royal alberta museum
13,791,155
visitors since 1967

Learning Team


Tara Beck


School and Youth Program Coordinator

Jaclyn Kozak


Museum Educator

Seán MacQueen


Museum Educator

Carole Newton


Head of Learning & Volunteer Services

Nancy Nickolson


Family Program Coordinator

Sonia Smith


Group Booking and Interpretive Collection Coordinator

Kyla Tichkowsky


School Programs Coordinator

Kaja Verret Holding


Museum Educator

Chauntelle Atcheynum


Museum Educator

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RAM Learning Team


Carleen Greaves


Children's Program Coordinator

Carole Newton

Head of Learning & Volunteer Services

What do you love about working in museums?
I love working at museums because they provide an ideal place for learning.

What is a strange fact about you?
I'm not sure there is anything strange I can share here... let me get back to you on that ☺

What do you collect?
Perennials. I love to garden!

Jaclyn Kozak

Museum Educator

What do you love about working in museums?
The people. I did the calculations once, and over the past 10 years I've given tours to well over 25,000 people working at various museums and historic sites across Alberta and Manitoba. I like hearing people's stories and I like sharing people's stories.

What is a strange fact about you?
If I can incorporate "poop science" into any of my talks, you know I will!!!

What do you collect?
I upgraded my memory box to a portable expandable filing system. It includes all the physical documents of my life: the ticket stubs, letters, tax information, old healthcare docs, certificates and diplomas, pictures, journals, etc. I call it my "life museum".

Kaja Verret Holding

Museum Educator

What do you love about working in museums?
Every museum job I've had has been a wild learning experience. When surrounded by authentic objects and experts, it's hard to resist getting excited about buffalo jumps, hummingbird migrations, and mammoth teeth. I love sharing my excitement with visitors as they discover the museum's galleries.

What is a strange fact about you?
When it comes to knitting, I am very particular about the types of wool I use. I can't resist a fine fibre!

What do you collect?
I collect hats. I have gathered a wide variety over the years and am always excited for the opportunity to bring out a funky hat for any occasion.

Kyla Tichkowsky

School programs coordinator

What do you love about working in museums?
I get to spend my days in an incredibly dynamic, stimulating environment that is ever-changing. I'm surrounded by colleagues who are truly passionate about their work and visitors who are curious and enthusiastic. I get to be at the centre of all of this wonderful energy! And I get to see and do the weirdest things on a daily basis: pet the penguin skin being prepared for the study collection, watch a live rhino beetle pupate, help release bats into the wild, assist in archaeological excavations of stone tools that are thousands of years old, develop exhibits, translate old journals, help toddlers contemplate the bulk of a bison, etc. I get to meet and work with a great diversity of Albertans and feel connected to my community, past and present. Nerdy and cheesy, but oh so true.

What is a strange fact about you?
I'm from Edmonton but I've worked at museums, heritage sites or schools in Bristol (UK), Gatineau, Ottawa, Vimy (France), Montréal, Québec City, and Pińczów (Poland). Oh, and I'm a backyard beekeeper in Edmonton's inner city!

What do you collect?
I try not to collect anything, to keep my physical space clear and simple because my mind is so busy already. That said, I keep getting more and more houseplants and wouldn't be surprised if someday my house turns into a jungle.

Nancy Nickolson

Family Program Coordinator

What do you love about working in museums?
I love connecting with people in museums. Visitors, curators, researchers, scientists, and other educators are so interesting and have vastly different perspectives on the world around us. I believe that cultural institutions can not only be places where people go to learn about culture and heritage, but more profoundly, they can be places where people share experiences and discover their own creativity.

What is a strange fact about you?
By day I am a museum educator, and by night I am an illustrator. I recently illustrated a children's book!

What do you collect?
Too many things. As a kid I collected rocks, seashells, and fun erasers. Now, I'm into antique portraiture, Victorian jewelry, local pennant flags, old medical books, enamel kitchenware...

Seán MacQueen

Museum Educator

What do you love about working in museums?
The thing I love most is being able to work with a HUGE diversity of people. In my role I'm lucky enough to work with both our visitors and many of the incredible staff working behind the scenes, which is at times challenging but always really rewarding. I've also been fortunate enough to get to do some really interesting things working in museums: collecting rocks from the Canadian Shield in Alberta, feeding tarantulas and black widows, preparing bird skin mounts. Museums are pretty cool places to work.

What is a strange fact about you?
I still read the physical newspaper!!!

What do you collect?
I tend to live quite minimally and therefore don't have collections per se, but I do own a bunch of tools for renovating my old home... Let's leave the collecting to museums. Am I right?

Tara Beck

School and Youth Program Coordinator

What do you love about working in museums?
Museums are places where inquiry and curiosity thrive. From the most isolated corner of collections storage to the loudest digital interactive in the gallery, museum spaces offer a variety of provocations. My favourite part about my work at the Royal Alberta Museums is responding to this provocation by asking questions and making discoveries alongside the students and teachers that I work with.

What is a strange fact about you?
I met a cougar on a mountain trail and lived to tell the tale.

What do you collect?
I collect anything with a bird or owl on it.

Sonia Smith

Group Booking and Interpretive Collection Coordinator

What do you love about working in museums?
I discovered, after a wonderful 18-year career in hospitality, an even greater opportunity at the museum. Museums bring history to life! The objects they hold bring history into people's lives in a tangible, interactive and exciting way. I also work with a fabulous group of people with various experiences and strengths that help make this place even more AWESOME!

What is a strange fact about you?
I am French Canadian but German was my first language. I spoke it fluently until the age of seven. Sadly I lost it all once we returned to Canada.

What do you collect?
I have over 100 recipe magazines and recipe books, does that count?

Chauntelle Atcheynum

Museum Educator

What do you love about working in museums?
What I love most about working in museums is discovery. I am most passionate about learning, I find the best way to learn is within an environment rich in connectivity. It is through connecting with people, while encouraging one another to be authentic, that I discover the hidden treasures of the world. It is through these experiences, that I can grow and deepen my understanding of the life we share.

What is a strange fact about you?
I will eat just about anything - my family nickname is Garby.

What do you collect?
Like my câpan and nôhkom before me, I hope to fill my shelves with tea pots galore!
I also collect all kinds of rocks and crystals. I'll pay a pretty penny for the shiniest piece of rose quartz!

Carleen Greaves

Children's Program Coordinator

What do you love about working in museums?
People are what make museums such amazing to places to be. Every day I meet the most interesting and passionate individuals who bring the past and present alive. Whether people work in a museum every day or are visiting and exploring the environment for the first time, there are always so many amazing possibilities for provocation and learning. The opportunity to invite people to play, discover, and explore their sense of wonder is truly exciting. Museums offer a distinct opportunity for a diverse range of people of all ages to learn and interact with each other in a unique and engaging environment. And there's lots of cool stuff!

What is a strange fact about you?
Watches don't work on me... strange but true!

What do you collect?
Whenever I travel, I always buy a decoration or something I can hang on my Christmas tree. Unpacking this collection every year is like a trip down memory lane and brings back so many happy memories.