Staff Spotlight: Rebecca Simpson

Headshot of Rebecca Simpson

Advocacy. That’s what Rebecca Simpson (she/they) is all about, in her job as the visitor experience manager at the Palmer Museum of Art and in her personal life.

“What I love about my job is the opportunity to bear witness to the healing and restorative powers of art and to advocate for greater access and equity through it,” she said. “The work we do in this college is mind-blowing, truly transformative. If I can remove an obstacle for someone who wasn’t able to experience that before, to help someone feel welcomed and like they belong here, well, that’s why I come to work every day.”

Rebecca’s passions extend beyond the arts and design to mindfulness and empowering people to explore natural healing. She is a volunteer within the queer community, particularly supporting trans and non-binary youth and their families.

Rebecca has been in her position for two years, but is no newcomer to Penn State or the Palmer. She was an intern at the museum while pursuing her B.A. degrees in art history and communications. She also holds an M.A. in museum education from Tufts.

I’ve been lucky enough to live and work in the arts all over the country, including Boston Ballet, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philly, and San Diego Theatres,” said Rebecca. “Though my positions have oscillated between marketing and communications and visitor/patron services, what remains constant is my drive to connect people through art.”

Rebecca is chair of the college’s Staff Advisory Council. She and her wife, Tyesa Simpson, moved to State College to be closer to their moms. They are the proud parents to several rescue dogs.