Kudos for Summer 2016

Here are some alumni accomplishments that we learned about throughout this summer.

David Choberka (MSP03)

David continues to work as Mellon Manager of Academic Outreach and Teaching, a role which has continued to bring an ever-increasing number of university classes to the University of Michigan Museum of Art. This past fall, he served as the instructor for Museums 401 at the University of Michigan, bringing his Museum Studies experience full circle.

Henrike Florusbosch  (MSP03)

Henrike accepted a position at the African Studies Center at the University of Michigan. This new center’s main task is to coordinate the work of U-M scholars working in Africa and their African colleagues and counterparts. Henrike will be coordinating three of the center’s four initiatives: the African Heritage and African Social Science Research Initiatives and STEM-Africa, including the initiatives’ biennial conferences, the African Studies book series, and outreach to U-M alumni from, residing in, or interested in the continent at large.

Michael Andre (MSP04)

Michael continues to work as a translator for Klassik Stiftung Weimar, as well as on other projects including copy-editing a forthcoming book on batik. Recently, two of his translations were published: the Werkverzeichnis Henry van de Velde III: Keramik/ Ceramics(German and English publication); and Flood of Life—Storm of Deeds, an English translation of the book accompanying the current exhibition in the Goethe National Museum in Weimar. He also continues to work with two art historians on a translation of the writings (from German and French to English) of Henry van de Velde, for a forthcoming collection of his works on art and design.

Shannon Davis  (MSP04)

Shannon continues to work as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. He will submit his tenure package in August of 2017 to move forward with the tenure process.

Erica Lehrer  (MSP04)

Erica published her article, “Thinking through the Canadian Museum for Human Rights” in the American Quarterly’s December 2015 issue. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the first national museum built outside Canada’s capital, opened to the public on September 20, 2014, despite having completed only four of eleven galleries.  Erica’s work is a rich contribution to the issues being raised and work being done by this innovative museum.

Christopher Dempsey (MSP05)

Christopher, the Academy of Early Music’s (AEM) President and Treasurer, has departed the Academy for a new position as Assistant Director for Boston University’s School of Music. In his new position, he is responsible for the School’s production and performance departments. During his eight years in leadership at AEM, Chris worked to transform the institution into a leading presence in early music in the Midwest. Because of Chris’s work, the AEM now boasts a cadre of regionally and nationally renowned artists in its programming, steadily increasing its audience base as a result.

Heloise Finch-Boyer  (MSP05)

Heloise just celebrated the first year as Grants Manager at Leyton UK, a science and technology management consultancy in London. In addition, she has been helping with development for Gainsborough’s House Museum in Sudbury, Suffolk, which celebrates the life and works of the painter Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88).

Kelly Kirby  (MSP05)

While continuing to serve as an Associate Professor at the Moore College of Art and Design, Kelly has been co-developing an exhibit at Philadelphia’s Seaport Independence Museum, in collaboration with members of a local nonprofit—the Seamen’s Church Institute—a group that has been serving seafarers at the port of Philadelphia since 1843. The theme of the exhibit is care, compassion, and comfort. In addition, Kelly will be teaching a study abroad course in Athens, Greece in 2017. The focus of the course will be cultural immersion from an ethnographic perspective.

Donald Buaku (MSP06)

Donald currently holds a position as a Senior Urban Designer at the Department of Community Development in Westminster, Colorado.

Morgan Daniels  (MSP06)

Morgan recently moved to Maryland for a postdoctoral fellowship in Digital Curation at the University of Maryland.

Ksenya Gurshtein  (MSP06)

Ksenya has started a new position as Assistant Curator at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, where she hopes to develop her work into a collaboration with the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

Christopher Berk (MSP07)

Chris’s position as Visiting Professor in Anthropology at Auburn University was extended for a second year. Last fall, he co-organized and served as panelist at the American Anthropological Association meetings in Denver. His panel centered around heritage and was titled “Cultural Safeguarding and the Process of Protection.” This past year, he taught multiple sections of a four-field Introduction to Anthropology and a seminar in Science Fiction, Civilization, and Utopias. This fall, Chris will be teaching more intro courses and The Anthropology of Global Studies. His article, “This Exhibition is about Now: Tasmanian Aboriginality at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery” was also recently published in Museum Anthropology.

