Faculty & Staff
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Our Faculty & Staff

 

Anthony Amico

Caretaker

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Courtney Kassinger

Transportation Manager

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

David Schecher

Dean of Students

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Diana Crum

Dance, Department Chair

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

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Hawley Hussey

Curriculum Specialist

Year-Round Faculty & Staff, Online Faculty & Staff

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Javan Howard

Writing, Coordinator

Year-Round Faculty & Staff, Online Faculty & Staff

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Jillian Greenberg

Director of Education

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Jim Incorvaia

Theater, Department Chair

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

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Jodie Embleton

Art, Department Co-Chair

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

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Joe Levy, CVE

Chief Operating Officer

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Julio Garcia

Senior Groundskeeper

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Kerry Barnhart

Senior Director of Student Affairs

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Lafiya Watson Ramirez

Marketing and Communications, Consultant

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Lauren Brandt Schloss

Executive Director

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Lauren Kinane

Enrollment Coordinator

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Mark Bligh

Music, Department Chair

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

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Megan Powers

Discovery, Department Chair

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

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Motaz Elzalata

Assistant Controller

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Olivia Wise

Manager of Marketing & Communications

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Stella Shepherd

Donor Relations Coordinator

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Stephen Trombetta II

Senior Facilities Technician

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Stella Shepherd

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Donor Relations Coordinator

Administration

Stella Shepherd

Stella Shepherd is originally from London, United Kingdom. She moved to New York to study Musical Theater and graduated from The New School with a BFA in Musical Theater and Liberal Arts. Prior to working at Usdan, Stella worked at a few non-profit Off-Broadway Theater Companies in their Fundraising departments. At Usdan she is the Donor Relations Coordinator and loves visiting the studios in the summer whenever possible. 

Lauren Kinane

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Enrollment Coordinator

Administration

Lauren Kinane

Lauren Kinane is a clarinetist, educator, and currently serves as the Enrollment Coordinator at Usdan. Prior to becoming the Enrollment Coordinator, Lauren worked with the Leadership Institute and Supervision team, 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 she can be found teaching masterclasses and coaching clarinet sections at schools throughout Long Island. She can also be heard on the Massachusetts Chamber Players' album Frank Martin: Music for Winds. Lauren is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University. She also received her Master of Music from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst and her Bachelor of Music from SUNY Fredonia. 

Stephen Trombetta II

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Senior Facilities Technician

Administration

Stephen Trombetta II joined Usdan's year round staff in 2020. He previously worked at a summer camp in upstate New York, where he was Caretaker for 8 years. He resides in New York with his three children and Wife.

Anthony Amico

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Caretaker

Administration

Joe Levy, CVE

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Chief Operating Officer

Administration

Joe Levy headshot.

 

 

Lauren Brandt Schloss

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Executive Director

Administration

Lauren Brandt Schloss Standing next to a windon

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. 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

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Marketing and Communications, Consultant

Administration

 

 

 

Kerry Barnhart

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Senior Director of Student Affairs

Administration

Kerry Barnhart

Kerry Barnhart is a proud alum of Usdan. Here is where she discovered her passion for music and theater as a child, going on to study vocal performance at The George Washington University. After several summers spent in the Usdan administrative office during college, she became part of the year round staff in 2005 as Registrar. Following her work as Registrar, Kerry oversaw student admissions as Director of Admissions, and has now added student affairs and operations as Senior Director of Student Affairs. She is happy to share the magic of Usdan with her son who attends as a student.  

Courtney Kassinger

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Transportation Manager

Administration

Courtney Kassinger

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.

Julio Garcia

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Senior Groundskeeper

Administration

 

Jillian Greenberg

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

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 M.F.A. from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London.

David Schecher

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Dean of Students

Administration

David Schecher

Dave Schecher has been a member of Usdan's staff for over thirty years. He is a trombonist, private music instructor, and retired public school teacher. Mr. Schecher is also the Director of The Long Island Brass Guild.

Olivia Wise

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Manager of Marketing & Communications

Administration

Olivia Wise

Olivia Wise has worked for arts and culture organizations in and around New York City for 9 years. Formerly Usdan's Admissions Counselor and then Enrollment Coordinator, she brings her knowledge of Usdan's program and enrollment process to her role of Manager of Marketing & Communications. 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

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Assistant Controller

Administration

Motaz Elzalata

Motaz Elzalata joined Usdan in 2017 and has more than 10 years of experience in Accounting and Finance. He began his career as an Internal Revenue Service Agent in in Alexandria, Egypt. After immigrating to the United States in 2013, he became a tax preparer with the Food Bank of New York and then worked as a Staff Accountant at a payroll consulting company in Midtown Manhattan. Motaz earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting & Finance from Alexandria University, Egypt where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He is currently pursuing his CPA license. Motaz resides in Brooklyn with his loving wife, where they are devoted parents to their 3-year-old daughter Nadia and newborn son Zain. 

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Hawley Hussey

Year-Round Faculty & Staff, Online Faculty & Staff

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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Jodie Embleton

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Art, Department Co-Chair

Art

Jodie Embleton

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 visual art in the Copiague School District and co-chairs Usdan’s Art Department.

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Javan Howard

Year-Round Faculty & Staff, Online Faculty & Staff

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

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

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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Megan Powers

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Discovery, Department Chair

Discovery

Megan Powers

Megan Powers is a lifelong Usdanite whose family has been educating at Usdan since the inaugural summer of 1968. She joined the Usdan community as a student in 1996, and since then, has worked as a Counselor in Training and Counselor in the Discovery Department, before proudly stepping into the role of Department Chair in 2017. Megan has her Masters degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education from Long Island University.

 

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Mark Bligh

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

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.

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Jim Incorvaia

Year-Round Faculty & Staff

Theater, Department Chair

Theater

Jim Incorvaia

Jim Incorvaia is a producer, actor, director and theater adminstrator who has been a member of Usdan’s Theater faculty since the summer of 1991.  As Theater chairperson, Jim plans and oversees the camp’s summer theatrical season. He works to ensure all our theater students experience what some former campers describe as “the marriage of summer stock and day camp.” After thirty summer seasons, Jim has produced more than two hundred Usdan shows. He has directed a number of events for the camp including the 50th Anniversary Gala concert and Usdan's recent live virtual programs “Under The Lights” and "Usdan Happy Hours.” Jim is the founder of the consultancy group, On Stage Strategies.