Alumni Notes - 2021

Art History

Jordan Amirkhani
Dr. Jordan Amirkhani

Dr. Jordan Amirkhani, MA ‘10, has been appointed Curator of The Rivers Institute for Contemporary Art & Thought, a non-profit visual arts organization, publisher and residency program based in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Margaret Baldwin (née Walter), BA '63, '87, received her BA in American Thought in 1963 and a certificate in art education and studio studies in 1987. She taught art full-time in Blue Hill, Maine; she also paints, owns a neighborhood gallery and schedules art exhibits at the Blue Hill Public Library.

Susan Davis, MA '79, continues as board president of Desert X, an international recurring site specific art exhibition that she founded. The third edition of the exhibition, which takes place in southern California's Coachella Valley, opens March 12 to May 16, 2021.

Vian Borchert
Vian Shamounki Borchert

Vian Shamounki Borchert, BFA, '96, was invited to present a solo Invitational Exhibition by the prestigious Phoenix Art Gallery in New York City. The gallery was founded in Manhattan in 1958 with early gallery exhibitors like Elaine de Kooning and Alice Neel.




Art History and Fine Arts

Janetta Benton




Janetta Rebold Benton, Ph.D., MA ‘69, published her ninth book, How to Understand Art, with Thames & Hudson, London, 2021. It is published in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Latvian and contains 176 pages and 111 illustrations.

Ned Bittinger, MFA '83, painted three portraits in the past year for the Baltimore courthouse and a portrait of Dr. Muños, president of the University of Houston.

Amy Heller, MFA '91, co-authored and photographed a new book called Lost and Found: Time, Tide and Treasures published by Schiffer Publishing. The story follows six Provincetown artists (including herself) and their beachcombing collections.

Tiffany Moy (née Mamone), BFA '08, lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her Corcoran sweetheart and husband of nine years, Phil Moy. They have two boys, Camden (5) and Grayson (2) and a goldendoodle named Penny.

Miryam Rojas, BA ‘97, opened Mars Landing Galleries in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in July. The gallery features mostly abstract work of up to 40 artists that are both emerging and established in a vast array of mediums in and around Mars Hill, NC.

Classical Acting

Tara Chiusano, MFA '18, is teaching acting, voice and speech, and accent reduction online via Zoom, to students who reside all over the world. Since the pandemic, Tara has pivoted to performing online in original devised theater projects.


Daurene Scullen (née Belcher), MA '81, is the author of What the Covid! - a snapshot of heartfelt essays from individuals from different professions, backgrounds and generations.

Decorative Arts and Design History

Courtney Ahlstrom Christy, MA '12, is celebrating the five-year anniversary of her business Ahlstrom Appraisals LLC, which offers valuation services of fine and decorative arts.

Sarah Mezzino, MA '09, designed the Abbott Dining Hall renovation at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, which has received several awards. Most recently, the hall was given an ICAA Stanford White Award and was featured in Traditional Building's 2021 calendar (October).

Leslie Nottingham, MA '10, is the Cultural Arts Supervisor for the City of Ocala, FL. She is responsible for all public art and the biennial outdoor sculpture competition.

Exhibition Design

Alexandra Shanley (née Mosher), MA '15, has been working at the J. Paul Getty Museum as an exhibition designer since her graduation from the Corcoran in 2015.

Fine Art Photography and Photography

Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak, MA '77, has had recent artwork and her conversation with University of Houston's O'Kane Gallery Director presented virtually on Zoom in September. Her O'Kane Gallery solo show was re-scheduled for 2022.

Welton Doby III, MFA '88, owns Doby Photography LLC and is celebrating 34 years of providing creative image solutions for a wide and diverse clientele.

Eliot Hicks, BFA '15, has held a position at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, Virginia, working within their Exhibitions department since 2015. As of fall 2016, he's held the title of Preparator, overseeing the installation of their rotating exhibitions.

MichaelAngelo Rodriquez
MichaelAngelo Rodriguez

MichaelAngelo Rodriguez, BFA ‘18, had his artwork included in the Transformer Gallery Flat File. He works as an art handler and has been part of exhibition installations at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and The Phillips Collection.

Romy Willing, BFA '97, is the Head of Collections + Editions at Art Makers, the finance arm of global public art studio, Urban Art Projects. Previously, she held the role of Executive Director of the Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Sara J. Winston, BFA ‘11, was recently named a semi-finalist in the 2021 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery.

Fine Arts

Joey Enriquez, MFA '20, is currently a fellow with Hamiltonian Artists in DC.

Reniel Diaz, BFA '02, serves as the curator, in collaboration with the Town of Golden Beach Florida, presenting a solo exhibition of international artist Jillian Mayer. The artist's interactive "Slumpie" sculptures will be shown throughout the town's parks.

Sila Dizdar, BFA '11, has held directorial positions in fine art galleries representing renowned contemporary artists for the past 10 years. She is now an Art Advisor for Chihuly Studio in Seattle, Washington.

Martha Gold, BA '86, has worked in education for 20 years as an instructional design associate. Before that, she worked as a journalist and many other things. She lives near Ithaca, New York with her husband, Tom, and their son Ian, now a senior in high school.

Percy Martin, '69, is retired from teaching. He is now working on his prints full time.

Ann Schaefer (née Terbush), BA '69, is painting outdoors, on her own and in organized socially-disanced events. Her art has been on display at Gallery 322 in Frederick, Maryland since 2009, and in other venues in the mid-Atlantic.

