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Staff Directory

President’s Office • (505) 954-7211 • executiveassistant@sarsf.org 

Michael F. Brown

Michael F. Brown

President

2014-Present
Dr. Brown, an expert in cultural anthropology, Latin American studies, and indigenous intellectual property, has been president of the School for Advanced Research since 2014. His research covers a broad range of topics, including the indigenous peoples of Amazonia, new religious movements, and the global challenge of protecting indigenous cultural property from misuse and appropriation. He has an AB degree from Princeton and a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan and has been awarded research fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Institute for Advanced Study. Prior to his appointment as SAR president, Brown served on the faculty of Williams College for 34 years.

In addition to numerous scholarly articles, Brown is the author of six books, including The Channeling Zone: American Spirituality in an Anxious Age (1997), Who Owns Native Culture? (2003), and Upriver: The Turbulent Life and Times of an Amazonian People (2014). He has also published articles and reviews in publications including Natural History, Smithsonian,The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Times Literary Supplement, and the New York Times Book Review.

Alex Kalangis

Alex Kalangis

Vice President for Finance & Administration

2019–Present • 505-954-7222 • kalangis@sarsf.org
Alex Kalangis joins SAR with a wealth of experience in finance and operations in educational and nonprofit settings, primarily with Bosque School in Albuquerque, NM, United World College-USA in Montezuma, NM, and the International Center of Hellenic and Mediterranean Studies in Athens, Greece. A Santa Fe native, Alex has a BA in Business Administration from Baylor University and earned his MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Sharon K. Tison

Sharon K. Tison

Vice President for Finance & Administration

1994–2019 • 505-954-7222 • tison@sarsf.org
After 25 years with the School for Advanced Research, Sharon Tison has announced her retirement from SAR and will be assisting in the transition to the new VP during the summer of 2019. She most recently served as SAR’s Vice President for Finance and Administration, and also as assistant treasurer on the School’s Board of Directors. Prior to coming to SAR, she owned two successful for-profit businesses in Santa Fe and was an accounting instructor at Santa Fe Community College. She was a founding partner in LizardTech, a computer software firm that is now located in Seattle, Washington. Sharon currently serves on the Board of Directors of La Familia Medical Center.

Sharon holds a BS in mathematics and education from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She received her accounting education at Santa Fe Community College and passed the CPA exam in 1989.

Public Programs and Communications • (505) 954-7223 • davidson@sarsf.org

Meredith Davidson

Meredith Davidson

Director of Public Programs and Communications

2018-Present • 505-954-7223 • davidson@sarsf.org
Originally from Albuquerque, Meredith Davidson returned to New Mexico after spending a number of years on both coasts. She earned a B.A. in Curatorial Studies from Whittier College and an M.A. in Humanities, with an emphasis on Public History, from New York University. Prior to joining SAR, she served as curator of 19th and 20th century Southwest collections at the New Mexico History Museum and as an exhibition manager at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York.

Lila Romero

Lila Romero

Communications Coordinator

2018-Present • 505-954-7264 • romero@sarsf.org
Lila Romero is a sixth generation New Mexican from Albuquerque. She received a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with concentrations in Advertising and Art from the University of New Mexico. After graduating, she spent several years working for the University of New Mexico as a contract administrator and book designer. She has designed more than 120 books to date which span literary genres such as art, anthropology, archaeology, children’s books, indigenous studies, poetry, and history. She moved to Santa Fe in 2017 to appreciate the beauty, art, and cultural history of her home state.

Development • (505) 954-7238 • development@sarsf.org

Laura T. Sullivan

Laura T. Sullivan

Director

2015–Present • 505-954-7238 • sullivan@sarsf.org
Laura T. Sullivan has twenty-plus years’ experience in fundraising and administration for arts and cultural organizations. She has helped raise over $20 million including leadership level gifts, corporate and foundation support, legacy and endowment gifts, as well as robust annual campaigns. For the past nine years, she served as director of development at the International Folk Art Alliance. Previously, she was director of education for seven years at the Museum of International Folk Art. Other professional positions include director of the Museum on Wheels, an educational outreach program of the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art; executive director of the Doña Ana Arts Council in Las Cruces, New Mexico; and development consultant for the New Mexico State University Foundation. She holds a MA from the University of California Santa Cruz with a cross-disciplinary degree in Education, Anthropology, and Art History and a BA from Middlebury College.

