Graduate Alumni

Announcements for our Department Alumni

Mira Rai Waits (Ph.D. 2014) has pubished the essay, "The House the Prison Built," (Oct. 12, 2020) in the digital journal PLATFORM.

Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada has announced that Suzanne van de Meerendonk (Ph.D. 2019) has been chosen as the new Bader Curator of European Art.

Marta Faust (Ph.D. 2019) has been awarded a 2020-2021 fellowship from the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. The Max Kade Berlin Program Postdoctoral Fellowship, sponsored by the German Studies Association, will support researching a new project titled “From Obsolescence to Fine Art: Woodcut Revivals in Eighteenth-Century Europe,” using archival resources at institutions in Berlin, Leipzig, and Gotha. She has also received a 2021 Short-Term Fellowship at the Newberry Library, Chicago, for addtional research on the same project.

Mira Rai Waits (Ph.D. 2014) has been awarded a 2020 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship to support continued research for her scholarly project, Colonial Carcerality: The Birth of the Modern Prison in India.

Alison Fraunhar (Ph.D. 2005) authored the book, Mulata Nation: Visualizing Race and Gender in Cuba, a vivid exploration of the key role played by multiracial women in visualizing and performing Cuban identity.

Briana Simmons (Ph.D. 2017), along with fellow Art History professor Walter Meyer, received a prestigious $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for an art history project entitled “Mapping and Preserving the Hidden Histories of Santa Monica”. This grant to Santa Monica College was the largest award granted in Southern California.

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum forges an exciting path for its future with the announcement of its new Director Cody Hartley (Ph.D. 2005). Dr. Hartley has previously served as the Museum’s Director of Curatorial Affairs, its Senior Director of Collections and Interpretation, and, most recently, its Acting Director. Before coming to the museum, he worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces the appointment of Austen Barron Bailly (Ph.D. 2009) as chief curator, following her tenure at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Mass., where she served as the George Putnam Curator of American Art. Bailly joined PEM in 2013 following 11 years in the American art department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Effective July 15, 2019, Bailly will lead the curatorial and collections management teams at Crystal Bridges.

Mary McGuire (Ph.D. 2018) has accepted a tenure track position in the Art History department at Mt. San Antonio College in Los Angeles.

In November 2018, John Senseney (Ph.D. 2002) accepted a new full-time, tenured, and split appointment at the rank of Associate Professor at the University of Arizona. His tenure home is in the Department of History in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The remainder of his appointment is in the School of Art, where he would normally teach two courses per year in the Art History Division, but he is released from of teaching art history courses indefinitely in order to serve as Dean's Fellow for Research in the College of Fine Arts.

Julianne Gavino (Ph.D. 2018) has accepted the position of Curator of Academic Engagement at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.

Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander (Ph.D. 2018) has published the article, "Thornton Dial Takes Fifth Ave," The Brooklyn Rail, July 11, 2018,

The department is saddened by the recent passing of Gavin Townsend (Ph.D. 1986). View the full obituary: Gavin Townsend (1956-2018) — Society of Architectural Historians Newsletter, June 2018.

Charlene G. Garfinkle (Ph.D. 1996) has published the article, "'Becoming Visible' Revisited: The Coming Woman, Seal of Boston, and Women of Chelsea Stained Glass Windows from the 1893 Woman's Building," Stained Glass, Vol. 112, No. 4 (Winter 2017).

Wencheng Yan (Ph.D. 2016) received the Society of Architectural Historians's Study Program Fellowship for the forthcoming SAH Field Seminar to China. As part of the fellowship, she will travel to various destinations in China with Field Seminar participants and document her observations in daily SAH Blog posts. Upon return, Wencheng will contribute 100 annotated images from the Seminar to the SAHARA database.

Daniel Chak-Kwong Lau (Ph.D. 2006), Hong Kong Baptist University, has received a substantial General Research Fund (GRF) grant from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong to support his next project, "Social and Cultural Implications of Chinese Calligraphy in Public Venues in Hong Kong."

John Decker (Ph.D. 2004) has been named Chair of the History of Art and Design Department at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, after a nation-wide search.

Denise Amy Baxter (Ph.D. 2003), University of North Texas, was contributing editor of A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion in the Age of Empire, volume five of a six volume series published by Bloomsbury Press.

In October 2016, Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell (Ph.D 2006) became the Burton and Deedee McMurtry Curator and Director of the Curatorial Fellows Program at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, after having been a curator of prints, drawings and photographs at the Cantor since 2010.

