Jessica Stambaugh received her undergraduate degree from Gallatin in 2008 and returned for the M.A. program this past fall. “There is no other institution that supports interdisciplinary, independent scholarship like Gallatin,” she explains. Stambaugh previously worked for Domino magazine, Vogue and Tommy Hilfiger, and along with fellow Gallatin graduate Danielle Mastrangelo (BA ’07), she has established a design Web site, www.decorativetraces.com. She returned to graduate school in order to “re-engage with the role of history and heritage in shaping contemporary design and culture.” Her research is in American art and material culture, including early American textiles, folk art and landscape paintings of the American Southwest, and she plans to pursue a Ph.D. after graduating. She is currently establishing an arts group that will bring Gallatin graduate students together to share resources and develop projects and programming. “Gallatin empowers us with the flexibility to develop groups and projects, if you are willing to take the initiative,” she says.