School of Art + Art History

Museum Studies

Meet Our Leadership / Current Change Agents

Class of 2023
Korinne Casarella

Korinne is excited to be a double gator. She attended the University of Florida where she majored in Anthropology and minored in Zoology, Medical Anthropology, and Leadership. In undergrad, she focused mainly on human osteology and biological anthropology. She had not considered a career in the museum world until her last semester at UF where she happened upon a new course that introduced museum studies and the endless career opportunities within a museum. Korinne felt like she finally found the missing link between wanting to be both a scientist and a public servant. Inspired, she applied to an internship at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History as the Special Events Coordinator for the intern cohort that summer. Feeling like she could never be a scientist for not being “good” at the hard sciences like chemistry or physics, this experience completely changed her mind and left her feeling like she could really make a difference as a woman in the field of natural history. Korinne feels like this program has the potential to provide her with the experience needed to not only be a good scientist, but an activist in the community as well.

Class of 2023
Martha Grace Whiteman

Martha Grace earned her bachelor’s degree in Art History (with a concentration in Modern and Contemporary art) from Winthrop University in Spring 2020. Although an avid museum-goer, Martha Grace did not discover her interest in museum work until she began working as a Gallery Assistant with the Winthrop University Galleries. While in this position, she explored many career avenues—ultimately finding a home in public programming and museum education. This interest was further informed by a number of experiences: two education internships with the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC and a non-profit partnership with the Smithsonian Museum to provide art education to neurodiverse children and teens. These experiences informed her research interest in accessibility and inclusion for disabled individuals. Martha looks forward to the interdisciplinary nature of this program, allowing her to take several courses across UF’s different colleges.

Class of 2023
Ivy Johnson

Ivy earned her BA in Anthropology with a minor in International Studies. Her interests have always centered around investigating the status quo, activism, and understanding people. Growing up, Ivy had the opportunity to travel around the world, meet different people, and visit many MANY museums. Ivy chose to pursue a Museum Studies degree after taking an introductory museum course taught by a program alumnus, in undergrad. For the last five years, she has done a little bit of everything. Most recently she interned at the A Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center, created the COTA Proposal Studio's Research Funding Opportunity Database, and worked with Alachua County community members and UF Museum Studies classmates to create the Alachua County Digital Black Heritage Trail. Ivy's career goal is to be of service to the needs and wants of her community wherever she is, to the best of her ability. 

Class of 2023
Minji Ku

Minji has a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Florida. She has minors in mass communications and anthropology. During her time as an undergraduate, Minji started working as a research assistant at the Florida Museum of Natural History and decided to pursue her interest in the Museum field further by obtaining a master's degree in Museum Studies. Her primary interests are curation and archival and she hopes the Museum Studies program will expand her knowledge of natural history as well as the arts.

Class of 2023
Mackenzie Pizzio

Mackenzie graduated from the University of Florida in May 2021 with degrees in History and Women’s Studies. Her research focuses on gender and feminism in American films, particularly popular films from the 1990s, to understand how third-wave feminism is communicated to the public. She first became interested in working in museums after completing an internship at the Matheson History Museum, where she was tasked with the creation of a brand new exhibition for the museum, Trailblazers: 150 Years of Alachua County Women. It was here that she discovered a passion for exhibition research and creation, particularly the creation of exhibits that highlight people and histories that are often ignored. She is also planning on completing a certificate in Historic Preservation during her graduate studies. Her overall goal in completing this program is to learn about how museums have worked in the past and how they can improve in the future, especially as it pertains to how narratives surrounding gender, race, and sexuality have historically been taught in museums.

Class of 2023
Barrett Uhler

Barrett graduated in 2010 from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a bachelor in theatre and minored in art history, focusing on costume and set design. She grew up outside of Washington, DC, and was always excited to visit the Smithsonian whenever she had the opportunity. Since middle school, she has wanted to pursue a career in discovering, caring for, and telling the stories of artifacts. Barrett likes collecting various objects that had a meaningful story or experience attached to it, such as animal figures, fossils, and small nick-knacks that she bought or was given from around the world. Engaging with an artifact, art, or specimen and learning about its history and deeper meaning has always been her ideal and most effective way to learn about the world.

Barrett love stories and connecting to the past and the present and museums allow us to connect in a unique and sometimes creative manner. Her experiences with museums have been through both volunteering and working with libraries. She previously volunteered with the Florida Natural History Museum in the vertebrae lab uncovering turtle remains and helping with special events hosted at the museum. She has also volunteered with the Harn Museum gift shop and hosted a table at a few of their Museum Nights representing Marston Science Library. Barrett has worked with the Matheson Museum in the capacity of organizing and recording their archival materials. Additionally, she has co-created several exhibits at the Marston Science Library and helps launch library exhibits.

Barrett’s original major going into undergrad was Art History with a goal of working with museums. She changed her major to theatre after working on a few plays and enjoying the artistic side of the storytelling process. After years of working in theatre, she began working with the public library, followed by Marston Science Library at the University of Florida. Her library experiences at UF allowed her to work with and create exhibits, as well as attend events at the Harn and Museums of Natural History. These experiences, along with her amazing and eye-opening class with Dr. Porchia Moore, inspired her (along with a push from Patrick Grigsby) to apply for the Museum Studies Graduate Program at the University of Florida. The staff, faculty, and students in this program have been amazing, and she feels honored to be a part of this program.

