Graduates - University of Houston
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Class of Spring of 2024

  • Elijah Caldwell

    Caldwell is an artist and designer based in Houston, Texas. The thesis of his artwork studies the intersections of art, technology, and the natural world. He blends various mediums such as painting, drawing, 3d model making, sculpture, and printmaking. The subject matter of his portfolio is primarily automotive technology, flight technology, and sports. He also draws on his personal experiences and life living in Houston. The stylization seen most is photo-realism with a mixture of impressionism. In his work, he creates a sense of motion and captures moments in moving time. Caldwell has been academically trained in art and administration. He has obtained a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in art history from the University of Houston and a Master of Arts in Arts Leadership also from the University of Houston. Along with maintaining a studio practice He currently teaches AP Art and Art 2 for KIPP East End High School.

    “I am very proud to be a part of the Coog Family. The things I have learned and the people I have met have had a direct positive impact on my skills as a leader and artist. The courses challenged me and forced me to expand on what I believe makes a great artist. My confidence has grown substantially, and I believe I will continue to make an impact wherever I go. I am excited to be able to share my passion with others and do what I can to save the arts.”

  • Deepanshi Negi

    I moved to Houston from India in 2021 to pursue my masters in Arts Leadership. I did my schooling and my undergraduate studies in India. My undergraduate degree included textiles and fashion design programs. I worked as a designer for various brands for 4 years after completing my degree. I have also worked as a fashion consultant for brands like JC Penney. I wanted to learn leadership skills and expand my knowledge in management. Coming from an arts background, the Arts leadership program was the perfect fit for me. For my practicum during the program, I worked at the Blaffer Art Museum as a docent, where I learned valuable tools in Museum management and communication. For the future, I wish to learn more about art history and work for NPOs.

    “The M.A in Arts Leadership program is an incredibly uplifting program that has helped me immensely to develop various leadership skills and has polished my personality as an aspiring arts leader. I always had a keen interest in the arts and wanted to become an arts leader, so choosing this program was the best decision for accomplishing my desire.”

  • Carolina Rodriguez Russum

    Passionate about fostering creativity and collaboration, Carolina brings a unique blend of musical proficiency and artistic management to create impactful and harmonious performances. After earning a B.A. in Educational Sciences, Carolina completed piano performance degrees from Concordia and McGill University in Montreal and studied Dalcroze Eurhythmics at The Juilliard School in New York City. For over fifteen years, she performed as a piano soloist, in chambers and with orchestras. During this period, she also founded and managed the Tresonans Piano Trio. Carolina ventured as a cultural activist in 2016 when she launched ArteSana, a multimedia project focused on showcasing women whose lives healed through creative and artistic activities. A couple of years later, she was appointed as President of Concertando México, a philanthropic association providing music instruction to disadvantaged youth based on El Sistema in her hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2021, Carolina moved to Texas, where she completed a dual master’s program in Orchestra Conducting and Arts Leadership at the University of Houston. Upon graduation, in May 2024, Carolina would like to lead orchestras leveraging on her musical career and her professional non-profit experience.

    “The Arts Leadership program has been transformational. I believe the knowledge embedded in the courses are foundational for anyone seeking to make a difference in the Arts. The Dual Leadership Masters, certainly, combined the skills and knowledge for my personal and professional growth as an arts leader on and off the podium. I am tremendously grateful to the highest level of professors, colleagues and networking that were part of this incredible path.”

  • Ji Won Chun

    Ji Won Chun is a visionary leader whose career spans the realms of media, marketing, and arts administration. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Ji Won has seamlessly navigated through diverse sectors, applying her sharp analytical skills and creative acumen to drive impactful initiatives.

    Beginning her career as a Stock Market News Caster at Korea Economy TV, she excelled in delivering complex economic news with precision and flair. She then transitioned into digital marketing through an internship at HSAd, where she supported the development of innovative advertising strategies for leading brands such as LG Electronics. At KANTAR Korea, serving as both Marketing & Communication Manager and Research Executive, she spearheaded PR strategies that significantly enhanced brand visibility and analyzed consumer data to shape market strategies, producing pivotal reports for major clients.

    Following these valuable experiences in Korea, Ji Won relocated to the United States to pursue a Master’s in Arts Leadership at the University of Houston. This transition marked her deep engagement in the arts sector, starting with her role as an Exhibitions Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she managed logistics for various exhibitions. She also served as a Curator of Performance at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, significantly enhancing event visibility and community engagement through strategic planning and execution.

    “Each role I've embraced has presented unique challenges and opportunities, which have been instrumental in refining my skills in blending strategic insight with creative solutions. The Arts Leadership program has deepened my appreciation for these experiences, fueling my passion to leverage this diverse background to pioneer innovative directions in arts administration and enhance community interactions.”

