Get to know our Community Treasure Chest Team

Team Bios

We have so much in store for our PGAAMCC family this summer! In order to complete everything and serve you better, we’ve recruited an amazing village of staff, interns, volunteers and more. BONUS! In honor of our theme of “sharing our stories,” we’ve included each team member’s personal connection to the County.

Check out our village below!

Synatra Smith, Ph.D. – Education Curator

Dr. Smith serves as the Museum’s Education Curator and she is the Project Director for the Building Community Through Collections initiative. She holds a Ph.D. in Global and Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in Anthropology from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. She began volunteering at the Museum in April of 2016 and join the team in the Education Department in September of that year.

Dr. Smith’s parents moved from Kansas City, Kansas in the 1980s after her dad’s uncle established a successful business in Prince George’s County. She spent most of her life living in Laurel until she graduated from college. As a native Prince Georgian, Dr. Smith is passionate about the work being done through PGAAMCC and is excited to build community through our collections.



Treston Sanders – Director of Operations

Treston is the Museum’s longest standing employee! He started off as an Education Intern in 2012 and has since risen from Gallery Coordinator to Director of Operations. He has a B.A. in Visual Design from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. He is the Collections Manager for the Building Community Through Collections initiative.

Treston is originally from Greensboro, North Carolina and relocated to District Heights, Maryland in pursuit of a career in black gallery spaces. He was aware that Prince George’s County is the most affluent jurisdiction in the country and was excited for the opportunity to join a circle of professional peers who look like him.



Moriah James – Education Coordinator

Moriah joined the Museum staff in February of 2019 as the Education Coordinator and she is the Outreach Coordinator and Exhibit Photographer for the Building Community Through Collections initiative. She recently graduated with her B.A. in Anthropology with a concentration in Race and Heritage from the University of Maryland – College Park. She was introduced to Dr. Smith through the mentorship component of her internship at the National Museum of African American History and Culture during the Fall of 2018.

Although Moriah lives in Howard County, Maryland, Dr. Smith was impressed with her professionalism and her background in Anthropology. When a position in the Education Department opened, she was recruited to join the team until she heads off to the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill to pursue her doctorate in Anthropology this Fall.



Tamera Coleman – Collections Consultant/Digital Archivist

Tamera is the Collections Consultant and Digital Archivist. She is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and she has worked with several government organizations based in Prince George’s County as a Digital Archivist. We’re so happy to have her expertise at the Museum to help us digitize our collection and make it available to community members like you.



Nathaniel Rasson – Collections Assistant

Nathaniel recently moved to Maryland from Kansas City, Missouri and has been working with the Museum since January of 2019 setting up the new Buy Black Gift Shop. He is now the Collections Assistant for the Museum and will welcome you to each Community Treasure Chest program. Stop by and say hi!





Carli- Collections Intern

Carli is a Collections Intern hailing from Washington, D.C. and has been working with the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center since MAY. After moving to Prince George’s County, she has become a fan of the variety of environments as well as cultural differences within the County. She is a rising senior at Lycoming College, pursuing her B.A. in Art History and Anthropology. We are excited to be working with Carli as an art facilitator and collections archive assistant aiding in our Community Treasure Chest initiative.


Shawnda Youngblood – High School Collections Intern June 11th

Shawnda is joining us as a summer intern through the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at her high school. Shawnda is required to complete a summer internship and she selected our Museum from the list of options because she is interested in black history and art. She is excited about the opportunity to learn about local black history in a non-traditional classroom setting where she has more autonomy in her learning process.



Alex Guinn – Collections Fellow June 13th

Alex is joining the Museum staff as the Collections Fellow. Although a native of Howard County, Maryland, Alex’s roots spread throughout Prince George’s County, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Alex is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in African American Studies at Morgan State University. As a scholar and lover of African American history, Alex is excited to be apart of the Community Treasure Chest team to assist and learn from community members and staff.