MPM Builds Momentum with New Vice Presidents

June 23, 2021

Media Contact:
Mia Tripi

Rebecca Ehlers, Dr. Jennifer Zaspel join leadership team

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) today announced that Rebecca Ehlers has been named Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Visitor Experience, and that Associate Research Curator and Head of Zoology Jen Zaspel, PhD, has been promoted to Vice President and Academic Dean. The addition of these two women to MPM’s leadership team will bring in valuable expertise into current vacancies within the organization as it continues to serve its daily mission of showcasing natural and human history while working to achieve the Museum’s strategic vision for the future.

“Rebecca is a skilled and community-oriented marketer,” said Dr. Ellen Censky, President and CEO of the Milwaukee Public Museum. “Her skillset will greatly benefit the Museum as we seek to welcome visitors from near and far into our current Museum, and plan for the future home of MPM.”

As Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Visitor Experience, Ehlers will set the strategic direction for and oversee marketing, visitor services, retail, group sales and facility rentals. The position will play a key role in guiding the visitor experience and branding of the future museum. 

Building on foundations of both agency and nonprofit marketing and communications work, Ehlers has a long history of marketing positions that promote education in our community, most recently serving as Chief Communications and Talent officer with LUMIN Schools in Milwaukee and Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. In 2016, she was named Chief Marketing Officer of the Year by the Milwaukee Business Journal. Ehlers received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Jen Zaspel will build upon her experience with MPM as Vice President and Academic Dean. As Vice President and Academic Dean, Dr. Zaspel will oversee collections and research, education and public programs, exhibits and MPM’s diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility initiative. 

“Jen has a strong history as a researcher with the Museum; elevating her to our leadership team strengthens our ability to reimagine the future museum in a way that accurately depicts the intersection of nature and culture in our world, and turns the Museum inside out by including ongoing cutting-edge scientific research on site,” said Dr. Censky. 

Since joining MPM as Associate Research Curator and Head of Zoology in 2017, Dr. Zaspel has continued to amass academic appointments that benefit MPM’s research capabilities and relationships including serving as a research associate and academic collaborator with the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian, and roles with the National Science Collections Alliance, the Biodiversity Collections Network and the Entomological Society of America. Dr. Zaspel received her Bachelors’ and Master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota and received her PhD in Entomology and Nematology from the University of Florida. She is the recipient of dozens of grants, awards and honors, and has nearly 150 published or presented scientific works. 

About the Milwaukee Public Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum is a natural and human history museum located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Museum was chartered in 1882 and opened to the public in 1884. MPM has three floors of exhibits that encompass life-size dioramas, walk-through villages, world cultures, dinosaurs, a rainforest, and a live butterfly garden, as well as the Daniel M. Soref National Geographic Dome Theater & Planetarium. The Museum houses more than four million objects and hosts some half-a-million visitors each year.

MPM is operated by Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc., a private, non-profit company, and its facilities and collections are held in trust and supported by Milwaukee County for the benefit of the public.