Graduate Alumni

Announcements for our Department Graduate Alumni

Lynette Korenic (Ph.D. 2006) retired from her position as Head of the Kohler Art Library at the Unviersity of Wisconsin-Madison after 21 years. Lyn was the Arts Librarian at UCSB from 1988-99.

Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander (Ph.D. 2018) co-edited with Marci Kwon a special "In the Round" section for Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art. "Asian American Art, Pasts and Futures", was published in June 2021, and features 11 original essays, including one authored by Alexander, "Asian American Art and the Obligation of Museums." The Asian American Art Initiative, which Alexander and Kwon co-direct, was recently awarded a Bank of America Art Conservation Grant for the treatment of 32 newly acquired works by Asian American artists.

John Senseney (Ph.D. 2002), Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Arizona, published an article, "The Architectural Origins of the Parthenon Frieze" in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 80, no. 1 (2021): 12-29.

Faya Causey (Ph.D. 1984) was recently elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in London;, is a elected a life board member of the Société Paul Cezanne, and a newly elected advisory board member of the Hillwood Museum in DC. She also continues for a second term as a board member of the Archaeological Institute of America, DC Society. She recently authored two essays for the 2020 exhibition catalogue, John Elderfield, ed., Cezanne: Rock and Quarry Paintings which opened at Princeton in 2020. The online edition of Ancient Carved Ambers in the J. Paul Getty Museum was recently released, and she is currently finishing a book on ancient bronze statues as ritual deposits which she began as a Getty Scholar in 2017-2018.

Elizabeth Guffy (Ph.D. 1985) wrote an article for Places Journal (March 2021) entitled "Active Exclusion," about flaws in the Roosevelt Island accessibility design.

Diva Zumaya (Ph.D. 2018), the Assistant Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), was featured as "Curator in the Spotlight" by CODART, a professional organization for curators of Dutch and Flemish art worldwide: On April 9th, 2021, Diva delivered the virtual talk “Reflections on Re-envisioning LACMA’s Permanent Collection,” at the conference Exhibiting Slavery and Representing Black Lives—Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures, organized by Harvard Art Museums. Diva also served as a speaker on the panel "Changing the Culture of Silence" at the 2021 Virtual Art Curators Conference for the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC).

J.V. Decemvirale (Ph.D. 2021) will be the Weisman Postdoctoral Instructor in Visual Culture and Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA for the 2021-2023 academic year. J.V. will be teaching undergraduate courses, as well as furthering his research and writing on Black and Latino Los Angeles.

Maggie Bell (Ph.D. 2019) has been permanently appointed Assistant Curator at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA. She has been in the position since July 2019, after completing a Graduate Academic Internship. Her exhibition, The Expressive Body: Memory, Devotion, Desire (1400-1750), which was scheduled to open at the Norton Simon in April 2021, has been rescheduled for October 2021.

Charlene G. Garfinkle (Ph.D. 1986) has published a book chapter, “Charging Bull and Fearless Girl—A Dialogue,” in Teachable Monuments: Using Public Art to Spark Dialogue and Confront Controversies (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021). In May, she presented an invited lecture, There is more to art than painting. Highlights of American Sculpture at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, to the Museum’s Docent Council.

Aleesa Alexander (Ph.D. 2018), Assistant Curator of American Art at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, has launched (as founding co-director) the Asian American Art Initiative.

The Society of Architectural Historians has named Lynne Horiuchi (Ph.D. 2005) among their 2021 Class of Fellows, one of the Society’s highest honors

Lynne Horiuchi (Ph.D. 2005) will serve as Secretary on the incoming 2021 Board of the Society of Architectural Historians. Additionally, she will also be a member of the new SAH Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accountability, and Sustainability (IDEAS) Committee. The IDEAS Committee is charged with developing and guiding a diversity, equity and inclusion policy that also encompasses accountability and sustainability. The Committee will work with the SAH Board and SAH Strategic Planning Committee to devise sustainable DEI strategies for SAH and will make recommendations for actions to promote meaningful change within the Society’s culture.

Maggie Bell (Ph.D. 2019) has published the essay “On Display: Poverty as infirmity and its visual representation at the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala” in the volume Representing Infirmity: Diseased Bodies in Renaissance Italy, edited by John Henderson, Jonathan K. Nelson and Fredrika Jacobs (Routledge, 2020). Her exhibition, The Expressive Body: Memory, Devotion, Desire (1400-1750) is scheduled to open at the Norton Simon in April 2021.

Lauren Weiss Bricker (Ph.D. 1992) is Interim Dean of the College of Environmental Design and Professor of Architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where she co-coordinates the historic preservation program, and is director of the ENV Archives-Special Collections. She was the Clarkson Chair in Planning 2019, University at Buffalo where she spoke on "Conserving the Vitality of our Historic Places" Most recently, she contributed to Surveys and Inventories for Urban Heritage Management: Lessons from Los Angeles and Beyond (Getty, forthcoming) and World Histories of Architecture: The Emergence of a New Genre in the Nineteenth Century (MIT Press, forthcoming).

Cynthia Canejo (Ph.D. 2005) published a new article, "The Significance of Allusion in the Works of the Brazilian Artist Antonio Manuel," Delaware Review of Latin American Studies,18.2 (2020): 1-28.

