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Congratulations to Outstanding Undergraduate Rose Award Winners Mia Jackson and Ava Romano

Published May 8, 2023

Graduating Art History seniors Mia Jackson and Ava Romano have been named the inaugural recipients of the Rose Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement in Art History. Named in honor of the first chair of the Department, Dr. Patricia Rose, the Rose Award recognizes exceptional undergraduate students in Art History who have demonstrated consistent excellence in course study, research, and leadership in the major. Rose Recipients receive books in their area of study, award certificates, and commemoration on a plaque dedicated to the award, on display in the Art History office.

Graduating with a 4.0 GPA, Mia Jackson is an FSU Honors student and dual Bachelor of Arts recipient this spring in Art History and English, with Honors in the Major in Art History, and a minor in Museum Studies. In her honors thesis, entitled “Digital Storytelling and User Experience in Online Exhibition Development,” directed by Dr. Erika Loic, Mia examined digital storytelling technologies and their potential to expand museum audiences. In the written component of her thesis, she addressed negative substitution in museum attendance, barriers to participation, and strategies for fostering a museum-going culture among sectors of the population that usually do not feel interested or welcome in physical museums. In addition to her written thesis, Mia also created an online exhibition: Constructing Curiosity with Early Modern Objects of Wonder, using ArcGIS StoryMaps, a digital storytelling platform and interpretive tool for spatial and geographic data. In addition to this impressive work, Mia worked full time as Assistant to the Director at the Gadsden Arts Center & Museum. Finally, she has served as Editor in Chief of The Kudsu Review Literary Magazine. While she is, in the immediate future, planning to apply to graduate programs in art history, Mia also aspires to write and design interactive museum exhibitions.



Also graduating with a 4.0 GPA, Ava Romano is the recipient this spring of two Bachelor of Arts degrees, in Studio Art and Art History, as well as a minor in Museum Studies. She pursued advanced art historical research in a Directed Individual Study this past fall under Dr. Lynn Jones. Her project, entitled “Designating the Divine: Motifs of Power in the Court of the Shah,” focused on a folio from the early sixteenth-century Safavid Shahnamah or “Book of Kings” of Shah Tahmasp, a luxuriously illustrated epic poem on the ancient kings of Iran. In addition to her course study and research, Ava has been President of the Eta Sigma Phi Classics Honors Society, a founding member of the Museum Society at FSU, and has completed internships with the FSU Museum of Fine Arts and 621 Gallery. Ava’s study of material culture from early Medieval Constantinople and Safavid Iran has led her to pursue graduate study in art history. She will begin a master’s program in art history this fall at Hunter College, where she has received a full tuition fellowship, and plans to work with Dr. Cynthia Hahn, who teaches both early and late medieval art at Hunter and The Graduate Center at CUNY.