College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership

MFA Student Profiles

  • Yulice Ariga

    Yulice (Yuko) Ariga received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Central Washington University. She worked for a major commercial airline as a flight attendant and Marketing Liaison, allowing her to explore the world; taking her to Europe, Asia and the Middle East, heavily exposing her to the history of world art; influencing her passion of the arts and its impact around the world. Leading her to work for Walter Wickiser Gallery in New York City whose father was the late Ralph L. Wickiser, a painter and teacher who founded the fine arts graduate program at the Pratt Institute. Her interests include performance and visual art. She looks forward to being part of the dynamic art community bring joy and peace to the world through the arts.

    Lori Bailey

    Lori Bailey earned her BA from Sonoma State University in California, with a double major in Technical Theater and Anthropology. A perpetual student of ancient cultures, her interest has always been on the methods of traditional storytelling, teaching and lore, and how those elements impact and influence modern arts communities, especially in theater. In 2004 she co-wrote, directed and produced a play at Sonoma State, based on the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche. Prior to moving to the Seattle area, she worked in the California State University system for two IT Departments and volunteered her time with local theater groups in Stage, House and Box Office Management. Returning to the theater, she seeks more opportunities to leverage her interests and skills into the arts.

    Kayti Barnett

    Kayti Barnett earned her Bachelors of Arts in Theater from Wllamette University with a minor in English. She completed a semester abroad at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts emphasizing in classical acting. Kayti is a founding member of two theater companies in Washington and has worked as an Associate Artistic Director and in a variety of arts management roles. She currently works in development and administration with a local education non-profit. Her artistic interest lies in theater; specifically in creating viable and sustainable models for performing arts companies that work with artists and artistic goals while maximizing patronage and community impact. Kayti is excited by what new opportunities and projects lie ahead.

    Angela Bayler

    Angela Bayler hails from Illinois. She has a B.A. in Arts Administration (Greenville College) and an M.A. in Theatre (Southwest Missouri State University.) After completing her masters, she taught Communication and Theatre classes at Greenville College. In 1996, she began a job at the Decatur Park District as an Assistant Supervisor of Cultural Arts and was later promoted to Supervisor of Cultural Arts. While at the Park District, she directed a children’s theatre program, administered and stage managed an adult Chorale program and a musical theatre program for kids and did all sorts of technical work for the programs. Since 2007, Angela has been working as a professional stage manager in Illinois, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. Angela is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.

    Libbie Beaudet

    Libbie Beaudet received her Bachelors of Art at the University of Washington, majoring in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts. Focusing mostly on large scale figural paintings she has shown her work in Minneapolis and Seattle. She has used her talents to work at Nova High School in Seattle with a mentorship through Reel Grrls and in South Minneapolis at the Urban Arts Academy. As a cellist she as worked with Rain City Rock Camp for Girls and believes music and art are a vital part to adolescence. She is determined to continue to paint and play the cello no matter where her career takes her and hopes to inspire others to pursue their passions.

    Margo Beaver

    Margo Beaver was born and spent her formative years in West Seattle. She ventured to LA to attend Loyola Marymount University. Dazzled by the palm trees and blue ocean, she excelled and soon found her niche in the art department, perusing her two passions – ceramics and education. She graduated with her LAUSD teaching credential, and was award Art Education scholar of distinction. Post graduation, she dabbled in advertising, working Time INC. Feeling unfilled, she left the advertising world and Los Angeles. Back in her hometown of Seattle, she got back to what mattered to her – art and education. Currently, Margo works for a non-profit studio (Seward Park Clay Studio). There she helps in whatever form imaginable and she enjoys being part of a creative organization.

    Daria Binkowski

    Daria Binkowski is active as a contemporary music specialist and flutist in the Pacific Northwest. Originally from New Jersey, she holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and McGill University in flute performance, and worked for many years as an orchestral musician in Japan and China. Daria is passionate about contemporary music and finding the links between the arts and other disciplines through presentation and performance. She currently runs the Community Outreach program for Philharmonia Northwest and is looking forward developing her own Seattle projects, as well as pursuing a career in arts administration.

    Corey Blaustein

    Corey Blaustein received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Seattle University majoring in Fine Arts with an emphasis in music. His love and passion for music and the arts has driven him to pursue a life devoted to the promotion of creative expression. A composer and songwriter himself, Corey has been able to score short online films and has worked under Hans Zimmer as well as Nathan Barr where he assisted in scoring a few episodes of HBO's TRUE BLOOD. His strive to help people has pushed him towards a career in the non-profit arts sector where he aims to create a supportive and collaborative environment for young artists to learn and grow both creatively and professionally.

