NIU’s Carmin Berchiolly, who recently graduated with her Master of Arts in art history will be honored by the Illinois Association of Museums with the 2018 award for “Best Graduate Student” at this year’s IAM awards program, October 4 at the Kidzeum of Health and Science in Springfield.

Carmen Berchiolly

Carmin Berchiolly

After earning her associate’s degree from Rock Valley College, Berchiolly transferred to NIU for her bachelor’s degree in art history.  She had a 4.0 grade point average at RVC and maintained it at NIU while making the dean’s list every semester.  Her very long list of awards and scholarships includes winning the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts in 2017, twice earning the Joyce L. Marcus Endowed Art History Scholarship and earning seven separate research travel grants which allowed her to spend three consecutive summers traveling abroad to Myanmar with the NIU Center for Burma Studies.  She worked on collaborative projects in Myanmar that resulted in popular exhibitions at NIU’s Jack Olson Gallery and NIU Art Museum.  Her first trip to Myanmar was also made possible by earning the USOAR grant through NIU.

While in Myanmar, Berchiolly developed an interest in material culture and this year successfully defended her thesis on colonial photography.  She has served as research assistant and program coordinator for the Center for Burma Studies since 2015.

She has been invited by two international journals and an independent publication to publish her thesis research, which she presented in August at the 13th International Burma Studies Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Berchiolly will be panelist at the IAM Conference, taking part in the session, “Remaining Relevant: Museums Responding to Changing Demographics” which was organized by NIU’s Peter Van Ael, Coordinator of the Jack Olson Gallery in the School of Art and Design.

NIU School of Art and Design Professor Catherine Raymond who also serves as Director of the Center for Burma Studies, worked closely with Berchiolly and served as her academic advisor.  She is clearly proud of how well all of Berchiolly’s hard work is paying off.

“Carmin rose admirably to the main responsibilities entailed by her chosen academic and professional trajectories,” Raymond said. “Notwithstanding her full-time employment on campus, she infallibly attended all her classes and a has a special understanding of the diversity of students here.

“Her remarkable drive has no limit.  Her goal is to continue her education in museum studies beyond her M.A. and to make her mark professionally in museology.  I have little doubt that she will succeed in doing so.”