Executive Board of Directors
David Sidwell, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Executive Board of Directors; Curriculum and Assessment Committee, Programs Committee
Shakespeare said: “All the world is a stage”— It’s true.
I have devoted my life and his professional expertise to making the show of life grand and worthwhile in the various institutions for whom he has worked. I am not content to simply have a job; I want a cause to fight for. As a talented leader, I am expert in a wide variety of fields, his diverse skills fed by enthusiasm, creativity, communication and the arts.
- Public Programs: designed a wide variety of programs, most of which have been revenue-producing.
- Event Planning: directed and planned over 100 events and many conferences.
- Public Relations: written hundreds of press releases • many television and radio appearances • designed dozens of ads for different media.
- Educational Programming & Curriculum Development:designed effective learning materials for many organizations: StarHouse Discovery Center, American West Heritage Center, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, and others.
- Strategic Planning: skilled at helping organizations visualize the future, and then make goals to get there.
- Organizational Storytelling: a professional storyteller himself, he knows the power of story in organizations.
- Arts-in-Education: published papers and given many workshops on how to use the arts in learning.
- Arts-in-Business: the arts are a powerful a force in business!
- Exhibit Design: designed exhibits for a wide variety of fields from science to history to nature to the arts.
In addition to helping businesses and organizations succeed, I am an award-winning photographer and storyteller. I have been a theatre director, playwright and artist. I have also been an arts administrator and business leader as well a college professor in communications and theatre arts.
With a background that is as deep as it is wide, I enjoy using my experience to help others. Uniting my creativity with my practical backgrounds in business and education allows me to look at organizational situations with a special eye for problem-solving in unique ways that lead to motivating others to succeed.
Experienced, motivated and creative leader, artist and educator. • Deep experience designing and implementing educational programs for the public, for teachers and for students of all ages. • Special gift for engaging the public with creative and unique educational programs, events, exhibits and activities. • Skilled at educating and overseeing development of staff and volunteer training. • Strong education background and experience; nearly 20 years experience in curriculum development and over six years experience developing educational programming for museums. • Talented at teaching all ages and grade levels, and especially adept at teaching teachers and training other educators.
- Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1995; Theatre (Performance Studies), Anthropology, Education • Graduated Magna Cum Laude
- M.A., Utah State University, 1990;Theatre (Performance Studies), Education • Graduated Summa Cum Laude
- B.A., Utah State University, 1988; Theatre (Performance Studies), German minor • Graduated Magna Cum Laude
- “Change Leader” Certification, Utah Arts Council. Curriculum completed, 2010. The Change Leader Institute is a professional certification program of intensive training that focuses on effective leadership.
- Certified Interpretive Guide, National Association for Interpretation, 2008.The Certified Interpretive Guide credential is internationally recognized and requires intensive training. The training explores methods of education in a variety of settings.
Visit Dr. David Sidwell’s websites to learn more about him!
Official Website: http://david-sidwell.com
James S. Catterall, Ph.D.
Executive Chair: Curriculum & Assessment Committee; Principal Investigator
Dr. Catterall’s research focuses on the roles of the arts in human development, with an emphases on basic roles of imagery in cognition and on arts-related instructional and curriculum policies impacting teaching and learning. He is nationally known for works related to children at risk, and in recent years for his studies examining the influences of participation in the arts and learning development. Dr. Catterall also served as director of multi-year evaluation of the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, a program which pairs artist and teachers for interdisciplinary teaching. Reports of his longitudinal studies and the CAPE research can be found in the Champions of Change volume available on the Arts Education Partnership website.
Professor Catterall currently heads the Design Team for the new Riverside School for the Arts, a collaboration between the University of California at Riverside, the Riverside Community College, and the County Office of Education.
Professor Catterall holds a Ph.D. in education from Stanford University, an M.A. in public policy from the University of Minnesota, and an AB with honors in economics from Princeton University. He is founding member of both the Topanga, CA Symphony (cello) and the Topanga Brass (euphonium), both groups established in the early 1980s.