Lindsay Archuleta

Lindsay Archuleta

Donor Relations Manager

2016–Present • 505-954-7231 • archuleta@sarsf.org
Lindsay grew up in Taos, New Mexico. She received her master of business administration from Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. She began her career working in international development and with indigenous cultures in Kenya and Brazil before settling back in New Mexico. She has worked in fundraising for non-profits in New Mexico for over seven years including the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

Amy Schiffer

Amy Schiffer

Membership Coordinator

2018–Present • 505-954-7245 • schiffer@sarsf.org 
Amy grew up outside Detroit and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Comparative Religion with a focus on Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology. After spending two years in Israel, she moved to Boston and worked in mutual funds and children’s book publishing. She relocated to Santa Fe in late 2002, leaving humidity and mosquitos behind and has worked in membership capacities at IATSE Local 480 and Temple Beth Shalom. In her spare time likes to walk, read, ride her bike, and knit.

As the membership coordinator, Amy is responsible for the overall operations of SAR’s membership events and programs, including our local and regional field trips, along with bringing creative thought to all membership related initiatives.

Jane Thomas

Jane Thomas

Database Manager

2016–Present • thomas@sarsf.org
Jane grew up near Wilmington, Delaware; graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts; and lived in New York City for over 35 years, working in the financial services industry.  She and her husband, Richard Alford, moved to Santa Fe in 2013

 

Scholar Programs • (505) 954-7237 • scholar@sarsf.orgseminar@sarsf.org

Paul Ryer

Paul Ryer

Director

2016–Present • 505-954-7240 • ryer@sarsf.org
As the director of Scholar Programs, Dr. Paul Ryer helps guide the selection of resident scholar fellowships and supports researchers during their residencies. He also oversees the J.I. Staley Prize, manages a range of on-campus scholar seminars, and serves as the primary point of contact for a growing, global network of SAR alumni. Under his leadership, the department has initiated efforts that ensure the program’s relevance to twenty-first century scholarship via an increased focus on: cross-disciplinary work; newly-developed fellowship field areas; collaboration among participating scholars; and the establishment of programs that embrace a greater awareness of new theories and emerging paradigms within anthropology and related fields.

Dr. Ryer received his PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2006. With over two decades of experience in academia, professor Ryer’s specific areas of anthropological expertise include the Caribbean, migration and diaspora, historical anthropology, semiotics, cultural citizenship, and religion. Since his initial fieldwork as a Ruth Landes Fellow in the 1990s, while affiliated with the University of Havana, he has conducted long-term research on Cuba and its diasporas. Currently, Ryer is studying the contemporary Cuban Protestant revival island through the lens of an ecumenical seminary in Matanzas, Cuba—an institution which survived the atheism of the early Revolution and is now thriving. He is the author of Beyond Cuban Waters, an ethnography which not only explores the cultural life of contemporary Cuba, but examines Cubans’ understanding of the world, and Cuba’s place in it through the lens of revolutionary-era Cuban-African educational exchanges. Prior to coming to SAR, Professor Ryer taught at the University of Chicago, Williams College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of California, Riverside. Read more…

Maria Spray

Maria Spray

Program Coordinator, Scholar Programs

2014–Present • 505-954-7237 • spray@sarsf.org
Maria is a native of Santa Fe. She has a master’s degree from St. John’s College, has served in the Peace Corps, and enjoys working at SAR.

Indian Arts Research Center • (505) 954-7205 • iarc@sarsf.org

Elysia Poon

Elysia Poon

IARC Acting Director

2007–Present • 505-954-7279 • poon@sarsf.org
As the curator of education at the IARC, Elysia Poon has furthered a Native artist fellowship program that is now one of the most nationally recognized. Offered to three artists a year, fellows live and work on SAR’s campus and have access to the IARC collections. Poon has developed and led IARC education outreach initiatives and facilitates an annual IARC speaker series that explores Native American arts and culture. She received her BA in art history and criticism from the University of California, San Diego and MA in art history from the University of New Mexico. Prior to coming to SAR, Elysia worked for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Autry National Center in Los Angeles, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe, and Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Lisa Hsu Barrera

Lisa Hsu Barrera

Collections Manager

2015–Present • 505-954-7270 • barrera@sarsf.org
Lisa grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and first came to SAR as an intern in 2012. Previously she has worked for the state of California at the State Indian Museum, the Sutter’s Fort Collection, and the California State Railroad Museum Collection. She received her BA in anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology from the University of California at Berkeley and is currently completing her MA in museum studies. She has completed internships at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American History, the American Museum of Natural History, and through the U. S. Embassy in Peru.
Photograph by Marie Barrera.

