About

Board of Directors

  • Michelle Dezember
    President
  • Wendy Ng
    Co-Vice President
  • Adria Brown
    Co-Vice President | Co-Chair, Sustainability
  • Rebecca Ljungren
    Co-Treasurer | Co-Chair, Sustainability
  • Marta M. Torres
    Co-Treasurer
  • Kate Zankowicz
    Co-Chair, Editorial
  • David O. McCullough
    Co-Chair, Editorial
  • Alexandra Morris
    Co-Chair, Communications
  • Kimaada Le Gendre
    Co-Chair, Communications
  • Hazel Theriault
    Secretary
  • Jordia Benjamin
    Board Member
  • Wade Berger
    Board Member
  • Sarah Bloom
    Board Member
  • Abigail Diaz
    Board Member
  • Andrea Kim Neighbors
    Board Member
  • Adrienne Lei
    Board Member
  • Brandie Macdonald
    Board Member
  • Brindha Muniappan
    Board Member
  • Asami Robledo-Allen Yamamoto
    Board Member

Michelle Dezember is the Director of Learning and Engagement, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Previously, she was Chief Program Officer at the Aspen Art Museum, which received a 2017 National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in recognition of her team’s work. She has also served as Interim Director and founding Head of Education at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar, and as a museum educator at the de Saisset Museum, Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, The Center for Architecture Foundation, the Queens Museum, and the Museum of the History of Immigration (Barcelona). She holds a diploma in Visual Cultural Studies from the University of Barcelona and an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester.

Board Member Since: 2018

Current Position: President

Wendy Ng is an education specialist and the principal owner and consultant at Twin Muses Consulting Services. She is a PhD student in the Curriculum and Pedagogy program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Wendy has over twenty years of experience working to change cultural institutions through anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion praxis. She has implemented strategic plans, change management, and culture transformation initiatives throughout her career managing educational programming in large public institutions including the Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum, and Art Gallery of Ontario. Wendy is a published author and guest editor with a focus on social justice in museum education. She holds a MAT in Museum Education from George Washington University, a BFA and BEd from York University, and is certified by the Ontario College of Teachers.

Board Member Since: 2019

Current position: Co-Vice President; Member of the Sustainability Team and Leadership Team

Adria Brown (she/her/hers) is the Associate Educator, Docent Program and Gallery Teaching at the Saint Louis Art Museum. She is a community builder, museum educator, and social worker based in St. Louis whose passions lie at the intersection of arts education, racial justice, and intergenerational healing. She advocates for tribal sovereignty, racial equity, and accessibility within arts and cultural institutions. She previously served as the Curator of Exhibitions and Education at the Chickasaw Cultural Center and has worked for We Stories, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Missouri Historical Society, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Hood Museum of Art. She earned a Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis in 2020 and a Bachelor’s in Native American Studies & Art History from Dartmouth College in 2015.

Board Member Since: 2021

Current Position:  Co-Vice President, Co-Chair of the Sustainability Team

Rebecca Ljungren empowers learners of all ages to think critically about the past to inspire a more just future. She currently serves as the Education Programs Manager at the National Women’s History Museum. Her activities include developing and implementing in-person programs, overseeing digital learning initiatives, and managing the Museum’s internship and fellowship programs. Ljungren also has extensive experience in managing and training staff and volunteers, organizing and conducting outreach at the local and national level, and developing exhibitions.

Ljungren earned a B.A. in Art History from American University and an M.A.T. in Museum Education from the George Washington University. Prior to the National Women’s History Museum, she spent a decade working in various museum education roles, including at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the National Building Museum.

Ljungren’s professional interests include examining the relationships between history, science, art, and social justice through programs and exhibitions. Through her work, she advocates for an equitable, inclusive, and accessible experience for all within museums and in daily life.

Board Member Since: 2021

Current Position: DC Liaison, Co-Treasurer, Co-Chair of the Sustainability Team, Member of the Leadership Team

Dr. Marta M. Torres has a multidisciplinary background in Education, Non-Profit, Arts Management, and Equity work. Marta received her Doctorate in Learning and Organizational Change from Baylor University. She received a Master of Arts in Art Education, specializing in Museum Studies, from Caribbean University in 2016, and a Bachelor of Art in History from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey in 2014. Marta has always emphasized the importance of building inclusive, equitable, and transformative community ties. Throughout her career, she has been proactively learning how to work within and dismantle a system built on suppressing social and racial justice. She has created educational content for all ages as a Museum Educator in various institutions in Puerto Rico and Dallas- Fort Worth. She co-founded Texas Art Administrators and Educators of Color,  a small group dedicated to art administrators of color, as a space for networking and community in Texas. Additionally, Marta facilitates and creates Racial Equity and DEI training and workshops for companies, non-profit & organizations, and cultural institutions.

Pronouns: She/Her/Ella

Board Member Since: 2022

Current Position: Co-Treasurer

Kate Zankowicz (she/her/hers) is a museum education practitioner who has created community-driven, inclusive programming in museums in Canada and the US for the past 15 years. Her practice has centered around creating collaborative programming with, not for, communities.

