Faculty & Staff
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Our Faculty & Staff

 

The below reflects Usdan's year-round staff. Faculty and staff working in Summer 2024 will be added closer to the camp season. Please enjoy getting to know us!

Alice Clancy

Manager of Events & Guest Services

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Corris Little

Senior Development Coordinator

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Cory Benson

Manager of Buildings & Grounds

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Courtney Kassinger

Associate Director of Student Affairs

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

David Lake

Chair, Recreation

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

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Emily Annesley

Enrollment Coordinator

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Javan Howard

Director of Education

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Jessica Liss Feuer

Director of Development

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Jim Incorvaia

Department Chair, Theater

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

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Jodie Embleton

Department Chair, Art

Year-Round Faculty & Staff, Camp Faculty & Staff

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Johan Van den Berghe

Controller

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Julio Garcia

Senior Groundskeeper

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Kyra Leeds

Community Relations Coordinator

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Lauren Brandt Schloss

Executive Director

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Lauren Kinane

Manager of Special Projects

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Sadie Friedman

Discovery, Department Chair

Year-Round Faculty & Staff, Camp Faculty & Staff

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Sasha Freedman

Associate Director of New Initiatives

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Stephanie Abrams

Senior Director of Student Affairs

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Victoria Ellerbe

Director of Administration

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Jessica Liss Feuer

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Director of Development

Administration

Jessica Liss Feuer joined Usdan’s full time staff in June 2023. She has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector with a focus on fundraising, philanthropic partnerships, and program development. Prior to Usdan, she served as the Associate Director of Advancement and Philanthropy at the MLB Players Trust, the charitable arm of the Major League Baseball Players Association. As a child, Jessica spent two summers at Usdan, majoring in Musical Theater and minoring in Dance. She loves being back as a staff member and seeing the next generation of young artists experience the magic of Usdan.

Sasha Freedman

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Associate Director of New Initiatives

Administration

Sasha Freedman joined Usdan's full time staff in June 2023. She has extensive experience working in non-profit organizations with a focus on fundraising, economic development, community outreach, and program development. Sasha has a BA from Smith College and a Master's degree from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Sasha is a proud Usdan alum, having spent four years at the camp majoring in Ballet and Musical Theater. She is so excited to pass her love of Usdan on to her three children, all currently Usdan students. In her spare time, Sasha is a sculptor and pursues her passion for organic gardening.

Corris Little

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Senior Development Coordinator

Administration

Corris Little Headshot

Corris Little, a professional in nonprofit development and communications, joined Usdan's full-time staff in 2023.

Previously, Corris played a pivotal role in garnering publicity and managing communications for Manhattan Country School, a progressive private school, contributing to the success of their capital campaign and the sale of a $23 million property, facilitating the school's expansion in New York City.

Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Newsday, among others. 

Coming from a family of artists, musicians, and creatives, she believes in the transformative power of the arts, recognizing its ability to change the way we see the world by awakening us to new perspectives, ideas, and values.

In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, learning pickleball, and exploring Long Island’s beaches.

Stephanie Abrams

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Senior Director of Student Affairs

Administration

Stephanie Abrams joined Usdan in Fall of 2023 as Senior Director of Student Affairs. Since she was a child going to camp at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds next to Usdan, Stephanie has wanted to be a camp director. She comes to Usdan having spent the past eight years working at the Friedberg JCC in Oceanside, NY where she was most recently the Senior Program Officer of Camping & Youth Services. Her professional camp career began in 2019 as the Director of Camp Friedberg and co-founder of Camp Ga’avah (an LGBTQ day camp) in 2018. Stephanie attended SUNY Buffalo and received a BS in Marketing, and a Master's in Non-Profit Management from CUNY Baruch in 2005. She passed her love of musical theater to her oldest daughter, a current Usdan student and is so excited they get to experience Usdan together! During the summer when not at camp you can find Stephanie on the beach!

