Officers

About Madelyn

Madelyn Mayberry is a docent at the Des Moines Art Center in Des Moines, Iowa, and Vice President of the National Docent Symposium Council. She holds degrees in art, art education and higher education. While most of her career was at the community college level, she has experience at all levels; K-6, middle school, high school and, finally, as an adjunct instructor of future teachers at the university level. Madelyn says that both her career as a teacher and her experience as a volunteer docent have convinced her that we are all here to help each other—to guide each other in our investigation of the way the world works and what this life can be about... to discover what is real ...to find meaning in life.

My Connection with the NDSC

In 2009 I became aware of the National Docent Symposium, registered and have attended every Symposium since. I have found great benefit in gathering with like-minded folks who are passionate about what they do and are serious about wanting to continually up their game. Sometimes I wonder that so many of these people not only volunteer their time in their home institutions but also commit to ensuring that the symposium networking and educational opportunities endure by serving as directors of the NDSC. I have also observed that the revised NDSC Docent Handbook 2 offers institutions a great resource that saves time and expense when budgets are notoriously tight.

We docents help guide people in that process of discovery and self-discovery. This is important work... for anyone! Whether in a museum, a botanical garden, a zoo or a historical site we seek to spark connections between people and the meanings that emerge from an encounter with cultural and natural resources. We enrich the experience... building emotional and intellectual bonds in the process.

 

Additional Info

  • Title President
  • Docent Since 2003
  • Elected 2017
  • Museum Name Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo

About Michelle

I am fortunate to be able to share the universal language of art with people of every age. If visitors I am touring make connections with the art and want to come back for more, I have done my job well. As docents, we help our visitors explore themselves through the art, and make learning a relevant and enriching experience.

My Connection with the NDSC

As a member of the steering committee for our docent organization's successful bid to host the 2007 National Docent Symposium, I attended my first symposium in 2005. It was a reconnaissance mission to observe and learn and bring back to Phoenix Art Museum the best practices for creating a multi-faceted conference. As co-chair of hotel lodging and meeting logistics, I was thrilled to collaborate with hundreds of regional docents as we prepared to welcome colleagues from across North America. The seeds for understanding the power of docent community were planted during that time. In serving on our docent governing board for the past 14 years, a highlight has been participation at five symposia. The peer connections and incredible learning opportunities led me to seek a position on the Council. It's my turn to help build and nurture a strong and vibrant docent/guide community so that we can make an even greater impact on people's lives.

Additional Info

  • Title Vice President
  • Docent Since 2000
  • Elected 2017
  • Museum Name Phoenix Art Museum
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo

About Jan 

Being a docent is one of the best things I've ever done. Seeing a visitor, especially a student, really connect with a work of art is a priceless experience. It has also given me the privilege of associating with a fascinating group of life-long learners who love art and work hard to engage visitors to our museum to help them find delight, wonder, and insight.

My Connection with the NDSC

My first National Docent Symposium (NDS) was in San Francisco in 2013. We had been sending the docent president to NDS for years. The president that year encouraged me to come on my own as VP of our docent organization. We had begun work on a couple of initiatives for our docent corps. From the beginning, in the bus for a pre-symposium tour, I met docents who had useful information, ideas, and contacts that gave an enormous boost to our efforts. I was thrilled to meet and learn from docents from all over North America. We came back brimming with ideas and enthusiasm, as well as new friends. Joining the NDSC in 2015 as a director has given me a chance to contribute to the continuation of the symposium and to improvement of our resources to help docents connect online. My docent experience has been that we learn best from each other. The NDSC has given me a way to expand that truth beyond docents at my own museum to those across North America.

 

Additional Info

  • Title Secretary
  • Docent Since 2007
  • Elected 2015
  • Museum Name The Walters
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo

About Deanna

I am a docent at the Thomas Gilcrease Insititute of American History and Art (Gilcrease Museum) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a docent at the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Treasurer of the National Docent Symposium Council. I hold a degree in Mechanical Engineering and was a Registered Professional Engineer during my career in the natural gas pipeline industry. I see no incongruity between my career background and my present volunteer activities in the art world, as I believe that beauty and human creativity are expressed in many contexts, that people from varied backgrounds can appreciate and learn from the artworks and artifacts preserved in the museum setting and can add much to the interpretation of those objects. That diversity of interpretation and input from visitors and the sense of discovery they express add to her joy in serving as a docent.

My Connection with the NDSC

Although I had been aware of National Docent Symposium for a number of years previously and had arranged for others to attend while in a position of leadership within my volunteer organization, my first attendance was at NDS 2011 in St. Louis. During that symposium, I was elected as a Regional Director for the Mountain Plains Region. I served a four year term plus a two year extension in that capacity, and was elected to my current position as Treasurer in 2017. Along the way, I have attended all the subsequent symposia, 2013 in San Francisco, 2015 in Cincinnati, and 2017 in Montreal. One of the most valued outcomes of these symposia is the camaraderie established during the exchange of ideas and interaction with docents/guides from a wide spectrum of institutions across the United States and Canada. Attending a National Docent Symposium is an invigorating and educational experience. I look forward to NDS 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Additional Info

  • Title Treasurer
  • Docent Since 2000
  • Elected 2017
  • Museum Name Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo
  • Museum Name Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo

About Mina

I was lucky to have a career which took me around the world. During those trips, I visited museums and found that docents are ambassadors for their country, museums are a place for cultural exchange and that art is very much a universal language. That was my impetus to become a docent at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. I love being a part of the museum's outreach to the community and the world and hope that in some way we can strengthen our connections with our fellow world citizens through art.

My Connection with the NDSC

Not long after I became a docent, our Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco committed to hosting the 2013 National Docent Symposium. Having worked in Silicon Valley, I was able to help my fellow docents with the symposium website, database and marketing. Ironically, those same skills and experience co-chairing a successful symposium seemed a natural segue to becoming president of the NDSC. I feel honored and privileged to continue to build a professional-quality network for docents through the NDSC website, National Docents Forum on Facebook and biennial symposia.

Additional Info

  • Title Immediate Past President
  • Docent Since 2006
  • Elected 2017
  • Museum Name Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA
  • Museum Photo Museum Photo

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