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Our Staff and Board

Jennifer Kirker, Director

Jennifer Kirker loves being the director of the museum and faculty in the interdisciplinary museum studies graduate certificate program. She studied anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the Pennsylvania State University where she followed a passion for Mesoamerican archaeology. She still remembers the excitement of finding that first pot sherd, that first evidence of ancient human occupation and the awe that comes with such a discovery. Jennifer hopes to give every visitor to the museum a sense of that awe and discovery as they learn more about anthropology and cultural diversity.

Laura McDowell Hopper, Curator

Laura McDowell Hopper can’t wait to get to work every morning. As Curator of the James B. and Rosalyn L Pick Museum of Anthropology at Northern Illinois University, she gets to spend her days caring for the museum’s collection, designing exhibits and sharing her passion for museums with NIU students. After earning a bachelor’s in History and Museum Studies from Michigan State University and a master’s in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, Laura worked to preserve collections at 12 different museums and archives before coming to work at NIU.  Laura believes that objects have multiple stories to tell and strives to bring those stories to life by working collaboratively with communities.

Rachel Drochter, Research Assistant

Rachel Drochter is thrilled to be working in her dream job as the research assistant for the museum. She received her master's degree from Department of Anthropology and has been involved in the museum in various capacities since coming to NIU in 2011. As a longtime advocate and proud staff member at the museum, Rachel strives to fulfill the museum's mission by contributing to dynamic learning opportunities that foster curiosity in human diversity and inspire meaningful dialogue on social justice issues.

Rachelle Wilson Loring, Graduate Assistant

Brian Cory, Graduate Assistant

Jeremy Lobbezoo, Project Collections Manager

Museum Executive Advisory Board

  • Richard Cooler
  • Carmen Cordogan
  • Carmeda Gregory
  • Eric Jones
  • Julie Lamb
  • Amy Levin
  • Kurt Rademaker
  • Kerry Sagebiel
  • Brian Sandberg
  • Kendall Thu
  • Student Advocacy Board Representative

Contact Us

James B. and Rosalyn L. Pick
Museum of Anthropology
Cole Hall 114


Tuesday - Thursday
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Friday - Saturday
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Closed Sunday and Monday


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