Carol B. Stapp receives Katherine Coffey Award in honor of career as educator of museum educators

Image: Pictured is Carol B. Stapp, Ph.D. recipient of the Katherine Coffey Award in 2021.

The Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums honored Carol B. Stapp, Ph.D., the director of the Museum Education Program at the George Washington University, as the recipient of the Katherine Coffey Award for her numerous contributions to the field as an educator of museum educators. Dr. Stapp began her career as a museum educator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1969, at a time when museum educators were accorded little professional credibility in the field. As director of the Museum Education Program since 1983, she helped guide the future of museum education for over 44 years.

She has prepared students for their eventual careers at a broad range of institutions, large and small, nationally and internationally, including the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum; Monterey Bay Aquarium; National Gallery of Art; Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum; Institute of Museum and Library Services; Joslyn Art Museum; Historic New England; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Alabama Department of Archives and History; National Museum of Japanese History; Smithsonian Latino Center; and Seton Hall University.

Dr. Stapp has played a leadership role in the profession, serving as the former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Museum Education and on the Editorial Board of Curator: The Museum Journal, as well as a member of the Education Committee of the National Advisory Board for the National Park Service. Most recently, she was the co-author of the White Paper produced by the American Association of Museums Education Committee’s Task Force to Explore an Education- Related Core Document as a requirement for accreditation. In recognition of her commitment to the field, she was honored by the AAM Committee on Education with the Excellence in Practice Award in 2007.

“Cumulatively, through her work and the work of her students, innumerable museum visitors’ lives have been touched,” said Karen Daly, President of Stratford Hall and an alum of the Museum Education Program.

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