Angelina Amparo Lutz

Interim Executive Director

Born in San Diego and raised in the Imperial Valley by her grandparents, Angelina has called Ocotillo home since she was seven years old. She graduated from Grossmont College with an AA in Social & Behavioral Sciences in 2014 and attended SUSU- IVC Campus. Angelina has been on and off with IVDM since 2014, and has taken multiple roles such as: Education Specialist, Education Coordinator & Manager, and Social Media Content Manager. She has helped oversee many education projects and programs. She really enjoys working for the Museum and the work that IVDM does. As she transitions into her new role she is excited about the continued work and projects taking place at IVDM.

Ryan Pagett

Head Curator

With a bachelor’s in art education and a master’s in art history and visual culture, Ryan has come from Madison, GA to work as a Curator for Imperial Valley Desert Museum, focusing on bringing world-class exhibits and archiving museum objects and materials to the Valley. Before working with IVDM, Ryan worked with the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art (STMA) as a Curatorial Assistant.

While working at STMA, Ryan has had the opportunity to work within the museum’s archives, which hold over 700 works in its permanent collection, as well as 6000+ works through the Steffen Thomas Family Collection. He has also had several opportunities to curate several exhibitions at STMA. Digital catalogs, designed by Ryan for these exhibitions, can be found on the STMA website.

As IVDM's Head Curator, Ryan looks to engage the Imperial Valley community with wildlife and cultures of the desert. Working as a liaison between IVDM and indigenous communities in San Diego and Imperial Counties, Ryan looks to engage with contemporary indigenous artists and tribal members to develop new exhibits and displays for communities to see here in the valley.

Nallely Beltran

Curatorial Research Fellow

Nallely, who lived in Mexicali until she was fifteen years old, moved around extensively and returned to the Valley three years ago. While she was completing her bachelor’s degree in History from La Sierra University, she discovered her passion for museums while studying abroad in Italy. She spent hours in museums, taking notes and photographs, and aspired to work in a museum.

In 2017, she decided to embark on a new adventure, she applied to a master’s program at Marist Italy. There, she had the privilege of learning from museum professionals and taking classes in museum spaces. At the end of the school year, Nallely and her peers had the opportunity to collaborate with the Museum Stibbert in the curation of the exhibit Conviti e Banchetti. L’arte di Imbandire le Mense. They also assisted in creating a children's educational activity to complement the exhibit. As part of the program, she also completed a three-month internship with Mus.e, a Florentine association that realizes cultural projects, exhibitions, workshops and events to make the museum experience more enjoyable, accessible and educational for museum goers. After years of pursuing her dreams, she has achieved her goal and is now employed in a museum.

David Arevalo

Education Coordinator

Since Graduating from Southwest High School and attending Imperial Valley College ultimately working his way to UCLA and always maintaining a deep passion for history throughout his academic career. Which ultimately pushed him to pursue graduate study in history specializing in the medieval field. David's dream is to ultimately obtain a Ph.D. in medieval studies and become a professor. 

Although coming from a medieval history background. David always saw the importance in history education, leading him to IVDM. David is looking forward to working with the staff in creating fun and engaging activities to share the Imperial Valley's history with the community.

Raul Martinez

Education Specialist

Raul, a lifelong Imperial Valley resident, developed a deep interest in history, leading him to pursue a history degree at UC Riverside. He's passionate about the museum but has long-term plans to obtain a teaching credential at San Diego State University - Imperial Valley Campus to teach high school history and apply the knowledge he gains from IVDM. Working at IVDM has exposed him to a hidden part of local history, indigenous history, which is often overlooked in Imperial Valley history. He is grateful for IVDM and hopes to contribute to the museum's growth and success.

Frank Salazar

Indigenous Kumeyaay Collections Consultant

Frank Salazar, a member of the Campo Band of Mission Indians, was born during the civil rights movement era of the 1960s. He graduated High School in 1985 and Enlisted in the U.S. Army for the Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He served four years active duty, two as 8th Infantry Division in Europe, and 2 in the Mojave Desert U.S. Army National Training Center, 177th Armored Brigade. He also served two years in U.S. Army National Guard 40th Infantry Division in San Diego. He was deployed to the streets of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots Civil Disturbance in Compton and Watts. Frank finished his four year active duty enlistment as an E-4 Specialist (Promotable) and his two year National Guard Enlistment as an E-5 Sergeant.

Frank attended Junior College after leaving active duty in 1989. He studied various subject matter such as Environmental Biology, Geology, and Radio and Television Communications. Soon after he we went to work  for his tribe in 1994, in the field of NAGPRA Repatration.  His work has included working with the Kumeyaay Cultural Preservation Association, a consortium of tribes working to strengthen community and cultural. Elders and Cultural Dignitaries were the leadership heads. Frank took his cultural directives from these leaders.

Working in all aspects of NAGPRA consultation and repatriation, Frank acted as an Indigenous Kumeyaay representative on archaeological field surveys, excavations, surface and sub surface ground disturbances and energy projects on military bases, Bureau of Land Management, local, state and federal lands for nearly 30 years. 

Frank has presented at the Annual Society For Applied Anthropology Conference with Dr. Florence Shipek on the Indigenous Kumeyaay Cultural perspective on NAGPRA and repatriation, the Society for California Archaeology, Government to Government Panels, UCLA Tribal Repatriation Panel and numerous other meetings engaging in Repatration, Cultural Preservation, Cultural resources management and Museum studies.

Frank has attended trainings for tribal museums and repositories sponsored by the Smithsonian American Indian Museums Studies Program. He has worked with numerous Facilities throughout his career, from Catalina Island, Cherokee and Menominee reservations, to Phoebe Hearst.

Frank developed cultural sensitivity training guidelines for the ocotillo wind project while also being a tribal representative in the field archaeology surveys and monitoring ground disturbance near cultural sites. Frank presented these cultural sensitivity training and guidelines to sunrise powerlink project managers.

As an Indigenous Cultural Knowledge keeper on museum staff member at IVDM, Frank has put fourth the effort to involve himself and others as much as possible in preserving the legacy of his people and tell their story. 
He has enacted a complete NAGPRA review of the IVDM collections. He has coordinated with the Elders Group consortium of Southern Indian Health Council to being tribal elders out for lunch at the museum in the desert. Frank has worked with the museum in cataloging, collections storage and care as part of the permanent exhibit design team. Frank continues to share what he has learned in his personal life, his indigenous life and his professional life with those who will listen-

-Sometimes its only the wind that listens, but its enough because the wind goes on forever-                     
-Ha-Emah (Dances with Water) FJ Salazar III