About Us

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Welcome to the Society for Ethnomusicology Student Union’s blog! The SEM Student Union (SU) is composed of the society’s student membership and serves as a resource and voice for students in the society – an intrepid group at different stages in our education, and all ridiculously excited about ethnomusicology. In this blog, we’ll share our experiences of music, education, and life.

Please join us and share your musical stories.


Meet our Contributors:

Heather Strohschein    

Heather dancing

Heather studied at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees there. She is currently pursuing a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (she’s ABD. Yay!). Heather’s research interests are mainly focused on gamelan use outside of Indonesia. She also likes Wagner and considering his works from a feminine perspective. In her spare time, Heather loves playing table top games, particularly H.P. Lovecraft or zombie-themed games. She also enjoys reading random books found when wandering through the stacks at the library.

Liza Munk


Liza graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 2014 with a B.A. in Ethnomusicology. There, she conducted ethnographic fieldwork on Wilmette Illinois’ annual Bahá’í Choral Music Festival and performed a season with Bassam Saba’s New York Arabic Orchestra. Liza is currently a graduate student in ethnomusicology at University of California, Santa Barbara, where she researches the relationship between music and gender and sexuality in the Middle East. She also studies the nay and performs with the UCSB Middle East Music Ensemble.   

Ana-María Alarcón-Jiménez

Ana Ana is originally from Bogotá, Colombia, where she studied History and Bassoon Performance in a city she loves. Ana got her BA Magna Cum Laude in Music and Latin American Studies at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She then moved to San Diego to complete a M.A. in Music: Critical Studies/Experimental Practices at the University of California (UCSD). After this, she continued heading north to start a PhD in Ethnomusicology at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. However, due to life’s twists and turns, Ana ended up moving to Europe and transferring her PhD to the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She is currently writing her dissertation on musical practices in post-Franco Galicia, Spain. She lives in Spain and loves traveling and listening.

Jennie Williams


Jennie received her B.A. in American Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in May 2014. Open mic enthusiast by night, Jennie has gained extensive experience in documenting folk cultures through her internships for both Maryland Traditions of the Maryland State Arts Council and the Smithsonian Folkways Record label. She has a passion for performing and studying Americana music and folk music born from social political movements. Jennie is currently a graduate student in ethnomusicology at Indiana University.

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