The Block’s Rowan McCloskey among 2023 Northwestern Student Employees of the Year  

The Block is excited to celebrate Rowan McCloskey (Dance and Political Science ’25), a member of the Block Museum Student Associate cohort, who has been named one of the 2023 Northwestern University Student Employees of the Year. This program of the Federal Work-Study Office acknowledges the significant contributions made by students and emphasizes the importance and merit of student employment and student commitment.

Erin Northington, The Block’s Susan and Stephen Wilson Associate Director, Campus and Community Education and Engagement, shares Rowan’s impact on the museum and the community of the Student Associates “Rowan is dedicated, responsible, kind, a true team-player, and solicits and welcomes peer and supervisor feedback. He is an excellent teacher, and has picked up this new skill quite quickly. More broadly, he has a unique ability to make those around him feel comfortable, and frequently makes an effort to go above and beyond to support his peers by attending their activities, events, and performances outside of his time at the Block.”

She also shared his impressive commitment to building student interest and support for the Block Cinema program. “In addition to his regular responsibilities at the Block, Rowan has taken it upon himself to create a new student organization this year dedicated to supporting the work of my colleagues in Block Cinema. This new student group will be trained as projectionists to run films at the Block, organize programming, and help to share and promote the Block Cinema film screening calendar. Increasing student engagement in Block Cinema has been a core goal of the museum for some time, and Rowan’s proactive initiative is helping us to make significant strides towards accomplishing this institutional priority.”  

Rowan acknowledges the value he finds in working with his peers and with the public to build dialogue around art. “Through working with many groups of guests at the Block, I have seen how differently people interact with art, learn, and conduct themselves in general. Conducting and planning art talks considering these differences has been challenging, but exciting. I have learned a lot about myself and how I assume people interact with art, and how to guide a conversation that welcomes varying types of engagement,” he notes.

I have learned a lot about myself and how I assume people interact with art, and how to guide a conversation that welcomes varying types of engagement. 

Rowan McCloskey

“The Block Museum has been an important part of my time at Northwestern since I arrived. I went to nearly every Block Cinema screening during my first year, and got to know some of the Block staff. After becoming a Student Associate, I have been able to meet even more Block employees and fellow students. It has been such an honor to help further the Block’s goal of engaging with the community. I have led art talks for students on campus as well as the general public, and I am now working with folks at Block Cinema to establish a film society devoted to showing obscure, underrepresented films. It feels very special to work with folks at the Block. We always underline our conversations and initiatives with community orientation. I look forward to many more opportunities with and from the Block museum, all of its amazing staff, and of course, the other Student Associates.”

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