Dr. Catterall’s collaborative research on the nature of creativity is world renowned. His words describe it best, “The Centers, CRoC we call ourselves, are based in Los Angeles and London. We engage in research on child, youth, and adult creativity – what creativity is, what it leads to, and how we can inspire creativity in others.”
For a sampling of Professor Catterall’s research, visit The Centers for Research on Creativity (CRoC) at http://www.croc-lab.org
Executive Chair: Fundraising Committee; Programs Committee: Music
Nik Kolidas is a respected veteran retro rock singer, songwriter and music producer based out of NYC. He brings a lifetime of passionately absorbing the rich history of pop music into his 3rd decade of collaborating with some of music’s most heralded artists and studio musicians. His latest work as an artist involves a full length album produced on a unique vinyl CD, a string of singles & videos, while also producing a full length album featuring the pop artist “Surreala”. 2012 is expected to bring another batch of new music and some exciting collaborations.
Kolidas is also a skilled graphic artist and web developer who devotes several days a month teaching Photoshop and singing across NYC and the Hamptons, LI. He is passionate about the need for teaching artists to “fill in the blanks” for young up and coming talent who might not have the support needed to reach the top of their potential.
For more information about Nik Kolidas, please visit:
Sam Payne, M.Ed.
Curriculum and Assessment Committee, Programs Committee: Music Composition, Theater Arts, Radio Programming
As a performing artist, Sam Payne has shared the stage with rock legends Toto and Foreigner, pop stars Air Supply and Marie Osmond, and more. He has entertained as a songwriter and a jazz musician in concert halls from Bulgaria to Tokyo, and from the Will Rogers Auditorium in Dallas, Texas to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. As a radio writer and personality, he has written for popular radio programs, he directed the nation’s number one inspirational Internet radio station, YLDSR.com, and he also created and syndicated “The Radio Family Journal,” a popular radio feature on faith and family. Furthermore, he hosts “the Sounds of Sunday,” a popular weekly inspirational radio program. As a writer, Mr. Payne has authored publications for children, with a readership of some 200,000 elementary school students. His work has been adopted as core curriculum by state boards of education in Florida and Arkansas. He has also authored works of historical fiction. Mr. Payne now resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he co-directs artist development programs for independent songwriters and educators.
Music and theater have been integral aspects of Sam Payne’s life since his youth. He was born in Provo, Utah and raised in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains. The son of folk singer and actor Marvin Payne, he grew up to study jazz and theater in college after living abroad in Argentina for two years, serving an LDS mission. Mr. Payne served as a full-time teacher for his church from 1995 to 2006 and his most recent teaching experiences have been at Tuacahn (pronounced “TOO-uh-con”) High School for the Performing Arts. He holds a degree in English from Weber State University, and a Masters of Education degree from Southern Utah University. Sam Payne has recorded a growing catalog of original music, which he performs before audiences large and small. He currently co-directs artist development programs for independent songwriters and educators.
Find more information about Sam and his work at: http://www.sampayne.com
Design and Technology, Parsons The New School for Design, BA Temple University – Adjunct Faculty – Parsons The New School for Design – McCann Worldgroup, MRM Worldwide // New York, NY
Katie is an interaction designer and creative technologist living in New York City. As a Creative Technologist at MRM. She contributes to conceptual design, UX design, visual design and development of various creative digital marketing materials for clients such as Nikon, General Mills, Exxon Mobil and Verizon, lead various internal projects to expand employees’ knowledge of current technologies and inspire more creative and innovative work.
In her graduate research, Katie worked with Behavioral Tech Research, Inc. to design user experience and information architecture of web-based mobile application targeted toward recovering addicts, created detailed user flow diagrams and wireframes to demonstrate interaction on various mobile platforms.
Katie is obsessed with creating magical experiences. She sees technology as the most powerful tool for doing that because it is constantly evolving and changing. Its dynamic nature fascinates her and her work strives to share that fascination with others. Part designer, part technologist, she aims to blend complex technologies with simplistic design. She enjoys exploring the crossover between digital and physical interactions and loves rainbows and robots. Currently, she is an interaction designer and creative technologist living and working in New York City. Please visit her website for more information on Katie’s work: http://katiekoep.me/
Stuart H. Nager, M.Ed., M.A.
