. Follensbee taught MST 488 again in Fall 2021, which resulted in another collection of student research posters. With a second round of student research to share, Dr. Follensbee proposed an idea to the Missouri Archaeological Society that her students present as part 1, the class from 2019, and part 2, the class from 2021. After considering her proposal, the conference organizers accepted all six of the submitted posters from the 2021 class to present along with the seven posters from the 2019 class. This meant nearly twice as many students were chosen to present at this year’s conference:
Part 1: Akira Alves, Elisabeth Barber, Whitney Mosley, Rebecca Prado, Sarah Teel, Lindsey VanDieren (co-authored and presented by Vinita Williams), and Vinita Williams
Part 2: Alyssa Carter, Kylei Giles, Madelyn Pohl, Sarah Powell, Hannah Scarborough, and McKenzie Wixon.
Along with a chance to present their research, the Missouri Archaeological Conference is also a prime networking opportunity for students and alumni. Professionals from the many related fields of art history attend the event, such as archaeologists, historians, and museum professionals.
“Since the Missouri Archaeological Society promotes a dialogue among scholars . . . this conference brings all of these people together, both for the scholarly experience of attending presentations and to meet, interact, and network,” Dr. Follensbee shares.
For these students, the conference was not only an enriching experience, but no doubt a welcomed return to sharing ideas in person.
“Posters on the Research and Conservation of Art and Artifacts” will be on view in Brick City’s Cabot Gallery from May 20-August 22 and open for First Friday Art Walk June 3, July 1, and August 5 from 6-8 PM.
For more information about MST 488 and how to register for the class, contact Dr. Follensbee at BillieFollensbee@missouristate.edu.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.