Helen Dixon  (MSP07)

Helen received funding for a place at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria’s summer school for Digital Tools in the Humanities, organized by their Center of Excellence in the Humanities. She was also named a member of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR)’s annual meeting program committee. In addition, she is working as an assistant editor to the journal Palestine Exploration Quarterly, due to her past experience on the U-M Working Papers in Museum Studies series. Finally, Helen is planning a conference in Beirut on “Religion and Empire in the First Millennium BCE Levant” for the University of Helsinki Centre of Excellence in “Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions” (CSTT), and in conjunction with the Finnish Institute in the Middle East (FIME).

Monica Patterson  (MSP07)

Monica continues to work as Assistant Professor in the Institution of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University. She recently opened the exhibition titled “Children’s Rights in Africa,” curated in collaboration with students from her Fall 2015 Advanced Topics seminar in Child Studies, “The History of ‘the African Child.” Along with fellow MSPer, Erica Lehrer, and colleagues Angela Failler and Heather Igloliorte, the team was awarded a three-year Canadian SSHRC Partnership Development Grant for their project, “Thinking through the Museum: Difficult Knowledge in Public.” The project brings together researchers, curators, artists, and community members seeking new terms of engagement for learning from histories of violence and conflict. Finally, Monica contributed a chapter to the new volume, Curatorial Dreams: Critics Imagine Exhibitions, entitled,  “By and for Children: History and Healing in a Hospital Museum in KwaZulu Natal.”

Lindsay Stern (MSP07)

Lindsay continues to work at Etsy as Lead on Marketplace Integrity and attributes much of her success in the role to the U-M MSP experience.

Luciana Aenasoaie  (MSP08)

Luciana has been appointed Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) at the University of Michigan. She oversees faculty and project recruitment as well as the the Research Scholars program.

Marc Levitt  (MSP08)

Marc celebrated his first year as an archivist for the National Naval Aviation Museum and helped create their formal archival program. In addition, he opened an exhibit in the museum’s library entitled: “1945—Year of Victory”, which commemorated 70 years since the end of WWII. He has served as Chair of the Congressional Papers Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in 2015-2016. Marc also presented on a panel at Pensacon (Pensacola’s Comic Con) about the role of comics during WWII and on a panel at the Society of American Archivists entitled “Embedded Archivists–Teaching with Primary Sources in the Classroom.”

J. Amadeaus Scott (MSP08)

In May 2016, Amadeaus presented a webinar in collaboration with Ben Secunda from the University of Michigan Office of Research and William Johnson, Curator of the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways. The webinar was hosted by the National NAGPRA Program. Amadeaus was also awarded a travel stipend this past year by the Midwest Registrars Committee to attend the 2015 Association of Midwest Museums Conference in Cincinnati. Finally, her founding project, The Apple Heritage Museum, was hosted this past year at the 2015 Michigan Museum Association Conference and by the Cobblestone Farm Museum for their Halloweenfest.

Aimee VonBokel  (MSP08)

Aimee works as the Lynette S. Autrey Rice Seminar Visiting Professor in the Rice University Humanities Research Center.  Her responsibilities include presentation of her museum-based work and contribution to a scholarly publication on the topic of “Chronotopic Imaginaries: The City in Signs, Signals, and Scripts.”

Neha Paliwal  (MSP09)

Neha continues her association with Sahapedia, an open online encyclopaedic resource on the arts, cultures and histories of India, and broadly, South Asia.

Kristine Ronan (MSP09)

Kristine has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center in Santa Fe, NM to begin in Spring 2017.

Anna Wieck  (MSP09)

Anna has been appointed Curatorial Research Associate in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. She was recently invited by the Meadows Museum (SMU, Dallas) to deliver a public lecture that will complement the exhibition “Modern Spanish Art from the Asociación Colección Arte Contemporáneo.”  Finally, Anna will be teaching a history of photography course at George Washington University.

Reed Esslinger-Payet  (MSP10)

Reed has worked with the Museum of Performance + Design (MP+D) in the development of the guided tour of their archive. Through her practicum experience at MP+D, Reed and the Director of MP+D co-wrote a paper, which was presented at the SIBMAS (International Association of Libraries, Museums, Archives and Documentation Centres of the Performing Arts) Conference, held in Copenhagen in May 2016.

