Meet Our Board
President | Kristen Mihalko
Vice President | Laura Lover
Interim Treasurer and Advisory Board Member | Stephanie Malyn
Secretary | Caitlin Wion
Communications Co-Chairs | Julia Falkowski & Amanda Lopez
Programming Co-Chairs | Giovanna Anaya & Sharleen Eusebio
Programming Committee Members | Tanya Aubin
Membership Co-Chairs | Manny Aguilar & Shira Bogin
Membership Committee Members | Robert Low, Marisa Nolan
Kristen Mihalko has worked in the nonprofit sector for 7 years. She is an emerging event planning leader with a focus on increasing engagement and camaraderie through social and professional functions. In her current role as the Senior Manager of Programs and Special Events for the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership she provides professional development and social events for arts, science, and culture staff in San Diego. Kristen holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications from National University and is earning her Meeting and Event Planning Certificate from San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies. Kristen is also the Secretary and Treasurer for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, San Diego and Co-Social Media Chair and Board Member of the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network. When she isn’t out mixing and mingling with like-minded professionals, you can catch her updating her Trello and cuddling with her cats and dog and her ever-supportive S.O.! EMP Involvement: Board President, 2016-2018, Board Vice President, 2014-2016.
Laura Lover is the Development and Volunteer Coordinator at the Mingei International Museum. She has an MA in Museum Studies from Marist College at Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici, in Florence, Italy. Laura also holds an MA in English Literary Studies from the University of York in England, a BA from Fordham University, and spent a year studying at Oxford University. It was her love of history and culture which inspired her career, and she has worked in museums in New York, Miami and San Diego. EMP Involvement: Board Vice President, 2017-2019, Programming Chair, 2016-2017.
Manuel Aguilar is a graduate of San Diego State University & San Diego Mesa College. He currently works as the Museum Store Manager at the San Diego History Center and also maintains a volunteer position with the Old Town Chamber of Commerce. Manuel enjoys “geeking out” about museums because of the power they have to inspire visitors to learn, create and explore. As a Membership Co-Chair for EMP, he hopes to help others in the museum field embrace their own power to do the same through their own professional development. Manuel is passionate about promoting talent that has the potential to make San Diego a world-class museum community. He is certain that by building a larger network of local emerging museum professionals there will be museums in San Diego that will rival those of any larger city. EMP Involvement: Membership Co-Chair, 2017-2018.
Giovanna Anaya is currently a student in the Museum Studies Certificate Program at San Diego Mesa College and is interning at the Oceanside Museum of Art and the Mesa College Art Gallery. It was during her undergraduate career at the University of California, Santa Barbara that she found her passion for art and earned her BA in Art History. She had the wonderful opportunity to intern at museums and galleries in San Diego, Washington D.C., and Rome, Italy. While she continues to find her own career path within the museum field, her main focus is on inclusivity and diversity within museum leadership and museum visitors. This year as Program Co-Chair with EMP, she hopes to create programs that not only attract, but engage all members within the museum community in open dialogues that allow for a better understanding and respect for others different from themselves. EMP Involvement: Programming Co-Chair, 2017-2018.
Tanya Aubin has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly four years and has always been passionate about museums, art, and culture. Tanya studied International Relations and Chinese at CSU Long Beach. Right after university, she lived and worked in China for two years. When Tanya made a return to the United States, she developed a career in museums. Tanya currently works at the Coronado Historical Association: Museum of Art and History as the Development Coordinator. As a recent board member of Emerging Museum Professionals, Tanya is excited to continue high quality programming and network with fellow museum professionals in the San Diego arts, culture, and science community. EMP Involvement: Programming 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: Membership Co-Chair 2017-2018.
