Study Program Fellowship Reports

Study Program Fellowships are provided by the Scott Opler Endowment for New Scholars and fund the participation of a student or emerging scholar in an SAH Study Program.  



Jinny Jessica McGill

Jinny Jessica McGill is a doctoral candidate in art and architectural history at Penn State. Her dissertation, “Science Visualized: Art, Architecture, and the Display of Modern Japanese Science, 1851–1938,” is an investigation into the connections and disruptions between traditional practices and modern reimaginings in architecture and art as they pertain to nationalism, modernity, and global science culture. Jinny has an undergraduate degree in astronautics from the University of Southern California, a graduate degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Maryland, and previously taught courses at Howard Community College, Montgomery College, and at Penn State.



Craig Lee

Craig Lee is the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, where, among other projects, he assists with modern architecture and design rotations in the permanent collection display, Past Forward, and conducts research and cataloguing on the Bruce Goff Collection. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Delaware.

Photo credit: Evan Krape


Elizabeth Keslacy

Elizabeth Keslacy is Assistant Professor of Architecture at Miami University of Ohio. She is an architectural historian whose work centers on the museology of architecture and design, the intellectual history of concepts like ‘decoration’ and ‘design’, and the reception of postmodern architecture. She is currently at work on a monograph tracing the history of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Her work has been published in the Journal of Architectural Education, Footprint, Thresholds, and Lotus International. Keslacy earned a M.Arch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a Ph.D. in architectural history and theory from the University of Michigan.


Sarah Horowitz

Sarah Horowitz is a PhD student in the history of art and architecture at Boston University. Her research focuses on relationships among art, architecture, and display in the design of museums and cultural institutions from the postwar era to the present. Prior to attending BU, she was the curatorial assistant at the Picker Art Gallery and the Longyear Museum of Anthropology at Colgate University where she organized a number of permanent collection and special exhibitions. She received her M.A. in Art History from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst and B.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from Marlboro College.



Valentina Davila

Valentina Davila is a Venezuelan-Canadian architect specializing in contemporary Latin American architecture. Her fields of interest include social justice, domestic space, and the architecture of servitude. Currently, she is enrolled in McGill University’s Architecture Ph.D. program under the supervision of the inspiring architectural historian Dr. Annmarie Adams. 



Yan Wencheng, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara

Yan Wencheng received her PhD in the history of art and architecture from University of California, Santa Barbara in March 2016. Her dissertation, entitled Writing Modernity: Constructing a History of Chinese Architecture, 1920–1949, examines architectural historiography of modern China by excavating and analyzing a set of popular discourse vibrant during this period but subsequently lost in the standard history of Chinese architecture. Her interest in vernacular architecture is partly due to what she had seen in a two-week self-guided vernacular architecture tour in southwestern China over ten years ago, partly because of her conviction that it deserves more scholarly attention, and partly because of the theoretical and substantive potential of vernacular architecture in informing us about global sustainable architecture and urban planning in the twenty-first century. She is also interested in cultural translation among different architectural traditions in the modern and contemporary periods. 



Federica Mentasti, PhD Candidate, ETH Zürich

Federica Mentasti is a scientific assistant and Ph.D. candidate by the chair for History and Theory of Architecture at ETH, Zürich. She received a bachelor's degree in architectural studies from Accademia di Architettura Mendrisio (Switzerland, 2014) and a master's degree in architectural history and theory from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, 2016) with a thesis about Japanese influences on Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Practicing photographer for over five years, her prospective research seeks to investigate the relationships between architecture and photography.



Carrie L. Cushman, PhD Candidate, Department of Art

Carrie L. Cushman is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. She specializes in Modern Japanese Art and Architecture, with research interests in modern ruins, the aesthetics of disaster, urban redevelopment, and the role of ruins, both natural and man-made, in narratives of history. Her dissertation focuses on the photographer Miyamoto Ryūji, whose images of ruins engage multiple layers of trauma in the contemporary Japanese experience. Carrie was the recipient of the 2014-15 Meyerson Teaching Award in Art Humanities at Columbia. In 2015-16 she conducted research for her dissertation as a Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow in Japan, where she continues to work and write.



Zirwat Chowdhury, NEH Postdoctoral Fellow, Getty Research Institute

Zirwat Chowdhury is an NEH Postdoctoral Fellow at the Getty Research Institute. Her research concerns the interconnected histories of art and architecture in Britain and South Asia in the 18th and 19th centuries, but she has been interested in Kahn's National Assembly Building since she was a child.



