Meet Our Board
President | Manuel Aguilar
Vice President | Emma Bloom
Secretary | Marisa Nolan
Treasurer/Development | Kaitlyn Sturgis-Jensen
Communications Chair | Kelsey Ceccarelli
Communications Committee | Sarah Conner & Lucy Poplawska
Programs Chair | Emma Bloom
Programs Committee | Mikee Ferran & Emily Tipton
Stewardship Chair | Marisa Nolan
Stewardship Committee | Samantha Murphy & Emma Poggioli
Manuel Aguilar currently works as the Museum Store Manager at the San Diego History Center located in Balboa Park. He also represents the History Center as a member of the Balboa Park Green Team and serves as a trustee on the Sales Committee of the Spreckels Organ Society. Manuel enjoys “geeking out” about museums because of the power they have to inspire visitors to learn, create and explore. As a previous Stewardship Co-Chair who transitioned to Vice President and then Board President of San Diego EMP, he has continued to help local museum professionals embrace their own power to make an impact on the local museum community. Manuel is certain that by building the talents of local museum professionals San Diego has the potential to develop into the next generation of world-class museum cities! EMP Involvement: President 2019-2020, Vice President 2018-2019, Stewardship Co-Chair 2017-2018.
Emma Bloom is the Public Programs Manager at the San Diego Natural History Museum (“The Nat”). Emma started at the Museum as a Visitor Services Associate five years ago, before moving into the Education Department. Emma has also worked in public programs, education, and exhibits at the Fleet Science Center and The New Children’s Museum. She studied Cognitive Science with a specialization in Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego. EMP Involvement: Vice President 2019-2020, Programs Co-Chair 2018-2020.
Marisa Nolan became involved with EMP while working at the Timken Museum of Art, where she focused on operations, events, and visitor engagement. Working with museum donors sparked an interest in fundraising, the lifeline for institutions under constant threat of reduced fiscal support, and Marisa was inspired to switch gears to pursue a career in development. While she is currently gaining experience at UC San Diego, Marisa’s passions for art, history, and San Diego culture are ignited by our museum community and she remains committed to the field. Marisa studied Illustration at Delaware College of Art & Design. EMP Involvement: Secretary 2019-2020, Stewardship chair 2019-2020, Stewardship Co-Chair 2018-2019, Stewardship Committee 2017-2018.
Kaitlyn Sturgis-Jensen is an eight-year museum professional, holding roles in registration, exhibitions, operations, and education throughout Southern California. She has been involved in the preparation or interpretation of more than twenty exhibitions. Currently Kaitlyn is the Assistant Registrar at the Museum of Photographic Arts where she works closely with the collection and exhibitions. Kaitlyn values the role of museums as spaces for learning and participation, a characteristic that continuously demands challenging, creative, and forward-thinking work by museum staff, boards, and volunteers. She is grateful to support, learn from, and advocate for San Diego’s fantastic network of museum professionals who push their own organizations and the field forward. EMP Involvement: Treasurer/Development 2019-2020, Treasurer/Development 2018-2019, Fiscal Sponsor Task Force 2018-2019.
Kelsey Ceccarelli discovered her passion for sustainability while attending Sonoma State University. She earned a BA in Environmental Studies and Planning with an emphasis on Energy Management and Design. She worked for Balboa Park Cultural Partnership Sustainability Program, a collaborative body of 30 Arts & Culture organizations for two years. She is passionate about making museums more sustainable through education and project implementation. She currently works at Verdani Partners, a full service sustainability consulting firm in Carlsbad, CA. EMP Involvement: Communications Chair 2019-2020, Communications Committee 2018-2019.
Sarah Conner has been a part of the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) field for 3 years. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in History and is currently getting her Master’s degree in Museum Studies. She has steadily grown and worked her way into her current position as the Cultural Resources Manager at the San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM) since her first internship in 2017. Her time with SDMoM has sparked a passion for spreading the much-needed work of decolonization and Indigenous partnerships within museums. She is grateful to EMP for the opportunity to educate future museum professionals on the absolute necessity of decolonizing practices and principals in institutions. EMP Involvement: Communications Committee 2019-2020.
