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Teaching Assistants


  • Katherine Agard

    Katherine Agard


    Katherine Agard is a writer from Trinidad and Tobago currently based in California. She performs her relationship to color - material, socio-cultural, spiritual - and the language which allows us to perceive it through writing, painting and sometimes performance.  Her writing has been supported by fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation, Kimbilio, Callaloo and VONA/Voices. She is currently an MFA candidate in Literature at UCSD, and has a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies with Social Anthropology from Harvard University.

  • Michael Ano

    Michael Ano


    Michael Ano is an artist, curator, and educator. Contemplating the transmission of ideas and its correlative relationship to systems of power- Ano makes alternative platforms for information distribution, to explore how ideas and people connect to ask whether pedagogical methods can more fully democratize the diffusion of learning, and to conduct critical thought experiments in deconstructing how resources associated with social stratification are codified.

  • Lucas Bailor

    Lucas Bailor


    Lucas Bailor is from Moreno Valley, California and is in the MFA program in writing. His research interests revolve around poetry and its cross-genre possibilities to look at themes such as love, loss, and nature.

  • Eugene Chua

    Eugene Chua


    Eugene Chua is a PhD student in philosophy of physics and science, with interests in the philosophical foundations of quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and quantum gravity, as well as other philosophical issues in scientific methodology. He was born and raised in Singapore, and earned his BA in philosophy from Wolfson College, University of Cambridge.

  • Haley Daigle

    Haley Daigle


    Haley Daigle has recently graduated with a Master’s in Latin American Studies, in which she researched how political rhetoric can potentially impact educational outcomes in secondary school populations. She is excited to continue to serve as a Teaching Assistant, and hopes to return to school next fall to pursue a second Master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education.


  • Shelby Driscoll Salemi

    Shelby Driscoll Salemi


    Shelby Driscoll Salemi is from Tucson, AZ. She is pursuing her MFA in Writing and practices capoeira.

  • Bobby Edwards

    Bobby Edwards


    Bobby Edwards is a PhD student studying the intellectual history of anthropology and Native American history. He grew up in Sacramento, CA, and does performance art as a hobby.  

  • Allison Evans

    Allison Evans


    Allison Evans is an artist and theorist in the Art History, Theory, Criticism and Art Practice PhD program. Her work and research is concerned with photographic histories, phenomenology, and theories of materialism.

  • Mat Guzzo

    Mat Guzzo


    Mat works with moving images, software, strategy and social agency in order to design collaborative alternative platforms of imagination, culture and public policy. He's a collaborating researcher at the Laboratory of Cinematic Arts (LABCINE) at Mackenzie University in São Paulo and a member of the Latin American Network of Surveillance, Technology and Society Studies (LAVITS). He's enrolled at the Master of Fine Arts program in UC San Diego and holds a bachelor in Media Studies by State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil. 

  • Savannah Hampton

    Savannah Hampton


    Savannah Hampton is a writer from Nevada, who for the past five years studied and worked in Brooklyn and Queens, NY. Her writing practice includes poetry, lyrical essays, art criticism, book reviews––all of which hinge on research, community, relation, context. Her work currently resides in The Felt, Tarpaulin Sky, No, Dear, Bone Bouquet, Fanzine, and Gigantic Sequins.

  • Ryne Heslin

    Ryne Heslin


    By focusing on critiquing power, questioning assumptions, and imagining new alternatives, Ryne Heslin attempts to implement an inter-disciplinary approach to art making which eschews object production over information dissemination, emphasizing the contingency of the technical developments which continue to shape our current society as they shaped our past. Originally from Tampa, FL, Ryne achieved his BFA in Studio Art from the University of South Florida in 2013, before moving to Chicago, IL, where he explored music production and internet radio; Ryne is now pursuing an MFA in Visual Art from UC San Diego.

  • Zach Hill

    Zach Hill


    Originally from Atlanta, Zach is pursuing a degree in Cultural Studies through the Literature Department. When he has free time, he likes to spend it either reading, watching tv/movies, or hiking.

  • Marianna Hovhannisyan

    Marianna Hovhannisyan


    Marianna Hovhannisyan is a research-based curator from Armenia, currently pursuing her PhD degree in Art History, Theory, and Criticism, Visual Arts Dept., UC San Diego. She works at the intersection of visual culture and contemporary art with the focus on the critical museum and archival studies that converge at the politics of metadata, postcolonial theories, memory studies, and new historiographies. Recent research and curatorial fellowships include the Critical Refugee Studies Collective research award, the Getty Consortium Seminar, the first EU-funded Armenia-Turkey Fellowship by Hrant Dink Foundation, and Kadist Art Foundation.

  • Tina Hyland

    Tina Hyland


    Tina Hyland is pursuing her MFA in Writing. Her cross-genre work work has appeared or is upcoming in Best American Experimental Writing 2015, BESTIARY: the best of the inaugural demi-decade of A Cappella Zoo, theNewerYork, and other print and online journals.