Noa Turel (Ph.D. 2012), University of Alabama at Birmingham, has published the article, "Genius disrobed: the Early Netherlandish underdrawing craze and the end of a connoisseurship era," Journal of Art Historiography 16 (June 2017) 16/NT1 .

George Flaherty (Ph.D. 2011), University of Texas, Austin, co-authored the article, "Latin American Art History: An Historiographic Turn," Art in Translation, Vol. 9 , Iss. sup1 (April 2017) -  an open access, special issue "Connecting Art Histories" published in association with the Getty Foundation.

Deborah Spivak (Ph.D. 2015) accepted a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Art of the Ancient Americas in St. Louis, as the Korff Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University and the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Saint Louis Art Museum.

Emily Peters (Ph.D. 2005) has been appointed the inaugural Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Deborah Spivak (Ph.D. 2015) published the article "Women in Opposition: The Sociopolitical Implications of Loro Female Face-neck Jars of Middle Horizon South Coastal Peru" in Cambridge Archaeological Journal, vol. 27.1 (February 2017): 55-76 (DOI:, and one of her illustrations made the cover of the issue.

Toni Guglielmo (Ph.D. 2008) was recently appointed to the Editorial Board of Curator: The Museum Journal as Associate Editor of Exhibitions.

After three years as Curator of the Wichita Art Museum, Lisa Volpe (Ph.D. 2013) is moving to Houston to fill the position of Associate Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, beginning January 2.  She has also published two articles: "Embodying the Octoroon: Abolitionist Performance at the London Crystal Palace, 1851," Nineteenth Century Art Worldwide, vol. 15.2 (Summer 2016); and “The Rise, Fall, and Reemergence of Photo Clubs,” Don’t Take Pictures 7 (Fall 2016), 34-37.

Catha Paquette (Ph.D. 2002), California State University, Long Beach, has published the book At the Crossroads: Diego Rivera and His Patrons at MoMA, Rockefeller Center, and the Palace of Fine Arts (University of Texas Press, January 2017).

Benjamin Hufbauer (Ph.D. 1999), Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, published a short popular article, titled "How Trump's Favorite Movie Explains Him" in Politico, in which he addresses Donald Trump's mis-interpretation of CItizen Kane.

Lisa Volpe (Ph.D. 2013), Curator, Wichita Art Museum, has published the article, “Embodying the Octoroon: Abolitionist Performance at the London Crystal Palace, 1851,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Summer 2016).

Marguerite Keane (Ph.D. 2002), Drew University, has published the book Material Culture and Queenship in 14th-century France: The Testament of Blanche of Navarre (1331-1398) (Brill, 2016).

Mira Rai Waits (Ph.D. 2014), Assistant Professor in the Art History & Visual Culture Department at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, was awarded the 2017 Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Emerging Scholar Prize for her article "The Indexical Trace: A Visual Interpretation of the History of Fingerprinting in Colonial India," Visual Culture in Britain, Vol 17, Issue 1, 2016. The article is based on her MA thesis from UCSB.

Amy Buono (Ph.D. 2007), Visiting Researcher at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. in Brazil, has published 3 articles this year:  “Signs of the Times:  Representing the Tupinambá and the Brazilwood Trade in Sixteenth-Century Rouen,” in Cultural Exchanges between Brazil and France, Book Series in Comparative Cultural Studies, Eds. Regina R. Félix and Scott D. Juall, West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2016, 19-34. (coming out next month); “’Their Treasures are the Feathers of Birds’: Tupinambá Featherwork and the Image of America,” in Images take Flight: Feather Art in Mexico and Europe (1400-1700). Eds. Alessandra Russo, Gerhard Wolf, and Diana Fane, 179-189. München: Hirmer Verlag, 2015, 179-189; and  “Historicity, achronicity, and the materiality of cultures in colonial Brazil,” Getty Research Journal, no. 7 (2015), Eds. Thomas W. Gaehtgens and Aleca Le Blanc, 19-34.

Mira Rai Waits (Ph.D. 2014) has been hired as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.

Bret Rothstein (Ph.D. 1998), Associate Professor in the Department of Art History, Indiana University, Bloomington, co-authored (with Karen M. Inouye) an article, “Visual Games and the Unseeing of Race in the Late Nineteenth Century,” American Quarterly 68:2 (June 2016), 287-313, which discusses the material and visual culture of popular ludic racism in the later nineteenth-century United States.

Barbara Kaminska (Ph.D. 2014) has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Art History at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, beginning August 2016. She has also published the article, "'That there be no schisms among you': Saint Paul as a Figure of Confessional Reconciliation in a Series of Paintings by Martin de Vos.” Journal of Early Modern Christianity vol. 3, issue 1 (April 2016): 99–129.

