ASU-LACMA fellowship program expands to include Pérez Art Museum of Miami

September 22, 2021

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts are pleased to announce that the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has joined as a new partner in the ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship in Art History. PAMM’s first fellow, Emily Valdes, joins what is now the third cohort of individuals in the program, along with five new fellows from LACMA.

The ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship was founded in 2018 as a partnership between ASU and LACMA with the aim to culturally diversify the leadership of art museums in the United States. The three-year degree program combines rigorous academic training with on-the-job experience to develop a new generation of diverse curators, directors and other museum professionals, with the goal of investing in the existing pipeline of talent and accelerating the careers of individuals already working on museum staffs. The fellows earn their master’s degree in art history from the ASU School of Art’s distinguished art history program in the Herberger Institute, while also working at LACMA, the ASU Art Museum or, beginning this fall, PAMM. ASU-LACMA Fellows Ariana Enriquez and Matthew Villar Miranda work with Janice Schopfer, senior paper conservator in LACMA's Conservation Lab. ASU-LACMA Fellows Ariana Enriquez and Matthew Villar Miranda work with Janice Schopfer, senior paper conservator in LACMA's Conservation Lab.

“We are honored to join our esteemed colleagues at LACMA and ASU,” said Franklin Sirmans, director of PAMM. “Having seen this program come into existence while working at LACMA and then watching the first cohort rise in the ranks of their institutions, we are delighted to be a part of this important scholarly endeavor, and for Pérez Art Museum Miami to be represented by our first fellow, Emily Valdes. This transformative program is another step in the process of preparing museums for the new American future, with the diverse, innovative leadership necessary to make museums dynamic and vibrant, and integral to the lives of all.”

Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, noted that earlier this summer, ASU and LACMA celebrated the graduation of the first LACMA-ASU Master's Fellows.

"Our graduates are already building off their academic training to curate exhibitions, further their research and inform their museum work,” Govan said. “Our collaboration with ASU has been deep and fruitful, and we are thrilled to expand our joint commitment to advance the careers of a new generation of museum leaders by partnering with additional institutions around the country."

The inaugural cohort of fellows, which graduated in May 2021, included Dhyandra Lawson, assistant curator in LACMA’s Wallis Annenberg Photography Department; Celia Yang, major gift officer and head of director's strategic initiatives, Asia at LACMA; Matthew Villar Miranda, ASU Art Museum’s Curatorial Fellow, now a visual arts curatorial fellow at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; and Ariana Enriquez, assistant registrar at the ASU Art Museum. Both Lawson and Yang were recently promoted, reflecting the scholarship and skill sets that each has been able to bring to their work through their engagement with the fellowship program. Enriquez said in a recent interview with ARTnews that the fellowship program helped her become aware of “the ways that I can make transformative change within my department.” (Read the full ARTnews story about the ASU-LACMA fellowship program.)

“We’re grateful for the many contributions the fellows make in our classes and scholarly lives,” said Angélica Afanador-Pujol, program director for the ASU-LACMA Master's Fellowship. “We are proud to continue to support them in their museum careers, and we welcome the addition of PAMM to the program.”

The 2021 ASU-LACMA + PAMM Fellows

Jayne Manuel

Jayne Manuel earned her BA in art history, theory and criticism with honors from the University of California San Diego in 2015. Manuel joined LACMA’s registration department in September 2015 and currently serves as the registration administrator for the highly active outgoing-loans program. Through an interdisciplinary art history/ethnic studies/transnational feminist approach, Manuel seeks to uplift Filipino artists and stories of the diaspora into the institutional canon. She intends to focus on 1980s Philippine art collectives and contemporary Filipino artists based in the United States, studying their depictions of intergenerational trauma and understanding of collective memory transmission.

Stephanie Rouinfar

Stephanie Rouinfar received her BFA in art history in 2015 from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She joined LACMA in August 2015 as a social media intern in the communications department. In March 2016 she joined the Art of the Middle East department as the curatorial administrator. She has assisted with six exhibitions, including the recent exhibition “In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art.” As a fellow in the ASU-LACMA program, Rouinfar plans to further study contemporary art of the Middle East, focusing on works concerning gender and feminism.