    Valerie Brunetto

    Valerie Brunetto received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Education from Whitman College. She is a Teaching Artist with the Seattle Children's Theatre after completing their internship and apprenticeship program and strives to create an environment where it is safe for students to explore and share ideas using movement, voice, and imagination as forms of expression. As an actor, Valerie was the title role of Caryl Churchill's The Skriker, Cunningham in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and is excited to participate in the Seattle Fringe Festival. She is the Marketing Director for Ghost Light Theatricals and manages advertising, communications, and development of audience relations including participating in Theatre Puget Sound's Arts Crush and fostering a relationship with the Ballard community.

    Slade Burgess

    Slade Burgess earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Oklahoma where he studied Musical Theatre and Business. A native Texan, he has had the good fortune to travel the country as a working actor. In addition to performing, he worked as company manager for an Emmy Award-winning entertainment company based out of New York City. After a cross-country move to Seattle in 2012, Slade began taking classes from The Photographic Center Northwest and has performed in the Emerald City as well as Idaho. Slade is excited to explore his capabilities as an art leader, and to find new and creative ways to nourish and give back to his surrounding community.

    Jill Carnine

    Jill Carnine received two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Washington; one in Dance and one in Romance Linguistics. In her final undergraduate years, she discovered a passion for stage management and, after graduating, stage managed for several arts organizations around the Seattle area before joining the Pacific Northwest Ballet. After six years with that company, she joined Oregon Ballet Theater as their Production Manager. She then decided that she wanted to move away from production and into development with a long-term goal of becoming an Executive Director. While dance has been the focus of her career thus far, she is extremely interested in branching out to other performing arts disciplines. She is very excited to be a part of the MFA program.

    Ryan Chesla

    Ryan Chesla graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2012, where he focused on Education and Photography. During his tenure at TESC he was awarded the TESC Foundation Scholarship, the TESC Scholastic Achievement Award, and an Instructional Photography Internship. Upon graduation Ryan began working with a local, non-profit organization, Youth In Focus, utilizing his photography skills and his passion for art and education to mentor at-risk youth. Most recently Ryan worked with the Seattle-based firm, Artistic Resources & Technology: where he was charged with producing international travel photography for the company’s line of children’s travel books, Cooper’s Travel Guides. Ryan is also actively engaged with his personal art, creating encaustic, mixed-media pieces, the latest of which examine our view of celebrity and the media.

    Lindsey Clawson

    Lindsey Clawson graduated from Washington State University with a double major in Fine Arts and Humanities as well as a Minor in Spanish. In her non-studying and class time, she enjoys camping and work in the childcare industry. During her journey in the art world, she discovered her passion for both photography and art history. While at Seattle University, she hopes to gain a better understanding of the art industry in order to transition to a career in either studio work, employment through a museum, or working with art in the non-profit sector. Her interests are broad and her outlook is optimistic! She can’t wait to get started!

    Liz Dawson

    Liz Dawson graduated from the University of Maryland earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance and English Language and Literature. She was a Creative and Performing Arts Scholar as well as a dual recipient of the Dorothy Madden Citizenship Award for Outstanding Artistry and Choreography. Elizabeth believes an education and participation in the arts promotes eccentricity, directness, and sense of purpose. She has had the privilege of working in private studios providing instruction in various dance disciplines for all ages. Her teaching background has beautifully revealed how the arts serve as creative catalyst, initiating dialogues and shifting perspectives. Elizabeth's interests extend beyond dance into writing, music, food, and travel. Moving to Seattle in July 2012, she looks forward to exploring the city's vibrant arts community.

    Mariquita de Mira

    Mariquita de Mira, a 15-year veteran of the entertainment industry, landed her first gig at MTV Networks. She worked as a Production Associate and Clips Research Coordinator on the "MTV Movie Awards", "Video Music Awards", and the "Superbowl Half-time Show". She moved to the studio level at The Walt Disney Company supporting high level executives in the development, casting and production of feature films - "Enchanted", "Pirates of the Carribean", "Gone Baby Gone", and "Step Up". She worked for Comedian Actor Rob Schneider on "50 First Dates" and "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo". She was offered the Media Manager position at Vubiquity, a digital media company that delivers Video-On-Demand content to cable companies. She has traveled to 40 countries, most recently to Indonesia, and learned to surf.

