Skip to navigation menu

Skip to main content

Program in Arts Administration
Teachers College, Columbia University
teachers college logo columbia univertsity logo

Program in Arts Administration

In the Department of Arts & Humanities

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Current Students > Student Mentors

Student Mentors

ARAD Student mentors serve as a student group, to help incoming and current students build a sense of community while making valuable contacts for a future in the arts administration profession. As part of this mission, the student mentors work to make new students feel as comfortable and confident as possible from the moment they arrive.

Lina Alfonso (2nd Year Student)

Lina is interested in visual arts, in particular contemporary art. She has an educational background in visual arts, which led to an interest in art organizations with innovative programming targeted at supporting young and emerging artists. Currently, she is interning at the non-profit Art in General in Development and the Executive Office. Lina is originally from Colombia.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

I was attracted to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College because it has one of the strongest academic programs in the field. It is within a prominent university and offers a high quality education as well as access to other programs in Columbia's network.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

My studies are giving me the foundation to understand what work in the arts administration field entails. The classes I have taken so far have helped me to see the different areas of practice for an arts administrator, and these have helped me to project what I want to do and be as a professional.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

Being part of the ARAD community allows me to be in touch with a diverse student community. Not only are we a very internationally diverse cohort, but our experiences and backgrounds are very different. The knowledge I have been absorbing this past year is partially from the excellent and accomplished people with whom I have been studying.

Erica Bibby (1st Year Student)

Erica is a 2011 graduate of The George Washington University (Psychology, Communication Studies). Her interest in the arts and cultural sectors stemmed from a semester spent abroad in Berlin, Germany, where she focused on metropolitan studies. Erica considers herself well traveled with an interest in arts and world cultures. Her breadth of experience began in Public Relations, where she honed valuable communication skills at Edelman and Weber Shandwick. Erica also held roles with Cultural Tourism DC, Time Warner Inc., and WGBH, a PBS affiliate. Her focus in development, community relations, and event organizing comes from involvement in Discover Roxbury and her admiration of the National Center of Afro-American Artists (NCAAA).

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

I think the greatest strength of the program lies in its diverse course offerings. Not only are students able to cross-register for classes in Columbia Business School, SIPA, and Columbia Law School, but the courses offered through the program's core material also cover a wide range of topics. There is also an unmatched level of professionalism among professors, staff, and students that I did not sense when looking into other Arts Administration programs. On another note, I worked a few years before considering graduate school, so once I began looking at different programs it was important for me to find one that encouraged students to learn not only from the program, but from its alumni, staff, and even the city itself.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

I am ecstatic that I have learned as much from my peers as I have my professors. Open dialogue is consistently encouraged in the program's classes, and I find the opinions of my peers, my future colleagues, to be invaluable. The diverse makeup of our community is striking -- a significant portion of our cohort is international students. Gaining perspective from someone from Turkey, Mexico, Belgium or China has opened my eyes to the international art world more than I ever imagined. 

 

Donald Borror (2nd Year Student)

Donald is interested in executive leadership positions in dance companies and multi-disciplinary performing arts organizations. He graduated from Juilliard with a BFA in Dance and performed with NYC-based Ballet Hispanico for three seasons. Currently, Donald is a choreographer and producer for Lincoln Center Education's Meet the Artists series, Board Chair of non-profit dance advocacy org BEMOVING, and interning at arts management consulting firm, Dunch Arts.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University? The community. I was excited to be a part of a cohort that is as invested in what their work as I am. When I was looking at the program, I asked one of the current students what she thought that the energy of the program was like, if people seemed like they were super dedicated. She confidently replied that everyone in her program was genuinely interested in changing the world, and I was immediately sold.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals? There are so many layers to producing artistic content. At each level in the process of making art happen there is an entire world of knowledge. From development to programming to marketing, each element has so much depth. Being able to study these facets in greater detail, decide which interests me enough to take a deeper dive, and then apply that knowledge to my professional career is simply invaluable. It's like being at a buffet, tasting everything, deciding what you want seconds of, then going home and making those dishes.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community. There is always a lot going on and you really are responsible for being as involved as you want to be. It is a very supportive group. We laugh a lot. When you are in such a specific field at such an immersed level, there become fewer and fewer people that you can truly have a qualitative conversation about your work. We understand each other. Developing a connection through shared professional goals and understanding how to express your ideas is an especially helpful experience for when you eventually meet industry experts that have an even more developed view of your field. All of a sudden you're the one that has to catch up. But one day, our cohort will be those experts for other new entrants to the field, and we will have the strong network of like-minded people that we cultivated at Columbia.

