They come from far and wide: Norway to New Jersey; the verdant mountains of Tajikistan to the Canadian Rockies; the hills of Marin County to the Illinois plains, the beaches of Hawai’i and the skyscrapers of Buenos Aires, and all places north, south & in between. They hold a wide array of passions: art, culture, history, film, libraries and archaeology; organic farming, social justice, diversity, the west coast, natural history, astrophysics, music, hiking. Meet the USF Museum Studies cohort of 2016!
Luisa Maria Baj was born in Bogota, Colombia and grew up in Sycamore, Illinois which is about seventy miles from Chicago. She has studied multiple languages including Spanish, Latin, Ancient Greek, and French. She received her Associates of Science from Kishwaukee Community College and her BA in Anthropology from Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale. At SIU she focused in biological anthropology, forensics, archeology, geology, paleontology, and classics. Recently, she interned at SIU’s Special Collections Research Center and the Preservation Library. She has a great passion for rare books, manuscripts, and archiving. She has also has a great love of museums and what they can offer to the public and serves as an assistant in USF’s rare book room as well as student ambassador at the deYoung Museum. She has decided to pursue this passion by moving to San Francisco to join the Graduate Program in Museum Studies at USF.
Vincent Bocchieri grew up in Antioch, California and moved to Hawaii in 2006 to assist a church in the Liliha community on the island of Oahu. He earned his Associates of Arts degree from Windward Community College and then transferred to the University of Hawaii where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities with a concentration in 20th century United States History. Vince worked for Kailua Christian Academy as a teacher assistant, the Iolani Palace state monument as a security officer, and an education intern at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument located at Pearl Harbor. He moved back to the Bay Area to attend the University of San Francisco’s Museum studies program. Vince currently works at the Walt Disney Family Museum as a customer service associate.
Annveig (Annie) Bugge is from Oslo, Norway. She has always had an interest for history and culture, and this is what led her on her path toward working in the museum. She graduated from the University of Oslo with a B.A. in cultural history and conservation skills. Annie also interned at the Norwegian Maritime Museum in Oslo, participating in collections management, event planning and education and growing more inspired to pursue a career within the museum field. A curiosity to see how the museum field works internationally has sent her to study half way around the world: to USF and San Francisco.
Lauren Dare is grateful to be a San Francisco native. She received her Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) in Art History and a minor in Biology from Dominican University of California, San Rafael. She spent a brief period away from the City by the Bay completing internships with the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery digitizing collections in the Catalog of American Portraits and the Smithsonian Institution Archives working on the National Museum of Natural History’s centennial project where she digitized historically significant research papers and interviewed those voted on by their peers as remarkable members of the museum. She moved back to San Francisco and interned in SFMOMA’s Department of Collections Information and Access. In her current position as Editor at Sartle.com, she seeks to provide new and unusual entry points for art skeptics using pop culture, scandalous history, and friendly language. Sartle also shares an office and staff with Embark Gallery, a non-profit gallery that provides exhibition opportunities to MFA students in Bay Area schools. Lauren is excited to be pursuing her Masters in Museum Studies with USF.
Lauren Garnese grew up in Sacramento, CA and Las Vegas, NV. She received her BA from the University of Nevada in Reno, NV where she studied Art History (with a strong interest in the modern and feminist art movements) and minored in Business Administration & Marketing. She moved to Seattle, WA after graduating and began a career in graphic design and marketing. In 2014 she began volunteering with at the Seattle Art Museum, working mostly with the education department assisting with visitor experience research and public programs. Through this experience, Lauren rediscovered a passion for fine art and museums, and decided to pursue a graduate degree to develop the skills necessary for a career in public programming and community outreach and to further her knowledge of all aspects of the museum profession. Lauren relocated from Seattle to San Francisco to begin pursuing her MA in Museum Studies at USF. In September 2015, she began a public programs internship at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.
Ben Glazier hails from Leawood, Kansas. He received his BA in Film and Video Studies from the University of Michigan. (Go Blue!) As a student he worked on the award-winning short film Moon Cake, and volunteered with the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Following his undergraduate studies he worked as a Production Assistant with Roadside Entertainment and Leopard Films USA in New York City before adventuring west to Los Angeles, CA. There he spent several years as the Operations Manager for Murphy O’Brien Public Relations. Outside of school and work he enjoys theatre, film, and travel. He spent last summer volunteering with the non-profit organization Arrive in Kenya in Keumbu, Kenya, and backpacking throughout Southeast Asia. Thrilled to be joining the USF Museum Studies program this fall, he looks forward to transitioning into the museum field, and is especially interested in curatorial issues related to media and popular culture.
