CAS Staff

May Berenbaum head shot
May Berenbaum

May Berenbaum was appointed Director on April 1, 2021. For more information, see her CAS Professor page.

headshot of Masumi Iriye
Masumi Iriye
Deputy Director

Masumi Iriye was appointed Assistant Director of the Center in October 2000 and promoted to Associate Director in October 2001. In October 2009 she was promoted to Deputy Director.  She is responsible for overseeing all Center programs, including the Research Appointments (Associates and Fellows) program, the annual interdisciplinary initiative and the George A. Miller Programs, and also serves as the primary liaison at the Center for the CAS Professors. She received her doctorate in the History of Art in 1994 (University of Michigan) specializing in visual culture from the early modern period in France. Her dissertation research was supported by a Bourse Chateaubriand, Fulbright Travel Fellowship and Rackham Graduate Research awards (University of Michigan). She has presented papers as an invited participant at Dumbarton Oaks (Washington, D.C.) and the Center for 21st-Century Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has served as both a panelist and co-chair for meetings of the College Art Association.  In August 2020 she joined the McKinley Foundation Board of Directors. She is the former Costume Mistress and Board Member of Champaign Urbana Ballet.

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headshot of Rita Conerly
Rita Conerly
Account Tech III

Rita Conerly has been with the Center since March 2015. Since 2010, she has held numerous positions at the University of Illinois, most recently in the School of Music.  Rita is primarily responsible for maintaining, monitoring, and articulating the budgets of the various CAS programs. She is also responsible for processing reimbursements, biennial inventories, honoraria, and fund transfers for various professors and program accounts. Additionally, she provides support for CAS’s public events including mailings, set-up/cleanup of events held at the Center, and many other duties as needed.

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Destiny W. headshot
Destiny Woods
Marketing & Communications Support Specialist

Destiny Woods joined the Center staff in November 2017. Since 2014, she has held numerous positions on campus, spanning from Global LAS to the Interdisciplinary Health Studies Institute. She has also served dual volunteer roles in the Illinois Leadership Program as an Illinois Leadership Coach and Group Facilitator. She is primarily responsible for overseeing the marketing, outreach, and communication of the Center’s events and advancement opportunities for faculty, scholars, and visiting artists. This includes developing and managing a dynamic marketing plan, spearheading collaborative communications efforts with sponsoring and co-sponsoring departments across campus, and crafting strategies that comprehensively incorporate key activities, including strategic planning, annual reporting, website and social media management, and graphic design for print and digital materials. She also manages event production efforts for the Center by coordinating with outside vendors and ensuring all event logistics and configurations are efficiently set in place for both virtual and in-person events. She holds a two-tier undergraduate education in both Organizational and Professional Development (Eastern Illinois University, 2014) and the Management of Nonprofit Organizations (University of Illinois Springfield, 2018), and holds a Master in Public Administration (DePaul University, 2021) specializing in community outreach and process-improvement.

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Naomi Young
Office Support Associate

Naomi Young joined CAS staff in April 2020. Previously, she worked as Extra Help for CAS starting in May 2019, editing, formatting and transferring hard copy records of CAS Associates and Fellows to the website. She is expanding this archival work to include the George A. Miller Programs. In addition, she will serve as editorial assistant for various CAS publications, including the annual brochure of research projects. Naomi is an English tutor and was a co-founder of Joy in Learning Academy, a non-sectarian K-12 home school cooperative where she taught literature, history, and writing for 11 years. She has been a docent at Krannert Art Museum since 2012.