Teresa Calves (1st Year Student)

Teresa graduated with a BA in Theatre Arts from Drew University. She also has studied theatre at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Since graduating, she has worked as an arts administrator for numerous theatre organizations, including Rising Sun Performance Company, Lark Play Development Center, George Street Playhouse, and Sundance Productions. Her passion is to make theatre accessible to children in under-served communities. Teresa discovered this passion while working as the business manager for Front and Center for Performing Arts, a performing arts school that trained children in acting, singing, and dancing. She will continue to help create access to the arts, especially for the benefit of children.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

I was looking at a lot of different arts management schools and what drew me to the Teachers College Arts Administration program was the NYC location and the way the program is designed. When I saw the ARAD program's classes, it was exactly what I needed. In this program I am receiving law, accounting, marketing, development, and management classes, and in addition to the core curriculum you're allowed to pick electives that suit your needs. Furthermore, while some schools just focus on one discipline, this program integrates all arts fields. I really like the fact that our cohort is a combination of visual arts, cultural policy, and performance arts backgrounds. Finally, being a student at Columbia gives me amazing access to other Columbia schools and departments, and it is a wonderful opportunity. On a personal note, I ended up officially accepting my offer from TC after visiting on Admitted Students Day 2014 and meeting my future professors and cohort. Being able to speak with everyone and see how smart, funny, and welcoming they were made my decision very easy. I could picture myself here and saw the program as a great fit.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

My studies are helping me in two key areas that I need experience in: Development and Marketing. Not only are there core classes in these fields, but I can pick electives that go further into these topics. I plan on taking as many business classes as I can. I was a business manager for a performing arts school for two years before coming to this program and I have already learned so much that I could have used in my previous role. I know that after TC, I will have the experience, knowledge, and confidence that are crucial for this field. I also love that our professors are not only teaching us these skills, but challenge us to innovate and change the industry. They want us to become arts leaders and solve the big problems. Challenge accepted.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

Life in the ArAd community is BUSY, but worthwhile. This semester I am taking five classes, I am interning at an off-Broadway theater company, and I am one of the Co-Presidents for our student organization called Student Advocates for the Arts (SAA). I really enjoy my classes and love applying what I am learning to my current job. I also appreciate that there is a good mix of core classes spent with my fellow ArAd folks as well as elective classes in different programs. This gives me a chance to meet new people at Columbia.

Jessie Cappello (1st Year Student)

Jessie is a 2014 graduate of the University of Virginia where she majored in Art History and Economics. Last year she had the opportunity to intern at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C where she was a part of both the Education Department and the Special Events Department. While at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, she became interested in the intersection of art and education and hopes to broaden her knowledge of museum education and arts non-profit organizations. Though she has experience in arts education, she is eager to learn how the arts connect with other areas of the public sector- such as through marketing, public relations, development and event planning.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

During my final two years at the University of Virginia, I had become incredibly active in the arts - both through internship and curriculum experiences. However, I was still at a true loss of what type of career I saw myself pursuing in the larger arts arena. I was specifically drawn towards the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College because of its crucial consideration of the business, management, fundraising and law aspects of arts organizations. However, beyond these key courses I was attracted to the ability to cater my class selection towards my own interests. And above all, I knew that I would ultimately earn two educations - one from the ARAD program and another from the city in which it resides - New York City.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

While practical experience is important in the field (which is why the internship requirement is so critical), I enrolled in this degree to gain an understanding of theory and best practices in arts administration. This foundation will help me impact the direction of the field in a positive way. I also wanted to strengthen my grasp on some of the more solidly "practical" skills, such as the principles of accounting.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

Though my internships have been a crucial part of my experience, both prior to and during the ARAD program, the curriculum has been just as valuable. Through class assignments, discussions and lectures I have been able to better understand where my interests and passions lie - what excites me and challenges me. Further, my studies have helped me better understand the practical elements that are vital to sustaining successful arts organizations.

