Written by Janalee Emmer, Head of Education
It is with full hearts that we bid a fond farewell and extend sincere gratitude to our dear colleague Lynda Palma, who is retiring from the BYU Museum of Art. Lynda has been employed at BYU for 33 years, and at the BYU MOA for 25 years, with 3 years working on archiving the collection prior to the official opening of the museum. For the past twelve years, Lynda has been an exceptionally valuable member of the Education team. Her impact will continue to be felt for years to come.
Many years ago, Lynda moved to Utah from Detroit after converting to the Church. She graduated with her undergraduate degree from Wayne State University. At Brigham Young University, she received her master’s degree in Musicology. Shortly thereafter, she began teaching in the BYU Music and Humanities departments and has contributed in countless ways over her decades of service. She deeply believes in the mission of the University, and of the museum, particularly in providing the campus and community with art and exhibitions that inspire learning, pondering, and growing.
Over the years, Lynda has presented numerous papers and workshops at conferences in the United States and Canada on museum registration procedures and education methodology.
She has been the lead educator on countless exhibitions, creating meaningful ways for visitors to understand and engage with artwork; a few exhibition highlights include Beauty & Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture, Loving Devotion: Visions of Vishnu, Weaving the Unexpected: Navajo Pictorials from the Lucke Collection, A Visual Testimony: Minerva Teichert’s Book of Mormon Paintings, and Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami, which was a collaboration with the BYU engineering department and recently resulted in an American Society for Engineering Education publication.
In her role as both Family Programs and Student coordinator, she spent a considerable portion of her time mentoring university students. She worked tirelessly with our student employees, training them on how to create effective lesson plans, how to communicate with patrons at an age-appropriate level, and how to convey an enthusiasm and love of the arts. As a mentor, she allows BYU students to take ownership of programming and learn how to contribute in a professional environment. Many students make significant efforts to keep in touch with Lynda over the years to inform her of their achievements and successes, confident in her continued support and joy at their accomplishments.
In addition to providing unwavering dedication to the University and the museum, Lynda has been a powerful example of positivity and hard work. Seeing herself as a facilitator, Lynda
anticipates projects that need attention and solves them without calling attention to herself. She is a team player, and the MOA has unquestionably benefitted from her expertise, people skills, warmth, and can-do attitude.
As her colleagues, we wish her much success in her retirement years. We are confident that this new chapter will be equally rewarding as she focuses on her family history, explores new hobbies (such as learning more about astrophysics and the cosmos!), and spends more time with her grandchildren.