Sara Hodge recently relocated from Missouri to the Bay Area to pursue her MA in Museum Studies from the University of San Francisco. She received her BA from Missouri State University, where she pursued dual majors in Anthropology and Antiquities with a concentration in Near Eastern Archaeology. She graduated with honors and departmental distinction. She has received numerous awards and commendations for her work, including the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) Jennifer C. Groot Fellowship, the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) Heritage Fellowship, the Schyler Elizabeth Strong Archaeology Scholarship, the Missouri State University Department of Anthropology Scholarship for Societal Studies, and the Serve and Learn Missouri Community Service Award. She has participated in multiple field schools and excavations including the 2009 Tel Gezer Excavation Project and Field School in Israel, the 2010 Madaba Plains Project Tall Hisban Phase II Excavations in Jordan, and the 2010 Northern Jordan Project al-Turra Survey. Under the dedicated tutelage of Dr. Bethany Walker, Sara helped to catalogue the largest single collection of Jordanian artifacts in the United States. During this project, she led a team of ceramic conservationists in preserving and reassembling a ceramics collection from archaeological projects in Jordan; the assemblage dated from 1200 BCE to present. This work culminated in an exhibition and a large online collections database. Sara’s professional interests include constructing ceramic chronologies, artifact conservation, museum anthropology, and cultural heritage preservation. She was drawn to the museum field because of its tantalizing promise of a career that allows for positive social change through education and public outreach, while simultaneously offering a stimulating environment for professional and personal growth. She is most interested in pursuing a career in the collections field, but is eager to explore all aspects of museum work.
Olivia Havens grew up in Torrance, California as an only child who was often taken to museums by her mother and watched the History channel with her historian grandfather. She attended El Camino College in Torrance for two years before accidently walking into an anthropology class. While there she enrolled into a Museum Studies class and spent the majority of her time installing an exhibit on Tibetan clothing. After the class she was approached by the class’s professor/director, who offered her a position as his assistant. She spent the next year up to her elbows in the college’s dusty collection cataloging and organizing, as well as researching the objects, and assisting in installing two different exhibitions. Olivia earned her B.A. from CSU Dominguez Hills in 2014, with a focus in archaeology and a minor in art history. She presented a paper on Inka and Chimu urban landscape distinctions at the Student Research Symposium, which was later published in the school’s anthropology journal. She later went on a dig at the Dominguez Hills Rancho Adobe Museum. After graduating she worked in a small tea shop for the year where she became a tea connoisseur, and decided it was time to return to school to earn a MA in Museum Studies. This is her first time living away from home and is looking forward to learning all she can on her path to working with museum collections.
Owen Kinser is from Fort Worth, Texas. He received his BA in Anthropology and MA in Humanities from Texas Christian University and has a fascination with ancient cultures worldwide as well as contemporary indy music. Before relocating to San Francisco, he worked as the history/collections intern at The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, dealing heavily with NAGPRA requests as well as storage and preservation of artifacts. He will be pursuing a career in collections management after finishing his graduate studies.
Bunny Larson-Fraley was born and raised in San Francisco, and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Fine Art from the University of San Francisco. She received the USF Father Flynn Award for academic excellence. Her coursework included “Exhibition Practicum” in Thacher Gallery. Bunny’s artwork has appeared in twenty exhibits and events in the past five years. Venues include the de Young Museum, Galería de la Raza, Green Arcade Bookstore, Root Division, Incline Gallery, Sweet Inspiration Bakery, Art Attack SF Gallery, ARTescape (Sonoma county), Nave Gallery Annex (Somerville, MA), the Tahoe Maritime Museum, and 111 Minna Gallery. Bunny is self-publishing a 2016 Endangered Animals Calendar and finishing a children’s book about the natural history of SF urban wildlife. Bunny volunteers with the San Francisco Zoo in the Insect Zoo where she enjoys relating natural science information to children and visitors. She assists keepers, prepares and distributes scavenger and predator feedouts, and helps track weekly data. Bunny also volunteers with the Randall Museum during special events, with children’s art activities, and enjoys helping maintain a safe and visually engaging learning environment. Bunny is continuing her education at USF at the MA level, to prepare her for remaining active in a broader capacity in educational museums in our community.
