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 Our SVDC 2019 Museum Educator Faculty

Go behind the scenes, explore sculpture gardens, examine artworks, and participate in studio and other hands-on learning as you connect with inspiring educators at these museums:

National Gallery of Art and Sculpture Garden  www.nga.gov

Elisa Patterson has worked in the Education Division at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in a variety of positions for over 25 years.  Since 1996, she has worked as manager of high school programs in the department of teacher, school, and family programs, where she develops, teaches, and assesses programs for high school students and their teachers.  She aims to create meaningful visitor experiences attainable only in a museum.  She holds an B.A. in Art History from the University of Maryland and an M.Ed. in Education from the University of Virginia. 

Nathalie Ryan is a Senior Educator in the Department of Gallery and Studio Learning at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, where she has led programs for families, teens, and adults since 2002.  She is an instructor and research partner for Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she leads professional development workshops for K-12 educators on mindful looking, global thinking, and Artful Thinking.  Nathalie is the lead author of An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and their Work (Chicago Review Press 2013) and co-author of “Developing Close Looking, Creativity, and Community Through Writing and Art,” published in the Journal of Museum Education (Volume 43, 2018).  Nathalie is a certified mindfulness meditation instructor, and in her spare time she plays the harp and makes hand-made books.  She believes in the power of the arts to help people slow down, notice the world around them in new ways, spark curiosity and wonder, and make connections with others.


The Freer Sackler Museum www.freersackler.si.edu

Jennifer Reifsteck is Education Specialist, K-12 Learning at the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art. Jenn has been involved in the museum education field since 2003 and has worked for the Smithsonian for the past two years. She creates professional development programs and resources for educators, assists with docent training, and develops hands-on and gallery learning experiences for students.  Outside of work, she serves as Museum Educator representative for the Board of Directors of Art Education DC, the National Art Education Association’s DC affiliate.  Jenn completed her MA in Museum Education and her BA in Studio Art and Art Therapy.

Paul Ruther is a long-time museum professional, serving primarily as an educator at the Phillips Collection and presently as the Manager, Docent Programs at the Freer|Sackler. He has also worked as a curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He began his career interpreting art in the galleries as a docent at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 1986. Throughout his career, he has learned that there is no better adult audience for museum teaching than K-12 educators. Paul is gratified to have his seventh opportunity to teach with Summervision DC.

BoBeen Chung is a recent graduate of the Masters in Museum Education program at George Washington University. She also received an undergraduate degree from Emory University in Art History. Prior to joining the Freer | Sackler, she worked with the National Portrait Gallery, the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA. BoBeen is a passionate advocate for arts and culture, and strives to provide diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive programs and environments to all audiences. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, taking photographs, and traveling.


  • National Museum of African Art http://Africa.si.edu                                                           Karen Milbourne, Curator   

    Dr. Karen E. Milbourne has been a Curator at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution (NMAfA) in Washington DC since May 2008.  Previously, she was Associate Curator of African Art and Department Head for the Arts of Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific Islands at The Baltimore Museum of Art, in Baltimore Maryland, and prior to that, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. Her expertise includes the arts and pageantry of western Zambia and contemporary African art.  Since joining the NMAfA, she has curated the exhibition series Artists in Dialogue (2009, 2012)and the focus shows, A Brave New World(2010),Market Symphony by Emeka Ogbo (2016), and Jim Chuchu’s Invocations (2017) and provided the in-house supervision for the exhibitions, Yinka Shonibare MBE (2009) and Central Nigeria Unmasked (2011).  Her traveling exhibition, Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa (2013) is accompanied by an award-winning scholarly book published by Monacelli Press. She co-curated Senses of Time: Video and Film-based Art of Africa with Dr. Polly Roberts of LACMA and UCLA, and the award-winning Visionary: Perspectives on Africa’s Arts( 2017)at the NMAfA. Her exhibition, I Am… Contemporary Women Artists of Africa opens on June 20, 2019 and is accompanied by a scholarly book.  Dr. Milbourne received her PhD in Art History from The University of Iowa in 2003 and has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship and Smithsonian Secretary’s Award for Excellence and Smithsonian Secretary’s Research Prize.  

• National Building Museum  www.nbm.org 

Andrew Constanzo  started at the National Building Museum in 2008 managing multi-visit, hands-on opportunities for middle and high school students. He manages CityVision, an urban planning and architecture course for DCPS middle school students that shows what role they can have in designing their communities and city. Most recently he has taken responsibility for teacher engagement at the Museum. His previous experience in museums includes both education and curatorial work in the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Art and Science and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. He has a B.A. in Classics from College of the Holy Cross, and an M.A. in Museum Studies from The George Washington University.

Caitlin Miller,  Senior Educator of P-12 Programming, has worked at the National Building Museum since 2012. Currently, she develops programs and trains the teaching staff who facilitate School, Homeschool, and Distance Learning programs for approximately 15,000 students annually. As a member of the Education staff, she assists with all-ages programming. She also leads scout programs at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. She is the co-chair of the Programming Committee for DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative. In the past, Caitlin has worked at Dumbarton House and Tudor Place. Caitlin moved to DC to pursue her master’s degree in history with a concentration in public history from American University (2013); Caitlin also holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Rice University (2010).  


