Adjuncts and Associates


Alan F. Arbogast, Ph.D.

Arbogast is a Professor in the Department of Geography, specializing in dune geomorphology, landscape evolution, and geoarchaeology, particularly as they relate to paleoenvironmental change. Dr. Arbogast collaborates regularly on both field and other research projects, participates in proposal preparation, and is a co-PI on the Synthesis of Landscape Evolution, Human Use, and Management of Site 20LU115, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan, Midwest Archaeological Center, Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit (CESU), U.S. National Park Service.

John P. Beck

Beck is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations (MSU). He has been co-director, since its inception in the early 1990’s, of  "Our Daily Work, Our Daily Lives," a cooperative project of the MSU Museum and MSU Labor Education Program arising out of a common interest in the artistic traditions of workers and in workplaces as contexts for the expression of workers culture. His research touches on various aspects of the history of work and organized labor in Michigan. Our Daily Work/Our Daily Lives was honored in 2003 with a MSU All-University Excellence in Diversity Award.

Joanna Bosse, Ph.D.

Bosse is Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Residential College of Arts and Humanities, MSU. She is an ethnomusicologist and dance ethnographer. She has conducted fieldwork in dancehalls in the Midwestern United States, studying the performance of couple dance genres like salsa, swing, tango, and ballroom. Her work on popular culture involves the relationship between music and dance as well as the dynamics of affinity groups, cross-cultural encounters, and amateur performance. Her research on whiteness, race, and performance. She has served on the Michigan Traditional Arts panel for the Michigan Heritage Awards and the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Awards. She also serves as an advisor to the MTAP as well as the Great Lakes Folk Festival where she also is often a presenter.

Howard Bossen, Ph.D.

Bossen is Professor of Photography and Visual Communication in the School of Journalism. He is the author of many articles and books, including Luke Swank: Modernist Photographer and Henry Holmes Smith: Man of Light. Over the last eight years he has worked with the MSU Museum on a number of collection development and exhibition projects, most notably: Detroit Resurgent; Seeing China: Photographic Views and Viewpoints, Eighteen, an exhibition by Israeli photographer Natan Dvir; An Extraordinary Document of Our World with photographs by Perrin; On Death and Horses and Other People, an exploration of Czech Carnival by photographer Marketa Luskacova; and The Radiation Mask Series, a photographic installation piece by Swedish photographer Magnus Westerborn. He will continue to work on photographic collection development and exhibition projects.

Michael Conner, Ph.D.

Conner is an archaeologist specializing in North American archaeology and human osteology.  He collaborates regularly on field and collections-based research, and is currently co-PI on the Morton Village site archaeology project with Dr. Jodie O’Gorman.  He works closely with MSU students on this research.

Lynne G. Goldstein, Ph.D.

Goldstein is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Anthropology. She has taught in Museum MA programs at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is a North American archaeologist with active Great Lakes research programs, and is an expert in repatriation issues. She provides ongoing assistance and collaboration at a programmatic level in the Division of Anthropology.

Heather Howard, Ph.D.

Howard is an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department at MSU, and in the Centre for Indigenous Studies at the University of Toronto, which recognizes her long-standing Indigenous community-engaged practice. She is co-founder (1995) and former program director for First Story Toronto, with whom she continues Indigenous research and popular education through the arts, cultural collections, and archives of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. Since moving to Michigan in 2004, Howard has worked as a consultant to American Indian Tribes and communities in the Great Lakes region and in California. She has mobilized these relationships to engage with MSU Museum collections on numerous projects and in teaching to prioritize Indigenous community initiatives, foster Indigenous student opportunities, and training for ally non-Indigenous students seeking to engage meaningfully with Indigenous communities. Key examples include several collaborative projects through Howard’s leadership in the Great Lakes Research Alliance for Aboriginal Arts and Culture (GRASAC), her online exhibition project, Nibwaakaa: Indigenous Women’s Ingenuity in the Great Lakes Region, and her collaboration with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa, Waganakising Quillwork, supported with a fellowship from the Whiting Foundation.

Isaac Kalumbu, Ph.D.