Dedric Lupe is an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe of Arizona. While not enrolled, he is also Hopi as well as Tohono O’odham. Dedric’s introduction to museums came at the age of fifteen when he started as a tour guide for the world famous Heard Museum. He gave tours of the Natives of the Southwest gallery. Growing up as an Urban Indian in Phoenix, Arizona, and a product of forced assimilation, this was his chance to learn more about who he is. The more he learned, the more he understood the importance of helping those in his same situation. Dedric received his bachelors in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He curated an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the late master artist Dan Lomahaftewa. He also helped curate and install smaller shows at other private galleries and worked closely with the Museum Studies department chair to help digitize the museum collection utilizing laser scanning and photogrammetry. As part of his senior thesis, Dedric had the opportunity to teach a course in museum development, which solidified his interest in education. Teaching, both in and out of the museum, is but one of many reasons for his decision to pursue his masters at the University of San Francisco. Along with repairing a lot of the bridges that were burned between indigenous peoples and museums, he also wants to start a model of indigenous collections care and ethics that can be used as the standard in all museums. Dedric has worn many hats within the museum, from security guard to curator, and hopes to use that experience to help others tell their own story in the museum.
Sarah Mackey is from Canada. Born in Calgary, Alberta, five years ago she left her beloved Canadian Rocky Mountains for Halifax in pursuit of a career in art history. She graduated from the University of King’s College with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History with a minor in Journalism. She also studied in England and Italy. She has spent the last three years working as an attendant at the Gust Gallery, a space in Waterton Lakes National Park focused on promoting Southern Alberta artists. During her undergraduate studies Sarah focused on Italian Renaissance and Contemporary American art. However, it is her honey garlic salmon recipe that eclipses all of her other accomplishments – past and future.
Nicole Meldahl was born and raised in a Southern California suburb, moving to San Francisco in 2002 to attend San Francisco State University. She began working for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) as an intern with the Park Archives and Records Center (PARC) while an undergraduate, and stayed on after receiving her BA in American History. Nicole has spent the last nine years with the GGNRA, most recently working as an archives and museum technician with collections management duties. In addition to this work for the National Park Service, she has volunteered as Registrar and Collections Manager for the Western Neighborhoods Project (WNP), a nonprofit organization that seeks to preserve and interpret the history of San Francisco’s west side, since 2012. She is currently a WNP board member, and is employed by the California Historical Society as a guest concierge—supplementing her income as a freelance historian and contract archivist working with local nonprofits and private collectors. Nicole passes her free time as a blogger interpreting contemporary culture, local history and music through the lens of philosophy, photography, and prose poetry at Nostos Algos. She is a proud resident of the Sunset District, and will graduate from the University of San Francisco with an MA in Museum Studies in 2016.
Jennifer Moore was born in Novato, CA. She graduated from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, among the beautiful redwood trees where she received her BA in History and minor in Literature. While attending HSU she served on the Associated Students council and numerous committees involved in fiscal, administrative and health responsibilities. She also tutored students in history. With a lifelong fascination with medieval/Renaissance Europe, and the American Civil War, history was a natural choice for her. After graduation, she relocated to Frederick, MD near Washington, D.C. to intern for the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. There she worked in a variety of departments including education, artifacts, outreach and served as a docent. Her proudest achievement while there was presenting her senior research, “A Woman’s Touch: Female Nursing During the American Civil War,” to historians, medical professionals and the public as a select speaker. By attending University of San Francisco, she hopes to be able to marry her passion for history with her professional career in museum curating and education.
Creative and imaginative, Monet Oganesian is a native southern Californian from Coachella Valley. She attended University of California, Riverside where she received her BA in Art History. She has interned and volunteered in galleries and student shows throughout the Palm Springs area. Upon graduating, she moved back to Coachella Valley to give back to her community in the arts. She has taught art through various after school programs such as the YMCA and Tools for Tomorrow and was a fulltime art teacher at Jackson Elementary School in Indio CA. Her experiences in the classroom and the arts have resulted in her interest in the relationships between museums and the community as a tool for education.
Allison Pohl grew up in the northwest suburb of Chicago, IL, called Crystal Lake. She studied at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering Physics and Astrophysics. For the past few years Allison has worked in civil and design engineering firms around the Chicagoland area while moonlighting as a Floor Programs Facilitator Volunteer at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. Her favorite experiments to facilitate included teaching museum goers about how auroras are made by using a plasma ball to illuminate tubes of various gases as well as demonstrating Newton’s Third Law of Physics with balloon rockets in the Jim Lovell Shoot for the Moon Gallery. Allison’s love of astronomy and museums lead her to finding the University of San Francisco’s Museum Studies Masters Program where she is excited to further her experience and education in the museum field.