Liz Donato, PhD Candidate, CUNY

Liz Donato is a PhD candidate in art history at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research focuses on mid-20th-century architectural modernisms and pedagogy in Latin America with an emphasis on the Southern Cone of South America. Her dissertation, “The Intimate City: The School of Valparaíso in the Urban Sphere, 1952–1972,” examines collaborations among artists, poets, and architects and the politics surrounding the School’s staging of a vanguard culture in postwar Chile. She has taught courses in Latin American modern and contemporary art and architecture at City College of New York, where she was formerly a Graduate Teaching Fellow, and Parsons School of Design, the New School.


Jennifer Thomas

Jennifer Thomas, PhD Candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jenn Thomas is landscape architecture PhD candidate in the history/theory track at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a 2013-2014 graduate fellow at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. She has a Bachelor of Arts in art history with a minor in French from the University of Oregon and a Masters of Landscape Architecture with a certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Colorado Denver. Her dissertation, Madness, Landscape and State: The Emerging Nineteenth-Century Insane Asylum System of New York State,focuses on nineteenth-century public insane asylum landscapes in New York as spatial, verbal and visual expressions of social ideologies, a state-making apparatus, and components of an emerging state-wide mental health treatment system. More broadly, her research interests center around how institutional design, the history of medicine, and visual and material culture influence individual experience and social narratives that inform American identities through landscape.



Jennifer Tate, PhD Candidate, University of Texas

Jennifer Tate is a PhD candidate in architectural history at the University of Texas in Austin. Jennifer holds a master's degree in architectural history from the University of Texas in Austin, as well as graduate degrees in political science from Georgetown University and international policy studies from Stanford University. She received her BA with honors in political science and mathematics from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Jennifer is interested in the intersection of politics and power relations with architecture, especially in the examination of center-periphery issues and the related international-regional divide in modern architecture. She has a secondary interest in modern Turkish architecture. 


Ana Mitrovici

Ana M. Mitrovici, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara

Ana Mitrovici is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of History of Art and Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her B.A. in Classical Studies and French from Concordia College, MN, and a master’s degree from UCSB. Her dissertation examines cultural exchange, healing, and the interaction of the natural and built environment in the Roman province of Dacia. She is currently the recipient of the University of California Humanities Research Institute Andrew Vincent White and Florence Wales White Fellowship for 2014-2015, funding that supports research in the humanities and medicine. 


Marsha J. McDonald, Florida International University

Marsha is currently completing her post-professional architectural studies at Florida International University. She is investigating the translation of culture and cultural identity in the built environment, particularly in the regions of the Caribbean and Latin America.  Marsha also completed her professional architectural education which resulted in a Master’s of Architecture degree, from Florida International University. As a critical voice in the areas of Cultural Architecture and Spatial Design, her research investigates how an individual’s sense of identity affect their interiors and on a macro scale, how newly formed nations of the Caribbean and Latin America shape their cultural landscapes, in the early to mid-twentieth century. Her investigations focuses on how these Caribbean and Latin American nations go through the process of decolonization, as a part of nation-building, by either maintaining or rejecting their relationship with the past. This process is the basis of the emergence of new meanings and a modern narrative which facilitates new spatial representations in their cultural landscapes.  She is recently presented a paper on “Decolonized Spaces: New Spatial Representation in the Post-Colonial British Caribbean” at a local conference. 


Joss Kiely, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Michigan

Joss Kiely is a Ph.D. candidate in architectural history and theory at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received a B.A. in French and architectural studies from Connecticut College, as well as a Master of Architecture and an M.Sc. in architectural history and theory at the University of Michigan with a thesis entitled, Alternative Architectures of Italian Futurism: War, Lust, Flight, and Dance, 1909-39. His current research focuses on defining a latent "aerialism" that developed during the jet age of air travel in the 1950s and 1960s, specifically focusing on a handful of thin shell concrete structures designed by Minoru Yamasaki, Eero Saarinen, and Felix Candela.


Emily Morash, Visiting Instructor, Connecticut College; Ph.D. Candidate, Brown University

Emily Morash is a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University in the History of Art and Architecture as well as a visiting instructor in architectural studies at Connecticut College. She received a B.A. in art history and Italian from Smith College and a master’s degree in architectural history from the University of Virginia. She is currently completing a dissertation, Reconstructing Italian Domestic Architecture: Gio Ponti and Lo Stile, 1941-1947, that examines the development of domestic architecture and reconstruction solutions in Milan during and immediately following World War II.


