Current Masters Students

Last updated on November 7th, 2019.

A Avia Estrada, Marina
B Belli, Cristina
Bouichou, Marie
C Chu, Michelle
D Dajani, Majdolene
DeBerry, Tess
Derrac Soria, Clara
Ding, Xinni
E Elizondo Garza, Nina
F Faulkner, Sarah
Fung, On Tsun
G Gallagher, Erin
Gu, Jiayi
Guan, Luming
Guan, Zhirui
Guh, Alison Juani

H Hansen, Manuela
Hummerstone, Amy
J Jain, Akshay
Jamison, Marcus
Javaheri-Saatchi, Laleh
K Kawada, Makiko
Kim, Sarah Jane
Kroll, Paula
L Li, Shiying
M Masselli, Margaret
Meneses, Ana-Sofia
Morse, Hannah
P Pratt-Thompson, Katherine
R Rastorfer, Marina
Rodriguez, Dana

S Shaker, Rotana
Sheehan, Sydney
Shi, Yusang
Sopcisak, Lowell
Sussmane, Nicole
T Tournaye, Aude
V Vargas de la Peña, Nínive
W Wang, Shaun
Wong, Jean
Y Ying, Euphie
Z Zevi, Clara
Zhan, Tiffany
Zhu, Shuni

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. Her research interests include gender and race, and activist art in the 70s-80s period.

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 the relation between art and education and the debates around participation in contemporary art. 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.

Tess DeBerry

Tess DeBerry

MODA

Tess DeBerry is a first-year MODA student from New Jersey. She 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 gender and queer theory in early 20th century German art, with a focus on the Weimar Republic.

Sarah Faulkner

MA in Art History

Japanese Art

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.

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 entered the MODA program in 2019 as Grantee of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship for Postgraduates Studies. She is interested in engaging in curatorial practice and her research topics include modern and contemporary art, with a focus on current forms of institutional critique from Latin America.

From 2016 to 2019 Manuela has served as Adjunct Professor of American and Argentine Art IV at Universidad del Salvador. In 2016 she served as member for the Steering Committee at Malba Joven (young friends association of Malba Museum). She then worked at the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires and held since 2017 the position of Project Manager for the program Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires, hosted in collaboration with Art Basel. In 2019 she was appointed Creative Director and Head of Management for the Buenos Aires Art Week (April 8-14th) for which she curated a series of public art projects within a park in the city, oversaw a team of 20 people and partnered with 30 local art institutions. Manuela earned her Bachelor’s degree (with Honors Diploma) in Arts Management and Art History at Universidad del Salvador, Argentina.

Sarah Jane Kim

Sarah Jane Kim

MA in Art History

Nineteenth-century French Art; History of Printmaking

Sarah Jane Kim is a second-year M.A. candidate studying nineteenth-century European art and visual culture, with a focus on French works on paper and paintings. She is particularly interested in print media and materiality, as well as the theoretical dynamics involved in the human making, perception, and circulation of objects as constructions of culture, meaning, and identity. Her thesis examines the posthumous printing and collecting of Edouard Manet's etchings at the turn of the century. Sarah Jane received her B.A. (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Georgetown University, where she was awarded the Leo M. Doran Award for Art History. She has held positions at the Opera Gallery in Seoul, Phillips auction house in New York, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. She is the MA Representative of the Art History and Archaeology Graduate Association at Columbia, and currently works as a Research Assistant in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Ana-Sofia Meneses

Ana-Sofia Meneses

MA in Art History

Roman and Etruscan Art & Archaeology, Greek and Roman Theater

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 MODA Curatorial Fellow, Hannah is curating 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.

Katherine Pratt-Thompson

Katherine Pratt-Thompson

MA in Art History

Katherine is a first year student in the MA program, where she is studying art and visual culture of North America in the long nineteenth century. Her interests include representations of the landscape, print culture of the nineteenth century, and the intersections between art, science and ecocriticism.

Katherine received her bachelor's degree from Princeton University and has held positions at the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, the Princeton University Art Museum, and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.

Marina Rastorfer

Marina Rastorfer

MODA

Marina received both her BA (summa cum laude) in art history and museum professions and her Associates degree in Applied Science (summa cum laude) from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Since attending Columbia, Marina has focused her studies on Interwar Period Art with an emphasis on provenance research and restitution of works of art between 1933 and 1945. Her interest in the development of digital humanities is featured in her master’s thesis with the intention of broadening the accessibility and knowledge of provenance research on World War Two looted art to a greater public. Combining the legal profession with her studies, Marina has in 2019 worked on an independent research project for the New York law firm Danziger, Danziger & Muro, LLP on legal issues relating to a well-known holocaust art restitution matter.

Dana Rodriguez

Dana Rodriguez

MODA

Modern and Contemporary Art

Dana entered the MODA program in 2018 and is focused on contemporary art, specifically African American art and art of the African diaspora. She is writing her thesis on Nina Chanel Abney and her use of the recurring athlete figure and how it demonstrates conceptions of race, the commodification of blackness, and the general notion of “fairness” in America with regards to racial equality. Previously, she received a BA in Art History and a BS in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, North Carolina Museum of Art, Ackland Art Museum, and with various art advisory firms.

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.

Sydney Sheehan

Sydney Sheehan

MA in Art History

Sydney Sheehan is a second-year MA candidate in Art History studying the art of North America in the ‘Long Nineteenth Century.’ Sydney’s interests lie particularly in Maritime Visual Culture and History and her thesis is considering the emergence of the Native American image as figurehead aboard trade ships of the early and mid nineteenth-century. Sydney is also pursuing a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies through the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality.

Prior to her masters at Columbia University, Sydney received her B.A. in Art History, with honors, from George Washington University. Sydney has held positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum for American Art, LaPlaca Cohen consulting firm, and was the curatorial assistant for the MA 2019 exhibition titled: Clodion and Clodion Mania in Nineteenth Century France.

Yusang Shi

Yusang Shi

MA in Art History

British Art in the Nineteenth Century

Yusang Shi is a second-year MA candidate focusing on British art in the nineteenth century. In 2018, she received her B.A. in Art History with Honors and B.A. in East Asian Language and Cultures with a focus on Japanese Studies from University of Southern California. Her undergraduate thesis examined how Classicism takes a new form to project modern issues of viewership in Frederic Leighton’s paintings. She is working on her Master’s thesis about Leighton’s Orientalism. She has held internships at Yossi Milo Gallery, Danysz Gallery, Eli Klein Gallery, USC Pacific Asia Museum, China Art Museum, and Shanghai Museum.

Lowell Sopcisak

Lowell Sopcisak

MA in Art History

Lowell Sopcisak is a second-year MA candidate focusing on French art of the long nineteenth century, Western landscape painting, and ecocriticism in art history. Her other research interests include the depiction of the night sky in art and ornithological art. Prior to her MA studies at Columbia, she received a B.A. in Art History and a B.A. in French, summa cum laude, from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, and has held internships at the Guggenheim Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Asheville Art Museum.

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.

Jean Wong

Jean Wong

MODA

Modern and Contemporary Art; Southeast Asian and East Asian Art

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.

Shuni Zhu

Shuni Zhu

MA in Art History

18/19th Century Europrean Art

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.