Mariama Salia

Mariama Salia is from Seattle and received a BA in history and cinema studies from the University of Washington in 2014. After working in Seattle’s art scene, she moved to Los Angeles in 2018 to find more diverse creative spaces that allowed for expansion. She began working for the Balch Art Research Library in 2019 as an acquisitions assistant, purchasing and borrowing books for upcoming exhibitions, including special research projects. Her Ghanaian-Romanian background informs her interest in making art representative and accessible, and she plans to develop an interactive project aimed at engaging with and representing other queer artists of color. Salia intends to utilize the extensive resources within the library and the museum to trace and reassess historical boundaries facing marginalized artists who bridge the cultural divide.

Jennifer Snow

Jennifer Snow is manager of corporate partnerships at LACMA. Since joining the museum’s development department in 2015, she has served an integral role on the corporate partnerships team supporting LACMA’s relationships with key corporate partners, including Hyundai Motor Company, Gucci, Snap Inc., Audi, The Walt Disney Company, SpaceX and more. During her time at LACMA, she successfully launched and managed special institutional projects such as LACMA’s first-ever Kickstarter campaign in 2017, bringing the world’s smallest contemporary art museum, NuMu, across multiple borders to Los Angeles, and most recently, LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives, a multi-year initiative that uses augmented reality to explore monuments and murals, representation and history. Snow earned her BA in art history and communications in 2012 from the University of California, San Diego, and in 2014 received her MA in humanities from the University of Chicago. She is excited to resume her studies at Arizona State University, researching the convergence of art and technology and the role of museums within this intersection. 

Deliasofia Zacarias

Deliasofia Zacarias is the Snap Research Fellow based in the director’s office for the LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives, an initiative that explores monuments, history and representation in public space using augmented reality. In addition to the various special projects in the director’s office, Zacarias directly supports the collaboration among the curatorial team, artists and technologists to realize the augmented reality lenses as part of Monumental Perspectives. Zacarias joined the museum in August 2019 as a LACMA Emerging Arts Professionals (LEAP) Fellow — part of the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative supported by the Walton Family Foundation and Ford Foundation. Zacarias also serves on the board of the Arts Administrators of Color Network. At ASU, Zacarias intends to research the intersection of contemporary art, feminist theory and landscape architecture and make use of LACMA’s and ASU’s rich collections. She holds a BA in studio art and business administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, where she was the recipient of the Mach Fellowship and received an Excellence in Art Award.

Emily Valdes

Emily Valdes graduated from the University of Miami with a BA in art history in 2015. Since then, she has held a variety of positions at the Wolfsonian FIU, Margulies Collection at the Warehouse and Lowe Art Museum. Today, she works collaboratively with curators, artists and preparators as assistant registrar at Miami’s flagship art museum, Pérez Art Museum Miami. At PAMM, Valdes plays an active role in the execution of a robust exhibition schedule, as well as day-to-day collections management efforts. As a first-generation Cuban American, Valdes is particularly interested in Latina artists who have failed to receive equal recognition to their male contemporaries, or Latina artists whose practices are deeply rooted in intersectional feminism. Though it is still nascent in conception, she is eager to produce a successful body of research significant to the advancement of Latina representation in museums and the acknowledgement of their unique contributions to the art historical canon.

Deborah Sussman

Communications and media specialist, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts


Learning to love our 'monsters'

ASU’s Emma Frow wins National Science Foundation award to explore the concept of care at the frontier of synthetic biology

September 22, 2021

Science fiction and fantasy stories are often filled with scientists who go too far. The most enduring trope for this kind of hubris is “Frankenstein.” It’s both the most famous monster story and the most misunderstood.