    Verna M. Everitt

    Verna M. Everitt is the Community Outreach Director of Vashon Allied Arts, a non-profit art center on Vashon Island, Washington. She recruits sponsors, as well as volunteers, for major fundraising events. The publicity for VAA’s new $16.9 million building, Vashon Center for the Arts, is managed by Verna on the VCA blog: vashoncenterforthearts.org. Additionally, Verna serves as the Publicity Chair of the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Museum. She is also an award winning filmmaker and published writer. In 2005, she won a national prize in the Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition. Her writing skills led her to read and judge for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. She holds a B.A. from UCLA in Political Science. 

    Sabrina Gomez

    Sabrina Gomez received her Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Washington University, majoring in Social Work, and a Masters of Social Work from Walla Walla University. She strongly believes that the arts can teach, transform, empower, heal and most definitely play a major role in creating equity in our society. At a young age, Sabrina began studying various forms of dance and music. She has over 18 years of teaching experience with the Walla Walla Dance Company, Cheney Parks and Recreation and most recently she has been the Artistic Director of Day-to-Day Movement and Music Productions. Her Day-to-Day Dance program presents regular story dance productions starring her students, with proceeds benefiting local fine arts non-profits. She also manages the Latin fusion band Sabrina y Los Reyes. She is very enthusiastic about expanding her work in the arts.

    Sasha Habash

    Sasha Habash graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising and minors in English and business administration. She has spent her entire life involved in the arts, training extensively for a career as a professional ballerina before leaving the studio to work in administration. She served as both the community outreach and administrative director for The California Conservatory of Dance and the front desk registrar for Anaheim Ballet. Habash has also served as a public relations and marketing consultant for the Anaheim International Dance Festival and as a resident advisor for Pacific Northwest Ballet. She is very excited to be a part of the MFA program and further her education in arts leadership.

    Kristine Haroldson

    Kristine Haroldson has been involved in the performing arts since she was little, at first onstage in middle school and high school in shows like "You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” and "The Wizard of Oz." As much as she enjoyed her time on stage through the years she realized her passion was behind the scenes. While attending Seattle University to receive her BA in Journalism, Kristine's favorite past time became stage managing all over including Bellevue Civic Theater, Renton Civic Theater, ILU Productions and The Driftwood Players. Through the MFA program Kristine hopes to gain even more experience in all aspects of management. Her dream would be to work in the theater industry in a PR position.

    Tori Head

    Tori Head graduated from Seattle University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Art History and minoring in English. She currently works at Seattle University but is interested in moving back into the arts. Tori spent time interning at the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre, in their archive department. There, she was able to catalog and work with original manuscripts, playbills, and photographs ranging from the years 1900 to the present. Moreover, she was able to research and write wall text for the theatre’s “Founding Patrons” art exhibit. Tori is interested in working with history and art to create stories, her career goals are to work in an art nonprofit that somehow involves these two aspects.

    April Heding

    April Heding received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. As a visual artist, educator and arts advocate, April entered the nonprofit sector through AmeriCorps, where she served as an Arts Advocate to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. From here, April continued her work in underserved communities with Artists Working in Education, Milwaukee Public Schools, Lissy's Place, a shelter for homeless women, and Guildess, a Contemporary Female Artist Guild. Through her partnerships with Lissy's Place and Guildess, April established a passion for empowering women through art and aims to pursue this interest during her studies at Seattle University.

    Stacy Hicks

    Stacy Hicks graduated from Western Washington University with concentrations in American History and Criminal Justice. Since high school she has developed her passion for photography and writing, recently displaying her work at her first show and publishing a short story. For 8 years she has volunteered at a Jr. High Girls Camp where she shared her love for the arts by teaching a photography class. She has served as the head of a Downtown Revitalization Committee, working to improve historic recognition and also with a local camera club, developing her photographic skills and collaborating with other artists. She is looking forward to combining her business experience and love of the arts into one singular expression.

    Lily Hu

    Lei Hu earned her BFA in 2000 in sculpture from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Lei worked as both manager and lead character sculptor in the modeling department of the Institute of Digital Media Technology. While there, she was instrumental in creating the sculptures for the movie, "Thru the Moebius Strip". Lei worked as a business partner with JHW Architectural Design Studio, during which she worked on several major indoor and outdoor sculpting projects for Nanchang University and others. Recently, Lei studied three terms of CG from the Gnomon School of Visual Effects. Lei's passion for fine arts is rooted in her belief that visual communication can be a profound source of positive change for our society. Her greatest joy is in sharing art works with others.

