|Research Area: Visual Cultures of the Americas/ Archaeological and architectural conservation/ African Diasporas in Panamá
Advisor: Dr. Paul Niell
Ileana Olmos (pronouns: she, her, hers) joined the doctoral program in Fall 2018. Her research interests include the evolving architectural features within Pre–Columbian settlements, ancient building technologies, ephemeral architectural processes, the preservation of the built heritage, the conservation of material culture, and the preservation of intangible heritage. Her doctoral research investigates the African Diasporas, Black identity, and The game and ritual of the Congo Afro–descendants of the historical town of Nombre de Dios in Panamá.
Ileana received her Master of Science (MSc) in Conservation Studies from the University College London (UCL) in Qatar in 2014, a Master of Historic Preservation from the University of Florida (UF), College of Design, Construction and Planning in 2010 and a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the University of North Florida in 2007. She has worked on building conservation consulting projects in the Virgin Islands with the National Park Services (2020) and medieval heritage management programs in Italy under the direction of Willowbank, School of Restoration Arts in 2010. She has also received training in the built heritage conservation by Saving The Stones, a 5-month practical conservation in Israel under the sponsorship and training of the Israel Antiquities Authority in 2011.
Ileana has also collaborated with the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome, Italy, assisting in preparing and organizing the 2013 Forum on Conservation Sciences. She served as an advisory body to ICCROM–ATHAR, Arab section, at the 38th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Doha, Qatar, in 2014. Ileana has participated in excavations in Qatar, Turkmenistan, and Israel and has carried out archaeological conservation of pre-Columbian artifacts in Panama. Ileana also served as a conservator for the Florida State Laboratory of the Bureau of Archaeological Research and, most recently, at the University of Arizona’s Tree-Ring Research Laboratory in 2020.
She recently received a Helen J. Beard Conference Travel Grant and the Congress of Graduate Students Conference Presentation Support Grant to present a portion of her current doctoral research at the IV International Conference on Afro–Central American Studies at the Villa de Los Santos, Panamá in May of 2023 titled: “El Palenque: Escape, Refuge, and Persistence.”