Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Francis Oliver is a Latinx cultural researcher, editor, and proofreader based in Athens, Georgia. Originally from Miami, Francis studied Biology and Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Miami and worked in various capacities at the college radio station WVUM and the university library. She worked for six years in collections and archival management, oral histories, curatorial assistance, cultural research and writing, artist residency supervision, and interdisciplinary public program delivery at the Deering Estate museum and ecological field station in the Miami-Dade County Parks system. Among her accomplishments at the Deering Estate, Francis cultivated an international partnership with Museus de Sitges in Catalonia, Spain, which involved collaborative research on the Charles Deering art collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University Libraries, the University of Miami, and Florida International University. Additionally, she was the lead historic research liaison for the 2018 documentary film “On This Land: The Charles Deering Estate” produced by the Deering Estate Foundation. Moreover, she founded an oral history program documenting conversations with prominent community members, curators, museum professionals, and archaeologists. From 2018-2020, Francis wrote and edited an archaeology museum guide on extensive cultural deposits under active investigation at the Deering Estate spanning the Paleo period through early 20th century pioneer settlements. She is a copyeditor and on the advisory board of Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA), a non-profit organization that encourages the exhibition, collection, and active scholarship of works by women photographers, empowering art historians and art curators to share them more frequently with the public. In Athens, she has interned with Historic Athens in lead roles varying from grants writing, virtual programming, venue management, and fundraising planning. In the summer of 2020, she helped plan and catalogue the 55-interview series “This Moment in History: COVID-19 in Athens, Ga” and assisted in the production of the 51st Athens Annual Preservation Awards. She also worked with a team of interns to present the non-profit’s first Athens Virtual History Conference: Democratizing Local History, broadcasting 7 talks by partner organizations and libraries on marginalized histories, social science research ethics with local communities, and creating greater accessibility to local archives and archival materials.

Education

B.S. | University of Miami | 2015 | Biology

Francis graduated from the School for Advanced Studies in 2010, a dual-enrollment high school program based at Miami Dade College. She graduated from the University of Miami in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a minor in Ecosystem Science and Policy. During her undergraduate career, she was a Program for Integrated Science and Math (PRISM) Scholar. In this two-year program, a select group of two dozen honors students shared introductory courses in Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics taught by research faculty who coordinated curricula in order to emphasize and explore interdisciplinary paradigms and offer greater mentorship to students. Outside her Biology major, Francis’ coursework ranged from environmental policy and research, cultural geography, urban management, and Spanish literature. From 2015-2016, Francis took a two-semester museum studies program at Miami-Dade College in partnership with the Mitchell Wolfson, Jr. Study Centre in Downtown Miami. This program explored the ethics of public stewardship of cultural resources in museums and galleries and curatorial and collections best practices. The courses culminated with a student-curated exhibition “A Patch of Blue: Illustrations of Oscar Wilde’s the Ballad of Reading Gaol”, presented at the Museum of Art + Design @ MDC.

More About

Career Goals:
Francis is a research-driven interdisciplinary cultural services professional dedicated to connecting communities with environmental, historic, and artistic resources. She is passionate about local partnerships and providing avenues of support through teamwork. Her career goals encompass becoming a strong team leader and long-range strategic planner for a local government agency or non-profit involved in cultural and/or natural resource management. She aspires to wield a confident and ethical sense of local policy in order to be a key decision maker and motivate greater accessibility and responsible stewardship of public resources in order to promote a dynamic, diverse, and engaged community.

 

Relevant Work Experience:
Independent Ecological Research at the University of Miami (Summer 2012) Historic House Museum Registrar, Curatorial Assistant, and Cultural Researcher at the Deering Estate (2012-2018) Museum Guide Writer and Editor for the Deering Estate Foundation (2018-2020) Editor and Advisory Board Member at Women Photographers International Archive (WOPHA) (2019-2020) Historic Athens Grants and Production Intern (2020)

Of Note

Program for Integrated Science and Math (PRISM) Scholar at the University of Miami 2010-2015

Research Interests

Francis is interested in the intersections of public history, archives, cultural geography, public space and urban memory, political ecology, diaspora studies, and contemporary art.