    Tracy Hyland

    Tracy Hyland is an actor and teaching artist in Seattle. She has performed on many main stages, including ACT Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Book-It Repertory Theatre. During her time in Chicago, Tracy worked with The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and also Barrel of Monkeys Productions, an outreach program teaching creative writing and drama in Chicago Public Schools and surrounding areas. In addition to her theatrical pursuits, Tracy has held varying administrative positions for arts and other organizations, such as Freehold Theatre, The Street Playwrights Project, and also The Sandbox Artists Collective, where she has contributed to the Leadership Committee since 2008. She is a graduate of Westminster College in Pennsylvania. 

    Elisa Jordan

    Elisa Jordan, a San Diego native, has a background in opera performance, singing leading roles from Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, to being featured in oratorio works including Händel's Messiah. Elisa received her B.A. in Music in 2011 from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. During her sophomore year, she founded and managed Point Loma Opera Theater (PLOT), a student-led and performed opera company. She has also worked with several Southern California-based arts organizations: A Reason To Survive (ARTS), OperaWorks, and CCFA: Community Center for the Arts. Her experiences in the arts and business have shaped her desire to continue her studies and obtain an M.F.A. in Arts Leadership from Seattle University. Elisa also teaches yoga, and loves to study holistic health.

    Melody Kadlub-Barr

    Melody Kadlub-Barr holds a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Management from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Though she comes from an artistic family, Melody thrives on the business of art. While receiving her undergraduate degree, she worked as a curator's assistant and gift-shop buyer for the Kent State University Museum. Upon relocating to Seattle, she served as a museum educator at the Museum of History and Industry. Currently Melody is the textbook buyer at the Seattle University Bookstore and manages her husband's photography and writing career. She was instrumental in coordinating volunteers during the inception of the 826 Writing Center in Seattle and has handled logistics for various campus author events. In addition to art, her passions include enology, travel and organization.

    Rose Kaser

    Rose Kaser graduated with a degree in Communications and a specialization in Mass Media from UIA Puebla preparing her for her previous work in radio both in New York City and abroad. After years in front of the microphone and in the production room she left the media and moved to Seattle permanently to focus on family. Currently, Rose works for the Center for Study of Sport and Exercise (CSSP) at Seattle University, is an avid music fan, and a true believer in the power of early education in the arts.

    Boyie Kim

    Boyie Kim was born and raised in Korea, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in music with vocal and piano. She worked at a private music institute as a piano teacher for a year after graduation. From November 2008, she started to work as an assistant director with her passion toward the performing arts. As an assistant director, she gained experience in directing concerts, operas, ballets, musicals, etc. She managed all the general aspects of performances, script writing, editing, and even marketing. During those years, she found that excessive ticket prices limited who could afford to attend the arts so now she is looking for ways to share more of the arts with diverse classes of people.

    Riley Kimsey

    Riley Kimsey received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, emphasis in Stage Management, from Ball State University. She has spent the last few years traveling the country working with such companies as Texas Shakespeare Festival, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, and The Fabulous Palm Spring Follies, either as part of the Stage Management Team or the Front of House Team. She is elated to be continuing her studies in Arts Leadership at Seattle University. She firmly believes that the arts are a wonderful way to express oneself, and that it can also be a great platform to express change through out society. She hopes that her studies will allow her greater opportunities to further bring artistic expressions to the general public.

    Cassandra Lea

    Cassandra Lea graduated from Central Washington University with a BFA in Graphic Design. After graduation she spent her time working at small branding and communications firm that specialized in non-profits and foundations. It was here she had the pleasure of working on the Zero campaign for UNICEF and the rebranding of St. Martin's University and Berea College. Currently, she is working as the Design and Marketing Assistant at Theo Chocolate, the only organic and fair trade chocolate maker in the US, where she handles donation requests and social media, among other things. With a background in design, Cassandra is looking forward to combining that experience with a degree in Arts Leadership and having the opportunity to work with arts non-profits in the future.

    Minnie Li

    Minnie Li received her Bachelor of Arts from the Foreign Language Department of Changchun University, majoring in English Language and Literature. She is fond of Western culture. She has devoted her time in diverse art and music activities. She volunteered as a Public Relationship Assistant in Midi Music Festival making arrangements for interviewing the journalists and musicians. She makes her contributions in various art and music activities such as live shows and some exhibitions in Changchun, China. She believes art is important for having a pleasant life experience. Her career path is mostly focused on music and fine art. She is also good at traditional Chinese painting. She looks forward to working with the things she loves and serving those who love art.

