Maria Galeano, a student in the College of Architecture + the Arts, is currently working at FIU’s Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum as an Education Assistant. Galeano is an Honors College student who will graduate from CARTA in Spring 2014 with a BA in Art History. She started as an intern with the Frost in the fall of 2012, and, in February 2013, the Frost hired her as Education Assistant. In her position, Galeano conducts docent and volunteer training, researches potential and incoming artists, creates educational material and events, and coordinates the tours at the museum. For her, the work at the museum has enriched her college studies. “Being in a museum that exhibits a wide variety of art has exposed me to a lot of traditions, artists, and cultures that are not usually taught in a traditional class” she said. “[It has] enhanced my understanding of the art history discipline.” As Education Assistant, Galeano has helped to curate an art show at Carrfour Supportive Housing, which focused on the struggles of homelessness. She has also worked with the Overtown Youth Center in the Outreach Express program, in which the Frost invites children from the Center for a museum visit and fun activities, in an effort to keep them off the streets and get them into an educational, safe setting. Galeano said, “These experiences have helped me realize how I can use my position to be valuable in the community.”
In addition to her studies and museum work, Galeano curated the 2013 exhibition for Professor John Bailly’s Aesthetics & Values program and has studied abroad with Bailly in France. She has been on the FIU Dean’s List every semester since she started in Fall 2010, and has been awarded the Manuel & Mercedes Mosteiro Scholarship. Now, she is preparing to present at the 2013 Conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council in New Orleans. At the conference, Galeano will show how the essential purpose behind the Aesthetics & Values program can be geared to grade-school students. Additionally, she is now in the process of starting an FIU organization called O.A.T.H.S (Offbeat Art Thinkers Honors Society), for which she is the founding President.
“First of all, she is very creative,” said Frost Art Museum Director Dr. Carol Damian, “and has inspired other students who work in the Education Department to look for solutions and new ideas that will appeal to the school groups and other people who visit for tours….she has demonstrated leadership skills – you can delegate to her and she will not only do it, but find others to assist under her leadership. She knows how to put together a team, come up with ideas, and make those ideas come true.” Damian is thankful to have Galeano on the team. “She is an excellent addition to our staff…and very professional and respectful. She is a fast learner and on task, and very pro-active with creative ideas.”
Like Galeano, Art + Art History students are looking forward to starting their careers after graduation. She had this piece of advice for her fellow classmates: “Your role in the world is just as essential as that of a doctor.”