students inspecting an art piece

ASU-LACMA Master's Fellowship in Art History

Advancing a new generation of art museum leaders to create a more inclusive museum field

The ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship was founded in 2018 as a partnership between ASU and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with the aim to culturally diversify the staff and leadership of art museums in the United States. The fellowship offers a three-year degree program that pairs rigorous academic instruction through traditional masters-level coursework with on-the-job work experience. This program supports a culturally diverse generation of museum professionals  to promote inclusivity both in the museum and art history.

The fellowship

The fellowship allows staff already working at a participating museum to enroll in the master’s degree program in Art History at ASU. Museum employees take the classes via Zoom technology and participate in person and remotely in professional development activities.

Fellows have access to resources at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Perez Art Museum Miami, the Heard Museum, the ASU Art Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Memphis Brook Art Museum and ASU’s Herberger Institute, the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the United States.

Goals and benefits

  • Culturally diversify the next generations of museum leaders.
  • Accelerate the careers of museum professionals of color already working in museums.
  • Lead radical change in the study and practice of art history and museum studies to be more inclusive.
  • Create a professional network among participating museums and fellows.
  • Diversify the curriculum in ASU’s art history and museum studies in much needed areas such as African American, Asian American, Indigenous, Latin American and Latinx art.

Eligibility requirements

Potential applicants must be employed at a participating museum for a minimum of one year. In addition, applicants must fulfill all admissions requirements for the MA in Art History degree, including a short essay describing the commitment to diversifying the museum field and expanding opportunities for the diverse voices and expression of a changing America to be represented in museum programming and leadership.

How to apply

  1. Apply to the School of Art's MA in Art History Degree by Jan. 15.
  2. Send the following required application materials to the Director of the ASU-LACMA Fellowship program in the School of Art Angélica Afanador-Pujol at by Jan. 15.
    • Fellowship essay
      In 750 words or less, please describe your commitment to diversifying the museum field and expanding opportunities for the diverse voices and expression of a changing America to be represented in museum programming and leadership.
    • Supervisor approval form
      Please complete the supervisor approval form and secure the signature of your employment supervisor to confirm your supervisor’s support and endorsement of your application. Please submit the approval form to the Director of the ASU-LACMA Fellowship program in the School of Art (address above) and the Human Resources department of your museum.

Program components

ASU's MA in art history is a comprehensive degree program designed to train students to engage with visuality in multiple ways. A diverse curriculum fosters critical understanding of aesthetics, production, patronage and consumption of art. Internationally recognized faculty members offer classes covering many cultures, time periods and geographies, using multiple approaches and methodologies. The program stresses intersections between disciplines and art in social and political contexts, and histories and theories of visual culture.

Fellows enroll in two graduate-level courses each semester. Course offerings in the art history curriculum include Ancient Greek and Roman, Asian, Contemporary, Global/Thematic Seminars, Latin American, Medieval, Modern, Pre-Columbian art, contemporary Indigenous art, African American and African Diaspora.

Additionally to the required art history courses, fellows can enroll in museum courses and in seminars offered outside the art history area or School of Art such as: American Indian Studies, Asian Pacific American Studies, African and African American Studies, Anthropology, Communication, Women and Gender Studies, Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, Ethnic Studies, School of Sustainability, Global Studies, Philosophy, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and more.

Each fellow is mentored by a seasoned museum professional outside of their home institution during the fellowship to provide individual counsel on graduate study, thesis and externship design, and ongoing career trajectory.

Thesis requirement
Under the guidance of a Thesis Committee, fellows write a thesis proposal during the second year and complete and defend their thesis in the third year. The thesis must demonstrate significant research abilities and methodological approaches.

Language requirement
Students must have a reading knowledge of one research language. The selected language needs to be appropriate for the area of research concentration and must be approved by the chosen faculty mentor. The requirement can be fulfilled by passing the Graduate Foreign Language Examination. Although it is highly recommended that students meet the foreign language requirement before beginning the program, many languages can be taken at ASU.

Travel and externship
Fellows are expected to travel to one to two convenings at ASU at the beginning of each semester and occasionally to one of the partner institutions.

Fellows participate in a customized weeklong externship at the end of their second year.

The externship is a summer travel opportunity for the fellows to either develop curatorial and thesis-related research, to work on a project with their mentor, or to travel on a professional development trip that will be focused on exploring a type of museum practice that will advance their careers, based on their professional and/or academic interests.

Who’s involved

Museum partners

The ASU-LACMA Master’s Fellowship was founded in 2018 as a partnership between ASU and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Since 2021, the partnership expanded to include the Heard Museum, the ASU Art Museum and the Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, Pérez Art Museum in Miami, and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Museum partners employ fellows and cover travel expenses. 