Kalumbu is an ethnomusicologist and musician who serves as the program manager for The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at Michigan State University (MSU). As program manager, Dr. Kalumbu is responsible for the development, implementation, and management of the program at MSU. In 1997, Dr. Kalumbu joined MSU’s College of Music where he taught courses on African American, Caribbean, and African popular music. Kalumbu has served as an advisor for music programming at the Great Lakes Folk Festival and has participated in humanities education workshops of the MSU Museum.

Candace Keller, Ph.D.

Keller is an Associate Professor of African Art and Culture, Department of Art and Art History. Keller will provide continued consultation on cultural collections (especially African) and work closely with the MSU Museum cultural history staff to strengthen research and teaching use of the collections. Her recent research centers on the histories of photographic practice in Mali, West Africa, which is the subject of her forthcoming book Imaging Culture: Photography in Mali, West Africa (Indiana University Press, 2017) and has working with MSU Museum cultural history staff on the development of the NEH grant which is providing major support for the project. She has also been in discussions on an exhibition at the MSU Museum drawn from her research in Mali.

Jon Keune, Ph.D.

Keune, an Assistant Professor of South Asian Religions, Department of Religious Studies, and an Adjunct Curator at the MSU Museum, is a specialist in Devotional Hinduism (bhakti), social history, caste and reform, medieval Marathi literature, modern Buddhism in India, Hindu-Christian encounter, construction of religious traditions, historiography. His main field of research is in west-central India, where he lived for several years, and he has comparative interests in central Europe and East Asia. He has been part of the leadership team for the MSU Museum/Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) Partnership that was formally launched in 2015. The collaboration involves staff exchanges, museum staff development activities, consultations, and facilities planning. These activities are being supported in part by the new MSU Museum Heritage of India Endowment. Dr. Keune has been an active user of the BORI collections.

Clare Luz, Ph.D.

Luz is an assistant professor in the Geriatrics and Gerontology Program, MSU College of Human Medicine. Her primary area of research is in long-term care health services. Additional areas of interest include aspects of functional health and long-term care that have an impact on optimal aging for vulnerable older adults such as falls and assistive devices, dementia, hospice and palliative care, nursing homes, person-environment fit, and the intersection of art, culture and medicine. She has been active with the MSU Museum in a variety of projects connecting arts and health – served as a consultant to the museum’s ElderheART program, is a co-curator of the Arts and Health program area of the Great Lakes Folk Festival, has helped build collections of arts and health materials, and is co-author with two MSU Museum staff on Quilts and Health (Indiana University Press, 2017).

Veena Mandrekar, Ph.D.

Mandrekar has worked with the MSU Museum for many years on projects that document and interpret Indian American cultural traditions. Currently she is working with the cultural history staff of the MSU Museum on major initiatives to strengthen the documentation, presentation, and preservation of Indian American cultural heritage and a major collaborative MSU Museum and Bhandrakar Oriental Research Institute (Pune, India).

Bongani Mgijima

Mgijima is the Director of the University Stellenbosch Museum, and is our lead South African Museum partner for the new MSU Alliance for African Partnerships grant that will foster deeper ongoing partnership with South African museums and cultural programs. This project will focus on staff exchanges, documentation, publications, exhibitions, and additional collaborative grant activity. He is also the former Director of the Albany Museum at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, and founding Director of the Lwandle Museum of Migrant Labour, Cape Town, South Africa. In his capacity as director of the Stellenbosch University Museum and Albany Museum, he served as the host at those venues of the MSU Museum/Nelson Mandela Museum exhibition “Dear Mr Mandela, Dear Mrs Parks: Children’s Letters, Global Lessons.”

Dylan Miner, Ph.D.

Miner is a Wiisaakodewinini (Métis) artist, activist, and scholar. He is Director of the American Indian Studies Program and Associate Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities. Miner is also a founding member of the Justseeds artists collective, and on the board of the Michigan Indian Education Council. Miner has used MSU Museum cultural collections in his teaching, has worked closely with the MSU Museum on a curated program at the Great Lakes Folk Festival and, over the past year, has been in discussions with cultural history staff on ways to strategically and collaboratively advance collection development, education, research activities with the MSU Museum that would engage and support indigenous faculty, students, and community members.

Diana N'Diaye, Ph.D.