Lauren Brandt Schloss

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Executive Director

Administration

Lauren headshot

Lauren Brandt Schloss joined Usdan 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. 

Courtney Kassinger

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Associate Director of Student Affairs

Administration

Headshot of Courtney Kassinger

Courtney Kassinger has spent her summers at Usdan since 2002 when she first attended as a student. On staff, she has served as a Discovery counselor, a member of the administration/transportation staff, Transportation Manager, and is now the Associate Director of Student Affairs. Courtney holds a B.M. in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia and a M.S. in Music Education from Queens College along with an Advanced Certificate in TESOL from Touro College.  Courtney teaches elementary band in the Harborfields Central School District in the very elementary school she herself attended and is a member of both SCMEA and NAfME.  She looks back fondly on her many summers at Usdan as a student that fostered her love for music and led her to pursue a career in music education.  Courtney is eternally grateful for her Usdan family and the many lifelong friendships that have been created through her time spent at Usdan. 

Julio Garcia

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Senior Groundskeeper

Administration

Headshot Julio

 

 

Lauren Kinane

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Manager of Special Projects

Administration

Headshot Lauren Kinane

Dr. Lauren Kinane is a clarinetist, educator, and currently serves as the Manager of Special Projects at Usdan. Prior to becoming the Manager of Special Projects, Lauren served as the Enrollment Coordinator and Student Supervision Coordinator, and she spent four summers as a camper at Usdan. Her summers at Usdan inspired her to pursue her passion for clarinet further. Throughout the year Lauren can be heard performing with the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra and the Atlantic Wind Symphony. She can also be heard on the Massachusetts Chamber Players' album Frank Martin: Music for Winds. Lauren received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University, her Master of Music from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, and her Bachelor of Music from SUNY Fredonia. 

Alice Clancy

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Manager of Events & Guest Services

Administration

Headshot of Alice Clancy.

Alice first joined Usdan in 2019 as the Festival and Gala Stage Manager. As a child, Alice was a serious saxophone player, and jumped from the pit to the wings in the early years of high school. She continued her study of theater at SUNY Fredonia, graduating with a degree in scenic design. Her 30+ year career as a stage, production, & event manager has taken her to Santa Fe, Utah, a million hole-in-the-wall theaters in Manhattan, NYU/Tisch School of the Arts, The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, and Harlem's World Famous Apollo Theater. There have been two throughlines in her career & life that come together so beautifully at Usdan: supporting artists and playing outside. It is a great joy to be here. 

Kyra Leeds

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Community Relations Coordinator

Administration

Headshot Kyra Leeds

Kyra Leeds is an actor and arts administrator from Queens, NY. Kyra was a student at Usdan for ten glorious summers, a Discovery Counselor for three summers, and has worked in Usdan’s administrative offices for the past five years. Kyra has also done some development and fundraising work for DCM, Inc. and, most recently, for the Off-Broadway MCC Theater in NYC. As an actor Kyra has been a part of Royal Caribbean’s CATS (Jennyanydots), Argyle Theatre’s FULL MONTY (Vicki), Hangar Theatre’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Christmas Past), and the REV Theatre Company’s PARADE (Ensemble/Dance Captain).  Kyra holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College. 

 

Javan Howard

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Director of Education

Administration

Headshot Javan Howard.

Javan joined Usdan’s full time staff in 2017. Year round hip hop and poetry are his modes of survival and inspiration. A Bronx born creative that hails from the same high school as James Baldwin, he spreads love one word at a time. He truly 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 was named a 2022 Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellow. He also suffers from severe milk chocolate withdrawals and has been diagnosed with a case of the New York Knicks.

Victoria Ellerbe

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Director of Administration

Administration

Victoria Ellerbe Headshot

Victoria joined Usdan in 2022 and has more than 10 years experience working in nonprofit organizations in HR, Finance, and Administration. She earned a bachelor's degree in Accounting from St John's University and since then has worked with NYC organizations such as Seeds of Peace, Harlem's World Famous Apollo Theater, and the Children's Museum of Manhattan. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her partner and maintains a great appreciation of arts and culture, as an avid cellist and a regular patron of live performances, art houses, and museums. 