Current fellows

Velma Kee Craig

Velma Kee Craig joined the Heard Museum as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in 2017 and was hired as assistant curator in 2020. She is a textile artist and teaching artist, and she has produced short films and written poetry. She is a graduate of Arizona State University with a BA in English literature and a minor in American Indian studies. She has taught Diné weaving workshops with organizations such as the Heard Museum, Phoenix Indian Center, Sacred Youth Foundation and local school districts’ Native American programs. Her weavings have been exhibited as part of the exhibitions: "Celebrating Gifts from Spiderwoman’s Grandchildren," "WOVEN: The Art of Contemporary Native Weaving," "Connective Tissue," "WEAVE: construct. code. connect" and "Color Riot! How Color Changed Navajo Weaving." She has won awards for her short films "Interview with Einstein" and "in this manner, I am."


hope flores

Hope Flores earned her BA in art history from California State University, Long Beach, in 2021. She has worked in the arts since 2015 and has previously held positions at the Museum of Latin American Art, Vincent Price Art Museum, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, and Self Help Graphics & Art. Flores is an alum of the Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship program and was notably the first community college student to earn a Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship at LACMA in 2016–18. She returned to LACMA in late 2021 as a curatorial assistant in the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department. In her current role, she manages her department’s active acquisition program and has contributed to the recent exhibitions Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You, I Mean Me, I Mean You. (2022); City of Cinema: Paris, 1850–1907 (2022); and Objects of Desire: Photography and the Language of Advertising (2022). Flores intends to use her positionality as an ASU-LACMA Fellow to historicize the resurgence of experimental analog photography in contemporary Latinx and (post-)Chicanx art.

becca folkes lallo

Becca Folkes-Lallo received her bachelor’s degree in urban studies and media studies with a concentration in film from Rhodes College in 2022. She joined the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in 2022 as the school programs coordinator. In her role, Folkes-Lallo engages students from across the Memphis area in gallery exploration and artmaking. Deeply influenced by the ways students find themselves in artwork, Folkes-Lallo plans to explore the way Black female artists from the American South use their work as a means of storytelling and community building.

julia han

Julia Han received her BA in art history from the University of California, Riverside, and a master’s degree in library and information science from University of California, Los Angeles. Han joined LACMA in 2011 as the Balch Art Research Library's stacks manager and currently works as librarian across the Balch Art Research Library and the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies. At ASU, Han plans to examine issues at the intersection of museums, globalization, and information ethics, with a focus on provenance, repatriation, and indigenous decolonization. She is also interested in exploring the unfolding narratives and ethical issues around North Korean art.

emily le

Emily Le received her Bachelor of Arts in art history and English, with a minor in archaeology, in May 2021 from the University of Southern California (USC). Le first joined LACMA in 2019 as an Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow, first in the Japanese Art Department and then in the European Painting and Sculpture Department. She is now working in LACMA’s Development Department as the annual giving assistant. As an ASU-LACMA fellow, Le plans to further explore her research interests in Asian American, Asian Diasporic and Southeast Asian art histories, especially in relation to ideas of memory, counter-memory and post-memory.

claudia lopez

Claudia López grew up on the borderlands known as Ciudad Juárez-El Paso. Her Indigenous identity is rooted in northern Mexico where her ancestors are from. López migrated to Phoenix as a young adult and obtained a BFA in photography from Arizona State University in 2018. In her current position as the bilingual communications specialist at PhxArt, López leads the museum’s bilingual initiative, helping the institution connect with the Spanish-speaking community. Her curatorial endeavors are centered in people and their stories, while her community-building efforts focus on indigenizing spaces, supporting transborder voices, and unlearning Eurocentric and patriarchal narratives. As an ASU-LACMA Fellow, López intends to further her research of matrilineal preservation of ancestral knowledge, seeking to build a framework founded on Indigenous ways of thinking, and one that acknowledges BIPOC identities outside of the binary.

jackeline lopez

Jackeline Lopez received her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She joined LACMA as an Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellow in 2019 and was hired as a curatorial administrator in the Art of the Ancient Americas department in 2021. Lopez is a first-generation Latina from South Central Los Angeles who draws on her anthropological training to understand emic and etic power dynamics in museum spaces. Her goals as a scholar in the ASU-LACMA Fellowship are to investigate implicit cultural practices that expect and even prompt emerging BIPOC museum professionals to specialize in the very same curatorial areas that tokenize them and to help center Indigenous ontologies and narratives in Mesoamerican studies.

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 Pilipino/a/x artists and stories of the diaspora into the institutional canon. She intends to focus on 1980s Philippine art collectives and contemporary Pilipino/a/x artists based in the United States, studying their depictions of intergenerational trauma and understanding of collective memory transmission.

roshii montano

Roshii Montaño is a queer Diné scholar currently working in Phoenix, AZ. She graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Art History with departmental honors in 2020. Soon after graduating, she joined the Heard Museum as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow and was hired as a curatorial assistant in 2022. She has assisted in many exhibitions at the Heard Museum and is independently co-curating an exhibition at Idyllwild Arts “Looking at Us: Examining Institutional Critique.” Roshii’s research interests include Indigenous queer performance, contemporary Indigenous art, decolonial theory, and Navajo textile politics concerning gender, labor, and economy.


