Administration & Faculty
Muse Scholar Program Director and Faculty Mentor Dara Meyers-Kingsley has extensive experience as a contemporary art curator, an arts administrator and educator. She has taught aspiring visual and media artists in Parsons' graduate program and, beginning in 2010, Hunter students in the Macaulay Honors College.
As part of the Muse curriculum, students study with Ms. Meyers-Kingsley during their freshman year in HUM 201, Explorations in the Arts, and HUM 126, the core freshman seminars designed for Muse Scholars. Besides teaching in and directing the Muse Program, she also served as Project Director of Hunter's Arts Across the Curriculum Initiative, a year-long pilot program funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Ms. Meyers-Kingsley is known for her expertise in interdisciplinary curatorial practice in contemporary art, media, installation, and performance. Her exhibitions have been presented throughout the United States, at LA MOCA, Miami MOCA, MCA Chicago, The New Museum, Andy Warhol Museum and the Mattress Factory, among others. Ms. Meyers-Kingsley also brings to Hunter a breadth of experience from her work with a range of NYC cultural institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, Center for Jewish History, Andy Warhol Foundation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Her flair for bringing together professionals with diverse expertise to create new initiatives established her as one of the founders of the field of electronic media art preservation. Ms. Meyers-Kingsley has lectured on media art history and preservation issues in the United States and abroad (Reina Sofia, Madrid and SMAK, Ghent) and is the author of museum catalogs and articles on Adrian Piper, Andy Warhol, 1970s video art, public art, and contemporary media. She holds an M.A. in cinema studies from New York University and a B.A. in art history from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Coordinator Jen DeGregorio assists in organizing Muse Scholar programs and events, drafting communications, and helping Muse Scholars achieve academic success. A graduate of Hunter's MFA Creative Writing Program with a concentration in poetry, Ms. DeGregorio comes to the Muse Scholar program with experience as both a professional writer and educator.
She teaches English 120: Introduction to Expository Writing and has taught English 300: Introduction to Creative Writing, both at Hunter College. Ms. DeGregorio has also taught English to non-native speakers at ELS Educational Services at Adelphi University in Manhattan and at Nile Language School in New Jersey. During the Spring 2012 semester, she worked as a writing coach in LaGuardia Community College's Office of Transfer Services.
Before becoming an educator, Ms. DeGregorio worked for more than five-years as a newspaper reporter; her journalism has appeared in The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, The Baltimore Sun, The Boston Globe, U.S News & World Report, The Daily Record and other publications. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she double majored in English Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing.
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.