Class of Fall 2023

  • Jennifer Lanham

    As a former music teacher and emerging arts leader, Jenny is mission-oriented and advocates for equitable arts education for students of all ages. Born and raised in Houston, Jenny grew up playing the flute and participated in a variety of performing ensembles during her school days. She attended Baylor University and earned her Bachelor of Music Education in 2013. For the next eight years, she taught music at a Title I elementary school in West Houston. In 2021, she began her MA in Arts Leadership with the University of Houston with hopes of expanding her professional skillset and gaining a new perspective. During this time, she assisted the Arts Leadership department as Program Coordinator. Also, she worked with the Education and Community Engagement department at the Houston Symphony where she supported their Student Concert Series, Family Concerts, Community Connections, and other programs and events. She is looking forward to continuing her journey at the University of Houston in her new role as Ensemble Support and Events Manager for the Moores School of Music!

    "Joining the Arts Leadership program at UH has been one of the best decisions I've made in my career. It has irrevocably impacted my life, and I have transformed not only as a professional but as a person. This degree has challenged me, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and allowed me to learn and grow in more ways than I thought possible. As I graduate, I am taking away invaluable knowledge, experiences, and resources including the best professional network I could have asked for."

  • Madi Murphy

    Madi Murphy is a dynamic arts professional who combines her passion for visual arts with experience in curatorial administration and exhibition coordination. Madi holds a Master of Arts in Arts Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in Museum and Gallery Management from the University of Houston, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Maryland Institute College of Art. In her present role as Curatorial Administrative Assistant for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Madi plays a pivotal role in supporting the curatorial department's diverse activities. Prior to her current role, Madi served as Curatorial Assistant and Research Associate at FotoFest and Exhibitions Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). At FotoFest, Madi’s writing and curatorial assistance for the 2022 Biennial, If I Had a Hammer, was critical to the success of the exhibition. She contributed six artist essays to the 2022 Biennial book and curated a film screening for the Biennial Symposium. At MFAH she was awarded a competitive one-year fellowship in the exhibitions department. As Exhibitions Fellow, Madi coordinated the 2023 Staff Art Show and served as a Curatorial Assistant for the Woven Wonders: Indian Textiles from the Parpia Collection exhibition. Madi's commitment to the arts also extends beyond her professional roles. She engages with painting, photography, and graphic design, showcasing a versatile mastery of creative skill sets. Her artistic endeavors also include various artist residencies, such as Wildacres Retreat in Little Switzerland, NC, Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC, and Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts in Seattle, WA. Madi's multifaceted background reflects her passion for the arts and commitment to making meaningful contributions to the cultural landscape.

    “My time in the Arts Leadership program has led to so many amazing opportunities in a short amount of time. I have been lucky enough to develop connections throughout the Houston visual arts community that will guide me as I move forward in my career. I look forward to keeping in touch with the program as an Arts Leadership alumnus.”

  • Tanja Peterson

    Tanja Peterson, originally from Cologne, Germany, began her artistic career in photography in Germany and Houston. Years later, she enrolled in the University of Houston College of Education, earning a bachelor's degree in education. For nine years, Tanja dedicated herself to shaping young minds as an educator. When the artistic realm called her back, Tanja assumed the role of Curator at the nonprofit arts organization Redbud Arts Center. Her passion and dedication propelled her to the position of Executive Director. Tanja's transformative journey took a pivotal turn when she enrolled in the Arts Leadership Program, a decision that fueled both her professional and personal growth as an arts leader. She is a natural connector, innovator, and creative, thriving in bringing people together through the arts. She continues to spearhead initiatives that not only celebrate artistic expression but also contribute to the cultural enrichment of the community she serves. In her free time, she enjoys dinners with her sons, long walks with her dog Lotte, cooking, reading, and writing.

     "The M.A. in Arts Leadership Program played a pivotal role in shaping and solidifying my position as an arts leader. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the faculty members for their unwavering support and guidance throughout this transformative journey.”

  • Ming Wang

    Ming is an emerging arts leader with a background in classical music, especially in a choral setting. Ming developed his passion for music through his high school choir, where he first found a community he felt belonged in and experienced music's life-changing effect. Since then, he moved to the US to pursue an education to make music more accessible for everyone. Ming earned his bachelor's degree in music with a minor in marketing from California State University Fullerton. Throughout his education journey, he had worked and volunteered for numerous renounced organizations, including the Pacific Symphony, the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, and the Apollo Chamber Players. With the Master's degree, Ming is eager to dive into the music nonprofit field and start making changes, one note at a time.

    "The Arts Leadership program equipped me with the knowledge and soft skills necessary to succeed in the music nonprofit field. Thanks to the program, I have grown into a better leader and even a better person. I am tremendously grateful for my mentors and colleagues from the program and feel the utmost confident heading into this profession."


  • Class of Spring 2020


    Class of Fall 2019

    Class of Spring 2019

    Class of Fall 2018

    Class of Spring 2018




    Class of 2017




    Class of 2016




    Class of 2015

    • Zachary Gresham

    • Jessica Dodington

    • Andrea Huang

    • Dane Manuel