Kudos for Fall 2019

Luciana Aenasoaie (MSP08) serves as Associate Director of Research Mentor and Training at the University of Michigan’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. She teaches a course titled “Let’s Talk Research: Intro to Scholarly Communication,” where undergraduate researchers explore ways to communicate their inquiry to their communities and the world. Her dream has been to expand students’ imagination in this regard, and she has sought out partnerships with the UM Natural History Museum and the MLibrary to give students the venue in which they can create exhibits about their research. This past year, during the Museum’s grand opening, seven of her students showcased their work in the Student Showcase exhibit which will remain on display for an entire year. Luciana is now working with the MLibrary for next year’s exhibit and to expand the opportunity to students working outside of STEM.


Roxana Aras (MSP16) completed an internship at the Sursock Museum in Lebanon which allowed her to do research work for one of their main exhibitions, “Baalbek, Archives of an Eternity.”


Christopher Berk (MSP07) was recently hired as a Lecturer following four years as a visiting faculty member in Auburn University’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work. This past summer, Chris was a Faculty Fellow as part of the Smithsonian’s Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology.


Stephanie Brown’s (MSP17) first solo museum exhibition opened this summer at the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, Florida.  Through a series of mixed media installations, “Do Not Bleach” expresses and encourages melanin love, whether one is dark-skinned, light-skinned, or somewhere in between.


Joe Cialdella (MSP09) has been working on reviewing the final copyedits for his book, Motor City Green: A Century of Landscapes and Environmentalism in Detroit.  The book will be published in March 2020 from University of Pittsburgh Press.  Joe is also serving for the second year on the program committee for the Michigan Museums Association/Association of Midwest Museums conference.


Helen Dixon (MSP07) began a position as Assistant Professor of History at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.  She teaches courses related to museum studies, such as “Approaches to Historical Objects.”


Catalina Esguerra (MSP12) recently began as a Spanish Instructor at the Miller School of Albemarle, a private co-educational school near Charlottesville. She successfully defended her dissertation and graduated in December.


Ksenya Gurshtein (MSP06) started a new job as the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University in Wichita, KS. This position allows Ksenya to dig deep into who and what museums are for and how they might best connect with diverse constituencies. Ksenya has also been writing criticism that tries to address what museums do well or poorly in terms of attracting audiences or reassessing history.


Elizabeth Harmon (MSP10) has begun a new position as a Digital Curator at the Smithsonian Institution Archives in Washington, DC. She produces digital resources and exhibitions about women in science from the nineteenth century to the present, and her work will support the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative.


Timothy Hart (MSP16) recently began a new position as a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


John Kannenberg (MSP10) has several new publications. He has published the new Museum of Portable Sound Gallery Guide, 3rd Edition, the guidebook used by visitors to the museum. This guide has essentially become an introductory textbook on sound studies. He has also had two new articles published in Curator: “Soundmarks as Objects of Curatorial Care” and “An Interview with Katherine Richmond,” in which John was interviewed about his curatorial practice.

Rebecca Kon (MSP16) has accepted the Curriculum Design Specialist position at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California.


Jenny Kreiger (MSP11) has been running a collaborative initiative at the University of Oregon Libraries and the university’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. The initiative is supported in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Jenny has served as project manager for this year’s projects, which are: “The March,” a digital exhibition about James Blue’s documentary film of the 1963 March on Washington; “Yōkai Senjafuda,” a digital exhibition that showcases the UO’s world-class collection of Japanese votive prints, with a focus on scary, silly, and supernatural motifs; and, “The Artful Fabric of Collecting,” a digital exhibition about the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art’s fabulous collection of Chinese textiles and the life of the woman who collected them.


Emily Kutil (MSP12) just began a teaching fellowship at the University of Buffalo, School of Architecture and Planning.  This past summer, as a freelance designer, Emily created an exhibition about Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood that was on display at the Detroit Public Library.  “Black Bottom Street View” was a photography show documenting entire streets and avenues in the African-American district that fell victim to urban “renewal” and the wrecking ball starting in the 1950s, areas leveled to make room for Lafayette Park and other developments on the city’s near-east side.