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.


mariam 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 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.

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 (PAMM). 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 female, Latin artists who have failed to receive equal recognition to their male contemporaries, or female, Latin 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.

ninabah reid winton

Ninabah graduated from ASU in 2016 with a BA in digital culture (music). Since then, she has worked on exhibitions at the Heard Museum and at Idyllwild Arts, including Color Riot! How Color Changed Navajo Textiles (2019) and Looking at Us: Examining Institutional Critique (2022). In 2022, Winton joined the curatorial department at the ASU Art Museum as an assistant curator. Her research interests lie in contemporary craft and design, contemporary North American Indigenous art, sound and audio art, textiles and fibers, and material and craft economies. Winton is Diné (Navajo), and is based in downtown Phoenix.

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 Arizona State University, Zacarias intends to research the intersection of contemporary art, feminist theory and landscape architecture and make use of LACMA’s and ASU’s rich collection. She holds a BA in studio art and business administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where she was the recipient of the Mach Fellowship and received an Excellence in Art Award.

Past fellows

  • Aurora van Zoelen Cortés, 2022
    Curatorial Administrator
    Art of the Ancient Americas, LACMA
  • Ariana Enriquez, 2021
    Assistant Registrar
    ASU Art Museum
  • Matthew Villar Miranda2021
    Curatorial fellow
    ASU Art Museum
  • Dhyandra Lawson, 2021
    Curatorial Assistant, Wallis Annenberg
    Photography Department
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Celia Yang2021
    Head of Director’s Strategic Initiatives, Asia
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art 


Internationally recognized faculty members in the history of art are joined each year by a dynamic mix of rotating visiting faculty and respected museum curators across the partner museums, who offer classes that span many cultures, time periods and geographies, using multiple approaches and methodologies. Meet the ASU art history faculty.

Academic director

Program director

Museum curators

Each year a specialized seminar is taught by museum curators.

  • 2018 Iranian Art: The Intersection of Past and Present (Linda Komaroff, LACMA)
  • 2019 Daoist Art (Stephen Little, LACMA)
  • 2020 Writing, Speaking and Collaborating in a Museum Context (Diana Magaloni, LACMA)
  • 2023 Abrupt Intrusions: The Making of Modern Art in Korea (Virginia Moon, LACMA)

Program advisers

  • Michael Govan, Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Zoe Kahr, Director, Memphis Brooks Museum, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Forrest Solis, Director, School of Art, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, ASU
  • Steven Tepper, Dean and Director, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, ASU
  • Olga Viso, Senior Advisor on Global Arts Partnerships, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, ASU

Program mentors

  • Maryam Ekhtiar, Patti Cadby Birch Curator, Department of Islamic Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Ben Garcia, Executive Director at the American LGBTQ+ Museum, New York
  • Kelli Morgan Professor of the Practice, Curatorial Studies. Director of Curatorial Studies, Tufts University, Boston
  • Maria Elena Ortiz, Curator, The Modern, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Zoe Kahr, Executive Director, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Diana Magaloni, Deputy Director, Program Director and Dr. Virginia Fields Curator of the Art of the Ancient Americas, LACMA
  • Dakota Hoska, Associate Curator, Native Arts, Denver Art Museum

Past mentors

  • Clarissa Esguerra, Associate Curator Costumes and Textiles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Erica Franek, Assistant Director, Registration and Collection Information, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Miki Garcia, Director, ASU Art Museum
  • Julio César Morales, Senior Curator, ASU Art Museum
  • Olga Viso, Senior Advisor on Global Arts Partnerships, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, ASU

Public lectures

Navigating Change in Museums lecture series

The ASU-LACMA Navigating Change in Museums lecture series looks at diversity in museum practices. This series is free and open to the public.

Past lectures

  • Diana Magaloni, Jan. 14, 2020, “The Florentine Codex & the Creation of the New World”
  • Rita Gonzalez and Stephen Little, Aug. 26, 2019, “Art History in the Art Museum: A Curator’s Perspective”
  • Amada Cruz, Miki Gracia and Tiffany Ana López, Nov. 27, 2018, “Roundtable Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion”
  • Bryan Brayboy, Aug. 13, 2018, “Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education”
  • Chon Noriega, Aug. 13, 2018, “The Museum of the Future: Archives, Collections, Exhibitions, and Catalogs”
  • Sharon Takeda, Aug. 13, 2018, “From Farm Girl to Museum Curator: The Story of One Asian-American”