 

Christina Daniels (1st Year Student)

Christina graduated from of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a Bachelor's of Arts in Communications and History of Art. Before Columbia, she worked in fashion PR at several elite firms on brands like Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and J. Crew. Most recently, Christina managed PR for The Standard Hotels in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. She pursued the Arts Administration program at Teachers College to gain tools for a career in planning and programming in the music festival industry.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

I was attracted to the ARAD program because of the access to unparalleled New York arts environment, the ability to take classes in Columbia's prestigious business and law schools as well as the close knit community that TC offers.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

My studies has really rounded out my previous work experience with the foundational basis for arts administration.  

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

I love life as an ARAD student especially because my cohort is so supportive from study groups to happy hours. I'm very fortunate to be able to learn with and from the ARAD community.

 

Hannah Fenlon (2nd Year Student)

Hannah graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in Drama. Before entering the Arts Administration program, she worked as a freelance producer and casting director in Chicago (founded Two Birds Casting, a casting facilitation service for theatre and commercial productions) as well as an Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Chicago. Hannah has worked with Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre and, most recently, Theatre Communications Group, with whom she planned the 2014 National Theatre Conference in San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. She is interested in creative producing for the performing arts, as well as arts entrepreneurship and community engagement in theatre.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

I've been a theatre person for a very, very long time. I recognized, however, that the ARAD program would allow me the opportunity to both enhance the theatre administration skills I had been developing (in my college program and subsequent variety of positions within the Chicago theatre community) and broaden them to include a very wide-angled perspective of the entire arts world. A healthy administrative and artistic response to the collective arts field requires administrators to be well-versed in trends and best practices across the board, not just within their chosen discipline. I was eager to jump start such a worldview, and see what it could do for my career.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

My work in the program thus far has advanced my career goals both practically and personally. Practically, I'm improving my general knowledge of the non-profit sector and the various essential engines that drive it. Personally, I'm much closer to determining my individual mission as an arts administrator. In fact, I think that has been my biggest takeaway from my first year. The program has been expansive enough and thoughtful enough to help me find my way towards determining my ideal part of an administrative whole.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

In a word: Curious. My classmates are eager to share their experiences and hear those of others. We are close not only academically, but socially and professionally as well. Being a part of this cohort certainly eased my transition to New York last fall, and continues to be something I look forward to each class.

Veronica Fischmann (2nd Year Student)

Veronica earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in English and Italian literature with a concentration in creative writing. While the written word is incredibly important to her, she also discovered concert production in college and has been interested in the intersection between community and the arts ever since. Veronica's ultimate goal is to head a multidisciplinary performing arts center. She has previous experience in development at a large, New York-based non-profit. She has also worked in multiple capacities at different festivals including Central Park SummerStage, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, and Midsummer Night Swing. Veronica is currently working on marketing initiatives for Celebrate Brooklyn!, which is a summer-long festival in Prospect Park.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

Of the arts administration degrees I considered, the program at Teachers College was the most academically rigorous. I like that there is a thesis requirement, giving us the framework to delve into a specific area of interest in the field. I also think it is important that the program integrates the performing and visual arts, as it has been my observation that the arts are trending toward a more interdisciplinary model. I am primarily interested in the performing arts, but have been able to gain insight into other areas by interacting with an academically diverse cohort.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

While practical experience is important in the field (which is why the internship requirement is so critical), I enrolled in this degree to gain an understanding of theory and best practices in arts administration. This foundation will help me impact the direction of the field in a positive way. I also wanted to strengthen my grasp on some of the more solidly "practical" skills, such as the principles of accounting.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

Student life as a member of the ARAD community is busy, but busy is not a bad thing. I have been living in New York City since completing my undergraduate degree, and thought that I had a pretty good understanding of the arts-related things that are happening here. By being a member of a cohort of similar-minded people, I not only have a group of contemporaries with whom I can discuss the latest arts news, but I also have a network of people who constantly share different things to see and do in this city.