Curriculum and Assessment Committee, Programs Committee: Theater Arts, Fine Arts Integration
I am a creative individual with many areas of passion that I explore in my career life:
Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; Arts-In-Education Advocate; Puppeteer; Playwright; Director; Performer; Teaching Artist; Curriculum Writer; and sometimes more, as the needs arise.
As the founder and Artistic Directer of The Brothers Grinn (1995-2006), an interactive improvisational storytelling performance troupe, I was always learning how to entertain and, hopefully in our school shows, educate, to such a wide disparity of audiences. I found myself not just a well received performer but as a recognized leader of Theater Arts. That resulted in my pursuing, and achieving, two Masters of Arts degrees: a MA in Educational Theatre and a MA in Oral Traditions. Both have served me well in my ongoing journey in so many ways.
I have extended the breadth of my traditional storytelling canon, although you will still find me quite happy to improvise a tale or two. I’ve been writing more, which has led me to perform a very personal show: “everywhere I look..”, my father’s stories as a Concentration Camp survivor. His story is mixed with my perspective of such horrors still plaguing us. Look for this on the performance page.
I’ve also experienced growth in how I lead my classrooms and workshops. The basics of what I believe are always there in the way I teach: the atmosphere must be safe and non-judgmental, interactive, and a space that is open to new ideas that help explore everyone’s creative voice.
I advanced my professional Arts Administration side (after 12 years with The Brothers Grinn) with my work for the Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects. I had a great learning experience as a Professional Development Coordinator and Facilitator, and then as the Chair and Special Projects Manager for “American Voices.” I led a group of arts educators in creating Social Studies curricula that was heavily infused with Theatre Arts. “American Voices” is now a NYC Department of Education official document.
Albert Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Come with me on an imaginative journey, and lets have fun discovering the possibilities together.
Enjoy Mr. Nager’s creative education blog at http://www.bornstoryteller.wordpress.com
Susan Shatz, M.Ed.
Curriculum and Assessment Committee, Programs Committee: Fine Arts Integration
Susan Shatz, M.A. in Literacy and Language Arts, is a freelance writer, researcher, and educator with an abiding passion for education reform in the United States. She closely follows the work of Maxine Greene, (Columbia University), James Catterall, (U.C.L.A.) and Elliot Eisner, (Stanford). This educational philosophy views student engagement, self-expression, journal writing, experiential learning, and the need for imagination within curriculum as essential components of a well-rounded education in the 21st century.
Susan attended the first Project Zero Future of Learning Symposium in 2009 with Howard Gardner’s team at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Her participation at the Symposium led her to reaffirm her academic focus towards arts advocacy. While completing her final semester of graduate studies, Susan enrolled in an online course with Ford Foundation recipient Fernando Reimers, Ed.D. of Harvard, in Educational Policy. She was encouraged to pursue research about the case of the Arts in Education in the United States, on the heels of the renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2007. Her research examines the side-effects of the drastic reductions of instruction time in history, arts, language, and music currently enforced to improve lagging mathematics and English scores.
With the guidance of the Harvard Teaching Team and resources from the Project Zero staff in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, Susan revealed how arts instruction directly enhances the intellect and improves academic rigor in the Digital Age. Her thesis titled “Cultivating a Demand for the Arts” was well received and may soon be published. She subsequently participated in the first Los Angeles workshop of New York’s Lincoln Center Institute of the Arts in Education, held at the Skirball Cultural Center in LA, and attended the “Imagination Conversation” held at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica.
She holds a Basic Core Certificate in Child Development from U.C.L.A. and has completed her M.A. in Literacy and Language Arts in combination with an Elementary Education concentration from Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education. Susan is an active advocate of integrating literacy and the arts into the marginalized curriculum, community-wide arts programs and partnerships, and ways to cultivate a demand for the arts in general.
