Elee Wood is associate dean for student affairs, and professor of museum studies in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) with an adjunct appointment in education, IU School of Education. In addition, she serves as the public scholar of museums, families, and learning in a joint appointment with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis working specifically on audience research and evaluation, and exhibition development. The Museum Studies Program at IUPUI emphasizes public scholarship, civic engagement, and in training professionals to serve museums and their communities. Wood’s research interests include action-oriented phenomenology, object-based learning, critical museum pedagogies, and evaluation capacity building. Elee got her start in museums as a Wizard Wing volunteer at the Milwaukee Public Museum and worked as an exhibit developer and public programs manager at Minnesota Children’s Museum. She holds a PhD in Education for Community and MEd in Youth Development Leadership from the University of Minnesota and a BA in Dramatic Arts from Macalester College. Elee Wood is an active member of the Visitor Studies Association, American Evaluation Association, and the American Alliance of Museums.

Academic interests

museum studies, nonformal and informal learning in community, phenomenology and hermeneutics, object-based learning


  • Understanding Museums (MSTD A101)
  • Museum Education (MSTD A410, A510)
  • Museums and Audiences (MSTD A418, A518)
  • Object-Based Learning (MSTD A511) 


  • John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership in Museum Education, 2015 (American Alliance of Museums)
  • Thomas Ehrlich Excellence in Service Learning Teaching, Indiana University, 2015
  • Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching, 2010-present
  • Trustees Teaching Award, 2009, 2010
  • Translating Research into Practice Scholar, 2007-present
  • Boyer Scholar, 2008 


  • Wood, E., Tisdale, R., Jones, T. (Eds). (in press). Active Collections. London: Routledge.
  • Wood, E., Zemanek, A., Weiss, L., Carron, C.G. (2016). Growing FLORES for the Museum. Collections: A Journal for Museums and Archives Professionals. 12(1), 7-22.
  • Wood, E, Hong, Y., Price, M. F., Stanton-Nichols, K., Hatcher, J. A., Craig, D. M., Kelly, J. M., Silverman, R. D., Palmer, K. L. (2016). Public Scholarship at Indiana University-Purdue University. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis,
  • Wood, E. (2015). Defining the scope of your evaluation. Journal of Museum Education. 40 (1) 1-7.
  • Wood, E. & Latham, K.F. (2013). The Objects of Experience: Transforming Visitor-Object Experiences in Museums. London: Routledge.


  • Museums and Social Issues, editor, 2013-present
  • Association of Children's Museums, Research Agenda Advisory Committee
  • Association of State and Local History, Visitor's Voices Advisory Committee
  • Seminar for Historic Administration, faculty
  • American Alliance of Museums: Education Committee; Committee on Professional Training; Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation—board member
  • Visitor Studies Association: Conference Program Co-Chair 2009, Conference Committee, Membership Committee, Professional Development Task Force, 2007
  • Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, manuscript reviewer, 2011-present
  • Indiana Historical Society Indiana Experience Humanities Scholars, National Advisory Panel, 2009-2012
  • Visitor Studies, Manuscript reviewer, 2009-present
  • Institute for Museum and Library Services, Proposal Reviewer, 2008-present