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Our Newest Alumni: Meet the 2021 Art History Graduates

Published April 12, 2021

In spite of the changes in curriculum brought about by the global pandemic, these 2021 graduates have continued to shine. They excelled in their coursework, extracurricular activities, and preparations for the future. This year’s graduating class curated exhibitions, completed impressive independent research projects and museum internships, and participated in campus-wide service organizations. Their student organization activities transformed our community, bringing together faculty and students at all levels for scholarly conversations, social gatherings, magazine publications, and production of promotional materials.

Spring Commencement for the College of Fine Arts will be held on Sunday, April 18 at 7:00pm at the Tucker Civic Center.


Each of the BA graduates featured below received the Helen J. Beard Undergraduate Scholarship for Excellence in the Major, the department’s highest academic honor, in the spring of 2021:

Romina Dellepere completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History with a minor in Museum Studies. During her studies at Florida State University, she interned at The Grove Museum, a Tallahassee historic house museum that focuses on community engagement with an ongoing dialogue about American civil rights. In the future, she plans to work for a museum institution full time. She states, “I’m especially curious about museum collections processes, and the future of these processes on a digital platform following the impacts of the pandemic.”


Heidi Knippel completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. She writes, “I am so thankful for my time in this program, the amazing faculty, and for the people I have met through it.” Her studies have helped her find a passion for teaching art, and she plans to eventually return to graduate school in art education.
Kaitlyn Nichols completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. She writes that her favorite classes were with Dr. Paul Neill: “His class was among the first of the lecture classes I took in the department and he did not shy away from the difficult histories and talked about Indigenous autonomy in the Spanish Colonial period.” Kaitlyn completed two internships, one at the Museum of Fine Arts and another at the Grove Museum in Tallahassee, FL. Her experiences at Florida State University solidified her decision to pursue a graduate degree in museum education. She says, “I am really excited about my future and want to thank the department for helping me along the way.”
Eliza Schneider-Green completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History with a minor in Museum Studies. During her time at Florida State University, she has interned with Dr. Sherry Schofield at the Jim Moran Historic Costume and Textile Collection, as well as with Preston McLane, Meredith Lynn, Jean Young, and Wayne Vonada at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts.  In addition to being a student, Elizabeth owns and operates a small business, teaches art to both adults and children, and is deeply passionate about clothing history.  She plans to pursue a career in art history or art administration while living in Tallahassee with her partner and their three cats.
Charlotte Starnes earned a (post-bac) Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. Her first degree was a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Eckerd College, with minors in Spanish and Religious Studies. In addition to her degree coursework at FSU, she took classes in Chemistry & Organic Chemistry, Studio Art, and French to aid in her pursuits of a career in art conservation. After graduation, while apply for pre-program/internship opportunities with the intention of applying to graduate programs in the Fall. She really enjoyed all of her art history courses and professors who facilitated such engaging discussions about art, particularly Dr. Stephanie Leitch’s seminar Early Modern Prints and the Fuzziness of Ink and Dr. Kristen Dowell’s seminar Indigenous Cinema. “Both of these course were incredible for the materials chosen by the professors and the wonderful discourse that followed.”
Lacie Barbour completed her Master of Arts degree in Art History with a focus in Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies. She writes, “I’ve been working with curators at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art with research as well as curating a print exhibition in the circus museum on the public display of extraordinary bodies, that I will continue to work on after graduation. From there, I hope to find a job as a curator in the museum field and help transform museums into more positive, honest, and inclusive spaces for everyone. I have learned so much from being in the MCHS program and am forever grateful for the professors and colleagues who have pushed me to be the best version of myself. “
Leigh Daniel served as a research and teaching assistant while completing her coursework for her Master of Arts in Art History. During her second year in the program, she was elected Vice President of the Art History Association and MA student representative for the Graduate Art History Symposium Committee. In her last semester in the program, she was awarded with the Winbury Award for her essay, “Early Modern Fears: Depictions of Amazons in Sir Walter Raleigh’s Discoverie.” Leigh hopes to eventually enter a PhD program and continue her education in art history.
Maddie Madison Gilmore-Duffey received a Master of Arts degree in Art History and worked as a research and teaching assistant throughout the program. In her second year she taught Communications for Art & Design, served as treasurer for the Art History Association, and was a member of the Graduate Student Symposium Committee. She also served as a member of the Graduate Student Committee for the Byzantine Studies Association of North America. Her paper “The Iconography and Roles of an Ascetic Monk: The Parchment Fragment with Abba Samuel of Waldebba from the David P. Harris Study Collection, Kenyon College” will be published in a special edition of Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art & Architecture in the Fall of 2021. Madison is continuing her studies at Florida Statue University as a doctoral student in Art History this fall.

Morgan Methvien served as a research assistant while she completed her coursework for the Master of Arts in Art History. She served as President of the graduate Art History Association in her second year, and taught a semester of Communications for Art & Design. Morgan hopes to continue refining her research in the future as part of an art history doctoral program after taking a year off. In the meantime, Morgan is actively seeking work that will help her grow professionally within the field. She writes, “I am so grateful for my time spent in the Art History program here at FSU, I have met a lot of wonderful people, built lasting friendships, and have grown so much during these last two years.”


Chase Van Tilburg completed both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Art History at Florida State University. He states, “The Department of Art History has been like a family to me and I am grateful to have worked so closely with everyone. Specifically, I am very grateful to Jean Hudson, and Drs. Weingarden, Leitch, Carrasco, Niell, Dowell, and Dr. Preston McLane for having gone the extra mile to support my personal, academic, and research endeavors. I truly would not be where I am today without these individuals. Each of these individuals have supported my Digital Art History and Digital Humanities research interests without hesitation.” As for post-graduation, Chase is optimistically applying to digital heritage, digital imaging, museum, and library positions across the United States.

Rachel  Fesperman completed a PhD in Art History with a focus on Francophone visual cultures. Her research and teaching interests center on performance, ephemeral, and multimedia art particularly as they relate to themes of gender, sexuality, and coloniality. She completed her dissertation, “Feu à Volonté—Fire at Will! The Tirs of Niki de Saint Phalle, 1961–1964,” under the direction of Dr. Adam Jolles.

Rachel graduated with Honors and Distinction in Art History, and minors in Modern European History and Gender Studies, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013. She completed her MA at Florida State University, writing her qualifying paper on violence and representation in surrealism. As a PhD student, she served as a member of FSU’s Graduate Fellows Society, a Kress Foundation Fellow in Art History, and an International Dissertation Semester Research Fellowship (IDSRF) recipient.

Rachel received the Helen J. Beard Conference Travel Grant to present her research on French decolonization and visual culture at the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) in October 2017 and the 20th and 21st Centuries French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium in March 2019. Rachel is also a recipient of the Mason Dissertation Research and Friends of Art History Research Awards (Summer 2018) from the FSU Department of Art History.

Congratulations also to:

Ellie Cissel, BA in Art History
Brook Landry, BA in Art History
Sophie Nelsen
, BA in Art History, also a recipient of the Helen J. Beard Undergraduate Scholarship for Excellence in the Major
Chloe Willis, BA in Art History
Jessica Wilsey, BA in Art History
Andrea Glenn, MA in Art History
Kailea Myrick, MA in Art History with a focus in Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies
Estefanía Vallejo Santiago, MA in Art History