  • Ke Nie

    Ke Nie


    Ke is a PhD student in sociology at the University of California, San Diego. His research interests lie in the intersection of sociology of culture, economic sociology, and political sociology. Specifically, he uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to study cultural markets and policies in the US, China, and many other national contexts.

  • Sneha Kondur

    Sneha Kondur


    I am a MS student majoring in the Intelligent Systems Robotics and Control at the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UCSD. My research interests are in the domain of Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Underwater acoustic communications.

  • Samantha Leong

    Samantha Leong


    Samantha Leong is currently a graduate student in the Department of Bioengineering. Her focus is on imaging of nanoscale structures, such as ion channels in brains of patients affected by Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as fabrication of microdevices for various biological purposes. She is also interested in incorporating the use of active learning in more “traditional” lectures, especially in STEM subjects, such that students can be able to draw previously unseen connections, link them with current technologies and even create novel ones.

  • Yiqing Li

    Yiqing Li


    Yiqing Li is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in art history at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Prior to joining the UCSD, she studied art history, theory and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) with an emphasis on Western modern and contemporary art history.
    Her research projects have been concentrated on transcultural circulations of art works and art concepts. Her papers were published in the art journal New Visions and were presented at the Getty Research Institute, University of Delaware, Association of Asian Studies at Denver, and among others. Her translation Chinese Landscape Painting as Western Art History authored by James Elkins was recently published in August.

  • Philomena Lopez Rivas

    Philomena Lopez Rivas


    Philomena Lopez is a doctoral student in the Art History, Theory, and Criticism program at UCSD. Her specializations are in Chicano and Latin American art. Philomena earned her BA in Art History from UCLA in 2015 where she was a Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar. Prior to joining the department at UCSD, Philomena worked and interned at various Los Angeles area art institutions including Fowler Museum at UCLA, Hammer Museum, Armory Center for the Arts, and El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument.



  • Neon Mashurov

    Neon Mashurov


    Neon Mashurov is a writer from New York City and the post-Soviet diaspora, working across poetry, music writing, zines, and events. Their work & research explores collectivity; utopias & dystopias; and queer & trans intimacies and legacies of care, especially in relation to the ambient violence of the surveillance state. They are currently pursuing an MFA in cross-genre writing at UCSD.

  • Michael Matsuno

    Michael Matsuno


    I am a flutist, and DMA candidate in contemporary music at UCSD. As a soloist and chamber musician, I play classical repertoire and music of the last century. I earned an MA in performance from UCSD, and a BM in performance from the USC Thornton School of Music.

  • Leslie Meyer

    Leslie Meyer


    Leslie Meyer is from Iowa City, Iowa. She is pursuing an MA in Latin American Studies, with a concentration in International Migration.

  • Sam Mitchell

    Sam Mitchell


    Sam Aros Mitchell: Yaqui (enrolled, Texas Band of Yaqui Indians.) Sam earned his MFA in Dance Theatre from UC San Diego (Kumeyaay land), and a BFA in Dance from UC Santa Barbara (Chumash land). Sam has performed, both nationally and internationally as dance artist. He is in his fifth year of a performance studies PhD program in the Theatre and Dance department at UCSD (Kumeyaay land) and is currently completing his dissertation.

  • Townsend Montilla

    Townsend Montilla


    Townsend Montilla is a writer from Puerto Rico currently based in California. His work grapples with Puerto Rican identity, neocolonialism, migration, and diaspora. He is currently an MFA candidate in Literature at UCSD, and has a BA and MA in Literature from the University of Puerto Rico.

  • Evelyn Murdock

    Evelyn Murdock


    Evelyn is an artist, musician, performer, and writer in the third year of hir MFA. Hir writing and research interests include noise, writing process, improvisation, the contemporary American South, the Gothic, the grotesque, the absurd, counter-culture, queerness, education reform, punk historiography, prison abolition, labor movements, addiction & recovery, sci-fi, and animation. Ze grew up in northern Alabama and has no plans to return.

  • Pam Ortega

    Pam Ortega


    Pam is a second year Latin American Studies student studying migration, specifically asylum seekers in Tijuana. She's a news junkie and a proud Oklahoman.

  • Manel Palos Pons

    Manel Palos Pons


    Manel is a PhD Student in the Communication Department. He is originally from Spain (Barcelona) and his field is political communication. Very interested in politics, journalism, cultural industries and technology, among other things

  • Heather Paulson

    Heather Paulson


    Heather completed her undergraduate education in English and Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She went on to teach for two years through Teach for America in the Hawai’i region where she also completed a Master of Education degree at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa. Her experiences both as a first-generation college graduate and as a teacher continue to influence her research interests in Critical Gender Studies, Marxism, Working-Class Studies, Queer Theory, Pedagogy, Film Studies and 20th Century American Literature.

