A New Professional Journey

April 2, 2020 Work

On April 1, 2020, I began a new professional journey as director of Science Gallery Detroit. I’m both honored and thrilled to lead this work on behalf of Michigan State University. I’m looking forward to working with the talented Science Gallery Detroit team, our colleagues at Michigan State University, and our partners throughout the international Science Gallery Network.

Here’s the official press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    

Michigan State University Names Devon Akmon the Director of Science Gallery Detroit

DETROIT (March 31, 2020) – Following an extensive international search, Michigan State University announces Devon Akmon as its director of Science Gallery Detroit. Akmon, an alumnus of Michigan State University and a native Detroiter, is slated to begin work April 1.

As director of Science Gallery Detroit, Akmon will play a leadership role in building connections among MSU, the local Detroit community, and the greater global community via the Science Gallery International Network. Additionally, his responsibilities will include leading the organization as it transitions from a “startup” into a more established presence in Detroit.

“I am excited to welcome Devon to Science Gallery Detroit,” said Jeff Grabill, Science Gallery Detroit’s interim director and MSU associate provost for teaching, learning and technology. “He has built a remarkable career in Detroit and nationally as a leader of cultural institutions, and he understands how transformative the Science Gallery model can be for Detroit and Michigan State.”

Prior to joining Science Gallery Detroit, Akmon served as a senior consultant with the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the University of Maryland. His work included providing coaching and mentoring for cultural organizations throughout the nation on arts management, strategic planning, fundraising, board development, institutional and programmatic marketing, and artistic programming.

Additionally, Akmon previously served as deputy director (2009-2013) and director (2013-2018) of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, MI. Under his leadership, Akmon established new relationships with individuals and organizations that resulted in the expansion of the museum’s mission and programming throughout the nation. Devon also oversaw the physical expansion of the museum with the creation of the Annex, a new community arts space immediately adjacent to the museum, and an artist-in-residency unit in the neighboring City Hall Artspace Lofts.

“I am both honored and excited to lead Science Gallery Detroit’s innovative, place-based, transdisciplinary work. The educational and community-building approach to this award-winning model is both inspiring and impactful,” said Devon Akmon, director of Science Gallery Detroit.

Akmon is a graduate of both Michigan State University and Eastern Michigan University. He is a graduate of Leadership Detroit Class XXXIV. Akmon serves on the boards of CultureSource and the American Alliance of Museums. In 2013, Akmon was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s “40 Under 40” business leaders. And, in 2016, he was named one of twelve American Express NGen Fellows with the Independent Sector.

Science Gallery Detroit

Science Gallery Detroit is a project of Michigan State University committed to public engagement through science and art. The Science Gallery Network consists of eight locations worldwide: Dublin, London, Venice, Bengaluru, Melbourne, Rotterdam, Detroit, and Atlanta. Science Gallery is an award-winning international initiative pioneered by Trinity College Dublin that delivers a dynamic new model for engaging 15–25-year olds with science and art. Science Gallery Detroit is first Gallery in the Americas.

Michigan State University (MSU)

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

Science Gallery Network

Science Gallery is the world’s only university network dedicated to public engagement with science and art. The Science Gallery Network consists of leading universities united around a singular mission: to ignite creativity and discovery where science and art collide. Science Gallery International is the non-profit, charitable organization catalyzing the growth of the network, providing services, tools and resources required to power and expand this unique global collaboration, which now has eight members across four continents: the pioneering member Trinity College Dublin (Ireland); King’s College London (The United Kingdom); The University of Melbourne (Australia); the Indian Institute of Science, Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, The National Centre for Biological Sciences (India); Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy); Michigan State University (United States); Emory University (United States) and Erasmus University Medical Center (The Netherlands). For more information about the Network, visit: sciencegallery.org

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