Lawrence Haynes (1st Year Student)

Lawrence is a 2013 graduate of The University of Nottingham, majoring in Law. His primary focus is theatre, with an emphasis in producing musical theatre. Lawrence was recently engaged as producer and musical director of a very successful city-wide theatrical production that had never been done before in the UK, paving the way for other performing arts organisations. While attending university, Lawrence ran weekly classes teaching musical theatre singing and performance. He has previously worked as an actor and script contributor, with a recent production feature as "Pick of the Fringe" at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Lawrence is pursuing a career in theatrical production and management.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

I was attracted to Teachers College not only because of the academic excellence associated with the University, but for the diverse range of learning opportunities for a career in the arts. Arts Administration is particularly excellent because I saw that I could learn and cultivate best practice amongst management of all forms of art. I love that there is a smaller cohort, I feel that I can easily make good friends, network with like-minded individuals, and learn in a pragmatic environment.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

The studies cover many facets of managing the arts, from a not for profit and a commercial point of view. Learning best practices from a spectrum of visual to performing arts is an incredible way to build a "tool kit" and be inspired to adapt practices relative to your professional field by being informed of those in another. The classroom atmosphere is the perfect learning environment. Everyone in the cohort contributes equally through discussions and group work, enabling an excellent, holistic way to learn and understand your chosen field and others.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

We are encouraged to work hard, network, and think pragmatically about our future. The professors help us think inventively and imaginatively to benefit the future of our chosen professions, whilst leaving room for practical application and thorough discussion. The best part is that the professors really want you to succeed! They are always there for you to advise your academic growth. Not forgetting- everyone on the course is in the same boat as you. They love what they do and are excited to learn. It's a great place to meet lifelong friends and develop a robust professional network.

 

Nana Yu I Lee (2nd Year Student)

Prior to joining the Arts Administration program, Nana Lee was an Account Executive with Compass Public Relations - an affiliate of Burson-Marsteller. Her experiences in corporate communications and public relations have developed into a wider interest in cross-sector collaboration in the visual arts -- dedicated to education, programming, and engagement in art museums and other cultural institutions. Currently, she is exploring social entrepreneurship and social empowerment at Groundswell's flagship Summer Institute Leadership-program (SLI) as communications intern.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

The Program in Arts Administration at Teachers College, Columbia University distinguishes itself by combining dynamic interdisciplinary approaches to the academic study of this field, providing a novel, birds-eye perspective on the international art world.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

By applying an integrated focus on both performing and visual arts, the program corresponds to contemporary developments across several creative artistic sectors. Through my studies, I have gained an analytical and deeper understanding of the US non-profit art ecology.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

Student life in the ARAD program provides access to some sizable advantages, namely: engaging with a talented and academically resourceful cohort, which, while being professionally like-minded, are diverse in interests.

Brittany Locke (1st Year Student)

Brittany graduated from Brown University with a BA in the History of Art and Architecture. She then chose to pursue her Juris Doctorate degree at Boston College Law School, where she graduated this past spring. Looking to satisfy her creative interests while in law school, Brittany interned as a Rights and Permissions assistant at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and as a program manager for the Illuminations art exhibition program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. She also held multiple roles, including Studio Director, at The Academy of Artistic Performance Performing Arts School in Massachusetts. As a result of her experiences, Brittany is interested in the managerial side of both the visual and performing arts, as well as the role that art plays in comfort and healing. She sees an incredible crossover between her educational background and her artistic interests and is interested in pursuing the connection further.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

I think the better question is, "what didn't attract me to the program?"! Having spent the last three years in law school, I was looking for the best way to transition into the art world. I had just gained this incredible body of knowledge that I knew would be invaluable, but I needed to further learn how to cross over, and this program was the best way for me to do that! Working with the incredible administration and a group of intelligent, driven, and focused people who shared my passions seemed like an unbelievable opportunity. I saw the program as a path to where I want to end up in terms of my career, and I have to admit, I have not been disappointed!

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

Everything that I have learned thus far has truly opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that the art world can provide. Each day I feel like I discover another road that I might want to travel down! However, at the same time, the program really provides a sense of direction that I, personally, feel is an incredible asset. While I am able to explore and discover, I am also provided with the proper knowledge to ground me and equip me with a set of necessary skills that I am not sure I would have been able to acquire elsewhere.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

Life as a member of the ARAD community is INCREDIBLE! At least once a day I find myself in awe of the people that I am learning from and with. The program is made up of a truly special, passionate group of people, and I think that that helps make the program so unique. Not only are you being provided with a world class education, you are being given the opportunity to make connections with people that, one day, will be change-makers in the field!

