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Allen Centennial Garden Takes Education to New Heights

Friday, April 01, 2016
by Kaitlin McIntosh | Public Relations Intern

Portrait of Elin Meliska 

The opportunity to develop an education program from the ground up attracted Elin Meliska to the Education Coordinator position at the Allen Centennial Garden.


Meliska is the first Education Coordinator at the Allen Centennial Garden, a position created in early 2016. She will be responsible for stewarding and developing a range of new programming and outreach initiatives.


“As a living museum that is also part of a world-class University, the Garden has a mandate for meaningful public engagement. This position marks the beginning of a renewed and focused commitment to that mandate,” said Garden Director, Benjamin Futa.


A graduate of the University of Chicago, Meliska completed her Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education at George Washington University in Washington D.C.


Meliska has extensive experience working in some of the best museums in the world, including the Smithsonian, the National Geographic Museum, the International Spy Museum, and most recently the Madison Children’s Museum.


“The caliber of the Garden’s outreach and educational efforts should reflect the exceptional standards set by UW-Madison and other public gardens and museums. We were searching for a candidate who could identify and harness potential synergies between these entities,” said Futa.


Meliska brings an added perspective to her experience, after teaching elementary education in Chicago Public Schools. There she saw the potential to harness a passion in her students for learning about the natural world.


Meliska is excited to join the Garden team because she sees a strong vision for the Garden that is already coming to fruition. Among many projects, Meliska will focus on expanding the Garden’s audiences through creating awareness of the Garden within the UW-Madison community and by helping potential stakeholders utilize the space as a place to learn and relax. In addition, she hopes to create opportunities for individuals with special needs to connect with the Garden.


“I want to work at the Garden because I like the idea that the Garden is also my office. I have a lot of experience in museums, but a garden is a living collection, and visitors approach that differently. People want to know more about the natural world, especially now,” said Meliska.


The Garden is excited to welcome Elin to the team and look forward to the amazing things she’ll bring to the Allen Centennial Garden.


The Allen Centennial Garden and its programs are funded entirely through private support - it receives no state or tuition dollars. To help support the Garden and continue to make our projects and programs possible, please consider a donation.


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Allen Centennial Garden
620 Babcock Drive
Madison WI 53706

Contact Info
Phone: 608-576-2501
E-mail: info@allencentennialgarden.org

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