Museum Studies

MSC01 1050
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Hibben Center
Rm 320

Phone: (505) 277-0786

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Funding Opportunities

Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA)

UNM Graduate Studies Office Funding Overview

Graduate and Professional Student (GPSA) funding



Graduate Student Travel and Research Allocation Grant Application

The Museum Studies Program provides travel and research grants annually to graduate students for travel to professional meetings and conferences or conducting research pertinent to their Program of Study. Criteria for these awards include: seniority, progress toward completion of degree, and strength of application. Priority will be given to students who have not received previous awards. Students are limited to one grant per year during the time they are enrolled in the Museum Studies Program.

Hibben Museum Studies Fellows
With generous support from the Frank C. Hibben Charitable Trust, the University of New Mexico offers competitive multi-year fellowships to students in the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Museum Studies. A core priority, the Hibben Fellowships aim to increase diversity in the museum profession and practices within institutions specializing in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

Hibben Fellowships in Museum Studies prioritize support for Native American and Indigenous students pursuing an MA or MS degree, a dual Masters degree, or Graduate Minor in Museum Studies. Students from diverse backgrounds committed to the cultural or natural heritage of New Mexico also are considered. Contact: for more information.

Fellowships may be renewed for up to three years, and include stipend, tuition, and health insurance. Hibben Fellows generaly provide 10 hours per week in service with a UNM campus museum. No special application is required for prospective students in Museum Studies, and all students admitted to the graduate program will be considered for nomination for a Hibben Fellowship. Awards are announced in March each year.


Department Funding Award History


Academic Year 2019-2020

The Hibben Scholars are William Riding In, Molly Rannebarger, and Zonnie Gorman.

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William Riding In (Pawnee Nation, OK and Santa Ana Pueblo) (Continuing 2nd year graduate student in the MMS program): Mr. Riding In expects to graduate in December 2020. Mr. Riding In completed his BA in 2008 with a degree in Indigenous and American Indian Studies at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. He pursued graduate studies in public health at the University of Oklahoma but found his true interest in museums while working for the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2015, he accepted a position as a Visitor Services Representative, and while there he shadowed curators to learn about exhibit design, curation, and proper methods for handling cultural items. That experience gave him inspiration to become a museum curator, building on his interest in contemporary Native art and passion for telling stories of Indigenous peoples and their experience in historical and contemporary settings. Mr. Riding In is completing his Hibben Fellowship with Maxwell working with Ethnology collections and the education department. In addition William works as a contractor at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, NM.

Molly Rannebarger: My interests lie in natural history collections, specifically fluid-preserved collections. The stewardship of wet collections is particularly important to me because of the challenges such collections face in a world where museum funding is increasingly scarce. I am dedicated to pursuing a future career in improving conditions for fluid-preserved collections in small, underfunded natural history museums. I'm about to begin my Master’s project, which will be focused on stewardship of the fluid collections at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Additionally, my Hibben Fellowship has allowed me to work at the Museum of Southwestern Biology for the past year in the herpetology collection, where I have been expanding my knowledge of the herpetofauna of the Southwest, specimen preparation, and large-scale data management. My employment at MSB has undoubtedly enriched my understanding of the museum world and provided me with invaluable experience for my future career goals in natural history collection management.  

Zonnie Gorman: As the daughter of one of the original Navajo Code Talkers and a long-time public historian on the topic, I returned to graduate school to pursue a PhD in History. With a specific interest in Navajo masculinity and identity in the mid-twentieth century, my dissertation will draw from an emerging source of personal archival collections of Navajo Code Talkers. While also pursuing a Graduate Minor in Museum Studies, the Hibben Fellowship is offering me the opportunity to both prepare two of these Code Talker collections for donation to the Center for Southwest Research and to assist in their collation. My pursuit of a degree in Museum Studies also has helped to expand my professional museum work. I am currently working on two museum projects: the National Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, VA, where I am their Special Materials Expert assisting in the expansion of their WWII Navajo Code Talker display and, the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, AZ, where I am currently designing an exhibit of Kenji Kawano’s photographic work on the Navajo Code Talkers. 


Academic Year 2018-2019

The Hibben Scholars are Kendall Lovely (continuing) and Tess Lukey.

Terese “Tess” Lukey is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) in Massachusetts. She grew up off-island in Westborough, MA. She is currently working towards a master’s degree in Art History: Art of the Americas with a minor in Museum Studies from the Department of Art at the University of New Mexico (UNM). She received a bachelor’s of fine art in Art History and Ceramics from the Massachusetts College of Art Design (2016). Tess Lukey has been the Gallery Director for the Department of Art, John Sommers Gallery for two years. Previously, she was the gallery assistant for the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, MA (2015). Tess has written for two juried exhibition catalogs, here NOW and The UNM 23rd Annual Juried Graduate Exhibition and has recently received the 2018 Native American Summer Curatorial Fellowship at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. Tess is interested in interrogating the authenticity of institutions for their interpretation of contemporary native art. Her master’s thesis is centered on applying this interrogation to North West Coast Indigenous masking traditions in both historic and contemporary circumstances


Academic Year 2017-2018

The Hibben Scholars are Kendall Lovely and Kaylen Jones.

Ms. Kendall Lovely  (Continuing in the MSST program; MA in Comparative Humanities, Brandeis University; BA in Comparative Literature and Anthropology, UNM) Ms. Lovely will continue in the Master of Museum Studies degree program in the coming 2018- 2019 Academic Year and expects to graduate in May 2019. Ms. Lovely completed her BA at UNM in 2015 with a double major in Comparative Literature and Anthropology and a minor in Latin (graduating Summa Cum Laude). She went on to complete a Master of Arts in Comparative Humanities at Brandeis University in 2016. She entered the MMS program in September 2017 and has excelled in her studies and also continues to work with the Education department of the Maxwell Museum. Ms. Lovely (Navajo) is pursuing critical analysis of representations of Native American people in museum displays, with particular attention to gender and indigenous perspectives.

Ms. Kaylen Jones, from Crownpoint NM is completing her MA in Museum Studies with an expected graduation of Spring 2018.  She received her BFA in Art Studio from UNM.  She works as a scientific illustrator for the Museum of Southwestern Biology Divion of Mammals and Parasites. She is currently working With Devorah Romanek (Curator of Exhibits) and Joe Cook (PHD Mammalogist) on Installing a temporary exhibit in Maxwell Museum of Anthropology focusing on the Mexican Wolf and its place in the Southwest, Rural Communities, and UNM (Expected to Open Summer of 2018 and run for 6 Months at Maxwell then be a permanent exhibit at MSB).  Her research in Museum Studies has focused on the Mexican Wolf and its place in the Southwest, Native and Rural Communities and its use as a Mascot at The University of New Mexico and how its role in these areas are imperative to their survival.