A visual anthropologist and folklorist, N’Diaye is Curator, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She has been a collaborating partner, visiting artist, and lecturer and, for the MSU Museum, a consultant on African Diaspora studies and collections at the MSU Museum. She was part of the Leadership Team for the US-South Africa Cultural Heritage Training Program funded by the Mellon and Ford Foundation. She now serves as one of the Smithsonian representatives on the US/Africa Cultural Heritage Partnership linking US museums with African museums via the African Museums Council. She is also the project director for the Smithsonian Institution’s Will to Adorn: African American Diversity, Style, and Identity Project. She collaborated with the MSU Museum on documentation for this project in Detroit.

Dean Rehberger, Ph.D.

Rehberger is the Director of MATRIX, the Interim Chair of Sociology, and also Associate Professor in the Department of History at MSU. Dean specializes in developing digital technologies for research and teaching. He has run numerous faculty technology and workshops and given presentations for educators and cultural heritage workers from local, national and international audiences. Dean oversees MATRIX project planning, research and development, and coordinating many of the grant-funded projects for the center. His primary areas of research include: high performance computing and big data; digital history, humanities, and social sciences; digital libraries, museums and archives; Internet technologies in the classroom; and hybrid learning environments. Rehberger teaches course for a variety of courses at MSU for History and Museum Studies.  Rehberger, has worked on a variety of digital humanities projects with the MSU Museum and has played major roles on the Quilt Index, Michigan Stained Glass Survey, Alliance for African Partnerships, Oral History in A Digital Age, and the recent NEH-funded project to digitize and make accessible the images and data on the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Diana Rivera

Rivera is a staff member in the area of MSU Special Collections and Preservation, MSU Library. She also leads the Chicana/o Studies-Ethnic Studies where she is a bibliographer. She has been long-time advisor to the Michigan Traditional Program and the folklife and cultural heritage activities of the MSU. In recent years, she and her family established the Mexican American Culture Endowment Fund in memory of Pedro Rivera, DO at the MSU Museum. She continues to provide counsel for Mexican American programming for the museum with a focus on community engagement and education—including support of a new lecture series that will be presented in 2017-18.

Chris Scales, Ph.D.

Scales is an ethnomusicologist whose research and teaching interests include North American indigenous music, Southern Appalachian music, music and technology, intellectual and cultural property, and the North American popular music industry. His recent research focuses on contemporary Northern powwow culture and musical creation both on the powwow grounds and in Aboriginal recording studios, specifically engaging the effects of technology and mass mediation on powwow performance aesthetics. An active musician, he also performs southern Appalachian music on guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and banjo, as well as Shona mbira music from Zimbabwe, playing mbira dzavadzimu. Scales has worked as a music consultant for and presenter at the MSU Museum’s Great Lakes Folk Festival, as coordinator of the Old Time Music Jam at the GLFF, and as a panelist for the MI Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. Scales and members of the MSU Museum cultural history staff are in discussions about additional RCAH and MSU Museum collaborations.

Laura Smith, Ph.D.

Smith is an art historian with specializations in North American arts, Native American arts, and photography. Her recent research has focused on modern and contemporary Native American art, but she teaches a broad range of courses in the arts of the Americas. As a curator, artist, collections manager, and teacher, she has engaged the research, care, and/or exhibition of artworks since 1993. Smith regularly uses the MSU Museum cultural collections in her research and teaching. She has worked as a panelist for the MI Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program and is currently working collaboratively with the MSU Museum, Diné weavers, and CAL's Digital Humanities staff on an exhibit to open in 2019. She and Heather Howard were recently awarded a Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Culture (GRASAC) pilot project grant towards developing the research, care, and teaching use of the Museum's Anishinaabe collections, in collaboration with MSU Museum staff and Anishinaabe artists.

Noel L Z Solani, Ph.D.

Solani obtained his doctoral degree in history from University of Ft. Hare and has been a cultural heritage worker for many years in South Africa. He worked as an oral historian and historical researcher at the Robben Island Museum and as a curator and acting director of the Nelson Mandela National Museum in Mthatha, South Africa. He is affiliated with the Mzala Nxumalo Centre for the Study of South Africa Society. He has worked on a variety of collaborative projects with the MSU Museum and is seeking additional possibilities fornew partnership initiatives.

Laurie K. Sommers, Ph.D.

