Meet the Multi-Talented Students Working at the Meadows Museum
Get to know the four Meadows Museum Experience Ambassadors and their unique combinations of majors and minors.
The Meadows Museum Student Corps Program recently underwent a transformative redesign, offering incredible opportunities for students interested in hands-on experiences at the Meadows Museum.
This fall, four talented SMU Meadows students have had the opportunity to work as Museum Experience Ambassadors. Soliyana Woldestsadik, Andreina Rodriguez, Valeria Barrera and Lucia Hinojosa are all serving the Meadows Museum community, taking on responsibilities that extend beyond the traditional Visitor Services desk and gift shop duties. The newly redesigned Meadows Museum Student Corps program also offers students specialized training sessions and the chance to help run the museum’s educational and family programs, providing a real-world museum career experience.
Outside of the museum, the four Meadows students are pursuing a unique blend of majors and minors, with their eyes set on a variety of career goals, from teaching to curating. We sat down with each student to learn more about them, their majors and minors, their goals, and what they’ve enjoyed most from their time working at the museum so far.
Soliyana Woldetsadik is a senior majoring in Art History with a minor in Business. She’s interested in learning she could combine these two areas of study to the business side of museum work and the world of marketing. As a Museum Experience Ambassador, one of her favorite tasks is working the first Saturday of the month when the museum hosts Connect & Create. The event offers families a chance to enjoy story time by Highland Park Library and an art project led by one of the student ambassadors. After graduating, Woldetsadik hopes to pursue a master's degree in art history, possibly a Ph.D., and find opportunities in curatorial work. She’s currently taking a fascinating variety of classes, from The Art of Medieval Science and Magic to marketing and management courses. In her free time, Woldetsadik relishes reading fiction. One of her favorite books is The Smile, a historical fiction work about Monna Elisabetta, better known as the Mona Lisa.
Andreina Rodriguez is a double-major pursuing her B.F.A. in Art and a Bachelor of Science degree in Educational Studies. Now in her last year at SMU, she sees herself becoming an art teacher, inspired by her own art teacher from high school. Getting to meet visitors from across the globe and teaching and organizing workshops are some of the highlights of her experience working at the Meadows Museum. Her packed schedule includes classes on ceramics, painting, photography, and digital installations, as well as an education class. Rodriguez also enjoys visiting a middle school every Friday to observe what a real art classroom experience is like. Although she hasn’t decided on an art specialization just yet, she hopes to discover her niche as an artist by eventually earning a master’s degree in art. One of her most recent projects has been a sculpture of an anatomical heart. When she’s not immersed in her art, Rodriguez considers herself a foodie and likes exploring new places to dine across Dallas. She recommends Hanakin Japanese Restaurant & Bar as her top spot for sushi.
Valeria Barrera is a junior who recently switched majors, creating an interesting combination of coursework. Initially drawn to digital design, Barrera is now majoring in Economics with minors in Creative Computing and Arts Entrepreneurship. Her shift to economics aligns with her aspirations in finance post-graduation. While tackling an intense 18-credit load this semester, Barrera thrives in an art history class that focuses on global art during the Baroque era. She is particularly captivated by discussions relating to Spanish art and her native country of El Salvador. Getting the chance to study Spanish art and engage with other art lovers is a major perk for her as a Meadows Museum Experience Ambassador. Barrera is considering an MBA or an art-related master's program in the future and aspires to merge her interest in finance with her love for the arts. She envisions a career as an art consultant or gallery owner. Outside of her heavy courseload and museum responsibilities, Barrera delves into pottery and a wide array of literature, from classics to Japanese and Latin American literature.
A junior at SMU, Lucia is double-majoring in Art History and Economics with a minor in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship. She aims to learn about the business and management side of the art world. Hinojosa finds the most rewarding parts of her job at the Meadows Museum are engaging with the community in educational programs and events. She also enjoys the comprehensive glimpse into museum operations. As a double-major Hinojosa is also balancing a diverse range of courses. Some of her favorites are El Greco to Goya: Spanish Painting of the Golden Age and a history of photography course. In her entrepreneurship coursework, she is developing a concept for an app that helps users find vintage and thrift shops. Fashion and travel are a couple of her main interests. Hinojosa hopes that her post-graduation journey will lead her toward art consultancy or a career in an auction house.
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