Jennifer Day

Jennifer Day

Registrar

2005–Present • 505-954-7275 • day@sarsf.org
Jennifer Day joined the SAR staff in June 2005. She came to the organization with a background in museum registration and completed a graduate degree in museum studies at the University of Florida. She administers SAR’s collection management database at its Indian Arts Research Center (IARC), and also handles documentation of acquisitions and object loans, rights and reproduction for images of collection items, and manages several volunteers and interns. She has a passion for organizing collection data and making it easily accessible for staff and researchers; her mantra is that “A database is only as good as the information it contains.” Jennifer particularly enjoys working with members of Native American communities to improve documentation of items housed in the IARC collection and also designing database reports.

Daniel Kurnit

Daniel Kurnit

Administrative Assistant

2001–Present • 505-954-7272 • kurnit@sarsf.org
Daniel Kurnit has been the administrative assistant at the Indian Arts Research Center since 2001. He is a graduate of Santa Fe High School and a longtime Santa Fe resident. Prior to joining SAR, he worked at a number of local businesses, including the New Mexican and the Santa Fean. His writing and editing skills now come in handy for the various brochures, flyers, and other printed materials that the IARC regularly creates. His other responsibilities include record keeping, organizing mailings, and arranging tours and special events. He is also the point of first contact and answerer of questions for most visitors to the IARC.

Daniel received a BA, with a concentration in American History, from Bard College in Annandale, New York, and visits friends and family on the East Coast often.

Stephanie Riley

Stephanie Riley

Registrar for Cultural Projects

2017–Present • 505-954-7273 • riley@sarsf.org
Stephanie, a member of the Pueblo of Acoma tribe, received her BA in anthropology with an emphasis in cultural anthropology and museum studies from New Mexico State University. Prior to joining IARC, she worked for several years at the Sky City Cultural Center & Haakú Museum and at the New Mexico State University Museum. She has also completed a residency at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in collections management. Thanks to previous projects she has been involved in, Stephanie has become passionate about learning and sustaining traditional pottery-making practices.

 

SAR Press • press@sarsf.org

Sarah Soliz

Sarah Soliz

Acquisitions Editor

2015–Present • 505-954-7261 • soliz@sarsf.org

After earning a BA and MA in cultural and linguistic anthropology from the University of New Mexico, Sarah turned to editing and has run her own editorial business for over fifteen years. In 2015 she came to SAR as the interim managing editor of SAR Press. As the acquisitions editor, she now acquires and evaluates scholarly manuscripts from within and outside of SAR, works closely with UNM Press to bring new titles into production, and oversees many of the day-to-day operations of SAR Press. Sarah is also SAR’s staff editor and writes about campus art and artists for the blog.

Catherine McElvain Library • (505) 954-7234 • library@sarsf.org

Katherine Wolf

Katherine Wolf

Librarian

2019–Present • 505-954-7234 • wolf@sarsf.org

Katherine has been in the library profession for over twenty years, with experience in special, public, and academic libraries. She has a MLIS degree and a BA in Art History and Criticism with a minor in Environmental Studies. Prior to her position at SAR, she was a librarian at the New Mexico History Museum. For much of her career, she worked in reference and collection development as a subject specialist in literature and the humanities. She also has experience in digital project management and holds a certificate in Digitization Skills for Libraries and Cultural Heritage Institutions. To expand her professional skills, she attended the Western Archives Institute in California, and more recently, completed a course at the California Rare Book School in Los Angeles. Before relocating to Santa Fe, she was a special collections librarian in a public library, assisting researchers with rare books, archives, local history, and genealogy collections. Katherine enjoys working close to nature on the SAR campus in a creative and scholarly environment.

