Miranda L. Chavis

M ChavisContact




Professor Richard Sandell

Dr. Sheila Watson


Thesis title

Museums, Resilience, and Public Service: The Organizational Implications of Socially Purposeful Practice

Thesis description

Museological scholarship highlights institutional capacity to create social value through public service, which fosters societal development and community well-being. Most of the literature surrounding these manifestations of public service, described here as socially purposeful, focuses upon the community impact of such work. These scholars may discuss the organizational challenges and opportunities surrounding it. Some museum scholars have generally indicated that such public service facilitates organizational resilience. On the other hand, museological scholarship also notes the potential negative organizational repercussions of socially purposeful practice and even the failure to accomplish public service goals, despite institutional attempts to do so. However, no museological scholarship examines socially purposeful practice from the organizational perspective. This research seeks to deepen the understanding of the potential relationship between organizational resilience and socially purposeful public service. Moreover, it strives to cohesively and deeply examine the organizational implications of socially purposeful practice, both the challenges, the opportunities, and what this may potentially mean for museum resiliency.


MA in Museum Studies / Johns Hopkins University, MD (2016)

BA in History / University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC (2005)

Dean’s List - Phi Beta Kappa - Golden Key Honor Society - 3.87 GPA - Graduated with Highest Distinction

Scholastic Experience

PhD Student Representative/ School of Museum Studies, Leicester (2017 to 2018)

Connect, organize, communicate, and facilitate PhD student experience through Student Staff Meetings, Calendar and Announcement communications, Research Week, and PhD student activities such as socials, the PhD Attic Blog, and social media.

Member/ Museums (em)Power PhD Conference Committee, Leicester (2017 to 2018)

Organize, plan, and develop the 2018 School of Museum Studies PhD Conference, entitled Museums (em)Power. Craft the event budget, grant proposals, and sponsorship packages. Arrange and manage event development to promote fiscal viability of event programming, activities, and goals.

Conference Presentation/ Power Lines NCPH Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV (2018)

Presented and led an "On the Fly" discussion, entitled Public History on the Fly: Responsive Contextualization of Contemporary Society. Abstract can be seen below:

History explores the past. Public history contextualizes the modern human experience by exploring yesterday’s influence upon today. However, in a digitally connected world, public history is disseminated increasingly “on the fly” by necessity. This requires adapting new techniques of presentation and being responsive to a fast-paced society. Yet, how are public historians presenting research that contextualizes the contemporary human experience? Through specific case studies and examples supplied by the presenter and attendees, the session unpacks the unifying characteristics, the opportunities, and the challenges of case studies illustrative of responsive public history.

Research Assistant / Leicester (2018)

Assisted the team and leading professor for Masters Level Module 3 coursework development and online lesson plans for Collections Care and Management, at the University of Leicester, School of Museum Studies. Facilitate development of practical modules, lesson work, reading, and bibliography around collections handling, packing, labelling and marking, collections management systems, metadata management, policy, procedures, and practices.

Marking Assistant / Leicester (2018)

Assisted the leading professor for Masters Level oral presentation assessment and marking, at the University of Leicester, School of Museum Studies.

Teaching Assistant / Leicester (2017)

Assisted the leading professor for Masters Level Module 3 coursework, entitled Collections Care and Management, at the University of Leicester, School of Museum Studies. Oversight of collections handling. Facilitate collections care and management practicals through oversight and demonstration.


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