By Sheila Dalgliesh, Director of Operations
The Grand Forks Children's Museum has hired its second employee, Katrina Pettis.
Though new to the Grand Forks area, Katrina has resided in North Dakota during her time at Concordia College-Moorhead and fully integrated into the state following her graduation. In her time here, Katrina’s passion for the arts, community development, and accessibility to youth S.T.E.A.M programming has been palpable.
From her resume, “Katrina’s focuses on the arts and social sciences have largely impacted her personal life choices and development. Many of her influences and mentors grew out of her employment at the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center (YSC) within the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM). Katrina cultivated and coordinated S.T.E.A.M.-based workshops for youth 12-18 years-old. At that time, she began volunteering with the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Katrina’s ability to create audience-based interactive curriculum advanced through her education. When Katrina is not at work, she enjoys burying herself in books, her art, and micro-agriculture exploration."
Her greatest joys align with opportunities and experiences that empower youth to change our world through the sciences, technologies, engineering, arts, and mathematics. At the YSC, Katrina curated monthly Createch Studios for one week at local libraries. These Studios provided integral outreach opportunities of learning through projects based on S.T.E.A.M to underprivileged and underrepresented communities she grew up in. CreaTech provided accessibility and resources to over 400 families monthly. Katrina has also presented these activities and more at conferences geared toward teaching educators, local non-profits, and community activists how to incorporate similar methods through inclusion.
Katrina jumped into the deep end upon arrival to the GFCM. Her first week of work was filled with meetings, art receptions and an enthusiastic welcome by board members and the community. She took it all in stride, showing her personality and eagerness to collaborate. Her second week, we took a trip to Minot, to tour the Magic City-Discovery Center. We were hosted by the Executive Director Wendy Keller who generously shared her time, experiences and passion for opening a children’s museum in North Dakota. On this road trip, we got quickly acquitted with one another, as one does on car trips: swapping stories, playing DJ, and enjoying drive-thru delicacies.
Katrina has been essential in implementing systems needed for the organization, helping set up the office, building the desks and drawers, and helping me find my mouse when it gets temperamental. I enjoy the daily banter about art and life observations. It is amazing to have a partner in crime as we navigate the unknown together. Each day we work together to build a piece of the museum. Social media plans, CRM systems and databases, setting up computers, desks, shelves, newsletters, and lots of working meetings to push the project forward are made delightful by Katrina. I truly hit the jackpot when it comes to a coworker.
Welcome Katrina! We are truly honored to have you join the Grand Forks Children's Museum.