Administration & Faculty
Dara Meyers-Kingsley is the Director and Faculty Mentor of the Muse Scholar Program at Hunter College, an honors program for high-achieving students with talents in the arts. She also serves as Director of the Office of the Arts at Hunter College. In addition, she is a Roosevelt House Faculty Associate and the liaison for the college's cultural partnerships with visual and performing arts institutions throughout NYC.
Ms. Meyers-Kingsley has extensive experience as a contemporary art curator with an interdisciplinary curatorial practice. She began her career as Film and Video Curator at the Brooklyn Museum and later was Director of the Film and Video Collections at the Andy Warhol Foundation. Her exhibitions - often including film and media, installation and performance - have been presented around the United States at LA MOCA, MCA Chicago, The New Museum, Andy Warhol Museum, Miami MOCA, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Mattress Factory in Pittsburg. She has also worked with a range of arts funders, including the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts and elsewhere.
As an educator she has taught aspiring artists in Parsons' MFA Studio Art Program, undergraduates in Hunter's Macaulay Honors College and, since 2011, the freshman Muse Scholars. As part of the Muse curriculum, students study with Ms. Meyers-Kingsley during their freshman year.
Her flair for bringing together professionals with diverse expertise to create new initiatives was recognized when she served as the Project Director of the Arts Across the Curriculum pilot year at Hunter College (2011-2012); she also established herself as one of the founders of the field of electronic media art preservation. Ms. Meyers-Kingsley has lectured on the role of art museums in higher education as well as media art history and she is the author of museum catalogs and articles on Adrian Piper, Andy Warhol, Donna Sharrett, 1970s video art, public art and contemporary media.
She holds an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University and a BA in Art History from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Kelly Wang is the Muse Scholar Program Teaching Assistant and an adjunct in the Office of the Arts. received her BA from Hunter College in Art History and Chinese in 2014, graduating summa cum laude as the first Muse Scholar Valedictorian with a perfect 4.0 GPA. In April 2016 she joined forces with her former professor, Dara Meyers-Kingsley, to work with the Muse Scholars.
In May 2016, Wang graduated from Columbia University with an MA in Art History. Her thesis presents new material in the field of Chinese painting, discussing a lesser known ink painting by the last emperor of the Northern Song dynasty.
In addition to her academic experience, Wang is a contemporary artist who uses traditional Chinese materials in unconventional ways. She is currently part of an artist co-op gallery in Piermont, NY, where some of her work is always on display. Since February 2016, Wang has had two solo shows and has participated in one group show. She has held positions at an extensive array of art institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Christie’s, China Institute, The Chinese Porcelain Company, Julius Lowy Frame & Restoration Co., and J. J. Lally & Co. Oriental Art Gallery.
Brian Buckwald serves as the Associate Director of Advising Services for Scholar Programs. Prior to his current position, he advised students in sociology and first-year programs at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Brian holds a M.S. in Academic Advising from Kansas State University and a B.A. in Sociology / B.S. in Human Resources Development. He has presented at a number of national and regional conferences on social media and technology in advising, both by invitation and peer review, and has held several positions in the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Brian's present NACADA activities include membership on steering committees for the Technology in Advising Commission, the NACADA Board Technology Committee, and the Webinar Advisory Board.
In his spare time he loves to travel, cook, watch college football, and "geek out" with all things tech.
Scholar Programs Advisor Elizabeth Wall-O'Brien completed a Master's in psychology at New York University and established a private practice shortly thereafter, providing psychotherapy and educational programs for children and adults.
Wall-O'Brien earned a second Master's from Neumann University in Instructional Leadership and later joined the Neumann faculty as an adjunct psychology instructor and advisor/counselor. Elizabeth continued her graduate studies in higher education online, with an emphasis on student services and retention. She lives in East Harlem with her husband, daughter and six cats. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys writing poetry, drawing, and playing piano.
Ben Ross is an Academic Advisor for Scholar Programs. Though a native of Brooklyn, where he currently resides, Ben Ross attended high school and college in Central New Jersey. He received an Associate's Degree in Music from Brookdale Community College, a double-major Bachelor of Arts in Music and Psychology from Rutgers University, and a Master of Science in Professional Counseling from Monmouth University. Prior to working at Hunter College, he was an advisor at Brookdale Community College. At Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, he counseled Voice, Piano, Composition, and Music Education majors on personal, career, and adjustment issues. He has also instructed Psychology and Human Development at Monmouth University and Brookdale Community College. Additionally, Ben Ross composes and performs music (his primary instrument being drums) and is especially interested in free improvising techniques. He also enjoys graphic design, cats, and American Pitbull Terriers, especially the puppies.