    Kristen Ramer Liang

    Kristen Ramer Liang has been performing and teaching in Seattle since 2001. She holds a BA in Music from the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Kristen is a core member of the internationally recognized Fisher Ensemble and serves as its Development Director. She is also a co-founder of Fisher Ensemble Education and an instructor of the popular Viva Vocalists performance class. From 2007-2011 she was a member of the voice faculty at Music Center of the Northwest, where she taught private lessons and developed outreach programs to bring music into local schools. Kristen is a member of The Esoterics and has sung with Seattle Opera, Bellevue Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre and Diamond Head Theatre. Outside the arts, she serves on the board of Seattle non-profit City Fruit.

    Hillary Long

    Hillary Long earned her bachelor’s degree from UW Bothell, majoring in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with a focus on Art History. There isn’t one period of art that is her “favorite,” but she finds things that are fascinating and beautiful throughout. While working for the UW Bothell library in Image Collections (formerly the Slide Library) after graduation, Hillary was presented with the opportunity to help start a small business. This experience, plus some nudging from her uncle, helped her to understand that by putting business and art together, her dream job was in Arts Administration. Hillary currently works for the Human Subjects Division at UW. Hillary has been married for eight years to her husband, Peter.

    Matthew James Manowski

    Matthew James Manowski graduated from Metropolitan State University earning a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology with an emphasis on Global Ethnic Conflict and Intermedia Arts. Matthew has a wide breadth of interests and talents ranging from performance installation, sound art composition, visual strategies, literature, and examination of media. The shape of his work can be directly related to working in the Twin Cities as a performer and sound composer, and participating in several Strange Attractors festivals with Metro State Professor of Arts David Means, who also influenced his work and trajectory as an artist. The importance of Arts education and discovery while connecting with the world community provide the scope for his passions and practice to benefit our society and culture.

    Suzy Martinez

    Suzy Martinez has grown deeps roots in the areas of education, facilitation, mediation and outreach with diverse populations especially; Spanish speaking communities. She is an innovative, creative, compassionate curriculum designer for the highest good of families and communities. She has worked with K-12th grade students and adults with varying kinds of learning styles and dreams all over the United States, Mexico and Asia. The focus of the programs is unleashing the unique human potential of each individual. She uses non-violent communication, playback theater, movement, poetry and the arts to support the students’ discovering of self and connection with others. She facilitates opening to natural talents and helps explore the acceptance of change as a vehicle to create greater inner awareness. She is passionate about social justice through the arts and that has been her focus for the past 10 years here in Washington.

    Merrill Matheson

    Merrill Matheson is from Provo, Utah and holds a B.A. in theatre and a minor in ballroom dance from Brigham Young University. His performing arts background is diverse: he is a ballroom dance instructor and has toured with teams from Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University, the two largest collegiate ballroom programs in the nation. Acting roles range from stage musicals to screen and voice over. He studied at The Second City Training Center, Chicago and was a troupe member with ComedySportz, Utah. He completed his first MFA year at Southern Utah University where he worked with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and he transferred to Seattle University in June. He’s been an associate producer for BYU Broadcasting and has extensive administration and group management experience.

    Jaimy McCarthy

    Jaimy McCarthy received her BFA in Fine Arts, focused on painting and video art, from Cornish College of the arts in Seattle, Washington. She is also a certified project manager (PMP) through the Project Management Institute. After Cornish, Jaimy entered the commercial art world of video games, rising to the level of Art Director. During this period, as a director, she lived in India for two years, teaching Indian artists fine art practices applicable to games. At the start of 2012, Jaimy retired from the game industry to return to the fine art community and began volunteering at The Henry Art Gallery and the Seattle Art Museum. She is a patron of the visual arts and has also returned to creating her own work on canvas.

    Charly McCreary

    Charly McCreary holds a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Society and Justice from the University of Washington, but her true passion lies in the world of performing arts. Since age five, she has danced, sung, and performed onstage in musical theater and most recently in contemporary circus as a founding member of the Seattle-based Cabiri performance troupe. She is also Managing Director of the Anunnaki Project, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which oversees and guides the work of Charly and her fellow Cabiri aerialists, acrobats, and dancers as they educate the masses about ancient mythology through spectacular theatrical performances. Charly brings over a decade of experience in nonprofit management, bookkeeping, grant writing, and event planning to the Arts Leadership program.

    Erin McKiernan

    Erin McKiernan is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature. During her time at UW, she studied dramatic literature in London. Since the completion of her degree in 2009, she has lived and worked in Kitsap County. Her greatest success has been volunteering and working for a community theatre in Silverdale, WA where she is currently directing and where she participated in the development of a children’s summer theater camp. Through the camp, she has taught and shared her love of the performing arts and has joyously celebrated the triumph of seeing the positive impact the arts has in the lives of camp participants.

