Tennessee Association of Museums Honors Gray Fossil Site Students and Staff

The 2022 conference of the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) was held in March. Several Gray Fossil Site students and staff were present at the conference and were honored to be the recipients of two awards.

First, the Gray Fossil Site & Museum received a TAM Award of Excellence for our exhibit entitled “Time and Space in Eastern TN.” TAM Awards of Excellence are presented to museums across the state for exceptional projects, programs, and events. This exhibit was designed primarily by a team of ETSU alumni, Matthew Inabinett, Emily Bogner, and Nick Brand, all of whom were graduate students working in the museum collections at the time. The exhibit draws comparisons between the Pliocene-aged fossils of the Gray Fossil Site and the younger Ice Age fossils of Saltville, Virginia.

Matthew receives an award at the TAM conference
Matthew Inabinett accepts the TAM Award of Excellence for the exhibit he helped to design.

At the same conference, ETSU alumnus Owen Madsen (an undergraduate student at the time) received the newly-established Mary Skinner Scholarship for his poster entitled “Sustainable Museum Object Supports.” Mary Skinner is a former TAM board member and TN State Museum staff member who retired in 2021 and wanted to establish a way to further the museum field by creating a scholarship that would benefit students. Owen’s poster describes the design process for creating long-term support for large (elephant-sized) fossil specimens, and provides instructions for other institutions to create their own supports.

A student (Owen) presents his poster for conference attendees.
Owen presented his award-winning poster for the attendees at the TAM conference.