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Kent State University Museum names new director

Kent State University’s new museum director, Dr. Sarah Spinner Liska. (Courtesy of Sarah Spinner Liska)

The Kent State University Museum recently named Dr. Sarah Spinner Liska its new director.

Sara Hume, professor and museum curator, said beginning July 1, Spinner Liska will take over for current director Sarah Rogers as she heads for retirement.

Spinner Liska said she is excited to step into this role, as it is a “dream come true.”

“I’m just thrilled to be in a museum within a really engaged and vibrant university and academic community,” Spinner Liska said.

In her new role, Spinner Liska will oversee the museum’s day-to-day operations, exhibitions, programs, student engagement, communications and fundraising.

She said one of her first priorities as director will be to get to know students. She plans to host programs and open-door office hours in the fall.

“I want students to know that this is their museum … I really want to encourage them to come and engage, explore, hang out, design and dream with me and the rest of the team,” Spinner Liska said.

She has many goals for her time as director, including increasing student engagement, expanding cross-disciplinary curricular connections across schools and growing the museum’s reputation as a national center for the study of fashion, textile and design.

“Opening access to arts and culture and building bridges across communities has been one of my strongest commitments throughout my professional work and throughout my civic work,” Spinner Liska said.

Having studied art history and French at Johns Hopkins University and obtaining a law degree and doctorate at Yale University, Spinner Liska said she’s always had the ultimate goal of ending up in a museum.

She is excited to explore more contemporary fashion and global pathways.

Both Spinner Liska and Hume emphasized that the museum is not just for fashion students, but serves everyone at Kent State.

Primarily dedicated to customs and textiles, the museum was founded in 1985 and can be found in Rockwell Hall.

The next exhibition is to open June 28, called “The Hepburn Style: Katharine And Her Designers,” organized by Joanne Fenn, the museum’s registrar and collections manager. It will draw from a collection of the late actress’ personal wardrobe.

“We’ve had great fortune in the past with the directors that we’ve had,” Hume said.

Spinner Liska said she is thrilled to work with a “world-class” team at the museum.

Lauren Cohen is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Lauren Cohen, General Assignment Reporter
Lauren is a sophomore honors journalism major with a creative writing minor in her first semester at KentWired, serving as a summer general assignment reporter. Previously, she was an assistant producer and anchor as part of TV2. She enjoys using her communication skills, curiosity, and excitement to put passion into her writing. Contact her at [email protected].  

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