Year Round Staff
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Our Year Round Staff

 

Anthony Amico

Caretaker

Full Time Faculty

Courtney Kassinger

Transportation Manager

Full Time Faculty

David Schecher

Dean of Students

Full Time Faculty

Diana Crum

Dance, Department Chair

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

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Hawley Hussey

Curriculum Specialist

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

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Javan Howard

Writing, Coordinator

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

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Jillian Greenberg

Director of Education

Full Time Faculty

Jodie Embelton

Art, Department Co-Chair

Full Time Faculty

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Kerry Barnhart

Senior Director of Student Affairs

Full Time Faculty

Lafiya Watson Ramirez

Marketing and Communications, Consultant

Full Time Faculty

Lauren Brandt Schloss

Executive Director

Full Time Faculty

Lauren Kinane

Enrollment Coordinator

Full Time Faculty

Mark Bligh

Music, Department Chair

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

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Motaz Elzalata

Assistant Controller

Full Time Faculty

Olivia Wise

Manager of Marketing & Communications

Full Time Faculty

Stella Shepherd

Donor Relations Coordinator

Full Time Faculty

Stephen Trombetta II

Director of Facilities

Full Time Faculty

Olivia Wise

Full Time Faculty

Manager of Marketing & Communications

Administration

Olivia Wise has worked for arts and culture organizations in and around New York City since 2012. She enjoys being surrounded by young people experiencing the creative process in nature all summer. Olivia holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from The New School.

Motaz Elzalata

Full Time Faculty

Assistant Controller

Administration

Stella Shepherd

Full Time Faculty

Donor Relations Coordinator

Administration

Lauren Kinane

Full Time Faculty

Enrollment Coordinator

Administration

Stephen Trombetta II

Full Time Faculty

Director of Facilities

Administration

Lauren Brandt Schloss

Full Time Faculty

Executive Director

Administration

Lauren Brandt Schloss Standing next to a windon

Lauren Brandt Schloss joined Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts in 2015. With her appointment, she became Usdan’s third leader in a half century and the first woman to hold the position. Bringing 20+ years experience in arts education, at the Queens Museum, MoMA, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Lauren is committed to ensuring that Usdan is at the forefront of educational and artistic practices. Ms. Schloss earned a B.A. in art history from Princeton University and an M.A. in arts administration from Columbia University.

Lafiya Watson Ramirez

Full Time Faculty

Marketing and Communications, Consultant

Administration

Kerry Barnhart

Full Time Faculty

Senior Director of Student Affairs

Administration

Anthony Amico

Full Time Faculty

Caretaker

Administration

Courtney Kassinger

Full Time Faculty

Transportation Manager

Administration

Courtney Kassinger has spent her summers at Usdan since 2002 when she first attended as a student. She has served as Discovery counselor, transportation staff, and is now Transportation Manager. Courtney is a teacher (and proud alum!) at Harborfields Central School District, teaching band, chorus, and music, as well as director of the annual Variety Show. She is a member of SCMEA and NAfME.

Jillian Greenberg

Full Time Faculty

Director of Education

Administration

Jillian Greenberg

Jillian Greenberg is an artist and educator, and Usdan’s Director of Education. Prior to joining Usdan, Jillian managed Studio In A School’s Artist Residency Program. She has taught visual art in schools, organizations, and museums across New York City. Jillian holds a Master’s in Art Education from Teachers College at Columbia University and an MFA from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London.

David Schecher

Full Time Faculty

Dean of Students

Administration

Dave Schecher returns to Usdan this summer for his 31st season. He is a trombonist, private music instructor and retired public school teacher who has also been the Director of The Long Island Brass Guild for many years.

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Jodie Embelton

Full Time Faculty

Art, Department Co-Chair

Art

Jodie Embleton is a visual arts educator who has dedicated her career to bringing art education back to inner-city students. Beginning as a ceramics assistant and kiln technician at Usdan, to teacher, and now co-chair, she has a true passion for inspiring young people. Following work at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Jodie currently teaches a visual arts in the Copiague School District and co-chairs Usdan’s art department.

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Hawley Hussey

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

Curriculum Specialist

Art

Hawley Hussey

Hawley Hussey is an artist who is working between the visual, the written word, and the performing arts. Throughout her career she has engaged in diverse mediums including painting, printmaking, small press publications, artists books, sculpture and installation. Hawley got her BFA from The University of Massachusetts in Amherst and her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Art where she has presented as Workshop Faculty for the Masters Program in Art and Design Education. Hawley served as Education Coordinator and Director of Contemporary Art Education at BRIC Arts Media and as an Art Education Mentor for the New York State Council on the Arts. Hawley is proudly a co-founder of the arts integrated high school, Bronx Envision Academy and she is also a founding member of the Park Avenue Armory Artists Corps where she remains active as a Teaching Artist. Hawley is a contemporary art education activist engaging recent immigrants and special needs students in immersive art laboratories that she builds and calls the HH:ArtLab. 

Hawley has been working as Usdan's Curriculum Specialist since the beginning 2020 and played an integral role in the development of Usdan Online. 

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Javan Howard

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

Writing, Coordinator

Creative Writing

Javan Howard

Javan Howard is a poet and writer from the Bronx. He believes that the lived experience is the ultimate teaching tool and uses poetry as a social forum to foster discourse about love, culture, and identity. He currently is the Tap lead mentor for Teaching Artist Project at Community-Word Project. He is also a teacher at Teachers & Writers Collaborative. He has also facilitated for The New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Voices UnBroken, The GO Project, and others.  Howard participates in open mic events under the moniker "@RighteousTPoet." His work has been featured online at Black Heart Magazine and Brooklyn Stories Vol. 13. He has read his work at The HBO Shop, The Inspired Word Reading Series, Lamprophonic, The Dead Rabbits Reading Series, and more. Javan joined Usdan's faculty in 2018. For more: www.Javanjhoward.com

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Diana Crum

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

Dance, Department Chair

Dance

Diana Crum

Diana Crum works at the intersection of dance and education. She currently serves as Program Director for Movement Research’s Dance Makers in the Schools and teaches dance in NYC and NJ public schools with ArtsConnection, Brooklyn Arts Council and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Her choreography has been presented in New York, Atlanta, Mexico, and across Europe. Recent honors and awards include Brooklyn Studios for Dance Artist in Residence position (2018), Su-CASA artist residency (2017), and Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant (2015). Diana started at Usdan in 2018, where she enjoys dancing in the woods with young people.

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Mark Bligh

Full Time Faculty, Seasonal Faculty

Music, Department Chair

Music

Mark Bligh

Mark Bligh is the director of the Denton Ave Elementary Band (Herricks UFSD, New Hyde Park, NY) where he teaches winds, brass and percussion for grades 3-5.  The Denton Ave Band regularly attends NYSSMA Majors and consistently earns Gold and Gold with Distinction honors.  

Mark Bligh is a graduate of the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University where he received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with Honors. He received a Master of Arts from Stony Brook University.  Mr. Bligh was published in Scholastic for his contributions in an article entitled, “10 Best Musical Apps for Kids”. Mark has been honored to conduct the Winds, Brass and Percussion sectional for the NYSSMA All-State Symphonic Orchestra.  Mark was privileged to conduct the 2018 SCMEA Division 1 Central All-County Band and the 2019 WCSMA All-County Elementary Band.  Mr. Bligh has performed with the Long Island Wind Ensemble, Atlantic Wind Symphony, Northwinds Symphonic Band as well as various chamber ensembles.  Mark is the current Music Department Chair at Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts where he has worked since 2005.