Deborah L. Gaston is Director of Education and Interpretation at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. She brings leadership and creative vision to the team that conceives, develops, and implements education and interpretive programs and resources to make NMWA’s collection and special exhibitions meaningful for diverse audiences. Deborah participated in the Project Zero Classroom summer institute at Harvard University in 2006, and became a fully qualified Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) trainer in 2009. Since then, she has continued to hone her VTS skills in museum and classroom settings working with both students and teachers. In 2014, she studied a dialogical approach to gallery teaching in the Teaching Institute in Museum Education (TIME) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She recently completed the Arts Leaders as Cultural Innovators program in adaptive leadership through EmcArts. In addition to her experience as a museum educator, Deborah has taught art history courses for the Corcoran School of Art and Design, Lewis and Clark College (Semester in Washington program), and the University of Delaware. She holds an M.A. in art history from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and did doctoral work at the University of Delaware, Newark. She is a member of ArtTable, American Alliance of Museums, Museum Education Roundtable, National Art Education Association, and Art Education DC.

Adrienne (Addie) L. Gayoso, originally from Lorain, Ohio, is the Senior Educator at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She develops programs for school, teacher, and multigenerational audiences as well as interpretive materials for online and on-site visitors. Addie’s also worked in education capacities at Indiana University Art Museum; Newfields (Indianapolis); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Kreeger Museum; and Smithsonian American Art Museum. Addie earned an M.A. from Indiana University, Bloomington. She is a fully qualified Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) trainer (2010), and attended Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero Classroom (2015), Museum Hack Boot Camp(2016), and Teaching Institute in Museum Education (2018). Addie co-teaches Georgetown University’s graduate-level Museum Education and Interpretation course and is a moderator for the New York Times’ VTS-inspired blog “What’s Going On in This Picture?” She serves on committees for the Kennedy Center’s Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child.

Ashley W. Harris is the Associate Educator at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) where she manages the museum’s volunteer corps as well as the internship and tour programs. Ashley joined NMWA’s staff in 2013, but her introduction to the museum was during her internship in the summer of 2012. Originally from Plainfield, New Jersey, Ashley moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue her Master’s in Museum Studies at the George Washington University, which she completed in 2012. Ashley received her A.B. in Egyptology & Ancient Western Asian Studies from Brown University in 2009 and attended the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) Advanced Practicum (2014) and Museum Hack Boot Camp (2016). Ashley is a Museum Hue trustee as well as a member of the National Art Education Association and the American Alliance of Museums.


The Phillips Collection  www.phillipscollection.org...  

Donna Jonte, a school-programs educator at The Phillips Collection and coordinator of its Creative Aging Program, is especially interested in integrating wellness practices into art education. In addition to her work at The Phillips, she also teaches at the National Gallery of Art, in Art around the Corner, a multi-visit program for DCPS Title 1 students in fourth and fifth grades, and Just Us, a gallery experience for older adults with dementia. Before becoming a museum educator, Donna wrote and edited for Belles Lettres: A Review of Books by Women and taught K-8 art for ten years at Friends Community School in College Park, Maryland. She has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English Literature from Mills College and a Master’s in Teaching from George Mason University. As well as exploring museums, making artist books, and participating in every Project Zero workshop she can find, she loves to hike in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains with her two adult children and her five sisters.


Smithsonian Museum of American Art  americanart.si.edu...

Elizabeth Dale-Deines is Teacher Programs Coordinator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Since 2014, she has taught DC-area educators and students how to engage with artworks as rich texts and provocation of deeper inquiry. She has presented at regional and national conferences on interdisciplinary education and has collaborated closely with a local research project of Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero. Elizabeth served as American Art’s Distance Learning Coordinator between 2010 and 2014, bringing the Museum’s collection to lifelong learners in the States and dependents of American military personnel around the world via videoconference. Elizabeth has a B.A. in psychology from the University of Virginia and an M.A.T. in museum education from the George Washington University.

Geoffrey W. Cohrs is the docent coordinator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum where he helps to develop public programs and oversee a large corps of passionate program volunteers. Prior to coming to the Smithsonian he worked for the Fairfax County Park Authority and for the Virginia Historical Society. Cohrs has worked with people of all ages and from all across the region uncovering the many threads of our local, regional, and national histories.


National Portrait Gallery www.npg.si.edu... 

Geraldine Provost Lyons’ Lyons’ role at the National Portrait Gallery since 2015 is as Docent and Intern Programs Manager. Prior to that time, she worked in the museum’s education department starting in 2002. Audiences that she has worked with include young children, teens, multi-generational families, students, and occasionally with teachers. She holds a Bacheor’s degree with a major in Studio Art with a minor in Education and Child Study from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Jill Galloway has worked in the National Portrait Gallery’s Education Department for over 8 years both as a gallery educator and as an art instructor. In developing and teaching art programs, her goal is to help visitors understand not only why the faces on the wall of the Portrait Gallery are important but also to appreciate the stories behind the art. Jill has been teaching art both publicly and privately since 2000. She is a full time professional artist with work in collections around the world. She holds a Bachelor’s degree with a dual-major of Fine Art and Marketing from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania.




DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.