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News & Press: Professional Development

UMA Conference Scholarship Benefits

Thursday, April 11, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Coral O'Riley
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Is this your first time learning about the UMA Conference? Last year was my first time attending. In fact, my first year at the UMA Conference was within my first month of moving to Utah. I came here to work in the rural town of Fillmore at the Territorial Statehouse museum. Because our museum is so small I was encouraged to apply for the scholarship program.


Applying for the scholarship is worth it for anyone who would not otherwise be able to afford admission. What I learned from receiving my scholarship is that I am being financially supported because someone believes I belong there, that I belong in the conversation. And the same is true for you! If your museum is small, or if the scope of your collections does not align with the biggest most popular museums that is a good thing! It means your unique viewpoint will enrich the content of the conference for everyone.


The scholarship came with benefits even before I received my admission ticket. Through receiving the scholarship I was put in contact with knowledgeable people that are involved in the UMA who could answer my questions and provide helpful information about the conference. The first person I met the moment I walked into the conference hall was Ruth, the woman who arranged my scholarship that I had been in communication with. It was a great feeling to walk into a new place for the first time and meet someone I already knew.


Throughout the conference I was able to make connections to a wealth of resources from other Utah museums! I left the conference with new ideas on how to design inclusive exhibits and the contact information of the right people to help me execute it.


This is a great opportunity for anyone in the museum field to experience. I encourage you to take the time to apply for the scholarship and I hope to meet you there!



Coral O'Riley is a Ranger at Territorial Statehouse State Park and Museum. She was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2018 UMA Conference.

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