Julie McLean grew up in nearby Endicott, New York, and holds a B.A. in Art History from William Smith College. She started her career in arts education at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, then completed her M.A. in Art History (concentration in Italian Renaissance) at Syracuse University’s center in Florence, Italy. She worked as a teaching guide in Italy for two years. After an internship at the Art Institute of Chicago, she shifted her focus to college students, becoming the Associate Curator of Education at the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she remained until moving to Ithaca in 2014. She then served as Coordinator of Public Programs at Cornell’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art until the fall of 2019, managing outreach to local community groups and leading tours and workshops for the general public. Working with Cornell University students and connecting them to experiences with the general public were some of her favorite aspects of that role.
From 2020-2022 she coordinated the Humanities Scholars Program out of the A.D. White House, connecting humanities students with interdisciplinary research opportunities. She is currently the Program Manager for the Society for the Humanities and its related programs (Rural Humanities and the Humanities Scholars Program), and she enjoys the colorful view of the A.D. White House gardens from her office window while working on budgets and grant reporting. Julie is an experienced dancer, lover of all things Italian, and mom of two young girls who enjoy cooking, hiking, and caring for their backyard chickens.