Erica Lehrer (MSP04) is a Professor in the History and Sociology/Anthropology Departments at Concordia University, Montreal.  She is the Founding Director of the university’s Curating and Public Scholarship Lab.  Erica recently co-curated an exhibit, “Terribly Close: Polish Vernacular Artists Face the Holocaust,” which was recently on display at the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow, Poland.


Marc Levitt (MSP08) continues as an Archivist and Exhibits Committee member at the National Naval Aviation Museum.  The museum recently opened a new exhibit, “Apollo—The Path to the Moon and Beyond,” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. The exhibit draws heavily on archival collections, and Marc spearheaded the content and design efforts. Marc continues to present at various outreach opportunities, including professional conferences, local Rotary Clubs, and the local comic con (33,000+ attendees).  He was recently awarded a German-American Fulbright award to attend the Transatlantic Seminar, “Museums as Spaces for Social Discourse and Learning.”


John Low (MSP05) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University at Newark.  He has also just accepted an offer to serve as Director of the Newark Earthworks Center (NEC), an interdisciplinary academic center of The Ohio State University that develops projects and research about the American Indian cultures that produced the monumental Midwestern earthen architecture.  John’s work here helps to advance understanding of the cultural and scientific achievements of American Indians to the world. The NEC’s projects emphasize American Indian knowledge of the earthworks landscape in the Ohio River Valley, from human settlement to the present.


Hannah Probsting [McMurray] (MSP15) works at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne where she was recently promoted to the Travelling Exhibitions and External Projects Manager within the Exhibitions Department.  This will allow her to bring together her interest and experience in travelling exhibitions with curatorial projects.


Leah Niederstadt (MSP05) has published “Visualizing Marriage in Northern Ethiopia: The Production and Consumption of Gama,” published in African Arts in 2018.  She also wrote “Building a Legacy for the Liberal Arts: Deaccessioning the Newell Bequest at Wheaton College” which appeared in the book, Is It Okay to Sell the Monet: The Age of Deaccessioning in Museums. Leah was awarded tenure, and her title is now Associate Professor of Museum Studies/History of Art and Curator of the Permanent Collection at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. This role combines all aspects of managing (and making accessible) an eclectic and growing collection with teaching, research, and service.


Katherine Raff (MSP05) has been promoted to Associate Curator of Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Kristine Ronan (MSP09) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of American Art History at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. She also just published her first exhibition catalog essay as part of “N.C. Wyeth: New Perspectives,” an exhibition recently on display at the Brandywine Museum in Pennsylvania.  “Americans,” an exhibition that she had done research work for, opened at the National Museum of the American Indian to rave reviews.  Kristine spent the academic year of 2018-2019 as a Fellow at the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Shannon Schmoll (MSP11) is the co-Principal Investigator on a 2.5 million dollar NSF grant that will be used to create a hands-on planetarium show about astronomy in Chile, a web portal with additional content, and live social media events related to the show. She is leading a research project around how these elements all work together to create a model for extending learning beyond the planetarium dome. This is a collaboration between the Abrams Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, Associated Universities Incorporated, and Astronomy Society of the Pacific.


Tamara Shreiner (MSP06) has begun a new role as the Assistant Dean for Curriculum Approval, Content Teacher Education and Assessment, and Director of Comprehensive Science & Arts for Teaching at the Grand Valley State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


Ana Silva (MSP12) began a new position at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She is a Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History.


Kathryn Stine (MSP04) was promoted to Senior Project Manager of Digital Content Development and Strategy at the California Digital Library.


Marisa Szpytman (MSP12) was promoted to Associate Registrar at the Detroit Institute of Arts.  She is also the Development Chair for the Midwest Registrars Committee.


Anna Topolska (MSP11) defended for her PhD in History at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland) in May 2019. The title of her dissertation was: “Memory and Visuality. Representations of the Second World War in Poznań in the 20th and 21st centuries.”  Large parts of her dissertation concerned war museums in Poznań and the curatorial interventions in them over the post-war decades. She also presented the results of this research at the 7th World Congress on Polish Studies in Gdańsk and at the annual Memory Studies Conference in Madrid. Anna teaches English, translates books and articles, and conducts a language school.