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 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.

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 UF. Despite being a ‘museum-protester’ as a child, she cemented her love for museums after learning the behind-the-scenes of the field through an undergraduate class with Dr. Susan Defrance 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. While she doesn’t know exactly where this journey will take her, she is honored to have the chance to work under the amazing faculty and be a change agent in the field.

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.

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