Museum Studies

Meet Our Alumni

2010 Graduate


Matthew Toland


Since completing the Museum Studies program in 2010, Matthew Toland has been very active in the museum field. Matthew is the Assistant Director at the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies in Mt. Carroll, Illinois. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Museums, the Illinois State Historical Society, and Quad Citians Affirming Diversity.

In addition to his Master of Arts in Museum Studies, Matthew has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women’s Studies from Western Illinois University. Today, he is a member of the Alumni Council for WIU.

  1. What do you enjoy the most about your current position?
    I enjoy meeting students and museum professionals from around the world and taking as many Campbell Center courses as I can.
  2. How has what you learned in the Museum Studies program helped you in your current position?
    The things I learned in the Museum Studies Program at WIU help me every day! I never thought I would write so many reports, plans, or articles, give so many presentations or manage so many projects, large and small. I feel prepared for day-to-day work and new challenges because of my time at WIU.
  3. How did you become interested in the Museum Field?
    I never thought of the "museum field" as a field. It seemed like something that anyone could do. I never thought of pursuing an advanced degree in Museum Studies until the program started at WIU.
  4. What are some of your most memorable moments in the Museum Studies program?
    The connections I made with faculty and classmates, who are now friends and colleagues, is what I remember most fondly from my Master's program.
  5. Do you have any advice for current or incoming Museum Studies students?
    Get as much experience as you can; volunteer, intern, attend meetings and conferences, give presentations, publish, and make connections. It will help you when you graduate.
  6. Is there anything else you would like to add?
    It is a tough job market right now, but stick to it and use the connections you have to find jobs and always be looking for ways to make NEW connections. Learning should not stop after graduation.