Kate holds a PhD in Education, with a focus on museum-based learning, from the University of Toronto (OISE). She currently serves as the Manager of Youth, Family and Community Engagement at The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens.

During her current tenure at the Huntington, Kate introduced the first occupational therapy doctoral residency, as well as garden-based and arts-based programming with families of all abilities. She also implemented free preschool arts programming, free drop-in multilingual family programs, and  multisensory tours with blind and partially sighted community members.

Kate designs, develops and implements inclusive curricula and museum experiences, and speaks regularly about inclusive museum education at local and international conferences. She also serves on the DEI Committee at The Huntington and is involved with various cross-institutional DEI initiatives in Los Angeles.

Board Member Since: 2020

Current Position: Co-chair of the Editorial Team, Member of the Leadership Team

David O. McCullough (he/him/his) is an independent scholar who studies the history of educational programming in American science museums. David started teaching in museums as a high school student in 1990. In the decades since he has delivered and managed educational programs in several museums, including the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

David’s research explores how we’ve come to view museums as institutions that can support teachers with classroom practice. By focusing on museum educators and programs from the 1860s through the 2000s, his work highlights the individuals, ideologies, and methods that have transformed museums into institutions of pedagogical authority.

David holds a B.S. in Marine and Environmental Science from Hampton University, a M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dave lives near Philadelphia with his wife, two children, and several pets.

Board Member Since: 2022

Current Position: Co-Chair of the Editorial Team, Member of the Leadership Team

Alexandra F. Morris is currently a disabled PhD student in history and the School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Law’s Postgraduate Student Representative at Teesside University. Her PhD research focuses on disability during the Hellenistic/Ptolemaic Period. Other interests include making museums more accessible and inclusive for the disabled community, Ptolemaic Egypt, Alexander the Great, and ancient Egyptian and Greek art, medicine, politics, and religious practices. She has an MA in Museum Studies from New York University and an MA in Near Eastern Languages & Civilisations (Egyptology) from the University of Pennsylvania. Her BA is in Archaeological Studies, Anthropology, and Art History with minors in Classics and history from SUNY Potsdam. She has cerebral palsy.

Board Member Since: 2021

Current Position:  Co-Chair of the Communications Team, Member of the Leadership Team

Kimaada Le Gendre is the Director of Education at the Queens Museum where she curates, develops, implements and oversees education programs rooted in social justice, accessibility and culturally sustaining pedagogy. As a former history teacher, she prides herself on developing and shaping empowering curricula and programs through a decolonized lens.

Kimaada is also the author of seventeen children’s books focused on cultural diversity, empowerment and environmental issues.

She holds a Bachelors in English from Hunter College and a Masters in Environmental Law & Policy with concentrations in Climate Change Law and Energy Law from Vermont Law School.

She is also a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program and an Immigrant Civic Leadership Senior Fellow in the CORO New York Leadership Program. Last year, she became a 2021 Leadership & Social Change Fellow with the Institute For Nonprofit Practice, as well as the Education Advisor and executive board member for the Museums Council of New York City.

Recently, she was chosen to be a part of Art Equity’s BIPOC Leadership Circle Cohort.

Board Member Since: 2022

Current Position: Co-Chair of the Communications Team, Member of the Leadership Team

Hazel Theriault is a museum professional passionate about inclusivity, community, and helping folks pursue their curiosity. She currently serves as the Guest Engagement Assistant Manager at the DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville, Illinois. She previously served as the Youth Program Manager at the Indiana State Museum and the Manager of Public Programs at the Orlando Science Center, developing strong teams and creating quality content for diverse audiences in the surrounding communities, including families, school age children, and Scouts. In the past, she worked at Skeletons: Museum of Osteology, lovingly dubbed the “dead zoo”. In all things, Hazel strives to improve her field, her community, and herself through IDEA work, diligence, and collaboration.

Board Member Since: 2019

Current Position: Secretary; Member of the Sustainability Team and Leadership Team

Jordia Benjamin is an art museum educator, community engagement specialist, and college instructor with over a decade working in the museum sector at both national and international institutions. She believes public engagement work is critical to a museum’s mission and should lie at the heart of its strategic priority to expand access, engagement, and opportunities for its local and global audiences.

Jordia has worked primarily in museum education; first, at the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida, then leading the education department at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, along with being selected as the 21st Romare Bearden Graduate Minority Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

A Bahamian native, Jordia received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art concentrating in Painting from the University of South Florida;  a Master of Nonprofit Management and a graduate certificate in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida. She is also a Certified Museum Professional from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

Jordia is currently the Deputy Director at the Indigo Arts Alliance in Portland, Maine where she guides and refines the artist residency program and develops related programming that connects local, national and international communities.

Board Member Since: 2020

Current Position: Member of the Communications Team

Wade Berger is a PhD Candidate at Northwestern University and studies how informal educators learn from and with each other. His interests include learning in small moments, interaction analysis methods, informal educator professional training, and the connective infrastructure of community-based learning. To do this work, he collaborates with educators at parks, museums, science centers, and after-school clubs. His work recognizes how these spaces are particularly poised to address anti-blackness, settler colonialism, anti-LGBTQ perspectives, deficit-mindsets, ableism, and the faults of capitalism within education.

