Meet Our Board

President | Kristen Mihalko
Vice President | Laura Lover
Treasurer | Dia Basset
Secretary | Open
Communications Co-Chair | Julia Falkowski
Communications Co-Chair | Amanda Lopez
Programs Co-Chair | Open
Programs Co-Chair | Open
Membership Co-Chair | Open
Membership Co-Chair | Open
Board Development Chair & Immediate Past President | Stephanie Malyn


Kristen Mihalko  has worked in the non-profit sector for 7 years. She is an advocate for career development and personal growth and the Program and Event Manager for the Balboa Park Learning Institute, a program of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership. Kristen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Family Resources with a certificate in Women’s Studies and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications from National University. Kristen is also the Vice Chair for the YNPN (Young Nonprofits Professionals Network) San Diego and Co-Social Media Chair for the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network.

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.

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.

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.

Laura Lover 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.

Stephanie Malyn is the Development and Events Coordinator at the Museum of Photographic Arts. She has a BA in Art History from Berkeley as well as an MA in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins and has received Fellowships from the American Alliance of Museums and California Association of Museums. Stephanie has been active in the museum field for seven years and is passionate about building a professional development and networking community with her colleagues.

Past Board Members

Jasmine Chu is currently the Education and Public Programs Coordinator at the San Diego Museum of Man. She holds a B.A. in History with a minor in French Literature from the University of California, San Diego. Museums and cultural institutions have been an important part of her life since she realized the power of historical context in our lives. She has been an intern, volunteer, and educator in Balboa Park for 18 months, and looks forward to continuing to serve local communities.

Shannon Fowler has been active in the museum field for seven years, with experience in marketing, exhibition development, collections management, and visitor services. She holds a B.A. in History from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a M.A. in Museum Studies from The George Washington University. Shannon has worked at the San Diego Museum of Man since 2013, first as the Marketing Associate and now as the Marketing and Communications Manager, where she oversees the Museum’s growing social media community, promotes the Museum’s mission and current offerings, and manages public relations. Shannon is passionate about the arts and culture field, and is excited to share in that with fellow EMP’s.

Erika Katayama currently works as the Director of Exhibits at the San Diego Museum of Man. Ms. Katayama has worked in a variety of departments over the years including education, visitor services, curatorial, registration/collections, and operations at many different institutions. She has worked all over the country, including for the Smithsonian Institution, Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Louisiana State Museum, LSU Museum of Art, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, and Mingei International Museum.

Sandy McCann is the Exhibits Content Developer at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Most recently, she worked on developing an engaging and immersive visitor experience for Coast to Cactus in Southern California. She holds an MA in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Sandy is interested in creating museum experiences that transcend cultural, social, and educational boundaries by developing exhibitions and programs that embrace non-traditional museum goers.

Cory Woodall has worked in the curatorial department of The San Diego Museum of Art for more than three years. She’s interested in fostering relationships of universities and museums through internships and work experience to allow better access to museum careers for young professionals.