Alumni Spotlight

Just who is a typical CASL graduate?  The simple answer is that there is no such person.  CASL alumni have a diverse range of skills, talents, experiences, and goals.  By “spotlighting” someone every other month, we hope to introduce you to our diverse group of alums ... and maybe you'll see a familiar face.

Name:  Tracee J. Glab

Degree, discipline, graduation year:  B.A. in Art History, 2001

What are your current job responsibilities and/or volunteer activities?  I am the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Flint Institute of Arts. My responsibilities include managing and overseeing curatorial staff and all projects relating to the permanent collection of over 8,000 objects, as well as temporary exhibitions. I carry out research and writing for works in the collection, which range in date from ancient to contemporary and represent cultures from around the world. I also conceive and develop temporary exhibitions, from the permanent collection and temporary loans from museums, galleries, and artists. I work collaboratively with other museum staff on installation design, programming, community outreach, fund-raising, and publicity.

Does your career/volunteer work relate to what you studied at UM-Dearborn or is your degree in a totally different field?  I would say that not only does my degree relate to my career but that it was also critical in leading me to the job that I have now. When I decided to major in Art History, I picked the Museum Studies focus, which required an internship at a museum. I served as an intern for two semesters in the Education Department at the Detroit Institute of Arts. That internship was not only a great learning experience but it also helped me obtain a part-time and eventually full-time position at the DIA, where I worked for 10 years, in various departments. While completing my Master’s Degree in Art History at Wayne State University, I applied and got a job in the curatorial department at Flint. My classes in art history and other humanities at UM-D have helped me a great deal in my museum career, in both building a strong foundation of knowledge but also equipping me with the skills to carry out research and writing projects.

Looking back at the classes you took, pick out one of your favorites and tell why.  That’s so hard to do because I had so many classes that I really loved! But, if I had to choose, I would say a pivotal class was Art History 102, taught by Dr. Shelley Perlove. Before that class, I thought I would be an English major, but Prof. Perlove made art history come alive in a way that I hadn’t imagined was possible. It wasn’t just images and dates to memorize (as I had been warned about), but objects that carried stories, histories, and people’s lives. Her passion was infectious, and I could see how my love for literature, writing, travel, and history could all be fulfilled in art history.

If there was a “favorite” professor(s), let us know and why.  Again, a hard question to answer because of the stellar quality of all the professors I had the privilege to know. Dr. William Travis (who taught Medieval Art) was an important mentor to me because he emphasized the need for good writing and research skills. I have very fond memories of meetings with Dr. Richard Axsom (who taught Modern/Contemporary Art), with whom I had an Independent Study course, because he gave me such sound advice, and most of all reminded me that art history is really a lot of fun! I also took courses through the MALS program before transferring to Wayne State, so had the pleasure of taking a Science and Literature course with Dr. Jonathan Smith. I took away a lot from that course, but most of all, I will never read science (and art history for that matter) in the same way again.