Katie Himics reflects on her experience as a museum educator at the Newark Museum, the birthplace of modern museum education theory.
What Great Minds Can Do: Stephen Alsa ’05/M.A. ’06
"I had the honor of studying under the guidance of Dr. Charlotte Nichols and Dr. Petra Chu during my time at Seton Hall. Both professors are admirable experts in their field and shared their passion for the subject matter in an energizing and contagious manner."
Stephen Alsa, M.A. in Museum Professions Alumnus
Anyone who doubts what can be accomplished with a M.A in Museum Professions from Seton Hall's College of Communication and the Arts should look no further than Stephen Alsa '05/M.A. '06 for evidence. Since graduating from the University's dual-degree B.A. in Art History/M.A. in Museum Professions program, Alsa has secured a position as a development officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yes, the Met — the same NYC institution that every art lover dreams of working for one day.
The position has certainly been a dream-come-true for Alsa, though one that did not come about by happenstance. Rather, the Seton Hall alumnus credits his good fortune directly to the education he received as a student.
"I had the honor of studying under the guidance of Dr. Charlotte Nichols and Dr. Petra Chu during my time at Seton Hall," Alsa said. "Both professors are admirable experts in their field and shared their passion for the subject matter in an energizing and contagious manner."
"From my academic roots in art history and with the guidance I received from my professors, I learned that the ability to observe carries great power in almost any professional context, particularly in the field of fundraising," he added.
Fundraising is a large part of Alsa's current role at the Met, which entails securing financial support through the identification of potential donors. But that is not the only type of work he has done within the museum field. In the years since graduating from Seton Hall, the Pirate has held positions in a range of areas including general fundraising, institutional membership, and major gifts. He has also worked for numerous cultural institutions in the New York area, from the Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art to the nonprofit image library Artstor to New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Yet through it all, the alumnus has not forgotten from where he came. In fact, Alsa recently returned to the University to accept Graduate Studies' Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2nd Annual College of Communication and the Arts Signature Event in 2017, an honor he felt humbled to receive.
No one can say he did not deserve it, though. After all, few can say they work at the Met.
This profile was written by Sean Quinn, a Graduate Assistant for Graduate Studies within the College of Communication and the Arts and an M.A. in Public Relations student.
- Development Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Development Officer, NYU Steinhardt
- Deputy Director and Head of Development, Swiss Institute for Contemporary Art
- Associate Director for Library Relations, ARTstor Digital Library
- Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Communication and the Arts
- Member, Seton Hall University’s Chapel Choir, Touring Choir, and Vocal Chamber Ensemble