Laura Santoyo

Collections Manager and Registrar

Laura manages and cares for the museum’s collection of 17,000 artworks. She has over ten years of experience in collections management. Before coming to the MoCP, Laura worked as the Curator of Collections for the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University (a Smithsonian Affiliate), where she also taught in the university’s Museum Studies Program.

Laura graduated from the Smithsonian Affiliates Visiting Professionals Program (VPP) for Digital Initiatives in 2018 and soon thereafter led the digitization of the Schingoethe’s collection.

She holds a certificate from the Heritage Emergency and Response Training (HEART) Program (2019), an initiative co-sponsored by the Smithsonian and the Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF). Recently, she helped orchestrate the first Alliance for Response Forum in Chicago, creating a network of cultural heritage emergency responders in the Greater Chicagoland area with the help of colleagues at the Field Museum, Chicago History Museum, and the American Institute of Conservation (AIC). Laura also worked with the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network (NEMPN) for five years, including a term on the executive board (2020-22).

Laura holds a BA in History with concentrations in Sociology and Museum Studies from Aurora University and an MA in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University. Her hobbies include crafting, baking, playing with her cats, making Harry Potter references (always), and watching re-runs of The Office.