Morgan Schlesinger is a native Californian: born in San Francisco and raised in Granite Bay. After receiving a BA in Markets & Culture and a minor in photography at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, he continued his studies at Willamette University in Salem, OR where he completed his MBA. Through his lifelong fascination with paleontology and his enthusiasm for photography, Morgan developed a deep appreciation for both museums and the importance of preservation as he visited science and art exhibits across the country. Prior to entering USF’s Museum Studies Graduate Program, Morgan dove headfirst into museum work by accessioning and photographing objects as a collections intern at the Treasure Island Museum. He also researched and helped apply for grants as a development intern at the Cartoon Art Museum. Morgan is now an intern at the Mexican Museum in development and fundraising. Morgan hopes to use his business background to address the operational challenges facing museums while learning more about collections, curation, and exhibit design. When he’s not practicing his photography or exploring the Bay Area, Morgan enjoys discovering new music, skiing, and hiking.
Shabnam Shermatova is from Dushanbe, Tajikistan in Central Asia. She started her career as an arts manager in 2008 at Bactria Cultural Center in Dushanbe, managing the center’s handicraft programs and socially-oriented cultural projects. In 2012 she joined the Department of Museum Management and Marketing at the new National Museum of Tajikistan, country’s leading institution for preservation and presentation of historical and cultural heritage. Some of her noteworthy projects and events include Preservation and Development of Tajik Handicrafts (2008-2012), first contemporary art show at the National Museum of Tajikistan Is it hard to be Young (2013), annual event Museum Night (2013-2014). Shabnam’s scope of professional and research interests includes issues around development of contemporary and traditional arts, the role of public art and heritage institutions in social development, social inclusion and museums, as well as new approaches to community outreach of cultural institutions. Shabnam received a number of fellowships of exchange programs: Building Peace through the Arts, organized by International Visitor Leadership Program (April 2010); Social Value of Museums: Inspiring Change (American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting 2015). She received a Fulbright Scholarship to start her Master’s Degree in Museum Studies at the University of San Francisco.
Hannah Claire Somerville was born in Santa Barbara, California and raised in Sarasota, Florida. Growing up, she expressed her love of horses and fashion through drawing; which led to a passion for painting, ceramics and especially screen-printing. Initially, she thought she would concentrate on fashion design during her undergraduate studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. But once there, she fell in love with fine art, thanks to unlimited access to the Art Institute’s collection. After obtaining her BFA, Hannah continued to pursue her own art practice and worked in galleries, as an art teacher, freelance textile artist, and retail store display. She moved to San Francisco in 2012 and worked as a textile librarian in a showroom in The San Francisco Design Center. Her experience in the library made her appreciate the enjoyment of maintaining a collection. She felt a career in the museum field would enable her to use her creative skills and knowledge of art, and be an advocate for artists and the community she lives in. She is currently enrolled in the USF museum studies graduate program, and is excited to collaborate with her peers and face the challenge of strengthening relationships between museums and their communities. In addition to her studies, she will be gaining hands on experience as a School Programs intern at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Hannah currently lives in the Lake Merritt neighborhood in Oakland with her boyfriend and their cat, Penelope.
Lindsey Stoll was born in Marin County and raised in Petaluma, CA. She graduated cum laude from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in History of Art and Visual Culture. Lindsey worked as a public programs intern at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. where she was responsible for researching, writing and creating a series of trivia-style interactive games for an ongoing museum program called National Portrait Gallery Pop Quiz. She has worked as a school programs intern at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History where she facilitated interactive art and history projects to elementary school classes. Lindsey is particularly interested in the ways in which museums reflect upon and engage the communities and visitors around them. She has made the decision to stick to her Northern California roots and pursue her Masters of Arts degree in Museum Studies at the University of San Francisco where she hopes to use her background in art history to take advantage of the many opportunities the San Francisco Bay area has to offer.
A native San Franciscan, Vincent Sulit earned his B.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University, with an emphasis on film production. He studied French Language at Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne in Paris. Vincent has interned at First Exposures, where he helped children learn digital photography and editing at the Bayview Opera House in San Francisco. He was Social Media Coordinator for a film organization, Kino London, which hosted monthly short film screenings at Vibe Live on Brick Lane, in Shoreditch, London. His first museum job was for Antenna International as a Sales Associate for the “Impressionists on the Water” exhibition at the Legion of Honor. He would go on to work in Membership at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, while also working at the Asian Art Museum, where he provided quality assurance testing for Siriusware ticketing software implementation. Vincent’s interest is in New Media.
