Current Masters Students

Last updated on September 9th, 2020.

A Abudu, Adekoyejo
Avia Estrada, Marina
B Braybrooks, Alison
Belli, Cristina
Bouichou, Marie
C Chang, Caroline
Chu, Michelle
D DeBerry, Tess
Denison, Leah
Derrac Soria, Clara
Ding, Xinni
F Faulkner, Sarah
Fialkoff, Andie
G Gallagher, Erin
Gebara, Sophia
Gu, Jiayi
Guan, Luming
Guan, Zhirui
Guh, Alison

H Hampton, Madison
Hansen, Manuela
Hu, Yueqiu
J Jain, Akshay
Jamison, Marcus
Janisch, Richard Austin
Javaheri-Saatchi, Laleh
K Klein, Abbe
Klein, Colton
L Li, Si
M Masselli, Margaret
Meneses, Ana-Sofia
Morse, Hannah
P Park, Celine Hyejin
Paschaie, Natalie
Pratt-Thompson, Katherine

S Shaker, Rotana
Small, Emily
Sussmane, Nicole
R Rosenberg, Ethan
T Terada, Yuma
Tournaye, Aude
V Vargas de la Peña, Nínive
W Wang, Shaun
Wehby, Emily
Wong, Jean
Y Ying, Euphie
Z Zevi, Clara
Zhan, Tiffany
Zhu, Shuni
Zhuo, La

Marina Avia Estrada

Marina Avia Estrada

MODA

Marina Avia Estrada is a first-year MODA student and a Fulbright Scholar from Spain. She holds a Master in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture from the Museo Reina Sofía (2016) and a B.A. in Art History from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2013). She has been awarded with several national and international scholarships.

Marina has held positions at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, AECID Spain, Galería Maisterravalbuena, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, and Tabacalera Contemporary Art Center (Madrid), among others. She regularly collaborates with the Spanish Art Magazine Exit Express. Her research interests include gender and race, and activist art from the 70s to nowadays. She is currently a curatorial intern at the International Print Center of New York.

Clara Derrac Soria

Clara Derrac Soria

MODA

Clara Derrac Soria is a first-year MODA student and a 2019 -2021 Fulbright grantee. She holds an M.A. in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture (Honors Thesis) from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and Reina Sofia National Museum (2016), and a B.A. in Art History from the Universidad de Granada (2014). Her research interests include institutional critique and political art, with a particular focus on artistic practices that deal with immaterial labor and post-Fordist models of production in the digital medium. She has worked in several institutions in Spain, including Reina Sofia National Museum, Art Center Matadero, and Instituto Cervantes. Among other grants, Clara has received an Erasmus Scholarship to study at the Universite d’Artois (France) in 2013, and an ARGO Fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Culture to undertake an internship at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in NY in 2017. She is currently a curatorial intern at the Public Art Fund.

Tess DeBerry

Tess DeBerry

MODA

Tess DeBerry graduated with a BA in History of Art, earning both departmental honors and university honors from Johns Hopkins University in 2019. Her research interests include Cold War era feminist performance, specifically the artistic production of women artists in East Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, and the way in which their work related to sociocultural and political issues. She currently works in the curatorial department at the Whitney Museum of American Art and at the Media Center for Art History.

Sarah Faulkner

MA in Art History

Sarah Faulkner is a first-year MA student who studies Japanese art history, particularly Edo period paintings and woodblock prints. She is interested in analyzing the intersection of art and politics at transitional moments for cultures, focusing on understanding sociopolitical, gender, and cross-cultural relations through the study of both iconography and art’s role in society. As an undergraduate studying at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, her studies focused on the transmission and cultivation of elements of visual culture between and within communities both in India and the Himalayas, drawing on analysis of political exchange and sociology for interpretation.

Erin Gallagher

Erin Gallagher

MODA

Erin Gallagher is an educator and artist with particular interests in critical pedagogy, community arts education, and social justice. She currently works as an educator and programmer in teen, school, and family programs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. She was previously the Academic Programs Coordinator at the Brooklyn Museum where she taught college and graduate students, facilitated academic partnerships, and assisted with public programs. She led the Teen Arts & Culture Council at Friends of the High Line, creating activist spaces and summits for NYC youth. She also worked at BKM as an educator leading school, youth, family, and access programs and trained and managed a core group of 50+ Museum Guides in adult tours of the collection. As a teaching artist, Erin’s led gallery / studio classes for all ages and art-making workshops for various family programs. She is currently pursuing an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art at Columbia University (American Art; Diasporic, Queer, Feminist, Indigenous) and holds a BA in Art History & English from Vassar College.