Currently, she is an active member of Emerging Arts Leaders of Los Angeles. She writes for Demand Media Studios and also writes fiction book reviews. She attended Kirkland/Hamilton College and also Hunter College (C.U.N.Y.) where she received her B.A. in Theater and Film.
David Kukoff, MFA
Curriculum and Assessment Committee, Fund Raising Committee: TV & Film – Screenwriting, Directing, Producing
Mr. David Kukoff joined the MFA faculty of Northwestern University at the onset of the 2007-2008 school year. He has since been teaching screenwriting for the MFA program. A sixteen year veteran of the entertainment industry, David Kukoff has eleven produced film and television to his name, including the production polish on the hit Nickelodeon film “Clockstoppers.” In addition to his numerous Disney-related projects, Kukoff has sold and rewritten feature film projects at every studio in town, has worked in conjunction with producers Brain Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Cinderella Man”) and Gale Anne Hurd (“The Terminator,” “The Incredible Hulk”), and has held television development deals at Twentieth Century Fox Television and Touchstone Television. He has been the subject of several features in Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and Entertainment Weekly magazine, has published two books on film and television writing, and was a featured interview on KCET’s “Life And Times Tonight” along with DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. Kukoff has also been a guest lecturer at UCLA’s prestigious Faculty Lecture Series at Lake Arrowhead, heads a yearly panel at UCLA Extension’s Writer’s Faire, and is on the board of the Writer’s Arc, a non-profit writing fellowship.
Learn more about Mr. Kukoff’s work on his IMDB profile: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0474375
Edward Carr, MBA
Curriculum and Assessment Committee; Programs Committee: Business, Music Composition
Eddie Carr earned a BA in Music and studied composing at Brigham Young University, where he was a trumpet soloist with the acclaimed “Synthesis” Jazz Ensemble. He gravitates towards those who have shared vision and creativity and those who seek synthesis in organizational leadership.
Eddie has written music for theatre and short films. As a jazz trumpeter, pianist, and member of an elite drum and bugle corps, Eddie has performed across the U.S. and Canada, in Russia, and in jazz festivals in Eastern Europe. He has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with such jazz notables as Louis Bellson, Michael Brecker, Jon Faddis, Mike Vax, Jim Widener, Nick Brignola, and Jim Manley. He taught marching bands and drum & bugle corps in Japan. He has even participated in a Christmas Eve Processional on Margarita Island in the Caribbean.
Eddie completed the MBA program at the prestigious Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis, where he focused on dual tracks of Organizational Leadership and Entrepreneurship. He was a Fellow of the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management, which provided a full-ride scholarship. Currently, Eddie writes for and performs with his own alternative rock combo, The Eddie Carr Five.
From Jazz Without Borders: http://www.jazzwithoutborders.com
Jazz Without Borders was founded by Eddie Carr, a composer, trumpet, and piano player. Eddie discovered the symphonic orchestra and the Duke Ellington Orchestra almost simultaneously at twelve years old. He has composed for all sorts of ensembles, from jazz combos and big bands to the symphony orchestra, including film scoring and theatrical projects.
Eddie has played his horn across the country, in Europe, Russia, Japan, and South America.
Eddie is also a big fan of drum & bugle corps and marching bands, and has created shows for bands and drum corps across the U.S. and in Japan.
Eddie has served as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at The Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO since 2007. Saint Louis University is consistently ranked among the top 5 Jesuit universities in the U.S. His courses include Consumer Behavior, Integrated Marketing Communications, and Marketing Research. Eddie also served as a Research Professor in 2010 at SLU’s Center for Aviation Safety Research at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology, where he researched the economic advantages of aviation safety.
Jill JaysenExecutive Chair, Finance Committee; Fund Raising Committee; Programs Committee: Theater Arts, Bullying Prevention
Zachary Stark Jones, Ph.D.