 

Molly McDonald (1st Year Student)

Molly earned her undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University where she studied English and Dance. Prior to entering the Arts Administration program, she held internships with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Winston-Salem Symphony, Boston Ballet School, and Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. Additionally, she has choreographed for Gem City Ballet and Wake Forest University Dance Company. Currently, Molly is interning with The George Balanchine Trust and the New York Choreographic Institute at New York City Ballet. Molly is interested in marketing and development within dance companies, as well as creative structures for supporting choreographers.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

This program is the perfect combination of excellent academics and a location in a city brimming with arts opportunities. I have always wanted to work for a dance company, and no other city has more dance-related opportunities and connections. Coming to Teachers College, I wanted to take advantage of the program's connection with Columbia Business School, to learn alongside MBA students with a business and numbers-driven mindset, while also taking courses within the program that operate with an arts and non-profit focus. One of my concerns about entering graduate school immediately after completing my undergraduate degree was that I would simply learn more theory without hands-on work experience, but this program encourages students to intern, volunteer, and continuously connect with arts organizations in New York City. In the first semester, we had the opportunity to do two consulting projects developing strategic marketing plans for real arts organizations, allowing us to transfer our studies to the real callenges we will face as arts administrators.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

The program has truly challenged me to think critically and creatively about the future of dance. I love how our coursework gives us opportunities to develop innovative ideas focused on programming, marketing, and audience engagement, all areas critical to the future of the arts. My studies within the program are pushing me to become a forward-thinking leader in a dance organization with the ability to create big ideas and execute them in an organized and logical way.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

Getting to know everyone in my cohort has been one of the best aspects of the ARAD program. Hearing from my classmates about their diverse backgrounds in the arts has greatly enhanced my education and has led to fascinating discussions both inside and outside the classroom. I always try to come to class at least twenty minutes early, because I know the majority of the class will be there to chat. I love our cohort's enthusiasm to spend time together outside of the classroom, either by attending arts events and discussions or simply catching up over dinner. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of such a talented and supportive group of students.

 

Elizabeth Metts (1st Year Student)

Elizabeth is a 2013 graduate of Princeton University, where she majored in art history and wrote her senior thesis on the community-based mural movement in the United States since 1930. Previously, she has interned with the Mayor's Mural Crew in Boston and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This past year, she taught 3rd and 4th grade at Community Day Arlington Elementary School, a turnaround charter school in Massachusetts. Currently, Elizabeth is working for a third time with No Longer Empty, a NYC-based public art nonprofit that seeks to make contemporary art more accessible through site-specific exhibitions and public programming. There she works for the Director of Education on educational programming and development. She also holds an internship with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, where she works in the Institutional Development department on grant prospect research, proposals, and reports. After graduating from the Arts Administration program, she hopes to pursue a career in arts education policy in D.C.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

I was attracted to the ARAD Program at Teachers College because of various opportunities the program curriculum provides. TC's partnerships with Columbia Business School and Columbia Law School have been invaluable to supplementing my arts administration courses at TC by providing me with additional perspectives and skills that I can use as an arts administrator after graduation.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

Given my interest in pursuing a career in arts education policy, being able to take classes in the Education Policy and Social Analysis department, as well as through the Center for Public Research and Leadership, have allowed me to write about arts advocacy and arts integration issues from a policy and legal standpoint, both of which I will need if I end up in D.C.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

As a member of the ARAD community, my student life has been great. Though TC is technically the biggest graduate school, it feels like the smallest. I'm always running into members of my cohort in the Zankel hallway or in the ARAD Office. Additionally, because of the ARAD cohort model, the members of my cohort are really close. We are always hanging out outside of class and even have trouble quieting down during class! I have learned so much from my cohort, given that the ARAD program at TC is unique in how it brings together both visual and performing arts administrators from all over the world rather than keeping us separated by artistic interest.

Student Advocates for the Arts has also played a big role in my time here at TC. I joined in the fall and looked forward to talking about arts policy issues at our monthly meetings. I am now one of the co-presidents and am always working to make the group more visible and get more ARADers involved in both our advocacy discussions and social events!

