ASPA Member Highlight – Tracene Harvey, Director&Curator, Museum of Antiquities (College of Arts and Science)

Written by Karen E. Mosier

Tracene Harvey has her BA and MA in Classics and Ancient History from the University of Saskatchewan. She also has a PhD in Classical Archeology from the University of Alberta. IMG_3862

Tracene has worked in the Museum of Antiquities since 2008. She manages the collections and programs for the museum and works on projects related to the museum, in addition to administrative responsibilities. Tracene also teaches, conducts research, and publishes articles pertaining to the collections, and supervises 5 student staff members. In addition, she provides support to departments and programs on campus including Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, History, Archaeology & Anthropology. Tracene also offers support to professors who use the museum as a resource for their courses. She is also actively involved in writing grants to obtain funding for the museum’s operational expenses and for hiring students. For example, the museum recently received funding for a post graduate intern. The museum staff also run an Ancient & Medieval Adventures Camp for kids 6-13 in the summer under her direct leadership. Her specialty is in ancient Greek & Roman coins which also make up the museum’s collections and are used for teaching and research. For example, she is involved in teaching CMRS/CHEM 398: Using Big Science for the Study of Material Culture in which students use the Canadian Light Source to examine ancient artifacts.    

What Tracene enjoys the most about her job is being able to work in her specialized field and being able to teach and mentor students. She oversees the museum’s vibrant volunteer program (mostly student volunteers) and works with ~20-25 volunteers per year. Tracene especially enjoys working with students to design special exhibitions for the museum. She finds it so rewarding to work alongside these young minds. It is so gratifying for her to see them go on to do graduate studies in other worthy institutions such as University of Leicester, Texas A & M and University of Toronto in fields such as Museum Studies, Classics or Archaeology and then find meaningful employment. She is happy knowing that the excellent training that these students received here at the Museum of Antiquities and at the University of Saskatchewan paved the way. Former volunteers often email her or return to visit her to let her know how they are doing or to ask for a reference.

Tracene 3Tracene believes that she “basically has her dream job here”. She remarks “It is such a pleasure to work with one of the most unique collections in the country”. The museum collection is only 1 of 2 plaster cast sculpture collections in Canada. It is a unique collection which continues to grow. Tracene appreciates the interest from the public and the positive feedback she receives from the people she works with every day, including students and members of the community. She unequivocally believes that this acknowledgment is her “reward” and this is why she loves her job so much. She credits her background in Classical Archeology and Ancient History to be the “perfect fit” for her current position.

Tracene has been an ASPA member for 10 years. She was nominated for a Dean’s Distinguished Award in 2013 and 2014. She appreciates the support from ASPA over the years to answer questions related to her employment at the university. In particular, her professional development funds allow her to go to conferences and learn more about plaster cast collections and to continue and present her research as an academic, as well as being an administrator.IMG_3865

Tracene encourages all ASPA members to “take advantage of the support ASPA provides”. Whether it is questions about benefits or inquiries about compensation, ASPA members are not alone when challenges arise. Above all else, she advises, “Keep the communication lines open with the ASPA office. They are there to help you like they helped me”.

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