Class of 2024
Emma Dennison

I am of “the wind.” It “blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” So it is with me.

Class of 2024
Sara Janelle

Sara is proud to be a double gator having gotten her Bachelors in Anthropology with a minor in Art History from She cemented her love for museums after learning the behind-the-scenes of the field through an undergraduate class as well as volunteer work during her undergrad. Once deciding on this path, she interned for the Harn Museum of Art in the Education department as the Community Programs and Outreach Intern in the Spring of 2022. Her primary goal during her time in this program is to take the principles of critical museum theory and translate them into the museum education sub-field. Her work thus far has taken her to the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala and the Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa. Her research predominately focuses on how to bridge connections between the worlds of informal and formal education by creating programs that utilize facets of both. 

Class of 2024
Becky Lipkin

Becky received her BA in History with a minor in Art History from the University of Central Florida in 2020. After graduation she took a year off school to gain hands on experience in the museum field. She worked as a docent at the Sanford History Museum and interned at the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden. These experiences fostered her passion for museum work and gave her expertise in curatorial and archival work. Becky is incredibly excited about the decolonizing lens through which this program studies museums. She hopes to focus her study on the censorship that occurs inside museums and bring light to those that are underrepresented within the museum space.

Class of 2024
Gavin Schrantz

Gavin graduated in the spring of 2022 from Clemson University with a BA in Anthropology with a minor in religious studies and a BA in history with a minor in social sciences. She has experience working with material culture in all stages as its processed through archaeological digs, into labs, and handed over to museums and other educational institutions. She has enjoyed her time working for community museums and historic homes during her undergraduate career, and looks forward to gaining further experience in the museum field. She feels the critical lens through which UF examines museum studies will aid her in her career as she seeks to change the world through museums.

Class of 2024
Sarah Sissum

Sarah received her BA in English and History in 2020 from Southern Oregon University and its Honors College. During her undergraduate studies, Sarah worked as a research assistant for the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology, where she partook in archeological digs and worked on a digital archive. She also edited Historias, the podcast by the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies, furthering her interest in making conversations in higher education accessible to a larger audience. At UF, Sarah looks forward to learning about the tangible steps being made toward museum decolonization and how those steps can be enacted at museums of all sizes.

Class of 2025
Jessica King

I have always had an interest in archaeology and museums and graduated in 2009 with a BA in Anthropology from Northwestern University. During that time, I was able to attend field school at an Etruscan site in central Italy, and despite having a spectacular time, it never really felt like that was my path. In 2014, I started volunteering at the Environmental Archaeology Lab at the Florida Museum, and not only did I really enjoy working with the collections, but I also found mentors that supported me and encouraged my growth as a student of the museum. I was later hired on as a collections assistant working primarily with the legacy collections. I’m excited to join the Museum Studies Graduate program in order to delve more into the accessibility, ethics, and management of legacy museum research collections.

Class of 2025
Ryan Kolinsky

Ryan graduated from the University of Florida in the spring of 2022 with her BA in Classical Studies with a minor in Art History. She grew up visiting museums all around the world and desired to combine her love of art, culture, and history into her profession. After graduation, she volunteered at the Orlando Museum of Art at their Visitor Information Services and Design Store and helped out at multiple museum events. These experiences fostered a newfound interest in curation and museum education. Her undergraduate honors thesis explored the controversy surrounding the Parthenon marbles and the challenges of repatriation. At UF, she hopes to study how museums reevaluate their collections’ histories and origins to further decolonize their institutions. 

Class of 2025
Genesis Leonard

My name is Genesis Leonard, a native of Montgomery, AL. I am a recent graduate from Alabama State University, receiving my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts. I’m currently a graduate student at the University of Florida, majoring in museum studies. Not only is it my passion to become a director of my own gallery to provide space and opportunity to underprivileged artists, but I also enjoy creating my own art. 

Class of 2025
Solana Rostick

Solana Rostick is an aspiring curator with a goal of planting seeds in the hearts and minds of the BIPOC community, through the collection and exhibition of art, so that those seeds can become mirrors to children and adults who will more robustly see themselves reflected in major art institutions. 

Solana graduated in May 2023 with a BA in Art History from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. During her undergraduate career, Solana worked as a museum attendant at the Richardson Family Art Museum throughout her junior and senior year, gaining valuable hands-on experience in maintaining a welcoming atmosphere in an exhibition space. Solana also volunteered at the Spartanburg Art Museum throughout her time at Wofford.

In addition, Solana has had exposure to various departments in museums, including education and visitor engagement. She has had significant experiences at the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art and the Tampa Museum of Art. 

At UF, Solana is looking forward to expanding her knowledge on how museums can be equitable and accessible to all.

Class of 2025
Shelby Torrence

Shelby graduated in the fall of 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from Mississippi College. In 2020, she began working in Memphis, TN as an English as a Second Language (ESL) educator. After deciding on a career shift and with her passion for museums, she decided to pursue a master’s in Museum Studies. While interested in all aspects that make up a museum, her main interest lies with museum education. In addition, she is passionate about trauma-informed practices and youth outreach in museums. Shelby was drawn to the program at the University of Florida because of their emphasis on change and the interdisciplinary nature of the program. She endeavors to be part of the work that make museums more accessible and community-oriented.

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