Melissa Palmer of Dennis Township is Cape May MAC's Director of Museum Education. She holds a master of arts degree in English from Seton Hall University and has taught English at Seton Hall University, Christian Brothers Academy and Saint John Vianney High School. She has earned numerous literary awards for her writing and teaching. Since 2010, she has taught college English at Atlantic Cape Community College.
Since she joined the organization in May 2018, she has been the center of a whirlwind of new educational outreach efforts and achievements for both children and adults. From bringing presentations online to creating new educational content to share in schools, libraries, community centers and adult learning environments, and expanding the organization's reach, in only two short years Melissa has changed much about how Cape May MAC educates the public and achieves its mission.
" I have, perhaps, a different energy than people might expect from a lecturer, and I've been told I have a lot of it," she said.
An understatement that is likely to be. Anyone who has been dazzled by a lecture from Palmer is the lucky audience to a quick mind, with a breadth of knowledge and outstanding skill for delving into fascinating topics, for teaching and for inspiring. She has enthusiasm that is positively infectious.
"I love learning and more so helping others learn and experience new things. The biggest challenge now is altering the entire way we connect to people and information."
With the COVID-19 virus keeping people at home, Melissa has quickly rethought and readapted.
“My Cape May MAC family, as well as my own, know I'm a bit of a nerd. So well before quarantine, I started really thinking of ways to present virtually. The school landscape has been changing and we need to adapt. Now that we've been thrown into this virtual world headfirst, I've been working to create an online learning community through online talks, tidbits and presentations, but also connecting local and not-so-local community members to Cape May MAC and to each other.”
These online presentations can be found on Cape May MAC’s Friends of Museum Education Facebook group . Ask to join! Find out more about the Friends of Museum Education here . Museum Education presentations will also soon be available on Cape May MAC’s YouTube site .

“I'm really worried all the time now, more so than usual, and especially for my older friends throughout the county," Palmer said. "It's a helpless feeling I expressed before a talk yesterday, in the form of, 'What am I even doing?' to my husband. His answer was priceless. I'm doing the best I can do. I'm using the strengths I have in attempts to make this experience a little easier for people. Even if one person sees one of our Museum Ed talks or posts and it makes their day more livable, I've done something right.”