John Kannenberg  (MSP10)

John serves as the Museum Director for the Museum of Portable Sound, housed within the London College of Communication. This new institution is dedicated to bringing the culture of sound to the public and to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of acoustic objects, as well as cultural artifacts related to the history and culture of sound.  John recently published “Listening to Museums: Sound Mapping Towards a Sonically Inclusive Museology” in the April 2016 edition of Museological Review, University of Leicester. In addition, he presented his paper, “The Museum of Portable Sound: Establishing a 21st Century Museum without Walls, a Paleonomy of the ‘Sound Object,’ and the Case for a More Sonically Inclusive Museology,” at the Sound Art Matters Conference in June 2016 at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Katherine Larson  (MSP10)

In January 2016 Kate started working as a Curatorial Assistant (a three-year appointment), at the Corning Museum of Glass. Her work is to support the ancient, Islamic, European, and Science and Technology curators and collections. In April 2016 she attended a workshop on provenance in Philadelphia, sponsored by the Association of Art Museum Directors and the Archaeological Institute of America. Kate will be chairing a session at a glass studies conference in November and just returned from a research trip to Turkey, where she examined glass excavated at Aphrodisias for future publication with Chris Ratté.

Anna Topolska  (MSP11)

Anna is working as a translator and English language instructor in her own firm. She remains active in academia, as her recent article, entitled “Visualizing Memory of the Second World War: Photographs from Fort VII in Poznan, Poland” has just been accepted for publication. In addition, she has written a book chapter on the photographs from Poznan’s Uprising of 1956, which will appear in a Polish publication.

Diana Sierra Becerra  (MSP12)

Diana has a forthcoming publication, titled “The Spirit of the Mountain Inside the Museum: Historical Memory at the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen, El Salvador” in the academic journal, Latin American Perspectives.  She also presented at an event titled: “Beyond Memory/Más allá de la memoria: Traces of the Past in Struggles for the Future,” part of Michael Baptista Lecture at the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), York University.

Caroline Braden  (MSP13)

Caroline was selected as a recipient for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) Award for Emerging Leaders for her work at The Henry Ford. This award was created in 2008 to acknowledge arts administrators who are motivated by the LEAD conference to become an advocate for accessibility within their own organizations and communities.

Molly Malcolm  (MSP13)

Molly is a children and teens’ librarian at South Fayette Township Library in Morgan, Pennsylvania.

Rachel Chamberlain  (MSP14)

Rachel recently started as Education Outreach Specialist at the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College.  Rachel manages docents, develops programs, writes labels, creates lesson plans for local public schools and the university, acts as a database administrator, manages memberships, updates social media, and will be starting a museum studies program through the museum.

Kathryn Holihan  (MSP14)

This coming year, Katy will be conducting research on a Fulbright Research Grant. She recently presented at the conference Embodiment, Perception, and Critical Practice hosted by Ruhr-Universität Bochum with a paper entitled: “Bodily Engagement and Exhibition Fatigue at the 1911 International Hygiene Exhibition Dresden.” This fall she will present at the German Studies Association Conference on a panel which she co-organized entitled “Exhibiting Sachlichkeit.”

Allan Martell  (MSP15)

Allan presented a paper at the Limits Conference, which focused on designing technology in a foreseen future of scarce resources. Next summer, he will be interning at the Museum of Resistance in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has recently finished a paper on collective memory about the civil war in El Salvador (1980-1992). If given the green light from his sponsoring organizations, he hopes to submit the manuscript to the Journal of Memory Studies. Allan also recently attended the Information and Communication Technologies for International Development (ICTD 2016) conference,  joining the discussion as a panelist, explaining his experience working on HR-Tech focused on Post-Conflict Reconciliation.

Timnet Gedar  (MSP15)

Timnet was awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to conduct work in Ethiopia for the academic year 2016-2017. In addition to conducting research towards her dissertation, Timnet hopes to get involved in museum work while there, specifically the Red Terror Martyrs’ Memorial Museum in Addis Ababa.


Museum Studies minors

Emily Pauli

Emily is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and will be heading to Switzerland for research.

Charlie Engelman

Charlie’s new TV show “Nature Boom Time” premiered on NatGeo WILD in March 2016.