Committee Members

Alexander PicMary Alexander

Mary Alexander has worked in and for Washington area history museums for the past four decades. She has been a museum educator, assistant director, leader of the Common Agenda for History Museums project for the American Association for State and Local History, and most recently administrator of the Museum Assistance Program of the Maryland Historical Trust (Maryland’s State Historic Preservation Office). She co-authored with George Hein, Museums: Places of Learning (1998) and in 2008 revised her father’s museum studies textbook, Museums in Motion: The History and Functions of Museums. Mary holds a BA in History from Beloit College, and an MA in Education from the University of Connecticut.


Arnoldi PicDr. Mary Jo Arnoldi

Dr. Mary Jo Arnoldi is the Curator of African Ethnology and Art in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. She received her PhD from Indiana University in 1983 in African Art History. She has been conducting research in Africa since 1978 with an emphasis on African arts and material culture. She has published extensively on African performing arts, youth, public culture and post-colonial nationalism. She has also published on the museum’s historic Central African collections and on the history of the representation of Africa at the Smithsonian. Dr. Arnoldi has curated exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution and at several other museums. She was a lead curator for NMNH’s permanent exhibition, African Voices, which opened in late 1999. In 2003 she co-curated the Mali Program, From Timbuktu to Washington, at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC that featured 150 Malian artisans and musicians during a two week festival on the National Mall. In 2013 she curated an exhibition, Mud Masons of Mali, at the National Museum of Natural History.


Dr. Bernard FinnFInn Pic (2)

Dr. Bernard Finn has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from Cornell and a PhD in History of Science from the University of Wisconsin. He came to the Smithsonian’s Museum of History and Technology (now American History) in 1962 as curator of the electrical collections, converted to “emeritus” after his retirement in 2005. His scholarly works (publications, presentations, exhibits) have dealt with various individuals (Franklin, Edison, Bell, Tesla) and topics (communications satellites, lasers, energy conversion, lighting). He has paid special attention to underwater communications cables.

His interest in the history of museums led him to help persuade the Smithsonian to establish a seminar in museum scholarship jointly with the University of Maryland in 1996 (expanded to a certificate program in 2002). About the same time he was co-founder – with colleagues at the Science Museum (London) and the Deutsches Museum (Munich) – of an organization, Artefacts, which promotes the use of objects in studies of the history of science and technology and has been the focus of much of his attention in recent years.


Dr. Perla GuerreroGuerrero_PerlPic

Dr. Perla M. Guerrero is Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies and the first core faculty member in the U.S. Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California in 2010. Her research and teaching interests link comparative race and ethnicity, immigration, space and place, labor, and 20th century U.S. history. As an interdisciplinary scholar, her work is informed by historical methods and human geography as they pertain to Latina/o Studies, American Studies, and the U.S. South. Last year Dr. Guerrero was a Latino Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellow as well as Goldman Sachs Junior Fellow at the National Museum of American History.


Dr. Paul T. Jaegerjaeger_paul_web_0

Paul T. Jaeger, Ph.D., J.D., is Professor, Diversity Officer, and Director of the Master of Library Science (MLS) program of the College of Information Studies and Co-Director of the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland. His teaching and research focus on the ways in which law and public policy shape information behavior, with a specific focus on issues of human rights and social justice. He is the author of more than one hundred and fifty journal articles and book chapters, as well as more than a dozen books. His research has been funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Science Foundation, the American Library Association, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among other. Dr. Jaeger is Editor of Library Quarterly and Co-Editor of Advances in Librarianship and the International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion. He is also founder and chair of the Conference on Inclusion and Diversity in Library and Information Science (CIDLIS). In 2014, he received the Library Journal/ALISE Excellence in Education Award, the international educator of the year award for the field of library and information science. 


Dr. Kathryn Lafrenz SamuelsLafrenz-Samuels_KathrynPIC

Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, with expertise in cultural heritage, environmental anthropology, and political anthropology. Dr. Lafrenz Samuels’ research highlights the growth of heritage practice in the transnational sphere: in the domains of international development, global climate change, human rights, democracy building, transnational advocacy networks, and corporate social responsibility. Her work showcases the persuasive power of cultural heritage, as a social field of public rhetoric for mobilizing change. She received her PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University.


Dr. Barnet Pavao-ZuckermanPavao-ZuckermanPIC

Dr. Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland. She received her PhD from the University of Georgia in 2001, completing her dissertation research in the Georgia Museum of Natural History. Prior to arriving at the University of Maryland, she was Associate Curator of Zooarchaeology at the Arizona State Museum for over a decade, as well as Associate Professor and Associate Director of the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. She is an archaeologist and is currently conducting research on the colonial-period experiences of Native Americans in southeastern and southwestern North America, looking at the impact of the introduction of domesticated animals and European market economies on indigenous ecological and economic systems.


Dr. Dennis PoguePogue Pic

Dr. Dennis J. Pogue, has more than 30 years of experience as an archaeologist, museum administrator, educator, and historic preservationist. He is adjunct associate professor in the historic preservation program at the University of Maryland, and he consults on a variety of preservation related topics with museums, historic sites, private individuals, and others. He served for 25 years at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, where he was vice president for preservation. Dr. Pogue’s award-winning book, Founding Spirits: George Washington and the Beginnings of the American Whiskey Industry, grew out of a 10-year effort that he led to research and reconstruct Washington’s whiskey distillery. He received his doctorate in Anthropology from The American University, in Washington, DC.


Dr. Margaret Salazar-PorzioSalazar-Porzio Pic

Dr. Margaret Salazar-Porzio is a Curator of Latina/o History and Culture in the Division of Home and Community Life. She has research interests and expertise in 20th century visual and material culture of the Western United States, Pacific Rim, and Mexico; Race, Citizenship and National Identity in U.S. urban history; family formation and childhood; and K-20 Education. Before joining the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Dr. Salazar-Porzio received her PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California in 2010, served as an Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer at the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia University Law School, and held a Smithsonian Institution Latina/o Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship. In addition to receiving research fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and National Science Foundations, she was also a primary education teacher in Los Angeles, California, where she received a local Teacher of the Year award in 2004. Dr. Salazar-Porzio’s research combines these experiences with deep commitments to education, equality, and democratic engagement in the service of her work at the Smithsonian Institution.