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Smithsonian on Route J-1

Posted on Nov 5, 2015 by in The OFI Blog |


U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robin Lerner and State Department Staff meet with Smithsonian Fellows based at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)

On Monday October 26, 2015 Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robin Lerner visited the Smithsonian Institution with several colleagues to learn more about the research of international Smithsonian fellows. DAS Lerner oversees the Exchange Visitor Program, which brings foreign nationals to the U.S. in order to study and build skills. Her visit to the Smithsonian allowed her to see first hand the opportunities the program had provided.

During the course of her visit, DAS Lerner visited the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), the Office of International Relations (OIR), and the Freer and Sackler Galleries (FSGA). There she spoke with many different fellows about their research.

At the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), the group learned from Diana Marques about the Smithsonian’s augmented reality exhibit in the Bone Hall, while  Dr. Eshan Kayal shared his research on evolutionary classification through molecular studies of jellyfish and sponges. Dr. Rene Dommain enlightened the group on the study of early human evolution as influenced by climatic changes.


(Left to Right) Eshan Kayal, Rene Dommain, DAS Robin Lerner, Diana Marques

During the visit with the Office of International Relations (OIR), Dr. Paola Castano-Rodriguez  of the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) discussed her study of the International Space Station’s scientific and diplomatic value. Cara Tremain of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) presented her research on representations of Ancient Maya dress, and Dr. Luciano Boschiero of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL) informed the group on the significance of the study of percussion in 18th century scientific societies.


(Left to Right) NASM Fellow Dr. Paola Castano-Rodriguez, DAS Robin Lerner, SIL Fellow Luciano Boschiero, and NMAI Fellow Cara Tremain

Then, at the Freer and Sackler Galleries (FSGA) Simon Rettig discussed his study of Persian paper artifacts, and Claire Cuyaubere spoke on restoring ceramics of the Islamic world. Finally,  Seung Hee Oh taught the group about her research on restoring Goryeo Buddhist paintings.


FSGA Fellow Claire Cuyaubere (left) Describes Her Research to DAS Robin Lerner (right)

Thank you Robin for visiting the Smithsonian! Please come again soon!