 

Katherine O'Connor (2nd Year Student)

Katherine is interested in the visual arts with a focus on museum education and audience engagement strategies. Previously, she worked in the education department at the J. Paul Getty Museum where she managed programs for family audiences. She recently held an internship at the Whitney Museum of American Art, working on public programs for adult audiences.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

I was attracted to the program because I was impressed with the curriculum and excited to take advantage of the tremendous resources across Columbia University and in New York City. Another selling point was that the program encompasses both visual and performing arts. My background is in the visual arts and I wanted to broaden my perspective by learning about the world of performing arts as well.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

I was at a point in my career where I loved the path I was going on, but knew there were specific management and business skills that I needed in order to progress to the next level. With its blend of theory and practice, the ARAD program is helping me become a stronger critical thinker and providing me with the skillset I was looking for.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

I love life as a member of the ARAD community! Because of the cohort experience, ARADers are a close-knit group and develop strong personal and professional relationships. There are also opportunities to get involved with the program on deeper levels and take on leadership roles for special projects, like the management of social media platforms, developing panel sessions, and becoming a student mentor for the incoming class.

Jennifer Patten (1st Year Student)

Jennifer graduated from Boston College with a B.A. in English and Music. She also holds an M.M. from Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music. Prior to joining the Arts Administration program, she served in the pilot Rhode Island Teach for America Corps and was hired as the founding 7th grade humanities teacher at the Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA) in Providence. Emerging as a teacher-leader, Jennifer led arts integration initiatives with fellow academic instructors and artists-in-residence, crafting the trajectory of the school's curriculum. After two years in the classroom, she became the Director of Curriculum Integration, formalized the school's approach to arts-integrated education, oversaw all curriculum development, and lead the school as a member of the administrative team.

Jennifer is an avid cellist and serves as a freelance performer and tutor.  Also trained in contemporary, modern, and jazz dance, she has led after school programs in the Providence area.  Passionately dedicated to the arts and education, she actively seeks to intertwine these disciplines in both her life and professional philosophy.  At Teachers College, Jennifer continues to research novel approaches to audience engagement and educational outreach and currently holds a Graduate Assistantship in the Art and Art Education department, actively contributing to the development of a Creative Technologies Concentration project.  She also serves as the Education Intern at the Martha Graham Dance Company where she is working to develop a comprehensive curriculum portfolio for the Martha Graham School.  Ultimately, Jennifer aims to pool her diverse experiences in performance, curriculum, integration, scholarship, and teaching to innovate educational and community initiatives in the arts.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

Teachers College, Columbia University presented me with an unparalleled opportunity to explore my two great passions in the arts and education. I was drawn to the program in Arts Administration because of its situation within a leading graduate school of education, location at the heart of the arts and entertainment industry, and its approach to the program curriculum. With opportunities to study at the Columbia Business School as well as cross register in the university network, I knew my education at TC would be rich and comprehensive. Furthermore, the ARAD program's emphasis on learning in the field through internship experiences was compelling.  My internship at the Martha Graham Dance Company has allowed me to see a direct application of my academic studies to further enhance my education in the field. I also found TC's faculty and students inspiring, enthusiastic, and supportive, and that community played a large role in my decision to enroll.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

Prior to enrolling at TC, I learned a great deal through experience as an administrator at a public charter school.  Learning on the job, although a tremendous education in and of itself, can be limited, and upon commencing my studies at TC I was able to contextualize my previous experience through a new lens.  My studies thus far have provided me with the comprehensive training to informatively make decisions as an administrator in the arts.  Analyzing different case studies, accessing an elaborate network of arts organizations, and learning the nuts and bolts of arts administration are invaluable and have already served to enhance my prior knowledge.  I feel equipped with the confidence to successfully enter the field thanks to both my prior work experience and my academic studies.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

Of all the many wonderful aspects of the TC program, my cohort is one of the most important and shapes my overall student life experience.  To be surrounded by 26 other highly motivated, intelligent, unique, and engaging individuals has been a true highlight of my time in the ARAD program.  Not only do my colleagues serve as academic forces that inspire me to consistently improve my practice, but they are also a network of friends on whom I can call for support, ideas, and, in general, great memories.

