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Kathleen Conti

Teaching Assistant

Kathleen is a doctoral student in Architecture and Historic Preservation and is currently writing her dissertation exploring issues of race and representation in preservation. She began her doctoral training as a historian, expanding into historic preservation after seeing how history can be used to preserve communities alongside built and natural environments. Proficient in Russian and Kazakh, her research spans across the Americas and the former Soviet Union, focusing on how to preserve and interpret places of “difficult heritage”—sites of trauma, contested history, or atrocities.

With UT’s Preservation Studio, Kathleen traveled to Badlands National Park to develop a framework to better preserve and interpret its cultural landscape. Her team won the Design Excellence Award for their project to rehabilitate the historic Mission 66 visitor center. She has held fellowships with the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), the National Park Service (NPS), and the Garden Club of Virginia (GCV). At the CSD, Kathleen worked with the Texas Department of State Health Services to investigate how historic buildings and landscapes could transform patient care in modern psychiatric hospitals. She later worked with the NPS to develop new treatment options to protect cultural landscapes at risk of disasters resulting from climate change, such as rising sea waters and increased wildfires. Through the GCV’s Rudy Favretti Historic Landscape Fellowship, Kathleen started her dissertation research in Virginia, studying the cultural, sociological, historical, and ecological complexities of preserving and interpreting a plantation.

She continues to practice in the field through working as a historian and architectural historian at HHM & Associates. Kathleen has consulted on projects across the country, and particularly enjoys working in communities rebuilding after natural disasters, such as last year’s devastation from Hurricane Harvey.

Anna Nau  @UTSOA

Anna Nau

Ph.D. in Architecture

Anna is a fifth-year PhD candidate in Architecture and Historic Preservation and is completing her dissertation, "Preservation Professionals: American Architects and the Transatlantic Origins of Architectural Preservation, 1876-1926." Her research re-evaluates the role of the American architectural profession in the early history of architectural preservation in the United States by examining key preservation and restoration projects led by prominent architects, such as Charles F. McKim and Frank Miles Day, and their connections to European preservation practice. It illuminates how their contributions to preservation helped define American architectural heritage and identity in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. 
 
Anna continues to practice preservation with Ford, Powell & Carson Architects and Planners in her hometown of San Antonio, where she has worked for over a decade on preservation and conservation projects at the San Antonio Mission churches. Anna served on the writing team for the official UNESCO World Heritage nomination document of the San Antonio Missions, which were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2015.

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Magdalena Novoa

Teaching Assistant

Ph.D. in Architecture

Magdalena is a Ph.D. candidate in Historic Preservation. Her research interests involve heritage as a socio-cultural process, community-based heritage and planning, and the politics of inclusion and memory in Latin America. She is a founding member of Aldea, a non-profit architecture, education, and participation organization based in Chile and the UK, and of Open House Santiago (Chile) the largest architecture festival in the city, giving free public access to 70+ buildings, walks, talks and tours over one weekend each year.

Magdalena’s dissertation “Insurgent Heritage: Grassroots Movements and Citizenship in Chile” investigates three grassroots movements and their related national monuments in Chile to examine the diverse politics involved in the production of cultural heritage. Through historical and ethnographic methods, the study illustrates how people through diverse strategies and actions, problematize heritage practices that work against established forms of inequalities, revealing the weak points of the state’s dominant apparatus and creating new spaces of citizenship and distribution of cultural and political rights.  

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Rachel Rettaliata

Master of Science in Historic Preservation

Rachel is a graduate student in Historic Preservation. She recieved her undergraduate degree in history and international affairs from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she published an article on the history of suburbanization in Baltimore. She worked with her home state's nonprofit preservation organization, Preservation Maryland, as a research and advocacy intern and gained experience lobbying for preservation positive legislation at the Maryland State House and on Capitol Hill.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, Rachel served as a Fulbright Student Researcher in the Republic of Moldova. In Moldova, Rachel conducted archival research on the history of public monuments, preservation policy, and national identity construction. Working with Moldova's national preservation agency, she also designed and implemented a preservation outreach campaign which reached over 200,000 Moldovans and provided a platform for the public to celebrate their diverse cultural heritage.

At UT Austin, Rachel is a Graduate Assistant in the International Office tasked with researching and writing for the Mexico Roadmap Manual, a project funded by the U.S. Embassy in Mexico to promote increased programming for Mexico study abroad. The manual was published in February 2018. She is currently the Social Media Director for the Student Historic Preservation Association.