A folklorist and ethnomusicologist and former MSU Museum staff member, Sommers serves as periodic contracted fieldworker and presenter at the museum’s folklife festivals. Her recent work in Georgia includes traveling exhibits, documentary radio, and folklife in education. Recent publications include Folkwriting: Lessons on Place, Heritage, and Tradition for the Georgia Classroom (with Diane Howard et. al., and The Florida Music Train, which won the 2003 Dorothy Howard Prize for folklife in education from the American Folklore Society. She was also the lead on the MSU Museum’s Alan Lomax project.

Ethan Watrall, Ph.D.

Watrall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Associate Director of MATRIX. He specializes in digital archaeology and heritage, Heritage studies, and Predynastic Egyptian archaeology, with interests in Pseudoarchaeology and Public and Community Archaeology. He works closely in museum studies applications across the social sciences and humanities, and is an expert in identification of Near and Middle Eastern and northern African objects.

Education Adjunct Staff

Kara Haas

Haas serves as the Science Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Kellogg Biological Station. A Certified Heritage Interpreter, Haas is knowledgeable about Michigan’s natural resources and is interested in helping the community enjoy and learn about the natural areas of KBS through programs, trails, signage, web-based media, etc.  She coordinates outreach staff at KBS to educate the public about research themes such as climate change, aquatic ecology and sustainable agriculture. She also coordinates the KBS K-12 Partnership, a broader impact of the KBS Long term Ecological Research program that brings together scientists and K-12 science teachers to improve scientific content and explore ways to use the outdoors for teaching and learning.  Haas has a B.S. in Biology from Hope College and Master's in the Practice of Teaching: Early Childhood Education from Western Michigan University.  Collaborations with the MSU Museum include Darwin Discovery Day participation, exhibition contributor, and wildlife and ornithology education resource.

Norm Lownds Ph.D.

Lownds is Associate Professor and Curator, 4-H Children’s Gardens, Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Lownds has developed extensive field trip experiences for elementary school students that integrate authentic experiments, connections to scientists and digital technologies. His work with the on-line Wonder Wall is examining the types of questions students ask and the types of ongoing connections that can happen among students, teachers and scientists. His work to integrate Wikis, Google Classroom, iPads and other digital technologies into field trips has been effective in engaging students and teachers. Lownds also provides professional development on delivering science education experiences to pre-K through high school educators. Through Collaborating Classrooms, he explores year long connections among K-12 students and teachers with MSU educators, students and scientists. Lownds loves to work with teachers and students and reminds everyone to “always ask questions about everything!

Gary Parsons

Parsons manages the A.J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection and provides assistance to the MSU Department of Entomology in that capacity, including providing identifications and entomological information for faculty, staff, and students, as well as the general public. As director/coordinator of the Bug House, the Department’s main outreach outlet, much of his outreach effort is focused there. Parsons holds BS and MS degrees from California Polytechnic State University. MSU Museum collaborations include Darwin Discovery Day, where he presents both living and preserved invertebrate collections and serves on the planning committee, as well as invertebrate content advisor for education programs and resources. Parsons has also provided invertebrate specimens for education programs.

Natural Science Research Adjuncts

Danita Brandt, Ph.D.

Brandt is an Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Natural Science [invertebrate paleontology]. Dr. Brandt is interested in the taphonomy of fossil faunas and the implications of taphonomic patterns in interpreting the paleobiology, paleoecology, and evolutionary biology of these faunas. She regularly works with DNS curators to make identifications and incorporates fossil specimens in exhibits, displays, and presentations. Brandt also consults the Museum's Education Team on science outreach and visitor programming and co-chairs the Museum's annual Darwin Discovery Day public event.

Kay Holekamp, Ph.D.

Holekamp is a University Distinguished Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, College of Natural Science; Program in Ecology, Evolution & Behavior; BEACON [behavioral ecology; behavioral endocrinology]. Dr. Holekamp is conducting a long-term field study of free-living spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) in Kenya. Associated with this project, she is collaborating with Dr. Lundrigan, and a Museum PhD student, on a study of hyena skull morphology. She has made (and continues to make) important contributions to the vertebrate collections, including skeletal material and tissue samples.

Catherine Lindell, Ph.D.

Lindell is an Associate Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, College of Natural Science; Program in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, & Behavior; Center for Global Change and Earth Observations [behavioral and landscape ecology]. Dr. Lindell’s research focuses on the ecology and behavior of tropical birds in areas undergoing land-cover change, particularly deforestation or restoration. She has taught ornithology and related courses such as Zoogeography and her students regularly make use of the vertebrate teaching and research collections.