Sophia Gebara

Sophia Gebara

MA in Art History

Sophia Gebara is a first year MA Art History and Archaeology student with particular interests in digital art and Latin American & Caribbean art. Earning her bachelors from Union College (NY) with highest honors in Art History and a minor in Spanish and Hispanic Studies, she culminated her degree with a thesis that looked to grapple with the discourse and critical commentary surrounding various artists working with digital art. Particularly examining virtual reality (VR) works of art and their impact on society, she discusses notions of the human condition, whether critiquing international and political conflicts, human rights, gender and sexuality, or humanity’s impact on the environment.

She has held various positions at the Yale University Art Gallery, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, as well as the Williams College Museum of Art.

Jiayi Gu

Jiayi Gu

MODA

Jiayi, who also goes by Estelle, joined the MODA program in the fall of 2019 upon receiving her B.A. with distinction and a concentration in art history and Italian from Sarah Lawrence College, where there is no traditional major requirements. She is primarily interested in Italian modern and contemporary art and institutional critique. As an undergraduate, she spent one year studying art history, museology and sociology at the Università di Firenze and Middlebury Sede in Italy. Previously, she has held internship at the Center for Italian Modern Art.

Manuela Hansen

Manuela Hansen

MODA

Manuela Hansen is a Fulbright Scholar from Argentina currently pursuing an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies at Columbia University. Her field of research includes Modern and Contemporary Art with a focus on the Posthuman, on Institutional Critique, and Latin America. Manuela currently serves at the Steering Committee of Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery; she has served at MALBA Joven’s Steering Committee (Young Friends Association of the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires); as Professor of Latin American and Argentinean Art in Universidad del Salvador, Argentina; as Project Manager of Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires; and as Artistic Director of Buenos Aires Art Week. Manuela earned her Bachelor of Arts (with Honors Diploma) in Arts Management and Art History at Universidad del Salvador, Argentina.

Akshay Jain

Akshay Jain

MODA

Akshay Jain is a second year MODA student focusing on global comparative modernities, with particular interest in the art of South Asia and more broadly the Muslim world. He graduated with a BA from Cornell University, where he studied Art History and Film Studies. He has previously worked at Aicon Gallery, Christie's, and Delhi Art Gallery. He is currently Assistant Curator at Darat al Funun.

Marcus Jamison

Marcus Jamison

MODA

Marcus Jamison is a first year MODA student. He holds a BA in Art History (Cum Laude) from SUNY Purchase, and completed his undergraduate thesis on matters concerning institutional critique, specifically focusing on the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum. His research interests are concerned with the discourse of contemporaneity, beginning with the year 1989, as well as artists working in mediums such as New Media and Photography. He has held curatorial internships at Fridman Gallery and the Studio Museum in Harlem. He is currently a curatorial intern at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Austin Janisch

Austin Janisch

MODA

Austin is a first year MODA student focusing on moments where the work of artists transformed, critiqued or inspired society. Passionate about cultivating his creativity through his art practice, Austin seeks to blend History and Art to bring the contemporary period in conversation with the past and through analysis highlight those continuities that are parallel with and can inform the present. His research seeks to develop cross-cultural and temporal comparisons to address issues which have re-emerged in the contemporary period. Austin’s undergraduate thesis titled “Soaring into Los Angeles: The 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet” was published in the 2020 edition of the University of California’s URCA Journal.

His past experiences include positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Aside from academia, he is an avid ultramarathon runner. Austin earned his Bachelor of Arts in both History and Art along with a Minor in Museum Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Laleh Javaheri-Saatchi

Laleh Javaheri-Saatchi

MA in Art History

Laleh is a student of Art History with a particular fascination in the study of jewelry. Born in a multi-generational family of jewelers, she was exposed to jewelry throughout her life. The origins of forms, the history of fabrication techniques, and meaning in motifs and materials are amongst topics of interest. Combined with an interest in the arts of the ancient Near East, Laleh seeks to shed light through her studies on the various forms of bodily ornamentation preponderant in the ancient Near East. Bracelets from the Achaemenid period are a particular favorite. Laleh is also the mother of two boys, a long-time New Yorker, creates her own jewelry and is on the board of the Poets House in downtown NYC.

