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Doctoral student selected for prestigious Ignite talk

Posted Dec. 12, 2014
By Haley Hinze, first year Master of Mass Communication student

 A doctoral student from the School of Library and Information Science got the opportunity of a lifetime this year. 

Fourth-year Ph.D. candidate Porchia Moore was one of only eight asked to give an Ignite talk at the 2014 Museum Computer Network conference in Dallas, Texas.    

The November conference focused on capturing the motivation and collaborative spirit of the cultural heritage community and the institutions museum professionals represent.  The three-day event included a variety of speakers, panel discussions, and opportunities to connect with other museum experts from around the nation.

Moore felt honored to be selected as an Ignite speaker while still a student, "especially since I am not currently working at a museum and am an aspiring emerging professional," she said.

Ignite MCN showcases a series of rapid-fire, five-minute talks from some of the most provocative thinkers in the museum field. The talks follow a specific format in which each presenter has five minutes and 20 slides (which advance automatically every 15 seconds) to enlighten, entertain, and inspire.

During Moore's five minutes, she emphasized that "all culture is connected.  I argued for museums to think about barriers to participation for the 21st century visitor.  I essentially asked museums to not shy away from the hard questions. For example, 'Why does race matter?' 'Why should museums care if certain communities of color do or do not participate?'" 

In addition, she co-presented on a panel during the conference.  She and other museum professionals discussed a concept they had been researching since last year, called Open Authority.  The panel re-examined their research and discussed how far it had come in the past year.

Through her four years in the School of Library and Information Science doctoral program, Moore has spent much of her research time focusing on the topics discussed at MCN, especially as a Cultural Heritage Informatics Leadership Librarian fellow.  One of seven USC doctoral students to earn the fellowship, she is "tasked to explore convergence issues between libraries, museums, and archives," she said.  As she prepares to begin her dissertation year, she believes that participating in Museum Computer Network has been one of the "highlights" of her career. 

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