Meet the Class of ’20

In August 2019, University of San Francisco’s Museum Studies Graduate Program welcomed 21 new graduate students to our growing community of professionals dedicated to making a difference in the world. We are proud of their energy, commitment and spirit of friendship and professionalism.  And an added bonus is their international perspectives; they have lived and studied all over Asia, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.  Their passions range from arts accessibility to human rights, from baseball to wake surfing, from Su Nu Nu Shinal Pomo dancing to playing piano, from chilaquiles to boba and creamy French cheese.  Meet the Class of 2020!


Iyari Arteaga

Iyari Arteaga was born and raised in San Diego, California. Starting at a young age her parents taught her the importance of giving back to her community. As a child she grew up involved in her community by being active with her family’s San Diego based non-profit, Izcalli, and performing with Teatro Izcalli since the young age of three.  Izcalli, is an organization which aims to empower the Latinx community through the arts and educational programming.  Much of her passion revolves around the importance of bridging the arts, education and community engagement. Iyari attended Cal State Long Beach where she received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and soon after graduating began to work within arts education. She was a member of the exhibitions team at the New Children’s Museum and also a teaching artist, teaching theater and writing to high school and middle school students. She also worked at the Barrio Logan College Institute as the middle school specialist where she integrated an arts education curriculum into the non-profits mission of ensuring access to higher education for first generation students.

Through her work she witnessed the powerful impact that the arts have upon empowering and engaging students, and communities as a whole, in developing their sense of identity, healing and building solidarity. Throughout her career, along with her work as a poet and theater artist, Iyari has continually been reminded of the beauty and power of the arts. Her passion in life is ensuring that the arts are accessible for all and for this reason decided to join the Museum Studies program. She hopes that this new chapter in her life will further guide her towards her goals of working in an art museum to ensure that the content within the gallery spaces and programming are truly accessible and representative for all, especially for people of color. In her spare time, she enjoys going out to dance with friends, plant shopping, creating art and going out for brunch to find the best chilaquiles in town.

Annie Burns

Annette Burns

Annette (Annie) Burns was born and raised in the small town of Sanford, Michigan. She recently received her Bachelor of Arts from Alma College, which is in another small town in Michigan. At Alma, Annie majored in Anthropology and completed a Program of Emphasis (POE), which allowed her to create her own major in Art History and Museum Studies. To complete her Anthropology major, Annie researched how Archaeology and myth mix, looking at case studies in Ireland. The paper examined how myths and legends of certain places do not always align with archaeological evidence but can generate interest in locals and tourists about the history and location. For her POE thesis, she explored how Irish Iron Age weapons were decorated to display wealth and power, by examining the Celtic culture and traditions of the time as well as myths.

Annie worked in the Alma College campus Art Gallery helping to install exhibitions. She enjoyed working with the artists and other students to curate the show and learn about how the pieces were created. During the summers, she took part in archaeological digs. In County Clare, Ireland at Caherconnell, a 10thcentury ring fort, Annie spent four weeks digging and then two weeks learning about field survey techniques and artifact cataloguing. The second dig took place in a remote part of Transylvania, Romania. She spent three weeks helping to excavate a Roman Villa from the 2ndcentury. Annie enjoys getting her hands dirty in the field and is looking forward to learning about what happens to artifacts after they are uncovered.

Justin Channels

Justin Channels

Justin Channels grew up in Napa, California. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Sonoma State University in the spring of 2019. His interest in museum studies stems from his love of history and traveling as a kid. His hobbies include coin collecting and going to baseball games. His favorite team is the Oakland Athletics. During his undergraduate studies, he wrote his senior thesis on Jackie Robinson and what made him the perfect candidate to break the major league color barrier. He currently volunteers at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. Justin is excited to learn more about the field and begin his career as a budding museum professional. He looks forward to finding an internship with an emphasis on curation and continuing on with an MA in Museum Studies at the University of San Francisco.