Alissa Shear, BFA ‘89,  is the Assistant Director of CASA of Rutherford County, TN, a non profit agency that advocates for foster children in Juvenile Court. Prior to this she created and taught a Human Trafficking educational program for high school students. 

Vian Borchert, BFA '96, has been exhibiting in NYC at Lichtundfire where she is represented, recently, Vian has been interviewed by "Influential People magazine". Vian will be teaching fine art classes at Glen Echo Park's Yellow Barn Studio.

Graphic Design

James Edward Bonilla, BFA '14, has relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area to join AKQA as an art director. He also has two ongoing instrumental music projects and a novel in progress. after spending the last decade in the DMV region.

Erik Richardson, BFA '01, lives and designs in the DMV area; he works for the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Kerria Seabrooke, BFA ‘92, writes and directs animation for film and television. Her work includes episodes of CSI and What Not to Wear. She also designs virtual and augmented experiences. Kerria served on the Advisory Board for Full Sail University's Media Design program.

Anders Tallvik (née Larsson), BFA '16, delved into conceptual design for retail spaces in 2020 while freelancing from Amsterdam with a mostly Swedish client base. He now designs window displays for GANT and looks forward to exploring spatial design even more.

Dagmara Weinberg, BFA '06, owns an art studio in VA. She is fascinated by the natural world and creates sumptuous and magical kaleidoscopic images that mirror the extraordinary patterns found in all life forms.

Ellen Zager (née Kahan), BA '73, has been an independent designer for over 40 years. She is the co-author and illustrator of And There Was Evening and There Was Morning, a children's book about creation, and the creator of Challah!, a Jewish children's book.

Interior Architecture

Alison Antonelli, BFA '16,  is working for an international interior design studio based in London and has helped establish their team in New York City. She works with high end clientele on residential and hospitality projects currently in New York City, Los Angeles and Mexico.

Louise Cook, BA '89, has lived in San Francisco since 1995. She recently published a mystery-adventure story for kids of all ages, Murkey's: A Rabbit Noir.

Catherine Swaniker, MA '16, is designing 22 kit houses to be sold to the general public. These houses are informed by the precedents used in her thesis "An Army of Shadows" which highlighted the lives of those whose lives and contributions are unnoticed.

Museum Studies

Corrie Brady, MA '20, was hired at Quinn's Auction Galleries as the Ethnographic Arts and Wine Cataloger in November 2020.

Betsy Bruemmer, MA '97, has been working in the Collections Dept. at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle for the past 15 years.

Teresa Diaz, MA ’00, has worked with museums in different capacities for 27 years. She opened her own art gallery in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, that specializes in avant-garde Mexican artists in different disciplines and curated exhibitions for travel.

Liesl Dees, MA '92, was recently promoted to Director of Continuing Education at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico, where she has worked for the last 20 years.

Yujia Jing, MA '20, is studying further in the museum field and is applying for a PhD in museum studies.

Megan Lehner (née O'Connell), MA '13, is a project manager with museum design firm Gallagher & Associates, based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her latest project, The United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado, opened in late summer 2020.

Paul Manoguerra, MA '94, has been director and curator at the Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga University since 2013.

Sheridan Small, MA '20, works at Dumbarton House, a historic house museum in Washington, D.C. and focuses on virtual programs and interpretative projects.

Gretchen Schellstede, MA '92,  has worked in museums and arts organizations for over 15 years and in 2015 earned a certificate from the Rhode Island School of Design in Appraisal Studies. She specializes in fine art and antique appraisals and is working on ASA accreditation.

Matthew Wilcox, Museum Studies Certificate '94, is Director of Trusts, Estates and Appraisal Services at Material Culture Auctions in Philadelphia, and an active and accredited fine art appraiser with the Appraisers Association of America.

New Media Photojournalism or Photojournalism

Bailey Edelstein, MA '17, works in the Communication and Public Engagement Department for Summit County, Utah, bringing her skills in video production, photography, graphic design, and social media management to deliver information to county residents

Brooke McDonough
Brooke McDonough

Brooke McDonough, MA ‘20, has been honored at numerous film festivals for her film Buzz Kill. She was also published in National Geographic for her story on the importance of citizen science during the pandemic.

Chelsea Odum, BFA '10, is the current Director of Education & Artist Relations at Resource Depot, a non-profit in South Florida where she teaches and organizes education on creative reuse and waste reeducation. She also runs a gallery space.

Adil Siddiqui, MA '18, teaches in higher education at multiple institutions in Pakistan. He's also a visual media consultant for multiple NGOs, and owns a small studio where he plans to teach workshops and start a podcast.

Museum Collections Management & Care (Graduate Certificate)

Nino Tabeshadze, CERT '12, is teaching in two universities in Tbilisi and is actively involved in the GW alumni community.


Jay Bushman, BA '93, published his first book in 2020, Novel Advice. The book features beloved characters from across literature writing letters to an advice columnist asking for help with their "real-world" problems.

Kirsten Hess (née Yauch)
Kirsten Hess (née Yauch)

Kirsten Hess (née Yauch), BA ‘95, is the owner of Let's Play Books Bookstore, a full-service bookstore in the Lehigh Valley of PA. She founded the Lehigh Valley Book Festival in 2020 in partnership with her local PBS station and the Bethlehem Library.