Thalía Gavilanes

Part-time Educator & M.A. Student at Johns Hopkins University

Intrepid Museum

a woman with brown skin and long dark hair smiles directly at the camera

Statement of Interest:

I'm eager to join NYCMER as a trustee at large, attracted by its esteemed reputation and its role in fostering community among museum professionals. Having transitioned from a New Jersey historical site to Manhattan, I sought to connect with museum educators facing similar post-Covid challenges. The pandemic has transformed the museum landscape, emphasizing the importance of a supportive peer network to overcome isolation and navigate these changes. My experiences at NYCMER, where I found a sense of community, motivate me to contribute to this network, supporting and enriching the collective experience of museum educators.

Goals for NYCMER:

I strongly support NYCMER's commitment to professional development and networking for museum educators. Moving forward, I hope NYCMER will focus on integrating digital engagement strategies. Emphasizing digital literacy and the use of interactive technologies can enhance accessibility and engagement in museum education, ensuring relevancy in a rapidly evolving digital landscape and most importantly expanding museums accessibility .


Professional Experience: 

I am currently pursuing an M.A. in Museology from Johns Hopkins University and hold a B.A. in History, magna cum laude, from Saint Elizabeth University. My experience includes founding the Women/LGBTQ+ Rights and Equality Conference, working as a bi-lingual Museum Assistant at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, and interning at the Morris County Historical Society. I have presented at conferences like the Northeast Regional Honors Conference multiple times, and the Middle State Conference 4 times. My research presentations include "Mi Isla: Puerto Rican Resilience" at the Northeast Regional Honors Conference on March 30, 2023, and "Exceptionally Un-Exceptional: Women of Ancient Egypt," presented on multiple occasions, including at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education on December 8, 2022, and at the Northeast Regional Honors Conference on April 9, 2022.


Specific Skills:

At the beginning of 2022, I recognized a need for inclusivity at my undergraduate university, which lacked equality. Despite its history as an all-girls school for about 200 years, it became coeducational in 2018. Since then, funding for women's programs and clubs has been significantly reduced. In response, I founded the annual Women/LGBTQ+ Rights and Equality Conference (WREC). My role in founding WREC involved adhering to a $5,000 budget, organizing a day-long conference with 110 attendees, and facilitating 6 panels, one round table, and two mentorship panels. This role showcases my strong project management, event planning, and leadership skills. Following the conference, my undergraduate university received more LGBTQ+ applications than ever before, showing that a platform regardless of the size to have students' voices heard made a significant difference in some students' lives, is what I consider one of the greatest rewards.