Katherine (Katie) Sundra drove out to San Francisco from her hometown of Northfield, New Jersey to attend USF’s Museum Studies program. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Arcadia University with a BA in History, she discovered her passion for museums through a summer internship with the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. There she learned the basics of proper object care and collections management, as well as volunteered at patron outreach events, and researched and authored a finding guide on the stamps of New South Wales, Australia. After the completion of her internship, Katie returned to the Jersey Shore to assist the Atlantic City Free Public Library in its new ownership of the Atlantic City Historical Museum. Katie spent three years as part of the museum and library staff, bringing the small hometown museum up to standards, updating its catalog records, and even helping it survive Hurricane Sandy. Katie also worked extensively with the library’s archives, assisting patrons and authors with research projects, processing new donations, and digitizing a collection of over 4,000 photographic negatives. She contributed to the design and installation of several exhibits at the Atlantic City Historical Museum, including the creation of an interactive map for patrons to rediscover memories of the places where they’d spent their childhood summers at the Jersey shore. Katie is very excited to be a part of the hands-on educational experience of USF’s Museum Studies program, and equally excited to explore such a vibrant and diverse city.
Isabel Tassara defines herself as a curious and creative person, a management geek but mostly an art lover. Isabel was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As an assistant in an Argentinean gallery, she traveled around the world to different art fairs (Art Miami, Art Basel, Art New York and Art San Pablo). Although she loved the art field, she also wanted to get involved in the business world. This is how she received her Marketing BA at the University of Business and Social Science (U.C.E.S) in Buenos Aires. During her studies, she worked for Radio Uno, a Communications Company in Marketing. Moreover, for one semester she studied Audiovisual Communications and Social Relations at the University Camilo Jose Cela in Madrid, Spain. She then worked as a Partner Manager for Groupon, Argentina where she helped clients manage and create new marketing strategies as well as their finances. She moved into a full time job as Director of the Isabel Anchorena Art Gallery where she was in charge of curation inside and outside the gallery including at worldwide Art Fairs; sales and art consulting; seeking for new artists and developing existing ones, among other tasks. In 2015, she moved to San Francisco perusing an MA in Museum Studies at the University of San Francisco, trying not only to maximize her theory and practical knowledge but also share her different global experiences with her diverse cohort.
Else Trygstad-Burke grew up in Bozeman, Montana, graduating from the Montana State University Honors College in 2013 with a degree in History. Her undergraduate thesis, Historical Gender Relations Through the Lens of Opera Costume, combined her academic interest in costume history with her background in the performing arts. At Montana State, Else received the Outstanding Senior in History Award for her interdisciplinary work and a Women’s Center Student of Achievement Award for her commitment to making education and the arts accessible to students from all socio-economic backgrounds. She has worked as a performing cellist for many years, playing in the Bozeman Symphony, the Intermountain Opera Company, and the Four Seasons Trio, and has toured in Spain, Morocco, and China with the MSU Cello Ensemble. Else’s passion is for education, and for exploring the ways in which museums and the arts can provide an immersive and inspiring learning experience for students of all ages and from all communities.
Kim Turner has spent nearly forty years in public service, working primarily in local government in Marin County, California. A Certified Management Accountant and CPA candidate, she received her BA in Business Administration from Sonoma State University. Kim is a Fellow in the Institute for Court Management, the advanced educational program offered by the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, VA. In 1999, while in this program, Kim received national recognition for her applied research on the impact of omnibus legislation in California that changed the funding and governance model for trial courts. She worked for Marin County Department of Health and Human Services in public assistance, social services and employment and training programs, first as a caseworker and then in mid-management and public administration. In 1997, she became the Chief Financial Officer for the Marin County Superior Court, overseeing a $20 million annual budget. She quickly advanced to Assistant Court Executive Officer and then was appointed by the Marin County bench to be the Court Executive Officer. In 2009, Kim was appointed to the Judicial Council of California, the judicial branch’s policy-making body chaired by the Chief Justice. During this time, she served on and chaired numerous policy and advisory committees to improve access and fairness for users of the California court system. Following the economic downturn in California in 2008, she also designed a course in business process reengineering to assist courts in modernizing and streamlining their operations. She trained managers and line staff in more than 30 trial courts in California to use this methodology as a sound business strategy to mitigate severe budget reductions. In 2013, Kim was honored for her contributions to the administration of justice in California with the Distinguished Service Award for Leadership in Judicial Administration. She is now pursuing her Master’s degree in Museum Studies from University of San Francisco to determine how and where she can make a contribution to the museum field.
For more information on USF’s Museum Studies program, click here.