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Behind the Scenes: Student Assistants Keeping You Connected

Published April 6, 2021

Although we haven’t been able to see them every week as in “normal” semesters, the FSU Art History community has been supported all year by graduate assistants, work study students, and interns working behind the scenes. Graduate teaching assistants took on unprecedented tasks as they helped move courses online and maintain contact with remote students.  In addition to those excellent TAs working with classes, here are just a few of the many student assistants who have helped to hold it all together this year:

Ivy Bealyer made the leap from Art History BA graduate to MA student during the pandemic, and simultaneously made the leap from the remote to the online environment in her work as a community organizer. As an undergraduate she was an officer in the Undergraduate Art History Association, coordinating the transition from in-person to remote events in the middle of the spring 2020 semester. She was also the first-ever WJB Gallery intern for the spring of 2020. In that role she worked with guest curators installing exhibitions in the gallery for the first two months, then assisted the Museum Object class with the sudden transition to an online exhibition. Throughout the spring and summer of 2020 she helped keep Art History students connected, gathering information for student graduate profiles and creating posts for the department Instagram account @arthistoryfsu. Thanks to her enthusiasm and interests, Ivy has served many roles as a graduate assistant, but she still makes time to write and solicit posts and encourage fellow students to participate in department events.

Thanks to Madison Grigsby, every week students and recent alumni receive the Art History Opportunity Blog, an email message listing current job and internship openings, calls for papers, and other opportunities in the field. Madison entered the program as a first-year MA in the fall of 2020, and picked up this work after a two-hour WordPress training session on Zoom. She’s been gathering and posting these links from student and faculty suggestions, searching for posts online, checking closing dates each week, and keeping the news fresh. This work has been particularly helpful during the pandemic, as remote opportunities have been rare and in high demand. Madison’s diligence has been a great help to the community she has yet to meet in person. She will be at The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota in the fall as an MCHS intern, but we hope to have a time for face-to-face gatherings before the semester begins. Meanwhile, you can see Madison’s work or sign up for the Opportunity Blog here.

First-year MA student Yatil Etherly has shared his talents and represented the department as an onsite museum assistant and a remote seminar participant. Throughout his first year of graduate work, Yatil served as a research assistant for the FSU Museum of Fine Arts, where he indexed artists books, created an instruction-based painting by Sol LeWitt, and starred in video features for virtual exhibitions and grant applications, among other work. MoFA Director Preston McLane writes, “In addition to these special assignments, Yatil is one of the friendliest faces of MoFA, welcoming guests at the front desk and helping students with their research and creative projects at the museum. We really couldn’t do it without him.” In the fall, Yatil was one of 20 students selected to participate in the Museum Professionals Seminar at the Studio Museum in Harlem, a series of workshops centered on career preparation and networking for emerging museum professionals.

Undergraduate interns from the Art History extended family also contributed to our communications throughout the pandemic year. English major Rachel Hudson assisted with website editing and news article preparation in the summer of 2020, and Fine Art undergraduate Alexa Patton joined the Art History Department as an intern this spring, her last semester at Florida State University. Alexa is graduating this month with her BA in Fine Arts and hopes to work as a graphic designer post-grad. During her time as an intern, she assisted Ivy Bealyer with the department Instagram account, learned to navigate WordPress, and created flyers for many of the department’s Zoom lectures. Her favorite project this semester was designing the brochure for the 37th Annual Graduate Symposium.

The department saw major changes this year in student governance, as graduate students stepped into inaugural roles as representatives in faculty meetings, members of the Anti-Racism and Equity Committee, and the first all-student planning committee of our annual Art History Graduate Student Symposium. These representatives have forged new processes for communication, guidance, and event planning, and all while working, meeting, and attending classes remotely. Along with the officers of the undergraduate and graduate Art History Associations, these dedicated students have earned our sincere gratitude for their time and efforts on behalf of our community. Here are the 2020–21 student reps:

Faculty Meeting Student Representatives: Sahara Lyon, Lacy Gillette.
Anti-Racism and Equity Committee Student Members: Natasha Zabala, Kailea Myrick, Sonia Dixon, Sarah Mathiesen.
Art History Association officers: Morgan Methvien, Leigh Daniel, Madison Gilmore-Duffey.
Undergraduate Art History Association Officers: Maddy Muller, Mallory Glaser, Erica Lomnitz.
Graduate Student Symposium Committee: Britt Hunter, Caitlin Mims, Mallory Nanny, Leigh Daniel, Madison Gilmore-Duffey, Anneliese Hardman, Chase Van Tilburg.