Museum of Texas Tech Students, Faculty Win Big at Conference

Eileen Johnson received the most prestigious award offered by the Mountain-Plains Museum Association.

Eileen Johnson

Eileen Johnson

Faculty and students from the Museum of Texas Tech University brought home all the hardware from a recent conference.

The big winner was Eileen Johnson, the director of the Lubbock Lake Landmark and director of academic and curatorial programs at the Museum of Texas Tech. She received the Hugo G. Rodeck Award for Excellence from the Mountain-Plains Museums Association (MPMA), a 10-state regional museum association. This award, named for the founder of the MPMA in 1953, is the association’s most prestigious and honors service to the museum profession. It is not given every year.

“I have known Dr. Johnson for a long time, and she is one of my personal mentors,” said Mark Janzen, president of MPMA. “It was a great honor to have the opportunity to present her with the 2016 Rodeck Award.”

Nicky Ladkin

Nicky Ladkin

The other awards were:

  • President’s Award for service to the MPMA: Nicky Ladkin, assistant director, Museum of Texas Tech
  • Carolyn Garrett Pool Outstanding Museum Studies Student Award: Andrew DeJesse, museum science graduate student
  • Student poster competition: Katy Schmidt and Kathleen Wilson, museum science graduate students (first place); Kathryn Faircloth and Jessica Stepp, graduate students in interdisciplinary studies and museum science, respectively (second place)

This is the third consecutive year a Texas Tech student has won the Outstanding Museum Studies Student Award and the fifth consecutive year a Texas Tech team has placed first in the poster competition.

“All of these awards underscore the quality of the faculty, staff and graduate students of the museum and the museum science program,” Johnson said. “For the museum, it recognizes the staff provides leadership on a national scale and is dedicated to professional service. For museum science, it denotes the faculty and students are quite active in the profession, and the education and training provided our students prepares them to be involved, knowledgeable leaders in the profession.”

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Lubbock Lake Landmark

Lubbock Lake Landmark

The Lubbock Lake Landmark is an archaeological and natural history preserve that contains evidence of almost 12,000 years of occupation by ancient peoples on the Southern High Plains. Discovery at the site began in 1936, when the first Folsom point was found, and continues to this day with excavation on-site and at other sites throughout the region.

The landmark welcomes visitors of all ages throughout the year. Guided and self-guided tours, public programs, programs for school children and camps are part of the landmark’s ongoing mission to provide a research and educational facility to and to reveal and preserve the history and culture of Texas and the nation.

The Lubbock Lake Landmark is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated National Historic and State Archaeological Landmark.

Learn more

The Lubbock Lake Landmark is located at 2401 Landmark Drive, north of Loop 289 in Lubbock.

It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The landmark is closed on Monday.

For more information, contact Deborah Bigness, the manager of site operations, at (806) 742-1116 or

Connect with the Lubbock Lake Landmark on Facebook.

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