Alex Tulinsky, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Washington

Alex Tulinsky is a doctoral candidate at the University of Washington in the Ph.D. in the Built Environment, history-theory-representation track. He earned his M.S. in Architecture (history/theory) from the University of Pennsylvania and has a B.A. in political theory from Michigan State University. His dissertation examines residential architecture in Japan in the late 1960s and early 1970s, specifically the small urban house as designed and theorized by three architects: Azuma Takamitsu, Miyawaki Mayumi, and Suzuki Makoto. Recently he has been living in Los Angeles.


Sarah Rovang, Ph.D. Candidate, Brown University 

Sarah is a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University in the History of Art and Architecture. She received her BA in architectural history from the University of Virginia in 2010. Her prospective dissertation examines the intersection of modernism and rural electrification efforts (particularly those of the Rural Electrification Administration) during the New Deal. She will be taking a break from her predominantly rural topic this summer to teach a high school course at Brown on the history of skyscrapers. 


Erica Morawski, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Illinois - Chicago 

Erica N. Morawski is a Ph.D. candidate in art History at the University of Illinois – Chicago. She received a BA in art history at Tulane University and MA in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently completing a dissertation entitled, “Designing Destinations: Hotel Architecture, Urbanism, and American Tourism in Puerto Rico and Cuba.” This work investigates the role of hotels in shaping understandings of national identity, which in turn shaped international relationships, through an approach that systematically ties object and image analysis with social, political, and economic histories. Her work argues that these hotels functioned, and continue to function, like diplomatic cultural attachés—their design shaped politics on the islands, and played a decisive role in shaping past and current international relations.


Gretta Tritch Roman, Ph.D. Candidate, Penn State University 

Gretta Tritch Roman is a Ph.D. candidate in art and architectural history at the Pennsylvania State University. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Arkansas and her Master’s degree in art and architectural history at the Pennsylvania State University where she completed a thesis titled, “La mise en scène icarienne:  The Construal of Utopian Space in Nauvoo, Illinois, 1849-58.” Recently her research has focused on strategies of eclectic designs and the ways in which varying audiences respond to such buildings, opening discussions that have ranged from Lucknow, India, to Chicago, Illinois. Currently she is working on her dissertation under the working title, “Rivalry, Revivalism, and Ritual: Building the Grain Exchanges of the American Midwest, 1875-1930.”


Robert Wiesenberger, Columbia University

Robert is a rising second-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. His focus is on the history and theory of 20th century architecture and design, primarily in pre-war Germany. Visiting the Maison de Verre was especially exciting for him given his recent interest in 20th century architectural exchanges between Germany and France, and on the glass architecture of the avant-garde. Robert’s masters thesis examined Herbert Bayer’s exhibition design practice, and in particular his collaboration with László Moholy-Nagy on the 1931 Building Workers Union exhibition in Berlin. Robert holds a B.A. in History and Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago. He has worked at the design firms MetaDesign and Ammunition in San Francisco, and as an intern in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA. He is the recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education.


Amanda Delorey, Courtauld Institute of Art

Amanda Delorey is currently working on her PhD dissertation “The People v the State: Housing Architecture in Mexico City from Modernism to Contemporary Practices” at the Courtauld Institute of Art, funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation. She received her Master’s degree in Cultural Studies and Critical theory from McMaster University and a BFA in Criticism and Curatorial Studies from the Ontario College of Art and Design.

BAUHAUS 1919–1933

Nathaniel Walker, Brown University 

Nathaniel R. Walker is a graduate student in the History of Art & Architecture Department at Brown University. He received his BA in History from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and his MA in Architectural History from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where his Master’s Thesis, entitled “Savannah’s Lost Squares: The Fight Over Savannah’s Town Plan and the Ascendance of Automobility,” received the Outstanding Graduate Thesis Document Award in 2007. Between his time in Savannah and his enrollment at Brown, Nathaniel worked very happily at Mitchell/Matthews Architects & Planners in Charlottesville, Virginia. With his Ph.D. studies, Nathaniel is working to build upon and broaden the scope of a number of the questions he raised while exploring competing conceptions of “Modernity” in 1920s Savannah. Specifically, he is interested in Utopian design and planning in the age of self-conscious “progress” and technological exhibitionism in art, literature, politics, and architecture. 







Amber Wiley and Jennifer Tobias

Amber is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the George Washington University specializing in architectural history, urban history, and African-American cultural studies. She is the recipient of the 2010 AERA Minority Fellowship in Education Research and the 2008 SRI Foundation Research Fellow Scholarship for her dissertation “Concrete Solutions: Architecture of Public High Schools During the ‘Urban Crisis’” (Richard Longstreth, committee chair). She received her BA in Architecture from Yale University and her Master’s in Architectural History and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia. Amber sits on the board of directors of the Latrobe Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Yale Black Alumni Association.


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