Sierra College Names First Full-Time Director for the Natural History Museum

Rachael GreveAfter an extensive nationwide search, the Sierra College Natural History Museum on the Rocklin Campus, has selected Rachael Greve as its first full-time Museum Director. Since the Museum began over 50 years ago, it has been organized, managed, and run by professors and community volunteers. Through their dedicated efforts the Museum has grown and thrived, in fact last year it was listed as one of “The 30 Most Amazing Higher Ed Museums” in the nation by Best College Reviews.

Rachael comes to Sierra with a remarkable track record, transforming museum programs and improving community engagement at every position she has held. Prior to coming to Sierra, she served as Library Systems Director and curator for a new $2.5 million dollar library, historical archive, and community center near San Antonio, Texas.

Rachael is impressed with what the Museum has been able to do without a full-time director. “Most private, top-tier science museums in the country don’t offer their patronage the quality, variety, or volume compared to our collection,” she observed, “It really humbled me that I might be able to marry myself to an institution with such an incredible vehicle for STEM exploration and education.”

Professor Keely Carroll, Museum Steering Committee  Co-Director, commented, “For years we have been working just to keep things running and we haven't been able to execute any of the big plans that we would like. With someone like Rachael to manage it full-time, the sky’s the limit.”

Rachael began her museum career in her college years while completing her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Troy University in Troy, Alabama. As part of her studies, she developed a museum outreach program for Alabama 4th grade students and participated in numerous archaeological field schools.

After college, she interned for a children’s nonprofit that provided for inner city youth to visit the world class museums and arts centers in the New Jersey/NYC Metro Area. In 2002, Rachael moved back to the South to accept a museum post in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Old State House Museum, the state history museum of Arkansas where she developed award winning educational programs for school children and family activities and facilitated two highly regarded nationally traveling exhibitions. A few years later, while advocating for the preservation of caves geologic stewardship and cave ecology tours at Cosmic Cavern Underground, she established a dynamic “show cave” tourist attraction and underground museum in the Ozark Mountains near Eureka Springs, AR.

In 2007, an opportunity to manage volunteer corps at the renowned Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and IMAX Theatre in Austin, Texas presented itself.  She joined the State Preservation Board’s crown jewel museum as Volunteer Coordinator and tours manager. She directed a volunteer staff of over one hundred sixty volunteers and trained docents. She had the opportunity to offer several VIP tours to celebrities and diplomats.

In 2009 Rachael accepted her first museum directorship at the Brenham Heritage Museum in Brenham, TX. Museum attendance increased from a mere three hundred visitors to over three thousand in her first year as director. After much success in Brenham, she was appointed Executive Director of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama, the very museum that she toured herself as a child growing up in Pike County. There she developed dynamic community programming that more than tripled the number of annual programs and significantly increased visitor attendance and museum membership.

In 2012, the family moved to back to Texas when her husband accepted a job in the Austin area. After the birth of their son, she returned to museum leadership as Executive Director of The Nave Museum in Victoria, Texas where she orchestrated six regional art installations and two museum fund raisers.

When her husband was transferred, Rachael relocated to Medina County with her family to serve as Library Divisions Director for the City of Hondo, TX. Among her many successes she designed a unique educational center, a hybrid not seen before in modern Texas libraries: a children’s discovery museum meets youth library. Her efforts yielded eight hundred new Library memberships within six months, unprecedented community program attendance that required the Library to expand operating hours and implement additional program days.

Then the opportunity to apply for the Sierra College position presented itself, and with it, the possibility of fulfilling her life-long dream of directing a natural history museum. “It’s been the absolute highlight of my career, to be appointed Natural History Museum Director at Sierra College. I am beyond humbled to work with Co-Chairs, Keely Carroll and Dick Hilton, along with an engaged Museum Advisory Steering Committee, especially during this most exciting time for the District and the Division.”

Just one month into her position, Rachael has hit the ground running and already expanding the museum’s services. Beginning in 2018, the museum will be open for free one Saturday each month featuring a special theme. The first, on January 6, 2018, entitled, “A Whale of a Good Time” with Zoology Professor Charles Daily from 10 a.m. until noon. For more information on the event, https://www.sierracollege.edu/events/upcoming/2018/01/nhm-1st.php, or to contact Rachael at the Museum, 916.660.7923 or rgreve@sierracollege.edu.