Colton Klein

Colton Klein

MA in Art History

Colton Klein is a first-year MA student focusing on American visual culture from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries with an emphasis on interdisciplinary connections to film and media studies. These research interests evolved from topics considered in his undergraduate thesis “Edward Hopper and the Cinema,” which argued that Hopper developed pictorial linear narratives through a process of compositional construction analogous to Hollywood studio system storyboarding. Colton graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Washington and Lee University where he earned his BA in Art History and BS in Business Administration with a minor in Studio Art. After graduation, he worked for five years as a cataloguer in the American Art department at Sotheby’s New York, where he researched nineteenth and early twentieth century paintings, drawings, and sculpture. Colton is also interested in issues related to urban visuality; he is concurrently studying Historic Preservation through the Center for Applied Liberal Arts at the NYU School of Professional Studies.

Ana-Sofia Meneses

Ana-Sofia Meneses

MA in Art History

Ana-Sofia Meneses is a New Yorker, student of Art History, theater costumer, and archaeologist. She enjoys taking on innovative and meaningful projects, organizing chaos through creativity, and engaging with people's conceptions of the visual. She has worked with the Poggio Civitate Archaeological Project, Dig Umbria, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Scala Publishing, The Juilliard School, Glimmerglass Opera Festival, and Target Margin Theater. These days, she fuses her Classics background and Art Historical scholarship with her love for costumes by studying ancient theater, particularly in the Roman world. She is interested in constructions of identity presented in outward appearance, and wonders what ancient theater mask type was the sweatiest.

Hannah Morse

Hannah Morse

MODA

Hannah Morse is a second-year MODA student and a 2019-2020 MODA Curatorial Fellow. Her thesis aims to critically analyze and locate Abdourahmane Sakaly’s (1926-1988) oeuvre within the discourse of Malian photography, and by doing so, makes visible the structures that shape the dominant historical narrative. As a MODA Curatorial Fellow, Hannah has curated a group exhibition at the Wallach Gallery titled “Reframing the Passport Photo”, which uses the passport photo as a lens through which to view contemporary issues associated with the globalized world: migration, nationalism, access, belonging, and personhood.

Natalie Pashaie

MODA

Natalie Pashaie is a first year MODA student at Columbia University. She recently graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, where she earned her B.A. in Art History and Comparative Literature (2020). Her experience in the art world has been varied; she has excavated and conducted research in Ostia Antica, participated in LACMA's Mellon Summer Academy (2018), written art criticism for the Daily Trojan and for ArtNowLA (an online art review platform for which she still writes), worked at an art advisory, and assisted a curator in planning the exhibition Guasti, Michelucci, e il Monumento ai Tre Carabinieri in Fiesole, Italy. Her research interests lie within a global view of contemporary art, and on contemporary artists who, through their artwork, challenge marginalization and redefine preexisting narratives.

Katherine Pratt-Thompson

Katherine Pratt-Thompson

MA in Art History

Katherine is a second year MA student studying art history and visual culture of North America in the long nineteenth century. Her interests include landscape and geography, print culture of the nineteenth century, and the intersections between art, science and ecocriticism. Katherine received her bachelor's degree from Princeton University with a certificate in American Studies. She has held positions at the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, the Princeton University Art Museum and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. During the 2020-2021 academic year, Katherine will hold the inaugural Bechhoefer Graduate Intern in American Art position at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Rotana Shaker

Rotana Shaker

MODA

Rotana is a second year MODA student and 2019-2020 MODA Curatorial Fellow at the Wallach. She is interested in contemporary art, with a particular focus on artists with links to the Middle East. Her thesis looks into the work of contemporary artists engaging with history, memory, and archives. She is currently curating an exhibition exploring these themes titled "A Bottomless Silence" which is set to open at the Wallach in the Spring.

