Staff and Board
Executive Director: Jessica Lee | email
Research Director: Karen Steelman, PhD. | email
Accounting and HR Manager: Brenda Norman | email
Development Assistant: Kate Snow | email
Project Archaeologist: Charles Koenig | email
Staff Archaeologist: Amanda Castaneda | email
Staff Archaeologist: Jerod Roberts | email
Staff Archaeologist: Vicky Roberts | email
Librarian and Technical Editor: Missy Harrington | email
Board of Directors:
President: Emil Zuberbueler, Washington DC | email
Vice President: Lacy Finley, Austin, TX
Secretary: Judy Van Cleve, Pflugerville, TX
Treasurer: David Graf, Del Rio, TX
Carolyn Boyd, PhD., Galveston, TX
Robert Clark, Houston, TX
Bill Cauthorn, Del Rio, TX
Ken Law, Abilene, TX
Elton Prewitt, Austin, TX
Kay Watt, San Antonio, TX
Carolyn Boyd, PhD
In 1998, artist-turned-archaeologist Dr. Carolyn Boyd, who recognized the incredible value of the ancient art, founded an organization to preserve, study and share this important cultural record. Since then, Shumla has been a center of archaeological research, heritage preservation, community outreach and education for students of all ages.
Dr. Boyd received her PhD from Texas A&M University. She serves as the Shumla Endowed Research Professor at Texas State University and as Research Fellow at the Center for Arts and Symbolism of the Ancient Americas in San Marcos, Texas and the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory in Austin. She is the author of Rock Art of the Lower Pecos, published in 2003 by Texas A&M University Press and The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative, published by the University of Texas Press in the fall of 2016 and winner of the 2017 Society of American Archaeology Scholarly Book Award. She has been published in numerous peer reviewed journals, such as Antiquity, American Antiquity, Latin American Antiquity, Revista Iberoamericana de Lingüística, and Archaeometry and has contributed chapters in several edited volumes. Boyd gives numerous lectures around the country and abroad, serves on graduate committees, and is the Principal Investigator for the Lower Pecos Border Canyonlands Archaeological Project.
In March 2015, Jessica Lee began her tenure as Shumla’s Executive Director. She leads the administration and development efforts of our growing organization. Prior to joining Shumla, Jessica served as a Senior Consultant in the Communications and Change Management Practice at Towers Watson—an international professional services firm. Before Towers Watson, she worked at the Smithsonian Institution and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Jessica has a B.A. in Archaeology from Texas A&M University and an M.A. in Human Geography from the University of Texas at Austin.
Along with her expertise and proven leadership, Jessica has a long history with Shumla and a true passion for the work we do. She studied under Dr. Carolyn Boyd while attending Texas A&M, and was the first employee of the organization after it was founded in 1998, acting as Assistant to the Director. She joined the Board of Directors in January, 2013, taking on the roles of Board Secretary and Chair of the Marketing and Development Committee. Now, as Director of the unique organization she helped found, she has truly come full circle.
Karen Steelman, PhD
Dr. Karen L. Steelman is the director of Shumla’s new 14C plasma oxidation laboratory and the leader of our research team. Trained as an archaeological chemist, Dr. Steelman is a leading international rock art researcher with over 40 peer-reviewed archaeology publications. Prior to joining the staff at Shumla, Dr. Steelman was a Full Professor of Chemistry at the University of Central Arkansas, having taught there for over 12 years. As a long-time friend and collaborator of Shumla, she joined the staff as the Assistant Research Director in January 2017 and transitioned to Research Director in August 2017.
Karen received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Under the mentorship of Dr. Marvin W. Rowe (another long-time researcher in the Lower Pecos), Karen had the opportunity to blend her two interests – physical science and archaeology. As a recipient of a Watson Fellowship, Karen also studied art conservation at museums in Costa Rica, Chile, Australia, and Great Britain. Currently, Karen uses chemical analyses to identify pigments used by ancient artists and to radiocarbon date ancient rock paintings. Her methods include portable x-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, plasma oxidation, and accelerator mass spectrometry.