  • McKenzie Ross

    McKenzie Ross


    McKenzie, a Salt Lake City domestic and recent import from Oregon, is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. McKenzie enjoys reflexive literature, making squelchy synthesizer sounds, and espousing the merits of the cowbell.

  • Gabriela Rubio Moreno

    Gabriela Rubio Moreno


    Gabriela is a graduate student at the School of Global Policy and Strategy studying for her Masters in Public Policy, her career track is Energy and Environment. She is passionate about the environment and sustainable approaches to mitigate the impacts of climate change.    
    Gabriela enjoys outdoors, reading and traveling.

  • Berk Schneider

    Berk Schneider


    Berk Schneider is a musician and musicologist from Wisconsin. His current interests include the geopolitics of contemporary music performance in Cold War Germany and the role of culture and experience on music cognition.

  • Valerie Saiag

    Valerie Saiag


    Valerie Saiag's research interests include Latin American art with an interdisciplinary emphasis on Andean history, religious practices, indigenous documentation and representations and their intersections with Europe and the European art world.

  • Alexandria Smith

    Alexandria Smith


    Praised by The New York Times for her “appealingly melancholic sound” and “entertaining array of distortion effects,” Alexandria Smith is a trumpeter, composer, curator, and multimedia artist studying at the University of California San Diego. Her current projects focus on the use of biofeedback as an interfacing tool for musicians, interactive media (audio and visual), and performance based research. Previous engagements include her week (curation) at the Stone, performances at the La Semana Internacional de Improvisación, trumpet and electronics Luminous Tubes Concert at the FONT Festival 2019, performing as a soloist in the Martha Graham Dance Company 90th Anniversary Concert, Anthony Coleman's 60th Birthday Concert, John Zorn's Improv Night at the Stone, performances with her duo, a&k (with bassist Kathryn Schulmeister), and as an ensemble member of Lorin Maazel's Castleton Festival.

  • Gina Srmabekian

    Gina Srmabekian


    Gina Alexandra Srmabekian is a MFA candidate in writing and received her MA in English from CSUN. Her focus is in transgenarational trauma, gender, and narratological studies.

  • Alex Stephenson

    Alex Stephenson


    Alex Stephenson is a composer and PhD student in music whose work stems from a deep-rooted lyrical impulse and a desire to engage in dialogue with other forms of artistic expression and aspects of human experience. Originally from the Philadelphia area, he lived and studied in Chicago, London, and upstate New York before coming to UC San Diego.

  • Imge Su Cetin

    Imge Su Cetin

  • Jasper Sussman

    Jasper Sussman


    Jasper is a composer, performer, improviser, and scholar pursuing a Ph.D. in Music; Integrative Studies and a D.M.A. in Contemporary Voice Performance at the UCSD. Her current work involves discovering, archiving, mastering and composing for the myriads of expressive capabilities that the human voice possesses, and understanding these sounds musically, culturally, and anatomically.

  • Vanessa Na Teck

    Vanessa Na Teck


    Vanessa S. Na (Vanessa Teck) was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She is a Khmer American Ph.D. student in Education. Vanessa received both her B.A. in Intercultural Communications and Digital Media Studies and M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Denver. As a scholar-activist, her research focuses on creating inclusive campus environments for historically underrepresented students and student activism.

  • Fabian Toro Uribe

    Fabian Toro Uribe


    Fabian Toro is an Anthropological Archaeology PhD student. His work engages seeds and memory as sites for re-imagining agricultural futures and interrogating industrial forms of agriculture. Through the archaeobotanical record he seeks to displace extractivist and homogenizing imaginaries that drive contemporary agricultural initiatives. You can generally find him in the soil, excavating or tending to seeds.

  • Adriana Tosun

    Adriana Tosun


    Adriana Tosun is an artist and educator pursuing her MFA in Writing in the Literature department; her multimedia work, which tends to investigate systems of identity, has been published in a variety of online and print journals and has been performed and installed in New York and London. Otherwise, she plays roller derby.

  • Richard Vagnino

    Richard Vagnino


    Richard is third year PhD student in philosophy and cognitive science. His current research focuses on the role of analogy in scientific reasoning. Before coming to UCSD he received is master’s in music composition from NYU.

  • Lisa Wambui Wainaina

    Lisa Wambui Wainaina


    Wambui Wainaina is a writer from Kenya, currently pursuing an MFA in Writing at UCSD. She received her BA in “Mimesis and Postcoloniality” at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

  • Amy Wang

    Amy Wang


    Amy Wang is a PhD Student in Education studies and is originally from Houston, TX. Her research interests include exploring how faculty create equitable learning environments in higher education. When she's not in school, you can find her playing with her 7 year old corgi, Mango.