Rotana received her B.S. (Magna Cum Laude) in Psychology and Art History from Tufts University. She has held internship positions at the New Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Guggenheim, amongst other galleries and non-profit arts organizations in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Emily Small

MODA

Emily Small is a visual artist and first year MODA student. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2018 with honors, distinguished by the department of textiles as a returning visual artist. She was the recipient of the 2018 David A. Warner award for excellence, for her work in performance theory within RISD’s school of liberal arts and Brown University’s performing arts department. She is interested in institutional critique, and relations of space and architecture to contemporary art and performance, as forms of archiving and historicization.

Her work has been featured in Woods Gerry Gallery, Artist’s Exchange Gallery, Galleria Emily Harvey, Draft Catalogue, and Modus Flash Zine. In 2019 she co-founded Dollhouse Philly, a DIY Philadelphia based show and media initiative. She has also held positions as co-director of Attitude! Dance Company, and assistant at Yowie (Philadelphia).

Nicole Sussmane

Nicole Sussmane

MA in Art History

Nicole Sussmane is a second year MA student in Art History and Archaeology focusing on Roman Art, with a particular interest in sculpture. She received a BA in History from New York University. She currently works as a Legal Assistant at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Nínive Vargas de la Peña

Nínive Vargas de la Peña

MA in Art History

Nínive Vargas de la Peña is an MA Art History and Archaeology student, has a Bachelor in Literature, and a deep passion for the syncretic origins of the Mexican cultural identity. Most of her works have dwelled upon the Baroque Identity of Latin America, and the contrast of perspectives between the colonizer and what has been called “the vision of the defeated”. Her area of research spans between the 16th-18th centuries, with an emphasis in the Iberian Americas, with a special interest in the syncretic representations of evil, being humane or in the territory of the occult. Through her work, she wishes that the “vision of the defeated” can be permanently seen and represented.

Emily Wehby

Emily Wehby

MA in Art History

Emily Wehby is a first year MA student in the Department of Art History and Archeology at Columbia University. Her research interests include nineteenth and early twentieth century European and American painting with an emphasis on academic painting, and she is especially interested in early photography’s influence on the aesthetics of academic painting. She received her bachelor’s degree in Art History from Rhodes College in 2012, and her undergraduate research focused on the relationship between William Bouguereau’s paintings and early photography. She previously has served as the curatorial intern for the Parthenon Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, and as a teaching assistant for Northern Arizona University. She has also held positions with Vanderbilt University and Tennessee’s Department of Commerce and Insurance.

Jean Wong

Jean Wong

MODA

Jean Wong is a second-year MODA student who studies systems of discipline and their manifestations as architecture and communications infrastructure. She is interested in avant-garde art movements that resist and are enabled by these systems of discipline, and her research areas include 20th- and 21st-century Southeast and East Asia. Jean graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in Studio Arts and Art History (double major) where she studied oil painting, and classical and Renaissance art and architecture. Prior to entering the MODA program, Jean worked as a museum educator and art critic in Singapore.

Euphie Ying

Euphie Ying

MODA

Euphie is a first year MA student in the MODA program in the Art History Department at Columbia, where she studies and conducts research on postwar and contemporary art in a global context. She is interested in contemporary post-colonialist critical theories, avant-garde artistic practices of the Asian diaspora, and the modernism-postmodernism debate as reverberated in global artistic activities. Euphie grew up in Ningbo, China. She came to the United States and earned her BA degree with majors in art history and economics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Tiffany Zhan

Tiffany Zhan

MODA

After receiving her BA in 2019 at the University of Toronto, Tiffany entered into the MODA program to further her studies and investigations of East Asian, specifically Chinese, contemporary art and visual culture. With her undergraduate background in art history and arts management, and informed by her internship at the National Art Museum of China, her interests reside specifically in arts institutions, popular culture, as well as global artistic practices and theories.

Shuni Zhu

Shuni Zhu

MA in Art History

Shuni Zhu is a first year MA student studying European art, focusing on French paintings, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. She received her B.A. with Honors in Art History from University of Southern California, with a minor in Communication Design. For her undergraduate thesis, she wrote on Edgar Degas and his atypical use of color. She explored how art historians have overemphasized the extent to which Degas was flouting the conventions of color of his time, and as broader cultural and intellectual debates about color swirled around him, Degas consciously separates from popular trends that resulted in the most Impressionist of his Impressionist paintings. She previously worked as an assistant organizer at the Getty, also interned at Christie’s, Make Room Gallery in Los Angeles, as well as MadeIn Gallery in Shanghai.