The Department of Art History is pleased to welcome Dr. Jay Boda in a graduate teaching role beginning January 2022 when he joins the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art as Associate Director of Academic Affairs and Collections. Dr. Boda’s research interests include visitor-centered curation, museum education, transmedia storytelling, reflective judgement, and museum professional development. He will coordinate The Ringling’s academic programs and supervise the in-residence interns enrolled in the Museums and Cultural Heritage Studies (MCHS) and Edu-curation (EC) programs. He will also teach two graduate seminars for the Department of Art History: The Museum Object (ARH 5838) and Public Programs (ARH 5806). Dr. Boda will also oversee the Ringling’s archives, collections, education, and library departments.
A two-time Samuel H. Kress Foundation Scholar recipient, Dr. Boda conducted a grant-funded research project for the International Council of Museums (ICOM) Committee for University Museums and Collections (UMAC). He has also studied education and career trends among global higher education professionals. His research will be published in the forthcoming book, Professionalising Museum Work in Higher Education: A Global Approach, edited by Dr. Marta Lorenço and Dr. Darko Babic. Dr. Boda has taught graduate courses for FSU’s Department of Art Education and undergraduate courses for the University South Florida, St. Petersburg.
Dr. Boda graduated with his PhD from FSU’s Museum Education and Visitor-Centered Curation program in 2020. He is preparing a book for cultural organizations based on his dissertation, in which he studies Reader’s Theater pedagogy as a method to assess and foster reflective judgement development in museum professionals dealing with contentious topics. He has presented his research internationally, including at the 50th anniversary conference celebrating the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, England. In addition to his museum and higher education background, Dr. Boda holds an MFA in screenwriting (2015) from FSU’s College of Motion Picture Arts and completed FSU’s Theatre Academy London writing program. The thesis film he wrote, Frankenstein’s Light, earned multiple awards during its festival season, including Best Film from the Directors Guild of America in 2015.
In 2011, Dr. Boda began his museum career as a volunteer docent with the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg after being inspired by an undergraduate art history elective. In 2018, he was the inaugural Director of Education and Interpretation at the Imagine Museum in St. Petersburg. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he worked with the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum and Archives in Port Hueneme, California, as an Education and Outreach Specialist.
Before his museum career, Dr. Boda honorably retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Master Sergeant after a distinguished 20-year active duty career in the information technology field. His military assignments, which included a combat tour in Iraq, took him throughout Europe and the Middle East. As a first-generation college graduate, Dr. Boda earned FSU’s prestigious Emeritus Alumni Veteran Academic Excellence award. He credits the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill for the life-changing opportunities he received through higher education.