Dr. Barbara Rothermel, director of Lynchburg’s Daura Gallery, recently returned from China, where she spent two weeks at Shanghai Jiao Tong University presenting professional development workshops on behalf of University Museums and Collections (UMAC), a committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
Dr. Rothermel is serving a three-year term as vice-chair of UMAC, a group described on its website as “an international forum for all those working in, or associated with, academic museums, galleries, and collections.” She has been involved with UMAC since 2003.
As vice-chair, Dr. Rothermel oversees three working groups: Standards and Best Practices, Teaching Tools, and a proposed working group for botanical gardens and living collections. Among other things, she organizes and participates in professional development workshops, manages UMAC’s travel grant and award programs, and oversees UMAC’s bulletin, Communiqués.
Over the past four years, Dr. Rothermel has represented UMAC and the College at conferences in Italy, Egypt, the Philippines, Finland, and Namibia. This year, in addition to her recent China trip, she’ll travel to Miami, New Zealand, and Brazil.
As a result of her travels, Dr. Rothermel has formed relationships with museum educators from around the world. Some of these individuals — Wandile Kasibe, for example — have come to Lynchburg to speak about their work. Others have helped Dr. Rothermel with research projects or shared their collections with Lynchburg.
A recent stop at the University of Reading, in England, by a group of Lynchburg study-abroad students started with a contact Dr. Rothermel made through UMAC. “Certainly, within the museum community, it has brought tremendous respect to the College for its support of the gallery and of museum studies,” she said. “It’s all about building colleagues and networks.”