Business Administration • (505) 954-7204 • busadmin@sarsf.org

Bob Lujan

Bob Lujan

Full-Charge Bookkeeper

2012–Present • 505-954-7222 • lujan@sarsf.org
As full-charge bookkeeper, Bob’s primary responsibilities include accounts payable functions, maintenance of cash position including deposits and on-line banking activities, posting of monthly accounting entries, and other general accounting duties. Bob retired from the State of New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department after twenty-six and a half years in the field of accounting and financial management. He has a bachelor of arts in accounting from New Mexico State University.

Bob is a native Santa Fean. He and his wife, Paula, have a son in college and a young daughter in elementary school.

Donna Ruscavage

Donna Ruscavage

Grants Manager

2018–Present • 505-954-7250 • davidson@sarsf.org
Originally from Connecticut, Donna Ruscavage relocated to Santa Fe in 2014. With over twenty-five years of experience in grants management and grant writing, she has worked as a development consultant with nonprofit organizations in New Mexico and across the country. Donna has also served on grant review committees for the federal government and other grant-making institutions. She has extensive experience in program development and evaluation and strategic planning. Donna holds a master’s degree in social work administration from the University of Maryland and a BS from the University of Connecticut

Carol Sandoval

Carol Sandoval

Personnel Director

1984–Present • 505-954-7221 • sandoval@sarsf.org
Carol, as Personnel Director, manages all functions involving personnel, payroll and benefits administration, and government compliance.

Hired in 1984 as the Accounts Payable Clerk in the School’s Business Office, Carol served in different capacities before taking over the personnel function in 1992.

A native Santa Fean, Carol is a member of the National Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM).

She attended the University of New Mexico and is a Certified Professional in Human Resources through the Robert O. Anderson School of Management at University of New Mexico and SHRM.

Guest Services • (505) 954-7258 • shipman@sarsf.org

Leslie Shipman

Leslie Shipman

Director

1999–Present • (505) 954-7258 • shipman@sarsf.org

Carla Tozcano

Carla Tozcano

Guest Services Assistant

1997–Present • 505-954-7225 • tozcano@sarsf.org
Carla, originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, has lived in Santa Fe since 1994. She began working as the campus housekeeper at SAR in 1997. Carla moved on to Academic Programs assistant, and was promoted to her current position in the spring of 2004.

Carla enjoys being a mom and spending time with her daughter Arely.

Information Technology • (505) 954-7220 • dearden@sarsf.org

Doug Dearden

Doug Dearden

Director

2002–Present • 505-954-7220 • dearden@sarsf.org
Doug Dearden was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Santa Fe in 1986. He worked for the Bank of Santa Fe for over fifteen years, thirteen of those as the information technology officer. In that position, Doug managed all of the computer systems at the bank, including network and mainframe operations.

Doug attended seven colleges sporadically over a span of twenty years, finally earning his AS in computer science from the Santa Fe Community College in 1993. His colleague Lynn Baca refers to this as a gradual degree. Doug enjoys the constantly evolving challenges that our technological world brings to his job. He finds that being flexible and able to learn new things is the essential characteristic essential to his job at SAR. His ability to research new ideas and solutions to technical issues enables him to assist the wide variety of computer users at the school, both staff and visitors.

Physical Plant • (505) 954-7233 • rlujan@sarsf.org

Robert E. Lujan

Robert E. Lujan

Physical Plant Director

2015–Present • 505-954-7233 • rlujan@sarsf.org
Robert comes to us after nine years as the Facility Complex Manager for the NM Dept. of Public Safety. His area of responsibility included the State Police training facility off Cerrillos Rd. Before 2007, Robert worked for ten years for the NM General Services Dept. including two years as Facilities Manager. He has lots of experience with both old buildings and guest relations. Robert is a native Santa Fean. He enjoys spending time with his wife, daughters and grandchild.

Isidro Gutierrez

Isidro Gutierrez

Groundskeeper

2004–Present
Isidro has a background in landscaping. He joined the staff in the Physical Plant division working with Ray Sweeney and Randy Montoya. He is responsible for maintaining much of the landscaping on campus and takes a great deal of pride in his work.

Isidro is married and has two children.

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