Bruno Latour, a renowned sociologist of science, has written that the terror of this tale is not the act of creation; it’s the consequence of abandonment. He points out that all new technologies are flawed, and they need sustained care to improve them. It’s not that Dr. Frankenstein went too far — he didn’t go far enough. Artistic illustration of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster in a laboratory. The horror of the Frankenstein story was neglect. If the infamous scientist had offered responsible care to his creation, this tale might have been one of triumph instead of terror. In the real world, biofoundry facilities are engineering organisms that can synthesize products ranging from cosmetics to fertilizers. Are their creators considering the care they apply to their innovation? Assistant Professor Emma Frow is studying the practice of care and governance in a rapidly evolving industry that is literally engineering life. Image courtesy of Shutterstock Download Full Image

“Latour calls on scientists and engineers to cultivate a different kind of relationship with their work,” said Emma Frow, an assistant professor in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the College of Global Futures at Arizona State University. “The word ‘care’ applies here, but more in the sense of governance than as something emotional. How do you ‘care' for your ideas and innovations once they leave the lab and enter the complex, dynamic world we live in?”

Frow says parenting may offer a good analogy: It’s a long-term project. How do you best engage? When do you back off? What end are you seeking? She admits that this relational mindset is not always visible in science, where the prevailing perspective of praxis is the disinterested revelation of objective truth.

“And yet recent years have made it increasingly clear that science and engineering are complex endeavors that involve choices and debate,” she said. “Acknowledging that is really important. It gives us an opportunity to examine what we do and how we do it in order to make our work better.”

Frow came to ASU in 2015 as both a social scientist and a biochemist with a longstanding interest in synthetic biology. She did so because of the university’s reputation for fostering innovation with societal relevance. She says that mission makes ASU a leading institution for studying the actual practice of science and engineering from multiple vantages — including attitudes to responsibility and care.

Frow believes that scientists and engineers in the field of synthetic biology are particularly open to discussing questions of care and responsibility in their work. So, she’s pursuing these conversations in a set of emerging facilities called biofoundries.

portrait of ASU Assistant Professor

Emma Frow

“Biofoundries are trying to develop new technologies and business models for high-throughput biomanufacturing,” she said. “They are spaces of great innovation, which means they’re also making all kinds of design choices that could prove very consequential to the future of biotechnology and society. I think it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on in these sites and also to promote lively, interdisciplinary exchange and active consideration of the futures that are being shaped in these facilities.”

Exploring care and governance in the context of the emerging biofoundry industry is the focus of research Frow is conducting within the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, one of the seven Fulton Schools, as well as at ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Her novel efforts have secured a 2021 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award.

CAREER Award recognition is reserved for young researchers who show the potential to be academic role models and advance the missions of their organizations. Awardees receive approximately half a million dollars over five years to further their highlighted research.

Frow’s project has three components. The first is qualitative ethnographic study of the work underway within biofoundry facilities.

“I’m going to spend at least three months in each of two sites,” she said. “One is a commercial facility on the East Coast, and the other is an academic facility on the West Coast. I’ll also conduct shorter visits at several other biofoundries across the country. And I’ll be interviewing people working in many different roles at each of these sites.”

The second part of the project will study the bigger political economy in which biofoundries operate. This aspect involves interviewing investors, regulators and others from related fields such as industrial chemistry, pharmaceuticals and genetic engineering.

“Those first two parts are absolutely doable,” Frow said. “They will tell us a lot about contemporary biofoundries. But the third part of this project is more experimental. It will draw on all of the fieldwork to design interventions or tools that can help attune practitioners to the politics of care and responsibility, and shape the governance of these foundries.”

She says this will be an interdisciplinary effort involving scientists and engineers, but also social scientists, humanists, designers and even science fiction authors. There’s a great deal of speculation about the future of biological engineering, but the need for a culture of commitment seems clear.

“As Latour writes, how do you actually care for or love the monsters that you create?” Frow said. “How do you engage with your innovations in order to wrestle with the problems that you didn’t anticipate, and ultimately build better futures?”

Gary Werner

Senior Media Relations Officer, Media Relations and Strategic Communications