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Chloe Clouse

Chloe Clouse was born in San Antonio, Texas, and grew up in Boerne, Texas, Winchester, Massachusetts, and Davis, California. She received her undergraduate degree in Classical Antiquity with a focus in Classical Archaeology from the University of Kansas. During her time at KU, she studied in Greece with the College Year in Athens program, as well as in Italy at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. She participated in two archaeological excavations – the Greek site of Despotiko, home to an Archaic Sanctuary to Apollo, and in Israel at Tell-es Safi, also known as the biblical city of Gath. Following her summer in Israel, Chloe presented research on 9thcentury BCE olive oil production in Tell-es Safi at the American Schools of Oriental Research 2017 annual conference with a poster titled: I’m Not Your Type: A 9thCentury Link in the Typology of Iron Age Olive Oil Production from Tell-es Safi/Gath, Israel.

After graduation, Chloe moved to Illinois to intern at the Art Institute of Chicago in the department of Architecture and Design. As a collections and inventory intern, she worked hands-on with the collection imaging works, updating the museum database, and publishing revised records to the museum website. It was at the Art Institute of Chicago she realized her passion within the museum industry was in Collections Management. Chloe is currently a collections intern at the National Japanese American Historical Society, working on a collection digitization project. She is thrilled to be back in Northern California, and at the University of San Francisco, Chloe hopes to further her career by building life-long connections in the Bay Area and beyond.



Jade Fogle

Jade Fogle lived in Southeast Asia for nineteen years before moving to Texas to study Fashion Design. After two and a half years, she decided to pursue a degree in Art History and received her BFA in Art History with a focus on Printmaking from Academy of Art University in San Francisco. White attending AAU, Jade worked for two years as a Curatorial Development Assistant and afterward interning for Christie’s Auction House and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. At SFMOMA, she was responsible for a unique project dealing with the museum’s exhibition history. The project involved exploring their physical archives, as well as utilizing their collections databases to organize, and upload information onto multiple systems. It was during that project that Jade decided she wanted to explore a career in museums. She has also worked for the Visitor Experience Department at the Fine Arts Museums. Jade is extremely grateful and excited to enhance her knowledge of collections management, and the social justice aspect of museums by earning her MA in Museum Studies at the University of San Francisco.


Gorety Gallardo

My name is Gorety Gallardo. I am from Watsonville California. I received my B.A. in Art History from UCLA where I interned in the Fowler Museum’s Education Department, leading school tours and facilitating art activities. After graduation, I returned to Watsonville where I worked as an after school teacher and simultaneously interned at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH). At the MAH, my main project was crafting a bilingual field trip model. I worked with the props, translations, and the script for future volunteers. I continued at MAH, volunteering for community events and leading school field trips. I toured them both through the Museum and Santa Cruz’s historic Evergreen Cemetery which the MAH refers to as “the museum without walls.” I have also worked for the public library systems in both Santa Cruz and Watsonville where I learned how important and valuable these institutions are to our communities. My work at the MAH and within the library system helped me to realize the creating welcoming gathering places and programs that bring the community together is what I want to dedicate my life to. In my free time I like to watch anime, trying all the boba places in my community and cuddling with my two kitties.


Bridget Girnus

Bridget Girnus was born in Chicago, and spent her childhood moving around the country. She has lived in 6 states so far (Illinois, Virginia, Kentucky, Washington, Massachusetts, and California). This transient background inspired her to leave Seattle, where she attended high school, to study at Boston University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the History of Art and Architecture with a minor in Archaeology. Based on her major and previous work experience, Bridget is interested in museum education and outreach in art museums. She interned in the Seattle Art Museum’s education department for two summers, working first as the Youth, Family, and Multigenerational Programs intern where she assisted with summer camp and family programming and then as Public Programs intern. In summer 2019, she worked as an arts educator at her local children’s museum, KidsQuest, leading campers in a variety of art activities.

Besides museum education, Bridget also enjoys the study and research of art and is considering pursuing future education in the study of art history. She worked on archaeological research with Professor Rebecca Martin at Boston University, studying the identity and use of Roman period small objects found in an excavation at Tel Dor, Israel. This research is currently being published in an archaeological report of the excavation. In her junior year, Bridget studied in Dublin, Ireland, interning at Duke Street Gallery, a local art gallery focused on historic and contemporary Irish artwork. This past spring, she experienced what is was like to work in a curatorial department as an intern in the Art of Europe Department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

In her free time Bridget enjoys reading and going on runs in Golden Gate Park. She recently became a volunteer at the Legion of Honor and is excited to immerse herself in the San Francisco museum community!