    Ashley Miller

    Ashley Miller attended Pacific Lutheran University where she received her Bachelors in Fine Arts with emphasis in painting and drawing. During her education she spent time in Paris as part of the Urban Sketching School here she worked on a body of drawings and painting inspired by the vibrant French culture. Ashley's most recent endeavors include volunteering at the Tacoma Art Place, a non-profit organization where she has taken on the role of Curator and organized multiple gallery shows. She has also been working at the Bellevue Arts Museum as a Guest Services Representative. She has received valuable training of how a museum functions inside and out. Ashley looks forward to a career where she will be a successful supporter and promoter of the arts.

    Jamie Moses

    Jamie Moses earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Portland State University, focusing on classical piano and minoring in Film Studies and Music Production. Helping to develop the Portland State Piano Club and producing her own multimedia project lead her to realize her talent for organization and leadership. She was then hired by Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree and quickly worked her way into managing the organization’s fundraising events, operations and production. She has also volunteered with Portland Youth Philharmonic and The Forgery Theatre Company. Passionate about the performing arts, she aspires to lead established performing arts organizations into the 21st century by changing age-old business models and finding relevance for historic art forms, such as ballet and classical music, in today’s society.

    Elisa Pelaia

    Elisa Pelaia received her Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in her hometown of Toronto, Canada. Here, she specialized in Fine Art History. Elisa has worked at many artistic institutions in both Canada and the United States, including The Royal Ontario Museum, The City of Toronto's Nuit Blanche, and Bellevue Arts Museum. Her career focus has always been on education; however, she is also interested in large-scale cultural events. Through this Master's program, she hopes to achieve the ability to organize artistic festivals. Her ambition is to work in a museum, focusing on either development or marketing. When Elisa is not bringing culture to the masses, she enjoys fishing and playing vintage board games.

    Rebecca Pirwitz

    Rebecca Pirwitz is a recent graduate of the University of Washington where she majored in Sociology and Ethnomusicology with a minor in Global Health. Her two biggest artistic passions include music and photography. Rebecca is a former tenor saxophonist, current drummer, and has also participated in both Caribbean Steelband and Javanese Gamelan ensembles. It would be an absolute dream of hers to own and operate her own theater/performance venue, meant for both music and live theater, open to both professionals and amateurs alike. She firmly believes in the power of the arts in bringing peace and healing to sociological issues and conflicts. While Rebecca is just beginning her arts leadership endeavors (which began with an internship at the EMP Museum), she is extremely excited about this this program.

    Dan (Daniel) Ruiter

    Dan (Daniel) Ruiter has been the Music Director at O’Dea High School since 2004 and a private instructor and freelance trombonist for over 15 years. Dan attended Dordt College, and graduated from Western Washington University in 1997, earning his BA in Music with an emphasis on Jazz Studies. Most recently, Dan graduated from the U.S. Army School of Music, earning the Commandant’s Coin of Excellence. Dan is currently a member of 133rd Washington Army National Guard Band, performing on Trombone in the Concert Band, the Ceremonial Band, the Jazz Patriots Big Band, and the General’s 7 Dixieland Combo. Dan has studied with Vance Shoemaker, Dr. Karen DeMol, Chuck Israels, Don Lanphere and Greg Cox.

    Britt Rynearson

    Britt Rynearson, in addition to a fine art degree from Scripps College, received international training in textiles, including courses at Fuji Studios in Florence, Italy, and a live/work experience in a Balinese village to study silk weaving. For over fourteen years, Britt has explored her interest in textiles by running a working studio. Here, she designed a line of hand crafted clothing and perfected the Japanese tradition of shibori, a pleating method of dying bound silk. Her work has been exhibited nationally in juried craft shows. Britt's current creative focus is her new label, ARAE. This line of permanently pleated scarves and shawls is produced within the United States. Since 2002, she has taught fine art and surface design courses at Cornish College of the Arts, Gage Academy and Coyote Central, among others.

    Chelsea Sadler

    Chelsea Sadler received her BA in Theatre from Albion College in Albion, Michigan. Upon graduation, Chelsea began working at Performance Network, a professional Equity theatre in Ann Arbor. What started as a temporary apprenticeship eventually led to the position of Marketing Director, during which time the theatre saw record sales in single tickets and subscriptions. In addition to her administrative duties, Chelsea held a seat on the Program Committee, was an Associate Artist, and could be found acting. Other theatres with which she worked include Trinity House Theatre, Breathe Art Theatre Project, Michigan Theatre Festival, Blackbird Theatre, The New Theatre, and the Once Festival. Chelsea is a big fan of the transformative powers of art, and hopes that they continue to inspire her throughout her career.

