Margaret Zaho

Associate Professor, School of Visual Arts and Design 2016 Womens History Month

What is your current job title and responsibilities (please make sure we know your College, Department, etc.)?
Associate Professor of Art History in the School of Visual Arts and design, College of Arts and Humanities. I am also Faculty Director for Art History Abroad: Italy

What is your history at UCF and before UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I was hired at UCF in 2005 as a Visiting Assistant Professor. In 2008 I started the annual SVAD Art History in Italy abroad program.  In 2009 I was hired in a tenure-track position and earned tenure and promotion in Fall 2015. Prior to arriving at UCF, I was an Assistant Professor at the School of Fine and Liberal Arts at Palazzo Rucellai in Florence, Italy.

What is your academic background?
I am an Art Historian; I have a BA, an MA, and a PhD in Art History.
My BA is from UC Berkeley in Ancient Art
My MA is from Southern Methodist University in Italian Art
My PhD is from the University of Washington in Seattle and is in Italian Renaissance Art with minors in Roman Baroque and Roman Imperial Art and Architecture.

What is your favorite UCF memory?
There are many favorite memories but my first day here stands out. I remember just walking around campus trying to get my bearings and filled with anticipation and excitement about my future with UCF.

If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
I would make class sizes smaller…much smaller.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Focus on your research and your teaching; the rest will fall into place.

If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
If UCF were to name something in my honor I would like it to be a scholarship for study abroad students. I firmly believe that the experience of living and learning abroad is invaluable. Students realize their position in the world as global citizens; it broadens their world view, it teaches patience and acceptance of others, and feeds the mind and soul.

If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
I would choose our newly appointed Vice Provost for Faculty Excellence and International Affairs and Global Strategies, Dr. Cynthia Young. I would choose her because I am interested in her path to the position of Vice Provost, her plans for UCF in the future, and because she is a fellow alumna from the University of Washington.

Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I would like to thank many of my SVAD colleagues, especially Dr. Ilenia Colón Mendoza, who have supported and encouraged me over the years. I would also have to thank my students who keep me engaged, challenged, and motivated to be the best educator I can be.

Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Dr. Joanne Snow-Smith (Professor Emeritus, Art History, University of Washington) was a scholar, teacher, researcher, author, and my dissertation advisor. Joanne was elegant, generous, and incredibly well spoken. She used to say that a lady leads with an iron fist hidden in a velvet glove.

What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
My undergraduate course work in Egyptian Art and Archaeology at Berkeley (under Prof. Ann Roth) involved working in the Lowie Anthropological Museum (now the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology). This experience inspired my love of the static object and provided me the rare opportunity, as an undergraduate, to work hands on assessing materials and condition, examining and drawing objects, and cataloging works of art.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Favorite food is Greek. (Best if eaten while in the sun on a beach on a small Island in the Aegean Sea)

What is your favorite movie, book or music?
Two of my favorite movies are Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Galaxy Quest (1999). One of my favorite books is Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal (by Christopher Moore). I love all music…I am a huge fan of singer songwriters like Ben Harper, Ray Lamontagne, and James Bay.

What is your favorite vacation destination?
Any Greek island.


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