Rachel Heiss

Rachel Heiss is a California native, growing up in Ventura and Modesto. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from California State University, Stanislaus, where she was involved with the Anthropology Club and Honors Program. Her passion for Museum Studies grew out of visits to museums in the greater Los Angeles area as a child, including the J. Paul Getty Museum. A visit to Washington, D.C. and the Smithsonian Institution for her 18thbirthday cemented the goal of working in museums into her mind. During her undergrad years, she worked on various documentaries at the Keck Visual Anthropology Lab and gained a passion for engaging with local cultures to tell their stories. Since graduation, Rachel has volunteered at the McHenry Museum in Modesto and worked as a private nanny, sharing the world of museums with children at an early age. She decided to attend USF due in part to its strong belief in social justice and its proximity to family. She hopes to work as a Registrar, doing research and working with the legal and ethical side of museums. In her free time, Rachel enjoys singing every song that pops into her head, whipping up new creations in the kitchen, reading history and fantasy novels, photography, and snuggling as many critters as possible.


Katelyn Huss

Katelyn Huss grew up in Napa, California and graduated from the Napa Valley College with an A.S. Degree in Natural Science & Mathematics. Nearing graduation at NVC, Katelyn fell in love with Art History which led her became her to continue her education at Sonoma State University as an Art History Major. In her final year at SSU, Katelyn served as a TA, teaching Prehistoric-Medieval Art History to undergraduates one hour a week. Among her many accomplishments, Katelyn was selected by the SSU Art History Department to present her undergraduate thesis titled: “18thCentury England: Ripping the Threads from Scottish Identity” at the de Young‘s April 2018 Research Symposium. After graduation, Katelyn accepted a full-time position at the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville, CA where she worked on a number of exhibitions as a collections & exhibitions assistant, assistant art preparator, and research assistant. Her interest and curiosity reaches beyond museum works. As a native of Napa, she pursued a position as an Archives Intern at the Napa Historical Society (NHS) She was able to rediscover her love of artifacts, particularly NHS’ fragile book collection. With a passion for historic -preservation, she spends her free time drawing, antiquing, restoring old antiques (typewriters, cameras, furniture, Singer sewing machines, telephones, upholstery), watching old movies, visiting museums and expanding her knowledge about artifacts and history.



Haley Khosrowshahi

Haley Khosrowshahi grew up in the suburbs of New York before moving to Washington, DC to attend George Washington University. She majored in archaeology with minors in anthropology and classical studies. He favorite museum in DC is the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and told herself that she would one day work there. Haley ended up taking a forensic anthropology class there and later became a researcher for her professor, Douglas Ubelaker. Her research revolved around Humanitarian Rights, museums, and advancements within forensic anthropology. One project was about repatriating human remains and how that applies to museums, which sparked her interest in studying the ethics of museums.

Outside of academics, Haley is a part of the Alpha Delta Phi Society, GW’s only gender-inclusive Greek organization that also has strong literary ties. She held many different positions within the fraternity, but her favorite was being treasurer her senior year. Haley is able to continue her Greek life by being apart of a graduate chapter which connects people from all around the world. She is eager to share her adventures at the program and in San Francisco, with the hope that some of them come and visit. One of Haley’s goals is to visit every state capitol building. So far she has visited the capitol buildings in DC, Pennsylvania, and California. Other than traveling, Haley loves reading (has a library of over 200 books), hiking, wake surfing, and go on trails with her bike Penelope.

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Kevin Leary

Kevin Leary is a native of the Bay Area, having been born and raised in San Jose, California. He received his BA in History from the University of San Francisco, with an emphasis in United States history and a personal interest in the history of the American West. During his undergraduate studies he learned about the Museum Studies masters program, and he had his first experience in the museum field when he catalogued maps as a library intern at the Society of California Pioneers. It was here that his interest in museum work grew into a passion, and he planned to return to the City some day to pursue a second degree in the field. After working as a licensed insurance specialist for State Farm, and as an Alumni Relations employee and roller hockey coach at his former high school, Kevin decided that it was time to follow that passion apply to the Museum Studies program. So far, he has not regretted this decision; it’s certainly better than selling insurance.