Sharleen Eusebio started her museum career as a docent at the Getty Villa. Inspired by her experiences there, she went on to earn her M.A.T, Museum Education, from The George Washington University in D.C. during which time she interned at the National Air and Space Museum & the International Spy Museum. After moving back home to LA, she worked for the Los Angeles Philharmonic as their Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator, then returned to the museum field as the Assistant to the Director of Education at the Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens. Happily, life brought her here to San Diego to be with her Navy man, and she now serves as the Volunteer Programs Specialist at the San Diego Museum of Man. She has been enjoying getting to know the city, raising her new puppy, and getting to meet awesome new people with EMP! EMP Involvement: Programs Co-Chair 2017-2018.
Julia Falkowski is the Web & Media Interactive Producer at Balboa Park Online Collaborative. She has MA in Museum Studies from the George Washington University and a BA in American Studies and English from Trinity College (CT). She first became interested in museums seven years ago when she spent a summer as a costumed interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. Julia works to discover ways that technology can improve museum education and operations and has presented on these subjects at conferences including Museums and the Web and Museum Computer Network. EMP Involvement: Communications Co-Chair, 2016-2018.
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 culture and historical institutions. In her role at the USS Midway Museum, Amanda was named a finalist for the NSDBC Emerging Leader Award 2017. She continues to seek leadership and professional development opportunities within her community. EMP Involvement: Communications Co-Chair, 2016-2018.
Robert Low is an independent exhibit developer who specializes in translating abstract ideas into intuitive and inviting experiences that foster a sense of surprise, wonderment, and play. He discovered a passion for science education while working as a lecturer as he earned his PhD in social psychology from the University of Connecticut. In addition to his training as a scientist and his firm belief that science is for everyone, Robert’s perspective is informed by a passion for photography, architecture, and design, as well as a lifelong commitment to volunteer service. Robert strives to work as a bridge between science, arts, and community. EMP Involvement: Membership Committee, 2017-2018.
Stephanie Malyn is the currently the Donor Engagement Manager at the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. Though her professional career and expanding social interests have taken her beyond the museum field, Stephanie remains active in the museum sphere and is passionate about building a professional development and networking community for San Diego’s art, science, and culture professionals. EMP Involvement: Founder & Former President.
Marisa Nolan is currently an Operations Assistant at the Timken Museum of Art. A west-east-west coast transplant, Marisa studied Illustration at the Delaware College of Art and Design, and is thrilled to be back in San Diego and working in Balboa Park. Marisa has worked in photography studios and art galleries, where she has helped execute 20+ exhibitions, and was inducted into the museum world in 2016. Marisa believes wholeheartedly that exposure to the arts increases the quality of life in children and adults of all ages, and adores the Timken’s free admission policy, which makes the Museum’s collection of Masterworks accessible to everyone. EMP Involvement: Membership Committee 2017-2018.
Caitlin Wion is currently the Visitor Services Coordinator for The New Children’s Museum. She holds an M.A. in History from San Diego State University and finds that the problem solving and research skills learned as a historian transfer over to visitor engagement with ease. Caitlin began working in Visitor Services in 2014 for the San Diego Natural History Museum and has found a passion for building communications and processes that benefit museum guests. Her focus is on inclusivity and a welcome environment in museums. Caitlin 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. EMP Involvement: Secretary, 2017-2018.
Dia Bassett is the School of the Arts Director at La Jolla Athenaeum Arts & Music Library. In 2017 Dia founded The Artists Advocacy Group (TAAG) to support local emerging artists directly through art collecting and studio visits. As a visual and performing artist, she has taught at City Tree Christian School, San Diego Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego State University, and Eveoke Dance Theatre, & lectured at University of San Diego, California State University San Marcos, and the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. Dia has curated 10 art exhibitions since 2014 at institutions such as A Ship In The Woods, Planet Rooth Design Haus, and Gallery D. She is the recipient of a Green Public Art Grant, the Isabel Craft Scholarship, and a Rising Arts Leaders Quick Grant. Currently, she chairs the Advocacy Committee for the Rising Arts Leaders San Diego Steering Committee and is Treasurer for the Emerging Museum Professionals San Diego. She earned her MFA in Sculpture from San Diego State University in 2011 and her B.A. in Art and Romance Languages from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2003. EMP Involvement: Advisory Board Member 2017-2018, Treasurer 2016-2017.