    Miles Schlagel

    Miles Schlagel, raised in Boise Idaho, received a BFA in Visual Arts with a minor in Art History from Boise State University. Miles has been involved in the arts, in Boise since the age of seventeen, working with the City of Boise’s Arts and History Department. Most of his experiences come from assisting in the management of two rotating gallery spaces for Boise State University. He has also gained knowledge while working with other galleries, custom frame shops, teaching assistantship and artist in residency programs throughout Boise. Miles is also a practicing visual artist, specializing in oil painting, printmaking and community projects. His focus is on building the arts within his community and is excited to see what Seattle has to teach him.

    Rachel R. Sorrels

    Rachel R. Sorrels has received a Bachelor of Arts in both Theater and Political Science from the University of Kansas. She feels theater is a necessary part of the growth and development of all communities. She has spent the last eight years volunteering for a small non-for-profit grassroots theater company doing everything from taking tickets, hanging lights, and preforming to sitting on the board of directors. She has been a strong advocate for community outreach for the theater. Rachel's goals as an arts leader are to help promote local theater, and improve arts advocacy on local, national, and international levels. She feels that now more than every theater is an important part of bring people and ideas together.

    Jay Stern

    Jay Stern, was raised in Columbus, Ohio. While receiving his undergraduate degree in Fine Arts at the University of Cincinnati, he focused mostly on two-dimensional painting. Stern’s college work explores architecture through what is lost in our everyday life and the details that our memory cannot store. Mid-way through his undergraduate program he realized he had a thirst for the administrative side of the art world. He explored this through internship experience and several personal exhibitions. He always knew he wanted to go west, and graduate school was his chance. Jay attends Seattle University’s Arts Leadership program wanting to pursue the visual world of art, with a growing interest for the music industry. His hope is to bring his love and knowledge of the arts to work side by side with artists themselves.

    Andrew Storms

    Andrew Storms was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but grew up in the West, living in Orange County and Idaho. He studied at the American University Washington Semester for Journalism, and earned his BA in Mass Communication and Journalism from Boise State University. As a teenager he worked as an apprentice and ensemble cast member at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Following his first year of college he worked in the Festival’s administrative offices, eventually assuming positions assisting in marketing and development. He has worked in the advertising departments at publications such as DC’s Washington Life Magazine and the Boise Weekly. His latest professional endeavor has been assisting in development and special events at the Boise Art Museum.

    Skye Stoury

    Skye Stoury graduated in 2010 from Chapman University with a BA in dance. Back in Seattle Skye interned with Seattle Theater Group doing education outreach. For the past two years Skye was a Bombshell dancer for the Washington Stealth professional dance team in the NLL. She also performed as a lead dancer in West Side Story, performed after Dave Matthews and opened for Alan Stone in DOORS for STG, the city of Sammamish “Sami Awards”, Dance Masterʼs of America Benefit show, Icicle Arts Fashion Show in Leavenworth, Remix at SAM, along with local shows. Her choreography has been performed in shows in Seattle and California and has won choreography awards at many competitions. Currently Skye teaches dance along with studying Arts Leadership at Seattle University.

    Elise Sunde

    Elise Sunde is a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History with a minor in French. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Elise had dreamed of moving and living in Seattle for quite awhile. She was honored to present her undergraduate thesis at the University of Nebraska's No Limits Women and Gender Studies Conference and at Baker University's annual Art History Conference. Making art accessible to the community has been a passion of hers. Elise has cultivated this passion through interning at the Nebraska Arts Council and volunteering at Omaha's Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. Elise looks forward to learning the non-profit management skills to continue to make the arts accessible in the community.

    Sarah Tackett

    Sarah Tackett received a BA from Transylvania University with an emphasis on literature and theatre. Since graduation, she has played a vital role in reviving one of Kentucky’s most treasured theatre companies. Sarah was involved with the theater as an actor, technician, volunteer, and administrative assistant to the Artistic Director. Her particular interest lies in new play development – creating a space to hear new stories told by unfamiliar voices that excite and ignite the four walls of a theater. Acceptance into Seattle University is the first step in Sarah’s future as an art leader. She’s eager to get back in the classroom and focus her passion for art into a career that builds upon the mission to challenge, educate, and engage through performing arts.

