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Expert Profile


Jonathan Barnes






Position Type:



United States of America

Years in the field:

16 – 20 Years

Areas of Expertise

After-School Programs, Camp Programs, Distance/Digital Learning, Docent Programs, Education, Events, Explainer/guide, Guest/Visitor Services, Senior Leadership, Operations, Outreach and Public Engagement, Project Management, Professional Development, Theaters, Volunteer Programs, Youth/Teen Programs



Senior Coordinator, Guest Experiences – Museum of Science + Industry – Chicago, IL

February 2016 – June 2020

· Directed, trained, coached, & professionally developed a team of 20 museum facilitators as well as a full-time Coordinator

· Inspired and improved team morale and decreased turnover by creating new reward and recognition programs and professional development opportunities

· Revitalized team culture by empowering staff to address guest concerns proactively and embracing individual facilitation styles

· Devised workshops and retreats for ongoing team training, professional development, & commitment to exceeding expectations

· Lead cross-team initiatives to break down silos and improve efficiencies in operations, training, & facilitation

· Collaboratively created and implemented new hiring systems and standards that improved the quality of new staff and candidates

· Coordinated operations, staffing, & training to support the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere


Summer Camp & Science Stage Coordinator/Educator –

Morehead Planetarium & Science Center – UNC - Chapel Hill, NC

November 2013 – January 2016

· Directed MPSC’s Summer Science Camp Programs which impacts over 1,500 campers annually at three regional locations

· Recruited, hired, trained, mentored & managed over fifty undergraduate facilitators annually

· Created and managed annual budgets, tracked expenses, & updated data and registration systems

· Delivered exciting, new programs by forging partnerships with local & university communities

· Designed and facilitated high-energy, live shows throughout the region

· Revised and upgraded educational pedagogy and standards for live science experiences

· Inspired and entertained students as a senior educator for field trip workshop programming


Manager of Exploration Programs – Center of Science & Industry – Columbus, OH

May 2011 – May 2013

· Directed and enhanced four revenue-generating programs that outperformed attendance and revenue expectations each year

· Created and managed long-term planning, budgets in excess of $100k, logistical operations, & day-to-day business of COSI’s biggest, internal programs

· Forged and reinvigorated partnerships with community leaders to deliver higher attendance and greater collaboration

· Collaborated with marketing and education departments in the creation of seasonal programming and experiences

· Hired, trained, & managed a highly-diverse team of over forty employees and thirty volunteers

· Created and managed marketing copy and strategy

· Served as a public relations contact for COSI, promoting programs, seasonal themes, & exhibits


Outreach Educator – Center of Science & Industry – Columbus, OH

August 2005 – May 2011

· Toured the Midwest as a science rock star, facilitating exciting programs in schools and communities

· Coordinated events and partnered with clients and school administrators to deliver amazing programs and experiences

· Built and collaborated on new outreach and community programs

· Evaluated in the 95th percentile of “Excellent” in all Educator Evaluation Feedback categories

· Trained, inspired, & supervised large groups of daily volunteers for each program


Conference Presentations

ASTC 2015 – Montreal

Why Try Funny? – Harnessing humor to heighten STEM education

Spearheaded a session on using humor and improvisation techniques in recruitment, hiring, training, and team communications


The Big Business of Camps!

Partnered with five other science museums and shared my success in how I recruited, interviewed, hired, trained, and retained a seasonal camp staff of fifty undergraduate students each year to serve as Morehead Planetarium’s Camp Staff


Recreate the wheel? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Collaborated with museums across North America to present on the concept of programmatic idea sharing across museums and science centers to leverage institutional knowledge and prevent duplication of work


Professional Affiliations

Chicago Emerging Museum Professionals - Leadership Committee – 2017-Present

CEMP is an energetic alliance of museum lovers and professionals in the Chicagoland area who believe that museums and cultural institutions are more relevant to society than ever before. The Leadership Committee is responsible for planning and organizing opportunities for networking, cross-museum collaborations, and professional development for emerging museum professionals.


Volunteer Experience

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences – Raleigh, NC - 2015

Analyzed Adult Programming across the museums and science centers as well as the Millennial demographics of the greater Raleigh area. Counseled on the creation and development of new adult programs for the museum.



The Ohio State University – Columbus, OH - 2005

BA – Theatre, English, & Political Science

Graduated Cum Laude with Honors & Distinction


University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, NC – 2015-2016

Graduate Course in Nonprofit Leadership

Focus in Museums and Educational Nonprofits


University of Chicago – Chicago, IL 2016-2017

Professional Development courses in Project Management, Staff Coaching and Motivation, and Negotiation Techniques.


Northwestern University – Evanston, IL 2017

Graduate Course in Museum Studies



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