George Flaherty (Ph.D. 2011) co-edited a dossier of essays with Andrea Giunta (Universidad de Buenos Aires) titled "Latin American Networks: Synchronicities, Contacts, and Divergences" for the open-access journal Artelogie (May 2020). This is the second of three publications sponsored by their “Connecting Art Histories” grant from the Getty Foundation.  He is currently in the planning and early research phase on his next book project, which examines artistic and cultural exchange between Mexico City and Harlem in the 1920s and 30s.

Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell (Ph.D. 2006) has been named Interim Co-Director of the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, and will serve until a new director has been identified. For the past ten years, Mitchell has been the Burton and Deedee McMurtry Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, and more recently she became the museum's Director of the Curatorial Fellowship Foundation. Currently, Mitchell is completing an essay for the publication to accompany "Dare to Know: Prints and Drawings in the Age of Enlightenment," an exhibition originating at the Harvard Art Museums and scheduled to open in 2022.

Erin Travers (Ph.D. 2018) is a Lecturer in the Department of Art at Chapman University and a Program Assistant with the Getty Foundation. In this role, she is working on grant initiatives such as Pacific Standard Time: Art x Science x LA (2024), The Paper Project, and Connecting Art Histories.

Amara Solari (Ph.D. 2007) published a book, The Maya, in Oxford University Press's "Very Short Introduction Series," co-authored with historian Matthew Restall. She spent the Spring term at Tulane University as a visiting researcher at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and was promoted to Full Professor in May. Amara has also taken over as Penn State's Director of Graduate Studies in the Art History Department.

Noa Turel (Ph.D. 2012) has published the book, Living Pictures: Jan van Eyck and Painting’s First Century (Yale University Press, 2020).

Holly Unruh (Ph.D. 2003) recently joined the Arts Division at UC Santa Cruz as the Executive Director of the Arts Research Institute (ARI).

Jane Dini (Ph.D. 1998) is the Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator, American Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Amy Buono (Ph.D. 2007) published the commentary "Museums as Realms of (dis)Enchantment,” in Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture (April 2020); the book chapters, “Historicidade, acronia e materialidade nas culturas no Brasil colonial,” in Arte não Europeia: conexões historiográficas a partir do Brasil (Editora Estação Liberdade e Vasto, 2020); “Representando o Tupinambá e o comércio pau-brasil no Rouen do século XVI,” in França Antártica: Ensaios Interdisciplinares (Editora da Unicamp, 2020). She was also appointed to the advisory board of 21: Inquiries into Art, History, and the Visual/ Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte und visuellen Kultur, University of Bern, Switzerland (Open Access eJournal).

Staci Gem Scheiwiller (Ph.D. 2009) authored the exhibition catalogue essay, "Quoting Silences: Depicting Female Desires in the Paintings of Abelina Galustian" that accompanied the virtual exhibition "Womansword and Beyond" (October 16 - November 5, 2020, California State University, Stanislaus).

Sophia Quach McCabe (Ph.D. 2019) has taken the position of Academic Coordinator at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC-Santa Barbara.

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

    2021   2019   2018
    Virginia Reynolds Badgett   Margaret Bell   Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander
    John Vincent Decemvirale   Marta Faust   Julianne Gavino
    Laura diZerega   Shannon Emily Gilmore   Shannon Lieberman
        Sophia Quach McCabe   Mary McGuire
            Suzanne van de Meerendonk
            Anna Myjak-Pycia
            Erin Travers
            Diva Zumaya

2017   2016   2015   2014
Briana Simmons   Brianna Bricker   Patricia Lee Daigle   Mahlon W.L. Chute
    Seokwon Choi   Brigit Ferguson   Barbara Kaminska
    Wencheng Yan   Ana Milena Mitrovici   Samantha Lauren
        Sophia Rochmes   Mira Rai Waits
        Deborah Spivak    

2013   2012   2011   2010
Matthew H. Fisk   Jackson Dodge   Jessica Ambler   Shalini Kakar
Michelle V. Packer   Catherine Newman Howe   George Flaherty   Andrea Korda
Katherine Kaford Papineau   Charles Peterson   Ursula Ginder   Jessica Tade
Helen Taschian   Noa Turel   Steven Kendall    
Lisa Volpe            

2009   2008   2007   2006
Austen Bailly   Paul Anderson   Amy Buono   Lynette Korenic
Carlos Roberto De Souza   Antoniette Gugliemo   Han-Yun Chang   Chak-Kwong Lau
Blair H. Davis       Katharina Pilaski Kaliardos   Elizabeth K. Mitchell
Emily A. Engel       Caroline Older   Jessica Robey
Staci Gem Scheiwiller       Lucia Ricciardelli   Stephanie Schrader
Sarah Thompson       Amara Solari   ShiPu Wang

2005   2004   2003   2002
Cynthia Canejo   John R. Decker   Denise Baxter   Claude Baillargeon
Alison Fraunhar   Joy Kunz   Michelle Duran-McLure   Elizabeth J. Hornbeck
Cody Hartley   Eric Lutz   Jeffrey D. Garner   Marguerite A. Keane
Lynne Horiuchi   William Stern   Della Jenkins   Cathleen M. Paquette
Mitzi Kirkland-Ives       Holly Unruh   John R. Senseney
Melinda McCurdy            
Kevin M. Murphy            
Emily Peters