    Kimberly Tepe

    Kimberly Tepe completed her BA in theatre at University of Washington. After graduation she held the position of Costume Shop Assistant at the Seattle Opera, working with award winning artists and dedicated individuals. She spent 6 years costuming at Youth Theatre NW on Mercer Island, where she saw, first hand, how theatre can have a positive effect on a child's self-image. She also spent a spring teaching at Path with Art, working with marginalized adults to build community and create self-confidence through art classes. She is an artist herself working in the medium of fiber and mix media. She wants to continue exploring both visual and performing arts and their impact on individuals and community.

    Justine Thayer

    Justine Thayer, a Washington native, completed her Bachelors education at the University of Washington where she double majored in Art History and English Language and Literature. Her experience in the arts includes past internships at the University of Washington's Jacob Lawrence Gallery, the Frye Art Museum in Special Events and Ticketing, and at the Seattle Art Museum in Adult Public Programs. She has had experience aiding with exhibit openings, special events, programming, ticketing, created an events marketing database, and has provided administrative aid. Justine's passion is to assist cultural organizations succeed. Additional time was spent at the Frye as a Front Desk Concierge and volunteering at the Burke Museum and Henry Art Gallery. Her career ambitions include working in administration or programming in arts nonprofits.

    Krina Turner

    Krina Turner is a recent graduate from the University of Wyoming Theatre and Dance Department where she studied Dance Performance. She first became interested in promoting and directing live arts in high school and has since learned how to bridge the gap between her passion for performing arts and her knack for business and communication. Krina lives a vegan lifestyle and is constantly considering impact. Her goal is to demystify dance as an art form while staying true to her values. Krina has interned for several professional companies including Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Oregon Ballet Theatre and Repertory Dance Theatre. In April, Krina married her husband Josh and in July they headed Northwest. Krina is incredibly excited to participate in art and study Arts Leadership in the artistically and culturally rich city of Seattle. 

    Sacha Van de Zande

    Sacha Van de Zande received her Bachelor’s in Art with a focus in metals from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse in 2000. Sacha worked as a bench jeweler for a few years before opening her business in January 2003; as a goldsmith she specializes in custom designs and one-of-a-kind work. She is the Co-Creator and Co-Director of an annual Fine Art Festival in Minnesota. The show has expanded from two artists in 2003 to include over 35 artists in 2012. New to the Seattle/Tacoma area, Sacha spent the last ten years as a military spouse. With four moves in those ten years, she has learned to be flexible and embrace community quickly. She has spent numerous hours working in volunteer positions and leadership roles of many kinds.

    Tian Wang

    Tian Wang received her Bachelor of Management from the Capital University of Business and Economics in Beijing China. She has always had great passion for fine art. During college, her internships were mostly related to museums despite her undergraduate major in Management Information System (MIS). Tian had an internship in the Beijing World Art Museum of China Millennium Monument and the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City. Through internships, she was involved in the exhibition organization, museum publicity, art salon planning and some charity events. For the last three months she has worked for poly auction and participated in The Spring Auction as Administrative Assistant. She has found that the main problem in either the museum area or the auction area is the close link between the arts and money. What is the balance between arts and business? Now she is here to seek the answer.

    Amy Wyatt

    Amy Wyatt teaches theology here at Seattle University, including courses on Arts and Spirituality. She has served previously as a campus minister and a director of a non-profit organization, all the while engaging in a variety of creative pursuits. Trained as a dancer, she has worked as a performer and choreographer, most recently setting pieces for musical theatre. She likewise enjoys acting, on stage and in the occasional on-screen gig. She has dabbled in the visual arts, studying sculpture and selling paintings. For the sake of her spirit, she also writes poetry and takes classes in interior design. Now, she is excited to combine her interests, and explore more deeply how the arts can serve and create a community, through the MFA program.

    Crystal (Mary) Yingling

    Crystal (Mary) Yingling earned a BM in voice from Wheaton College Conservatory. Following her undergrad studies, Crystal served as a US Army Officer. Throughout her unique decade-long career, Crystal worked with foreign governments and NGOs across the globe to implement arts and cultural programming for local populations, while volunteering with civilian theater and music groups as organizer, director, and performer. Assignment highlights include: serving as the Commanding General’s Speechwriter in Korea; spearheading women’s initiatives in Afghanistan, and partnering with the US Embassy in Mauritania to launch a youth campaign for tolerance through cultural events. Recently Crystal completed a certificate in Screenwriting through the University of Washington. Crystal is now a Major in the Reserves, and continues to teach voice lessons and perform around Puget Sound.