Holly Unruh (Ph.D. 2003) is the Associate Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center at CSU Monterey Bay, and currently holds a 2 year appointment through the CSU Chancellor's office as a Faculty-Fellow for Undergraduate Research. She also has a book contract with Routlege, A Practical Guide to Funding Your Research: Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts with her former UCSB colleague Dr. Barbara L. E. Walker.

Sarah Thompson (Ph.D. 2009), Rochester Institute of Technology, recently appeared on Jeopardy! where she was champion for a day and left with over $18,000 in prize money.

Andrea Korda (Ph.D. 2010) has been hired as an Assistant Professor in the Visual Art department at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus where she had been working as a Contract Lecturer.

John R. Decker (Ph.D. 2004), Georgia State University, published the article, "More Strength for Contemplation: Spiritual Play in the Amsterdam Holy Kinship," JHNA 8:1 (Winter 2016): 1-22 (DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2016.8.1.1).

George Flaherty (Ph.D. 2011), University of Texas, Austin, authored the book, Hotel Mexico: Dwelling on the ’68 Movement, published in August 2016 by the University of California Press.

Jane Dini (Ph.D. 1998), Metropolitan Museum of Art, co-organized the exhibition "Dance! American Art 1830-1960" at the Detroit Institute of Art (March 20 - June 12, 2016) and edited the accompanying exhibition catalog.

Veronica Roberts (M.A. 2005) is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin (which also serves the city of Austin). Her show Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt is on the final stop of its tour at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Wenchang Yan (Ph.D. 2016) gave the paper "Cooperative Housing in Republican China and Now" in the Transnational Housing Histories of the Pacific Rim panel session at the Society of Architectural Historians 2016 Annual International Conference (Pasadena, CA, April 6 - 10, 2016).

Katherine Kaford Papineau (Ph.D. 2013), California Baptist University, gave the paper "From California Style to Lifestyle: Cliff May and the Ranch House" in the Styles, Revival Styles, California Styles panel session at the Society of Architectural Historians 2016 Annual International Conference (Pasadena, CA, April 6 - 10, 2016).

Kevin Murphy (Ph.D. 2005), Senior Curator at the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, curated the exhibition "Not Theories but Revelations:" The Art and Science of Abbott Handerson Thayer (March 11 - August 21, 2016).

Recent Graduate Alumni

2019   2018   2017
Margaret Bell   Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander   Seokwon Choi
Marta Faust   Julianne Gavino   Briana Simmons
Shannon Emily Gilmore   Shannon Lieberman    
Sophia Quach McCabe   Mary McGuire    
    Suzanne van de Meerendonk    
    Anna Myjak-Pycia    
    Erin Travers    
    Diva Zumaya    

2016   2015   2014
Brianna Bricker   Patricia Lee Daigle   Mahlon W.L. Chute
Wencheng Yan   Brigit Ferguson   Barbara Kaminska
    Ana Milena Mitrovici   Samantha Lauren
    Sophia Rochmes   Mira Rai Waits
    Deborah Spivak    

2013   2012   2011
Matthew H. Fisk   Jackson Dodge   Jessica Ambler
Michelle V. Packer   Catherine Newman Howe   George Flaherty
Katherine Kaford Papineau   Charles Peterson   Ursula Ginder
Helen Taschian   Noa Turel   Steven Kendall
Lisa Volpe        

2010   2009   2008
Shalini Kakar   Austen Bailly   Paul Anderson
Andrea Korda   Carlos Roberto De Souza   Antoniette Gugliemo
Jessica Tade   Blair H. Davis    
    Emily A. Engel    
    Staci Gem Scheiwiller    
    Sarah Thompson    

2007   2006   2005
Amy Buono   Lynette Korenic   Cynthia Canejo
Han-Yun Chang   Chak-Kwong Lau   Alison Fraunhar
Katharina Pilaski Kaliardos   Elizabeth K. Mitchell   Cody Hartley
Caroline Older   Jessica Robey   Lynne Horiuchi
Lucia Ricciardelli   Stephanie Schrader   Mitzi Kirkland-Ives
Amara Solari   ShiPu Wang   Melinda McCurdy
        Kevin M. Murphy
        Emily Peters

2004   2003   2002
John R. Decker   Denise Baxter   Claude Baillargeon
Joy Kunz   Michelle Duran-McLure   Elizabeth J. Hornbeck
Eric Lutz   Jeffrey D. Garner   Marguerite A. Keane
William Stern   Della Jenkins   Cathleen M. Paquette
    Holly Unruh   John R. Senseney