School of Art + Art History

Museum Studies

Meet Our Leadership / Current Change Agents

Class of 2022
David Campo III

David earned his bachelor's degree in anthropology (concentration in archaeology) with a minor in classical studies from the University of Florida in Spring 2017 and a master’s degree in art history from the University of Georgia in Spring 2020. At UF, he picked up an interest in collections management while working for various professors in the anthropology department. He also took internships in the Registration department at the Harn Museum of Art, here in Gainesville, the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, FL, and the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens. Both of those experiences encouraged him to pursue a graduate degree in museum studies at UF. During his second year, he has completed a summer internship in the Amazonian collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History and he recently returned from a research trip conducted at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His research examines indigenous Amazonian art, aesthetics, and material culture and how they may serve to disrupt traditional binaries of museum classification systems.

Class of 2022
Ivy Chen

Ivy received her undergraduate degree in Asian Studies, but initially started out in Chemistry. She then earned an Artist Diploma in cello performance and started working in the non-profit arts sector. In Gainesville, she worked at the Harn Museum of Art for eight years in various departments, starting in Education as the Bishop Study Center Manager, Adult Programs & Volunteer Coordinator. Ivy then worked as Curatorial Program Manager and most recently created and implemented the Composers-in-Residence program, working with UF Music Composition PhD students who created new music works performed in the galleries inspired by objects in the museum collection. She chose the UF Museum Studies Program because she is inspired by Dr. Porchia Moore and her work in inclusion and engagement.

Photo by Marissa Secades.

Class of 2022
Evangeline Giaconia

Evangeline received a BS in multidisciplinary anthropology from Appalachian State University, with minors in biology and religious studies. Her interest in museums is informed by a number of experiences: three summers of ethnographic research on tourism in Ecuador, an internship at the Parthenon Museum in Nashville, TN, and a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA working with a racial equity initiative in Asheville, NC. Her research interests in museum studies focus on decolonization and racial equity work in museums, and the relationship of museums to local communities.

Class of 2022
Laura Rincón Rodriguez

Laura graduated from Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, with a degree in Information Science- Librarianship.​ While in her last undergraduate semester, she was looking for an internship that could professionally challenge her differently than libraries and archives and chose the Museum of Arquitecture Leopoldo Rother at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. While in Colombia, Laura worked at a Museum of Architecture and a Museum of Geology. In the Museum of Architecture, she helped produce a catalog and received compliments from visitors on how. Through the years, visitors complimented their work as the only well-organized and stored architectural drawings. During this experience, she fell in love with collections. Laura chose the UF program because of the curriculum focus on collections management and the Gainesville weather and surrounding nature. She would like to advocate for accessible and active collections to researchers, museum professionals, and people in general. Also, she would like to see greater community engagement, inclusion, and diversity within the collections field. Laura wants to bring a breath of fresh air to collections, and be a game-changer in her field.

Class of 2022
Brittany Thomas

Brittany received her BA in Anthropology here at UF and became interested in working in the museum field when she visited Europe for the first time and was blown away by the sheer size and diversity of their museums and their museum collections. When Brittany returned from this trip, she realized American museum institutions have a similar rich culture and history, but she had taken them for granted while growing up. Brittany has always had a passion for history but never realized she could apply this passion to a meaningful and fulfilling career until she began thinking about those responsible for presenting and maintaining the world’s history in museums. 

Brittany began volunteering at the Matheson History Museum here in Gainesville in 2018 once she discovered the program and wanted to acquire some experience. For 2 years, she volunteered at the Matheson mostly conducting condition reports on objects and going through the museum’s inventory to take note of any issues. In the summer of 2019, she interned at the Amelia Island Museum of History in their research library, where her main focus was digitizing their physical records, and it was there that she discovered an interest for the growing practice of object digitization in order to increase public accessibility to museum collections. Finally, during the spring of 2020 she volunteered in the FLMNH’s ichthyology lab photographing and digitizing specimens from their ichthyology lab. 

Brittany absolutely fell in love with UF and the town of Gainesville during her time in undergrad, so when she discovered that UF had a MS program she knew that it would be a good fit. She also loved that it was a well-established, small program where she felt that the learning environment would take the shape of an intimate group discussion rather than a crowded lecture. Brittany also really resonated with the statement that “museums can change the world” because it’s something she doesn’t believe most people think about when the average person thinks of museums, but loves that this program is actively trying to shift that narrative in people’s minds and express the power that museums have.

Class of 2022
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 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 attended the University of South Florida where she majored in Anthropology and minored in International Studies. Growing up Ivy was dragged kicking and screaming to a number of museums by her mother, but over time she eventually developed a deep love and appreciation for them. At 16 she toyed with the idea of pursuing a museum profession however it wouldn’t be until she took a Museum Methods course in undergrad, taught by UF Museums Studies alum, when she would find herself diving headfirst into the museum world. From there Ivy interned with the Institute of Digital Exploration (IDEx) at USF and the Marco Island Historical Museum where she became familiar with digital archaeology and collection management. Not quite ready to start graduate school yet, she worked and volunteered at the Tampa Bay History Center for a couple of years before finally coming to UF. Ivy believes community engagement to be an essential component of museum work and hopes to empower communities by providing access to the tools and insight museums have to offer.

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.

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