Living on campus has also heightened my student life experience as the many excellent facilities of Columbia University are across the street and the residential programs have led me to meet many wonderful people outside my program as well.  Morningside Heights is full of little shops, eateries, parks, and with easy access to the 1 line, the rest of Manhattan is just a train ride away.  It is an excellent place to learn, study, work, live, and thrive.

Maria del Pilar Riofrio (2nd Year Student)

Pilar graduated with a B.A. in History and Cultural Management from the University of Piura. Prior to entering the Arts Administration program, Pilar was the Coordinator of Museums and Education Programs at the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima in Peru where she coordinated projects such as "The Museum at Night" in Lima. Currently she holds an internship at the UNESCO office in New York where she is exploring international cultural policies. Her interests range from visual arts, museum education and strategic planning in arts organizations, to cultural policy and the role of culture in development.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

Several aspects of the program were attractive to me. I liked the curriculum and the vision of the program, particularly the integration of both visual and performing arts. Additionally, I was drawn to the fact that we can enroll in courses at the Business and Law Schools. Another huge plus is the great quantity of electives that one can take, which allows me to shape my studies according to my interests. I was also excited by internship opportunities and exploring the arts scene in New York City, while expecting the highest academic experience at Columbia University.

 

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

Enormously. So far it's been a year of intensive learning that has strengthened my previous skills, and developed new ways of approaching about the art world and the role of arts administrators. On one hand, the business courses opened a whole new way of thinking in administrative terms and gave me practical marketing and managing skills. On the other hand, arts related courses took me back to research, helping me to delve deeper into my topics of interest.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

The graduate life at the ARAD community goes beyond rigorous academics. There are always incentives to get to know each other outside the classrooms -- whether it's at happy hours, or more formal events like the Distinguished Speaker series that aim to connect us with what experts are doing in the field. There are also student groups and many things to get involved in on campus, and in the city; but the key is to make the most of it according to your interests. I also enjoy the life inside the classroom because listening to so many different perspectives from such a talented cohort is always an enlightening and inspiring experience.

Melissa Sayer (1st Year Student)

Melisa is a 2014 graduate of University of Virginia. She majored in Art History and Drama. She held internships with The Coca-Cola Company, Second Street Gallery, Ash Lawn Opera and Freeman`s Auctioneers. She is interested in how arts could solve political and diplomatic issues and problems among different countries. She is also interested in pursuing a career at an auction house or a corporate collection with a focus in art handling and curating.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

Being in New York City and a great institution, the Arts Administration Program at TC was a great fit for me. In addition to its strong academics, being in a city that is full of arts institutions would give me the opportunity to educate myself both inside and outside classroom. That is how I decided to be a part of Arts Administration Program.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

Learning extensive businesses skills are helping me to be a successful manager and at the same time, the elective classes that I am taking are encouraging me to challenge myself.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

Everyday, I challenge myself and learn something different. Through my elective classes, I got the opportunity to learn about different fields. In addition, through discussions that I engage with my classmates, I had the opportunity to learn from their experiences too, which I found to be very beneficial. Student life as a member of the ARAD community is very enjoyable.

 

Tatiana Stola (1st Year Student)

Tatiana graduated with Pi Kappa Lambda honors from Boston University in 2014, where she studied French Horn Performance and Arts Leadership. Additionally, she spent one semester abroad at the Royal College of Music in London, UK. Tatiana worked in the business office of BU's College of Fine Arts, developing an interest in strategic planning in arts organizations. Prior to joining the Arts Administration program, she held an internship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Education & Community Engagement department. Her work focused on analyzing constituent demographics, as well as their evaluations of the department's programs. Tatiana is currently interning in the Department of Public Programming at Lincoln Center, working on Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. She seeks to combine her interests in programming, data analysis, and strategic planning in an executive leadership position at a musical organization.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

I was looking for a program with a strong, interdisciplinary core curriculum that still allowed for personalization, and the Program in Arts Administration at Teachers College featured that unique model. I was also drawn to the small group of incredibly talented and passionate arts leaders, and wanted to become part of that community.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

I am acquiring practical knowledge, including the principles of financial accounting and fundraising, while increasing my capacity for creative thinking. By exploring the many elements of arts administration and maintaining relevance in the field of music, I am confident that I will enter the professional world with innovative perspectives that will allow both the art and the organization to flourish.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

The ARAD community is constantly inspiring me to immerse myself in all that Columbia and New York City have to offer, which is the best situation I can imagine as an aspiring arts administrator.