Laura Macias

Laura Macias is an artist specializing in science illustration and graphic design. Growing up in Southern California, she spent a lot of time outdoors and became enamored with the ocean and sea life. Much of her inspiration emanates from the natural world and what she has learned from studying living organisms. Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Fine Arts from University of San Francisco. She is also a recent graduate of the Science Illustration Program at California State University Monterey Bay. Her area of focus is exhibit design and exhibit graphics specifically with a concentration on the natural world. She worked as an intern for the exhibits department at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco’s Fishermans Wharf. More recently, she worked as an artist assistant and graphicdesigner for Ink Dwell Studio located in Half Moon Bay, California. Founded by Jane Kim and Thayer Walker, the studio merges classical techniques of science illustration with modern fine art to create public and private commissions, illustrations, and exhibitions. She was fortunate enough to participate in Ink Dwell’s international campaign entitled the Migrating Mural. The Migrating Mural is a series of public art installations highlighting the migration routes of animals under threat as a way to beautify the environment, educate, and engage the public to act. The focus of Laura’s work in museums is to stimulate education by presenting scientific materials in a concise and interesting way. Through her work, shestrives to break the stigma of art and science being exclusive disciplines by making information accessible to a wide audience.



Taylor Mordy

Taylor Mordy grew up in Villanova, Pennsylvania.  She graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a B.A. in Archaeology and a minor in Classical Studies.  Taking Heritage Management classes in her senior year, both on campus and in Madrid, Spain, she realized her interest in protecting heritage sites. With her archaeological background, Taylor has participated in two field schools, excavating the Bray School in Williamsburg, VA and surveying and doing museum work for the Mycenean Foundation in Greece. While in Spain, Taylor had the opportunity to design a exhibit at the Museo de Menorca for the Boston University field school there.  The exhibit highlighted finds of the Talayotic Culture on Menorca.  When not studying, she enjoys traveling and exploring restaurants, museums and photography.


Leslie Ocampo

Leslie Ocampo was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She completed her BA at University of New Orleans in May 2015, where she studied Sociology, Art History and Anthropology. She has researched many intersections of these various disciplines and how they relate to art in museums, which is what got her involved in the museum world. She volunteered with the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans before she moved to San Francisco for the USF Museum studies graduate program. While in college, she also explored many of the museums in New Orleans. She plans to bring all of her passions together to create exhibits that the local community can interact with and inspire social change. Her interests in art include contemporary and mid-century art from America and Latin America. Leslie’s outside adventures include shopping and exploring museums, which led her to go into the field. She hopes to combine art and social justice in her career in museums.


Kaylee Pinola

Kaylee Pinola grew up in Santa Rosa, California and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Associate’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. It was there that Kaylee began to foster more of a love for museums through her work with the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology on the Berkeley campus. While most of her summers were spent working summer camps with various Parks and Recs Departments in the area, Kaylee landed a job at the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County as a member of their floor staff. It was this job that allowed Kaylee a better look into the world of museums as a career. She never looked back.

Key to all of this, however, is Kaylee’s involvement in her tribe – the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians / Coastal Miwok –  and its culture. Kaylee is active in the Su Nu Nu Shinal Pomo Dance Group and spends as much time as possible at Metini (Fort Ross State Historic Park) learning, teaching, and practicing her culture. Her ultimate career goal is to help native tribes found and sustain cultural organizations and/or museums that are not only run by tribal members but that present the history and culture of these societies in a culturally appropriate and accurate manner.

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Laure Rigaud-Soares

Laure Rigaud-Soares was born in Paris, France from a Portuguese father and French mother. Thanks to her mother, Pascale, she is passionate about art and, as a child, discovered the joy of going to museums. Every Sunday, her family visited the Louvre Museum to discover a new part of history and artists. At that time, she and her younger brother became fascinated with Egypt and Ancient Rome. Later, inspired by her nanny Jocelyne, she took drawing lessons in a private School of Art and dreamed of becoming an artist. But after achieving a high school certificate in Economics and Social Sciences, she chose “Classe Préparatoire,” studying for the national competitive exams for the most selective French business schools.  She entered the NEOMA Business School in Rouen in 2015, and completed courses in Economics, Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Business Law and Human Resources, eventually completing her Master’s Degree in Marketing.  She also took an elective in History of Art and began to draw again and lived in Lisbon, in the Erasmus exchange program. She completed two internships. The first was as a Marketing Assistant for an art book publisher. The second, at the Museum Centre Pompidou, confirmer her desire to work in a museum.  That is why she decided to continue her studies abroad on a second master’s degree in Museum Studies at University of San Francisco.