Wade is an active member of the Chicago Learning Exchange, a visioning committee for the RESHAPE graduate student network, and recently joined a graduate chapter of Iota Phi Theta. He previously managed teen programs and created the Teen Learning Lab at the Shedd Aquarium. He has an M.S. from UW-Madison from the Games+Learning+Society group and started his career in learning as a high school social studies teacher.

Board Member Since: 2022

Current Position: Member of the Communications Team

Sarah Bloom recently joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Discovery Center as the Sr. Officer for Interpretation and Visitor Engagement – overseeing K-12 Education Programs, Youth Programs, Interpretive Strategies and Exhibitions. Prior to this most recent tenure, Sarah served as the Associate Director of Education at the Seattle Art Museum, where for the past eight years, she played a key role in developing and strengthening SAM’s programs across the museum’s three sites: SAM Downtown, the Asian Art Museum, and the Olympic Sculpture Park.. Education, engagement, and outreach have always been at the core of Sarah’s work. Prior to SAM, Sarah held positions with the Getty Museum, the Norton Simon, and the USC Pacific Asia Museum in Los Angeles. A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Sarah received a BA from Boston University and an MA from the University of Colorado in Classical Art & Archaeology.

Board Member Since: 2020

Current Position: Member of the Communications Team

Abigail Diaz (she/her) has worked at thirteen cultural institutions across four states. Past professional experiences includes the Museum of Science and Industry, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA), the Michigan Science Center, Chicago Public Library and James Madison’s Montpelier. She currently works as an Accessibility & Inclusion Consultant. Abbie is a certified ADA Coordinator and was the Kennedy Center’s Emerging Leader in accessibility in 2018. Abbie believes museums are for everyone and works every day to make that a reality.

Board Member Since: 2018

Current Position: Member of the Editorial Team

Andrea Kim Neighbors (she/her/hers) serves as the Manager of Education Initiatives for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC). She collaborates with educators and Asian American and Pacific Islander content specialists on the development of APAC’s National Education Program. Before joining APAC, Andrea was Manager of Community Partnerships at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and Tour Manager at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, WA, designing customized museum experiences to best fit the needs of local educators. Andrea was a Getty Leadership NextGen 2019 Fellow and a Board Officer for the American Alliance of Museum’s Diversity Professional Network. She holds a BA and MA in Cultural Anthropology and has conducted fieldwork in Russian Far East, studying the politicization of childhood.

Board Member Since: 2022

Current Position: Member of the Editorial Team

 

Adrienne Lei is the Manager of Education & Public Programs at The Frick Collection in New York City, where she has worked since 2008. Adrienne holds an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University Teachers College.

Board Member Since: 2020

Current Position: Member of the Sustainability Team

Brandie Macdonald (Chickasaw/Choctaw, she/her) is the Senior Director of Decolonizing Initiatives at the Museum of Us. Her work/research focuses on the implementation of anti-colonial/decolonial theory and practice in museums which centers truth-telling, accountability, and actionable change. Brandie’s also enrolled in the Education Studies Ph.D. program at University of California, San Diego. She’s a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, American Alliance of Museums’ Nancy Hanks Award for Professional Excellent recipient, a Smithsonian Affiliate Fellow at the National Museum of the American Indian, and she currently sits on the board of the Western Museums Association.

Board Member Since: 2022

Current Position: Member of the Editorial Team

Brindha Muniappan is the Senior Director of the Museum Experience at the Discovery Museum in Acton, MA. She is enthusiastic about producing meaningful ways for people of all ages and diverse experiences to engage with science and technology, and working in a variety of museums has helped her accomplish this. Her work at the Discovery Museum continues a focus on diversifying audiences through intentional collaborations with local community organizations. Before joining the Discovery Museum in 2019, Brindha had spent eight years at the MIT Museum leading the Education & Public Programs team and had been an Education Associate in the Current Science & Technology group at the Museum of Science, Boston. Brindha’s passion for science communication led her from the research bench at MIT — she has a degree in environmental engineering and PhD in biological engineering — and into the field of informal science education.

Board Member Since: 2019

Current Position: Member of the Editorial Team

Asami Robledo-Allen Yamamoto (she/her/ella) is the Community and Bilingual Program Coordinator for the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. She focuses on bilingual, teen, and accessibility museum programs rooted in constructivism, empathy, and compassion. Asami is a disabled, Mexican woman and believes museum educational programs are catalysts to change in their surrounding communities. Therefore, she advocates for Spanish-language inclusion, anti-ableist and anti-racist museum education practices, and gamification. She has also been a bilingual gallery teacher at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

Asami earned her both her degrees from the University of North Texas. Her MA
is in Art Education with a certification in Art Museum Education and her BFA is in Art Education with a double minor in Psychology and Art History. Asami is also a practicing artist trying to raise awareness for various chronic illnesses through her paintings and video art.

Board Member Since: 2022

Current Position: Member of the Editorial Team