Alyssa Yuen (1st Year Student)

Alyssa graduated in 2011 from the University of Mississippi with BAs in International Studies and Chinese. Before entering the Arts Administration program, she worked for AmeriCorps VISTA at the University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses, focusing on educational outreach in northwestern Mississippi and grant writing. She then continued her time there as the Membership, Events, and Communications Coordinator.  Alyssa is currently working at Teachers College as their Donor Relations intern and at Art in General as their Development and Special Events intern.  After graduating from the Arts Administration program, she hopes to pursue a career in development for either a visual or performing arts organization.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

When looking into graduate school programs, I wanted to find a program that has a well-rounded curriculum, strong sense of community, and diverse student community.  I was particularly attracted to the Arts Administration program at Teachers College, Columbia University because of it is one of the few graduate schools that concentrates on public management, non-profits, accounting, and art law, which better prepares me for diverse opportunities in the job market.  Since TC is affiliated with Columbia,  I have access to all the resources Columbia, the Business School, the Law School, Barnard, as well as SIPA have to offer.  Furthermore, living in New York City is full of opportunities for networking, internships, and jobs.  You have the chance to experience and have access to some of the most innovative policies, practices, and arts administrators.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

The first year of the program offers a diverse course load, which has been opening my eyes to various job opportunities such as consulting and policy work.  All the teachers encourage the students to experience the arts through projects and interviews, which give us a better understanding of current practices, policies, and projects.  They frequently have guest speakers in class to let us hear first-hand how these arts administrators are changing the field.  One of the things I love about our teachers and classes is how they challenge us to be innovative, not to be complacent and follow the status quo.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

I knew I made the right decision to come to Teachers College, Columbia University after meeting my classmates and the other members of the ARAD community. My cohort is extremely close, both personally and professionally. There are numerous opportunities to become involved with the ARAD community - whether it is through Students Advocates for the Arts (SAA), happy hours, or Distinguished Speaker Events.  Both inside and outside of the classroom, the ARAD community has made my first year exhilarating, thought-provoking, and rewarding.  The cohort's background and interests are so diverse, which has made classroom discussions exciting.  You never know what to expect, but you are never disappointed!

 

Sarah Zegree (1st Year Student)

Sarah graduated with honors from Western Michigan University in 2013, where she majored in Music Education. She has held several positions as an accompanist, music educator, piano teacher, arranger, audio engineer, and music director for schools, and will have two choral arrangements published this year. Sarah is a pianist and singer, and continues to freelance in New York City. Her ambition lies in domestic and international arts organizations and festivals, arts advocacy, and accessibility of arts education. Sarah is currently interning with Manhattan Concert Productions (www.mcp.us) in development, and Music First (www.musicfirst.com) as a content and lesson creator.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University?

The diversity in the curriculum and the students. I was drawn to the fact that the program features performing and visual arts and that is represented by the students and faculty. It's important to remember that the arts world is bigger than our individual specialties. In a lot of ways, everyone in the program has a different interest, but one that is grounded in a passion for the arts. It has allowed me to expand my mind and worldview. The fact that New York City holds endless opportunities for students and young professionals might have influenced my decision as well!

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals?

The coursework is rigorous, but still allows for internships and experiences outside the program. I can cater my two years here to fit my needs exactly and help me develop a path for the future. There is also a fantastic mix of theoretical learning and practical experiences within the core courses that compliment each other. Finally, the "cohort" which with I graduate, in addition to the alumni of the program, is an instant network. I've already benefitted from the ARAD network in my time here.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community.

It's hard to describe how wonderful life is in the ARAD community. Everyone in my cohort seemed to really bond right away. I think it's pretty rare to find a group of people that not only challenges each other academically and mentally, but is supportive at the same time. We have a great relationship with our professors and with each other. Student Advocates for the Arts (SAA) is another great way to get to know people, in that it includes students from both years as well as other majors.