Hurvis Center Staff Bios

Ellen Bechtol, M.A.

Ellen Bechtol, M.A., is education research manager in Lincoln Park Zoo's Hurvis Center for Learning Innovation and Collaboration  

Education Research Manager
Hurvis Center for Learning Innovation and Collaboration


  • M.A. – Museum Studies, John F. Kennedy University
  • B.A. – American Studies, The College of William & Mary

Areas of Expertise

  • Program evaluation
  • Data analysis
  • Report writing

About Ellen Bechtol:

Ellen's interest in informal learning began as an undergraduate at the College of William & Mary. While earning a degree in American studies, she worked with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to study artifacts from America's past through an archaeological field school and museum internship.

After graduation, Ellen continued to explore informal learning environments, eventually earning a master's degree in museum studies from John F. Kennedy University. Her capstone project explored how museums interpreted healthy eating through exhibitions, programming and food service venues.

She's worn a number of hats in the museum world and has experience in collections management, guest engagement and exhibition evaluation. Ellen is passionate about improving visitor experiences and is excited to work at the Hurvis Center to develop and research programming that extends beyond traditional classroom boundaries.