Meet Our Board
President | Laura Lover
Vice President | Manny Aguilar
Secretary | Shira Bogin
Treasurer/Development | Tanya Aubin
Fiscal Sponsor Task Force | Kaitlyn Sturgis-Jensen
Communications Co-Chairs | Julia Falkowski & Amanda Lopez
Communications Committee | Kelsey Ceccarelli
Programs Co-Chairs | Sarah Luken & Emma Bloom
Stewardship Co-Chairs | Marisa Nolan & Caitlin Wion
Laura Lover is the Development Coordinator at Mingei International Museum. She has experience working in museums in New York, Miami and San Diego, as well as an MA in English Literary Studies and an MA in Museum Studies. While she does call San Diego home, she considers herself a global citizen and has lived and studied across the United States, Iceland, England, and Italy. She is passionate about art and culture, which is what inspired her to pursue a career in the museum field. She began her career working in collections and archives, but made the change to development as she sees it as a way to advocate for museums. Laura is dedicated to supporting her peers in the arts and has been a board member of the San Diego Emerging Museum Professionals since 2015 and was on the Steering Committee of the Rising Arts Leaders San Diego from 2016-2018. EMP Involvement: President 2018-2019, Board Vice President, 2017-2019, Programs Chair, 2016-2017.
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 and now Vice-President of San Diego EMP, he hopes to continue to help museum professionals embrace their own power to make an impact on the museum community. Manuel is passionate about promoting the talents of individuals working in local museums and he is certain that by building a larger network of local museum professionals, San Diego can have the potential to become a world-class museum city! EMP Involvement: Vice President 2018-2019, Stewardship Co-Chair, 2017-2018.
Tanya Aubin has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly five years and has always been passionate about museums, art, and culture. After working at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum and the Coronado Historical Association, she went on to work in academia at the University of San Diego in the College of Arts and Sciences Marketing Department. Tanya studied International Relations and Chinese at California State University, Long Beach and she moved to China for two years to work and immerse herself in the culture. Upon her return to the states, Tanya got involved in the museum world! As a second-year board member of Emerging Museum Professionals, Tanya is excited to take on the role as San Diego Emerging Museum Professionals’ Treasurer. EMP Involvement: Treasurer/Development 2018-2019, Programs Committee, 2017-2018.
Shira Bogin is currently the Assistant Registrar at The San Diego Museum of Art. Originally from Northern California, she earned a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in History of Art & Visual Culture from UC Santa Cruz. After taking museum-focused courses as an undergraduate, she explored the idea of museum collections management as a career. This led her to a M.A. in Museum Studies from New York University. She returned to the West Coast in 2014, and she has worked for museums in Santa Cruz, New York, Los Angeles, and San Diego. She believes that a strong support network is the best part of museum work, and she looks forward to collaborating with more of San Diego’s art, science, and culture professionals. EMP Involvement: Secretary 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 four 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: Programs Co-Chair 2018-2019.
Kelsey Ceccarelli discovered her passion for sustainability while attending Sonoma State University and decided to make that her career path. She earned a BA in Environmental Studies and Planning with an emphasis on Energy Management and Design. She is currently the Sustainability Coordinator for the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, a collaborative body of 30 Arts & Culture organizations. She is passionate about making museums more sustainable through education and project implementation. As a San Diego native, she grew up coming to the museums in Balboa Park and she’s so excited that now she can help make sure that they are around for generations to come. She loves being outside, gardening, cooking, hiking, and anything true crime related. EMP Involvement: Communications Committee 2018 – 2019.
Julia Falkowski has a background in museum technology and is interested in building community in and outside the museum field. Her most recent role in museums was as Project and Production Specialist at Balboa Park Online Collaborative. She is particularly interested in how thoughtful use of technology can enhance the museum experience and has presented on these subjects at conferences including Museums and the Web and Museum Computer Network. Currently, she works as a Content Designer at Intuit. Julia has MA in Museum Studies from the George Washington University and a BA in American Studies and English from Trinity College (CT). EMP Involvement: Communications Co-Chair, 2016-2019.
Amanda Lopez is currently the Digital Content Manager at the USS Midway Museum in downtown San Diego. Originally from the Bay Area, she moved to Southern California to earn her B.A. in Communications with a focus on Visual Culture from UC San Diego. Her passion for arts & culture spawned from a spontaneous visit to SF MOMA in her adolescence and from there she has found her passion for content development and digital marketing for cultural and historical institutions. In her role at the USS Midway Museum, Amanda was named a finalist for the NSDBC Emerging Leader Award 2017 and has spoken at national conferences on topics including Social Media Marketing and Digital Asset Management. She continues to seek leadership and professional development opportunities within her community. EMP Involvement: Communications Co-Chair, 2016-2019.
Sarah Luken found her way into the museum field in 2015 and hasn’t look back since! With a degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and a passion for storytelling, Sarah has worked in the marketing/public relations departments for several museums in Balboa Park, including her current role as the Senior Marketing & Communications Associate at the San Diego Museum of Man. When Sarah isn’t exploring new museums, you can find her trying new restaurants and petting friendly dogs. EMP Involvement: Programs Co-Chair, 2018-2019.
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 and is moving towards attaining a degree in Art History. EMP Involvement: Stewardship Co-Chair 2018-2019, Stewardship Committee 2017-2018.
Kaitlyn Sturgis-Jensen has worked in art museums and exhibition settings in Southern California since 2012. She 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. Kaitlyn is grateful to support and learn from San Diego’s fantastic network of museum professionals who push their own organizations and the field forward. She is interested in training future museum leaders and furthering accessibility and representation. Kaitlyn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and has completed numerous post-baccalaureate courses in art history. EMP Involvement: Fiscal Sponsor Task Force 2018-2019.
Caitlin Wion has a background in Visitor Services that began while working at the San Diego Natural History Museum in 2014 as a Visitor Services Associate and continued at The New Children’s Museum as Visitor Services Coordinator. Caitlin has found a passion for building communications and processes that benefit museum guests with a focus is on inclusion. She believes that Visitor Services means being an advocate for the visitor; not only engaging them in the museum, but also making sure the visitors’ voice is represented. Additionally, she is dedicated to mentoring and supporting front line and entry-level staff and helping them navigate their museum careers. Caitlin holds an M.A. in History from San Diego State University and currently works as Data Coordinator for Alzheimer’s San Diego. EMP Involvement: Stewardship Co-Chair 2018-2019, Secretary, 2017-2018.
Past Board Members
Stephanie Malyn – Founder & Former President (2014-2016)
Brinker Ferguson – Communications Chair (2014-2015)
Shannon Fowler – Programming Chair (2014-2017)
Erika Katayama – Outreach Chair (2014-2015)
Sandy McCann – Board Member (2014-2015)
Corey 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