Staff Bios | Southern Musuem | Kennesaw

Museum Staff Professionals

Museum Supervisors

Executive Director: Dr. Richard Banz
Dr. Richard Banz serves as the Executive Director of the Southern Museum and the Kennesaw Museum Foundation.  He holds a Doctorate in adult education from Pennsylvania State University, a Master’s degree in history from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor’s degree in social science education from Towson State University. Prior to the Southern Museum, Dr. Banz held positions at the York College of Pennsylvania, York County Heritage Trust, and Baltimore Museum of Industry. He is also a past president of the Alliance of Pennsylvania County Historical Societies. Dr. Banz has had several works published, including Adult Education in Cultural Institutions: Libraries, Museums, Parks, and Zoos (Handbook of Adult Education), Self-Directed Learning: Implications for Museums (Journal of Museum Education) and Transportation in York County Before the Automobile (York County Heritage Trust).
Director of Operations: Ms. Dena Bush
Ms. Dena Bush is the Director of Operations at the Southern Museum and is responsible for museum visitor services, daily operations, and gift shop management. Ms. Bush studied history at Emmanuel College and later acquired her Master’s degree in public history from Armstrong Atlantic State University. Prior to the Southern Museum, Ms. Bush worked at West Florida Historic Preservation Inc. and the University of West Florida. Her publications include Museums and Schools: Creating Successful Community Collaborations (Southeast Education Network) and Reinventing the Field Trip: Using Museums to Integrate Interdisciplinary Curricula (Southeast Education Network).

Museum Full-time Professional Staff

Foundation Coordinator: Open Position
Open Position
Marketing Specialist: Paul K. Gjenvick
Paul Gjenvick is the Marketing Specialist and Webmaster for the Southern Museum. He handles all things digital at the Southern Museum including managing our website, SEO, and digital advertising. His marketing activities include strategic marketing for digital and print, social media, and developing marketing collateral materials. Gjenvick earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Minnesota State University and a Masters of Archival Studies degree from Clayton State University. Previous experience includes Webmaster/SEO Strategist for EBSCO, Verizon Business, and the GG Archives; Search Specialist for and YPConnect/AT&T Advertising Solutions; and Database Developer for Delta Air Lines and Georgia-Pacific.
Archivist: Mr. Dustin Klein
Mr. Dustin Klein is the Archivist at the Southern Museum. Mr. Klein oversees the preservation and security of the Southern Museum’s archival collections. He also assists researchers with a variety of requests pertaining to the collections. He received his Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Georgia in 2012. Mr. Klein worked as a graduate research assistant on the West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail at the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, where he is currently working on his Master’s degree in history, with a concentration in public history and the American South.
Curator: Mr. Ben Baughman
Mr. Ben Baughman is the Curator at the Southern Museum and oversees the museum’s collections and exhibitions. He received a B.A. in History from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, and an M.A. in Public History from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. Prior to working at the Southern Museum, Mr. Baughman served as the Senior Curator of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum in Macon, Georgia, and as Historic House Manager at the Augusta Museum of History in Augusta, Georgia.
Events Coordinator: Ms. Nichole Alexander
Ms. Nicole Alexander is the Events Coordinator at the Southern Museum and oversees the Museum events and facility rentals. Ms. Alexander studied early childhood education at Fort Valley State University. Prior to the Southern Museum, Ms. Alexander worked at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art for over 10 years as the special events manager, she also handled all fundraisers.
Early Childhood Educator: Ms. Ruth Lonvick
Ms. Ruth Lonvick is the Early Childhood Educator for the Southern Museum, where she oversees Mommy & Me and other educational programs.  Ms. Lonvick attended Augsburg College, where she earned a degree in history.  She also attended University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, where she earned her Master's of museum education.  Ms. Lonvick has previously worked at Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, DE and the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul, MN.  Her publications include “Growing History: A Study of Children’s Meaning Making in Historic House Gardens.”
Volunteer and Tour Coordinator: Mr. Kris Allen
Mr. Kristopher Allen is the Volunteer and Tour Coordinator at the Southern Museum. Mr. Allen recruits and oversees volunteers, promotes and schedules group tours, and provides outreach programs to adults and schools. He received his Bachelor’s degree in history from West Virginia University in 2011 and a Master’s degree in history with concentrations in American history and public history from Marshall University in 2014. Mr. Allen has worked at the Marshall University Archives and Special Collections as a Collections Processor and at Long Branch Plantation in Virginia as the Tour Guide and Archivist, and later as the Historic Site Administrator.
Education Program Coordinator: Josh Trower
Josh Trower is the Education Program Coordinator at the Southern Museum, where he is responsible for participating in educational programming for a variety of levels. He received a B.A. and an M.A. in History from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. Prior to working at the Southern Museum, Mr. Trower worked as a Museum Educator at the City of Raleigh Museum in Raleigh, NC and as Program Manager at the Pope House Museum in Raleigh, NC.
Retail Services Coordinator: Ms. Michelle Newman
Ms. Michelle Newman serves as Retail Services Coordinator for the Southern Museum. She manages the day to day operations of the Museum gift shop, the General Emporium. Ms. Newman received a Bachelor's degree in business management from the University of South Florida. She has previously worked in retail management at Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Hallmark Cards.

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