Lucy Poplawska is the Events Manager at the San Diego Natural History Museum (“The Nat”). Throughout her professional experiences, she has assisted educational spaces in creatively promoting their brand and organizing highly detailed logistics. Her growth-oriented mindset means she is always striving to expand her knowledge, and finds that museums are one of the best places for this! Lucy also had a unique college experience at the University of Redlands, where she was able to create her own interdisciplinary major. She chose to study “Creative Representations of Identity,” exploring how individuals and companies represent their ‘brand’ digitally. EMP Involvement: Communications Committee 2019-2020.
Mikee Ferran began her journey into museums as a program assistant for the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street program at Utah Humanities in 2016. This experience (and an internship at a contemporary folk art museum) provided invaluable hands-on training in the museum field. She currently works as the Museum Exhibition and Visual Arts Supervisor at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Mikee is passionate about advocating for museums and the work that supports these institutions. Accessibility, transparency, and opportunity are the foundations of her personal work philosophy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in American History. EMP Involvement: Programs Committee 2019-2020.
Emily Tipton began her museum career as a subcontracted exhibit specialist with the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles in 2012. Once work was completed on the permanent ‘Anne Frank’ exhibit, she attended the University of California, San Diego and graduated with a Bachelors of Art in Linguistics, specializing in speech cognition and language. While at UCSD, Emily became enamoured with the world of natural history collections. She began working as a collections assistant taking care of dead things in jars at the Benthic Invertebrate Collection located at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in late 2018. After taking several post baccalaureate courses in museum studies, Emily began working as the Curator of Collections at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in January of 2019. In addition to her B.A., Emily also holds an Associate of Art in Social Science and has taken numerous continuing education courses in art history, exhibit design, and various science disciplines. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, reading classic literature, and learning new languages! EMP Involvement: Programs Committee 2019-2020.
Samantha Murphy became involved with SDEMP after completing a Bachelor’s in Anthropology from Humboldt State University. Pursuing her degree inspired Samantha to gain a strong passion for the representation and education regarding the different varieties of cultures, peoples and histories around the world. Sparking her interest in the museum field. Since then, Samantha has worked at the Coronado Historical Association first as a volunteer, then as a Museum Associate. Followed by a role as Executive Assistant and finally as Membership and Programs Coordinator. Samantha is now tremendously excited and inspired to be working at the Barona Cultural Center and Museum as the Communications and Admin Coordinator. EMP Involvement: Stewardship Committee 2019-2020.
Emma Poggioli is currently the Registrar/Administrative Assistant for the Balboa Art Conservation Center. After earning a MA in Public History at the University at Albany, she headed west. She visited Balboa Park her second day in San Diego, began volunteering with the San Diego History Center the following month and has been working in the Park ever since. Emma hopes to help encourage communication between fellow emerging museum professionals and San Diego’s cultural community. EMP Involvement: Stewardship Committee 2019-2020.
Past Board Members
Stephanie Malyn – Founder & Former Board President (2014-2016)
Brinker Ferguson – Communications Chair (2014-2015)
Shannon Fowler – Board Vice President (2016-2017), Programming Chair (2014-2016)
Erika Katayama – Outreach Chair (2014-2015)
Sandy McCann – Board Member (2014-2015)
Cory Woodall – Board Member (2014)
Dia Bassett– Treasurer (2016-2017)
Jasmine Chu – Programming Co-Chair (2016-2017)
Kristen Mihalko – Board President (2016-2018), Board Vice President (2014-2016)
Giovanna Anaya – Programs Co-Chair (2017-2018)
Sharleen Eusebio – Programs Co-Chair (2017-2018)
Rob Low – Stewardship Committee Member (2017-2018)
Laura Lover – Board President (2019), Board Vice President (2018), Program Chair (2017), Secretary (2015-2016)
Tanya Aubin – Treasurer (2018-2019), Marketing/Programs Committee (2017-2018)
Sarah Luken – Board Vice President (2019), Programs Co-Chair (2018-2019)
Amanda Lopez– Communications Co-Chair (2016-2019)
Julia Falkowski– Communications Co-Chair (2016-2019)
Shira Bogin– Secretary (2018-2019), Stewardship Co-Chair (2017-2018)
Caitlin Wion – Stewardship Co-Chair (2018-2019), Secretary (2017-2018)