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Taarini Savara

Taarini Savara grew up in New Delhi, India. After high school, she moved to Singapore to pursue her BFA from LaSalle College of the Arts. Through the duration of her course, Taarini worked in multiple artist studios in India and interned with diverse organizations including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. Having been introduced to the managerial side of the arts field, she journeyed back to her hometown and worked with a non-profit organization called Serendipity Arts Foundation for three years. As Programs Manager, she honed her skill sets to execute exhibitions, performances and workshops for the annual Serendipity Arts Festival. Her scope of work was very dynamic; she liaised with artists, curators, art institutions, production, audit, logistics and other corporate companies.



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Brie Silva

Brie Silva was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She moved to San Francisco to get her BA in Classics with a minor in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University. She’s had a few internships in galleries across the city and hopes to one day be a part of an institution dedicated to showcasing local artists and issues pertaining to the local community, as well as to make art and museums more inclusive and presented in diverse locations for everyone to enjoy. In her free time, Brie works as a barista and enjoys writing and exploring the many shows and events the city has to offer.


Nicole Smahlik

Nicole Smahlik was born and raised in Oakland California and has lived in San Francisco for the past 15 years. She did her undergrad at Chico State where she received her B.A. in Psychology. After graduation she worked in her family’s business where she immersed herself in every department such as customer service, sales, HR and quality control, but settled in the marketing department where she could pursue and cultivate her penchant towards the creative. With 20 years in the business she has helped in the design and production of products, marketing and packaging material, websites, and exhibitions.  Working in the family business gave Nicole the opportunity to travel all over the US and the world. While visiting places like Italy, Greece, Portugal, France, Japan and the UK her love of history and hence love of museums began to emerge. From art museums to archeology sites her curiosity continued to grow. She channeled that inquisitiveness into hobbies like pottery, jewelry casting and fabrication, painting and a voracious reading habit that drives her boyfriend crazy while he tries to sleep at night.

This is a brand new career path for Nicole and it’s been a long winding road to get here, but for the first time in her memory she’s actually excited about school and that’s got to be a good sign.


Zina (Georgia) Sotiropoulou

Zina (Georgia) Sotiropoulou comes from Nafplio, a beautiful city in southern Greece. After obtaining her degree in History and Archaeology (majoring in Archaeology and History of Art) from the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, she was fortunate to interact and work with professionals in the field, whose dedication and passion inspired her. She received her first exposure to the arts at an early age, spending time next to her uncle, a well-known Greek expressionist painter. She has an emotional connection with all of his work and she would like to manage and promote it in the future. During her Erasmus scholarship semester at the University of Amsterdam she had her most eye-opening experiences when she visited most of the Dutch museums. Upon her return to Greece, she focused on taking Art History and Museology courses, turning even more passionate about continuing on with Museum Studies at a graduate level. Zina did an internship at the Prehistoric Settlement and Classical Demos of Marathon at Plasi and worked at the Ancient theater of Epidaurus. She worked with John E. Coleman (Professor Emeritus of Classics in Cornell University) examining and listing archaeological findings of the Neolithic village of Halai. She then volunteered at the Museum of the City Of Athens. Living in Greece, she feels geographically blessed, surrounded by museums, monuments and antiquities. However, she hopes the experience of studying and living in a different continent and especially in San Francisco will give her the opportunity to broaden her mind. She would like to be a pioneer and transfer innovative ideas back to her country.


Sarah Wehlage

Sarah Wehlage was born and raised in Houston, Texas and received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from The University of Texas at Austin.  After moving around the country and teaching in the classroom for eight years in Austin, Phoenix, and Chicago, Sarah discovered the world of museum education while volunteering at The Field Museum.  She went on to work as the School Partnerships Manager at the Chicago Academy of Sciences/ Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for two years where she led a team of thirteen museum educators in development and implementation of programming and teacher professional development at seven schools across the Chicago area.  Additionally, she worked collaboratively with other Chicago cultural institutions across various partnerships and represented her museum while presenting at several regional and national conferences.  During her time at the Nature Museum, Sarah recognized the power of teaching with objects and the impact that out-of-school learning connections can have on students. She is excited for this opportunity to learn more and further her career in the museum field.


To learn more about University of San Francisco’s graduate museum studies program, click here!