The Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) is fortunate to have a talented staff, dedicated Board of Managers, Gallery Council, over 1,100 volunteers, and over 4,000 members. As Trustee of MAG, the University of Rochester recognizes MAG as a valued asset for both the Rochester and UR communities. At MAG we stand for: Art and Culture; Learning and Joy; Accessibility and Inspiration; Stewardship and Integrity; and Community and Sociability. Meet our Senior Staff.

Jamie Beers, standing in front of a green contemporary art painting
Photography by John Schlia

Director of Advancement, Jamie Beers

Jamie Beers leads the team responsible for advancing the mission of the Memorial Art Gallery. Together, they raise a significant percentage of MAG’s overall operating budget, as well as funds for special projects and the endowment. Prior to joining the MAG in January of 2023, she spent 16 years in higher education fundraising. Beers holds a BA in Psychology from Hofstra University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Sheri Burgstrom outside in the Sculpture Park
Photography by John Schlia

Director of Finance, Sheryl Burgstrom

Sheryl Burgstrom began her career at UR 19 years ago as Manager of the Endowment Accounting Department. At MAG she is responsible for financial forecasting, planning and analysis; overseeing the annual budget and auditing process; and working with UR’s Central Budget and Controller’s Offices. She holds degrees in finance and accounting with a minor in art history.

Joe Carney standing in the American galleries
Photography by John Schlia

Senior Director, Major and Principal Gifts, Joe Carney

Joe Carney has more than 30 years’ experience in advancement with a focus on the annual fund, campaign and major gift fundraising for higher education and health care. He holds a BS in Management from St. John Fisher College and an MA in English.

Melanie Fazio standing in the Fountain Court
Photography by John Schlia

Director of Marketing and Engagement, Melanie Fazio

Melanie Fazio brings 20+ years of experience to her role. She joined the Memorial Art Gallery in 2022. Melanie’s journey to MAG has included working in radio, for a family-owned business and at a major corporation. Melanie holds an MA in English Literature. She will utilize her background to focus on fun, inspiration and connection, to continue in bringing the community together at MAG.

Debbie Foster standing in the galleries
Photography by John Schlia

Facilities Area Manager, Debra Foster

Debra Foster oversees approximately 124,000 square feet of building space and 15 acres of grounds. She is responsible for developing and implementing operations and capital budgets in excess of $2 million and serves as MAG liaison to UR Facilities and Environmental Health and Services.

Director of Interpretive Engagement, Racquel M. Gonzales

Racquel M. Gonzales is a storyteller dedicated to discovering and supporting the conditions for curiosity, meaning-making, and belonging. She brings more than ten years of research, pedagogy, and design experience across visual analysis and rhetoric, cultural studies, play studies, and media history and theory methodologies. A trained ethnographer and oral historian, she holds a Ph.D. in Visual Studies and a certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies from University of California, Irvine, and a M.A. in Media Studies from University of Texas at Austin. She has a B.A. in Cinematic Arts with a minor in Classics from University of Southern California and studied ancient art and architecture at the International Center for Hellenic and Mediterranean Studies (DIKEMES) in Athens, Greece. Her previous roles include stints at The Strong National Museum of Play, University of California, Irvine, Laguna College of Art and Design, and board appointments for the UCI Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative and Rochester Regional Library Council.

Sarah Jesse

Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director, Sarah Jesse

Sarah Jesse, the Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director, came to the Memorial Art Gallery in 2024. Prior, she served as Director of the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland, and Deputy Director, as well as Interim Director and CEO, of the Orange County Museum of Art. She was also Associate Vice President of Education at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Bernsen Director of Education and Public Programs at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Assistant Director of Public Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a Master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College. She has worked in the museum field for over twenty years and has dedicated her career to making museums accessible to everyone.

Barbara Kintzel standing in the galleries
Photography by John Schlia

Director of Information Technology, Barbara Kintzel

Barbara Kintzel was born and raised in Southern Poland. She immigrated to the United States in 1993 at the age of twenty. In 1997, Barbara graduated from Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey with BS in Computer Science. After living for 13 years in New Jersey, Barbara, her husband Ulf, and their three children moved to the beautiful Finger Lakes region in 2006. Shortly after moving, Barbara began working at the Memorial Art Gallery in the Information Technology department. Growing up under communism in a small village located in the beautiful Tatra mountains, shaped Barbara’s perspective on life and work. She is very service and family oriented and has been dedicated through her work to the Memorial Art Gallery for the past 16 years.

Jessica Marten standing in front of sculpture in the galleries
Photography by John Schlia

Curator in Charge/Curator of American Art, Jessica Marten

Jessica Marten is Curator in Charge/Curator of American Art at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester where she has worked since 2001. In her curatorial practice, Marten is particularly interested in exploring historically marginalized artists and lesser-known histories. Recent projects include an exhibition organized in honor of New York Women’s Suffrage Centennial in 2017, The Power of the Female Gaze. In July 2018, her exhibition and catalog The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota introduced and advocated for the artist to be added into the canon of visionary artists. Her 2020 project, The Path to Paradise: The Stained Glass Art of Judith Schaechter, explored the beautiful, bold, and subversive work of a cutting-edge contemporary artist who works in the centuries-old medium of stained glass. In addition to organizing exhibitions, Marten oversees MAG’s curatorial staff and is responsible for acquisitions, deaccessions, and installations drawn from MAG’s collections, grants, conservation priorities, scholarly publications, donor relations, and public lectures.

Margot Muto standing in the galleries
Photography by John Schlia

Director of Exhibitions, Margot Muto

Margot Muto came to MAG in 2016. She was previously co-founder and director of AXOM Gallery & Exhibition Space, which opened in 2011 with the mission of presenting contemporary arts and design, and fostering the careers of emerging, mid-career and established artists. She holds a BFA in painting and printmaking from RIT.

Allison Shultes
Photography by John Schlia

Director, Academic & Community Programs, Allison Shultes

Allison Shultes joined the Memorial Art Gallery in 2022. In her role as Director of Academic & Community Programs, Allison works with her team to develop and implement strategies that produce high quality teaching, learning and art-making experiences across MAG’s suite of programming for PreK-16 audience, educators, community members and Creative Workshop students. Allison brings cross-disciplinary training in informal teaching and learning and over 10 years of professional experiences at other local, national and international non-profits and museums including the RMSC, Cincinnati Museum Center and the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history and biology from Elmira College and a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies from Marist College. She is trained in Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS),a facilitation method and professional development program that fosters collaborative, inclusive, community-building dialogue, specializes in deep listening and responsive teaching practices. She is a passionate museum educator at heart and enjoys creating programs that serve and are accessible to diverse audiences and celebrate the greater Rochester community.