 

Cory Benson

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Manager of Buildings & Grounds

Administration

Headshot of Cory

 

 

Johan Van den Berghe

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Controller

Administration

Headshot Johan

Johan joined the Usdan family in 2022. He brought with him over 15 years of experience working and volunteering in nonprofit organizations. His main responsibilities have revolved around bookkeeping, finance and strategic development. He graduated from Baruch College in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance. Soon after, he fell in love with the nonprofit world and has not looked back since. He then attended NYU for a course in accounting for nonprofits and followed it with a medical coding and billing certificate from Hunter College in 2016. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University. He resides in Chelsea, MA with his partner, two cats and a ball python. He has great appreciation for music, especially live concerts.

Emily Annesley

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Enrollment Coordinator

Administration

Emily portrait

Emily (they/she) is an arts administrator and flute instructor based in Brooklyn, NY. Emily first joined Usdan’s seasonal staff in 2021, supporting the Marketing, Enrollment, and Transportation departments. They joined Usdan’s Education department in January of 2023 as Education Coordinator, and rejoined the Enrollment department as the Enrollment Coordinator in May of the same year. Emily brings with them eclectic administrative experience in from a variety of roles, including a summer as Chamber Coordinator for the Spoleto Festival, USA. Emily holds a BA and MA in Flute Performance from SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Purchase respectively, and in addition to their work at Usdan, teaches private flute lessons to flute lovers of all ages and skill levels. When not teaching, working, or fluting, Emily can be found knitting, listening to e-books, or learning how to play a new instrument.  

 

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Jodie Embleton

Year-Round Faculty & Staff, Camp Faculty & Staff

Department Chair, Art

Art

Headshot Jodie Embleton.

Jodie joined us at Usdan in 2008. Her role has evolved from assistant, to teacher, to art chair representing her dedication to Arts Education and her love of Usdan.  She holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing from SUNY Purchase College and a MSEd in Art Education from CUNY Queens College.  Jodie’s personal work consists of paintings depicting abstract architectural designs with sculptural elements. On the off-season, Jodie is a visual arts teacher in a public school on Long Island. Her favorite experiences at Usdan include working with teachers and children as they reconnect with nature and funnel their creative energy into building a better community. A fun fact about Jodie is that she used to foster hurt wild animals. 

Usdan Discovery U icon

Sadie Friedman

Year-Round Faculty & Staff, Camp Faculty & Staff

Discovery, Department Chair

Discovery

Sadie Friedman headshot

Sadie started working at Usdan in 2008 as a Discovery Counselor and has loved the Discovery program ever since! She currently teachers Elementary School General Music in the Three Village School District. She also teaches Early Childhood family music classes. Her main instruments are voice and piano.

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David Lake

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Chair, Recreation

Recreational Camp

Dave began teaching at Usdan in 2005 as the Tennis Instructor and is pleased to begin a new role in 2022 as the Chair of Recreation. During the school year Dave is a 5th Grade Teacher in the East Islip School District. Fun fact: Dave juggled a soccer ball 12,600 times when he was 17.

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Jim Incorvaia

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Department Chair, Theater

Theater

Headshot Jim Incorvaia

Jim began teaching at Usdan in the summer of 1991 and after more than thirty summers in the woods, he is still as excited as when he first started. Jim is an actor, director and producer who has overseen more than three hundred shows in Usdan’s three theaters. He began his professional work in the arts at the age of five as a commercial model. He was bitten by the acting bug for good in high school. Jim obtained his B. A. and his M.S. in Education at Hofstra Univeristy and studied for his M.F.A. at Columbia. He is the founder of the OnStage Strategies Group, a theater consulting firm assisting educational and local theater programs as they work to grow and re-imagine their student offerings. Jim believes that art has the power to break down the barriers that divide us.