Sharleen Sakai, Ph.D.

Sakai is Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, College of Social Science; Neuroscience Program [neuroanatomy/ physiology]. She has studied frontal cortical organization in a number of species using a variety of anatomical and physiological techniques. Her most recent project seeks to determine if cognitive abilities resulting from social living are related to the evolution of large brains, including the expansion of the frontal lobes. In collaboration with Dr. Lundrigan, and an IBIO PhD student, Dr. Sakai is using computed tomography (CT) of museum specimens to explore the differences in regional brain volumes among carnivore species that vary along a continuum of social complexity.

Natural Science Research Associates

Per Alström, Ph.D.

Alström is a Taxonomist at Swedish Species Information Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden. Dr. Alström and Dr. Rasmussen are collaborating on several projects involving systematics and taxonomy of Asian birds, and most recently co-authored papers describing two new species of birds from China and India (the Sichuan Bush-warbler and Himalayan Forest Thrush). Current collaborative projects include a forthcoming paper on the taxonomy of the Striated and Brown prinias (Prinia crinigera and P. polychroa) complex. Their research often involves use of MSU specimens along with those from many other collections.

Jaelyn Eberle, Ph.D.

Eberle is a Professor of Geological Studies, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Director of Museum and Field Studies Program, Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Eberle is collaborating with Mike Gottfried on a study that examines the fossil evidence for the "Greenhouse Earth" interval of climatic warming in the Arctic. They have an ongoing field project on Banks Island in the Canadian Arctic and have recently co-authored three papers.

Ewan Fordyce, Ph.D.

Fordyce is a Professor, Department of Geology, University of Otago, New Zealand [vertebrate paleontology]. Dr. Fordyce is collaborating with Dr. Gottfried on a study of fossil marine vertebrates from New Zealand. They recently submitted a grant proposal to the New Zealand Marsden Fund to investigate the fossil record of terrestrial vertebrates on the ancient continent of Zealandia.

Philip Myers, Ph.D.

Myers is Emeritus Curator of Mammalogy, Museum of Zoology, and Emeritus Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Director and founder of the Animal Diversity Web [mammalian ecology and evolution]. Dr. Myers’ research interests include phylogeny, speciation, and biogeography of mammals. He is currently working with Dr. Lundrigan on an investigation of the effects of climate change on small mammal communities of the Great Lakes, work that makes extensive use of the vertebrate collections at the University of Michigan and Michigan State.

Kirsten Nicholson, Ph.D.

Nicholson is a Professor of Biology, Institute for Great Lakes Research, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI [evolutionary biology; museum studies]. Dr. Nicholson’s interests include phylogeny, ecology, and natural history of reptiles and amphibians, with particular emphasis on the lizard genus Anolis. She makes use of the MSU Museum collections in her research and consults with DNS staff on issues germane to collections care and management. She also conducts research on preservation methods and products for fluid-preserved collections.

Robert Prŷs-Jones, Ph.D.

Prŷs-Jones is Head (Emeritus), Bird Group, Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, U.K. Dr. Prŷs-Jones is working with Dr. Rasmussen on a monograph on the Asian bird records of Richard Meinertzhagen, which evaluates the scope and type of scientific specimen fraud perpetrated by Meinertzhagen. Prŷs-Jones and Rasmussen have collaborated extensively in the past on other published work as well, and their research has primarily involved the use of specimens from The Natural History Museum-UK.

Eric Roberts, Ph.D.

Roberts is an Associate Professor, Head, Earth and Environmental Science, James Cook University, Australia. Dr. Roberts is working with Dr. Gottfried on a long-term research project investigating Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils from southwestern Tanzania. Their collaboration includes co-authorship on several papers, among them two that have appeared in the high-profile journal Nature. Dr. Roberts is also collaborating with Gottfried on work in the Falkland Islands.

Philip Round, Ph.D.

Round is an Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Round and Dr. Rasmussen are collaborating on several projects involving the systematics and conservation of birds of Asia, such as (with Dr. Alström) an integrative reanalysis of the species limits of the Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris) complex. Dr. Round and Dr. Rasmussen have previously co-authored other publications on Bradypterus bush-warblers and, in 2015, the description of a new species of Muscicapa flycatcher from Sulawesi.

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