Curriculum and Assessment Committee, Programs Committee: STEM Learning, Arts, Harmony of Arts and Sciences
“Great Arts and Great Sciences share a common recognition that aesthetics govern the ultimate work. Simple, elegant principles are found at the root of all teachings, ancient and modern.” -Zachary Stark Jones
As Director of Keystone Flow, Zachary Stark Jones set to deliver a new technological approach to globally sustainable and available water purification. This novel physical process sets the stage for the development of new technologies in energy, propulsion, sensing and modeling. It serves also as a powerful catalyst for inquiry based learning for K-12 educators to utilize in their strategic instructional approaches focusing on the cultivation of original thought. Keystone flow exemplifies the harmony of thought that results when the arts and sciences converge and is integral on a number of fronts to the STEAM education model. In addition to the facilitation of teaching multidisciplinary concepts, Keystone Flow is used in the STEAM model to initiate collaborative learning of concepts relating to environmental sustainability.
Zachary’s passion for education new educational methods has been with him throughout his life, as he consistently found that traditional instructional models underserved him when compared with more challenging, intra-disciplinary contexts for engagement. This background ignited his interest in the betterment of education and is behind his work to improve the productivity, economic efficiency and environmental responsibility of technology. He has a tremendous passion for his work to humanize, or “green” technology and is so engaged in projects applied in fields from learning (software) to manufacturing and utility. He served on the Arizona committee that developed the state’s STEM curriculum standards, and advised in the development of the Herberger Academy, a model program for advanced K-12 education.
Jones concluded a body of undergraduate, multidisciplinary research at Carnegie Mellon in Arts and Human-Computer Interaction. At Arizona State University, he completed an inter-departmental graduate degree within the fields of Arts, Media and Engineering (AME). Zachary is a professional physicist, fluid, mechanical and electrical engineer. His professional work and research engages his expertise mathematics, simulation with parallel processing and fine arts practices for culturally insightful communication.
Coni Ciongoli-Koepfinger, M.A.
Curriculum and Assessment Committee, Programs Committee: Creativity, Theater Arts & Society
Coni Ciongoli-Koepfinger believes that creative energy is never lost… it just changes hands, hearts and minds. She holds an MA from Carnegie Mellon University and BA in Theatre Arts from Penn State. In addition to writing plays, art theory and course curriculum, Koepfinger teaches composition, literature, and theatre courses at various universities including Point Park and Carnegie Mellon. Her recently published play Candledancing was originally produced in 1999 with British composer, Robert Hugill. Following that collaboration, their operetta, Garrett was praised in Opera News (2001) for its performance at Hoxton Hall, London. A Post-Gazette review of her play Sideshow compared her thematic style to Twilight Zone’s master, Rod Serling. Coni has received awards from the Pittsburgh Foundation and Heinz Multicultural Arts Initiative and was named in Pittsburgh Magazine’s Excellence in the Arts Awards. Koepfinger resides in Pittsburgh with her husband Joseph, though most of her avant-garde theatre work follows her spirit, which has thrived in New York. They have two daughters: Katie, a creative technologist from Parsons School for Design and Mary, a researcher in Animal Science from Rutgers University.
Coni’s NYC productions include Coffeehouse Magik, Sleeping with Destiny, Saints in Revolt and Garrett, the Blue Giraffe, which recently won the Bay Area Festival in Sonoma. Her children’s plays, Jack and the Talkback Beanstalk and Rudolph’s Big Secret were named the most produced by its publisher Dramasource. Most recently, her piece “The Guardian” won acceptance into the 2009 Mother Daughter Monologues Anthology. Coni is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, The League of Professional Theatre Women, NYC, the Literary Manager and a Board Member of International Center for Women Playwrights /ICWP and a researcher at CUNY’s Hybrid Institute where she hopes to help bridge the gaps between the arts and humanities and technology.
Jesse SheltonResearch Officer; Assistant to Executive Director, Fundraising Committee
Jesse Shelton earned his B.S. in Philosophy and B.S. in Art from Utah State University. As a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Honors Program, he developed a tremendous appreciation for his freedom as an artist and as a citizen. For his written and artistic expression of this gratitude, Jesse received the Eccles-Jones Minority Scholarship. Jesse actively participated in multiple exhibits as an undergraduate student. A highlight of Shelton’s experience was his opportunity to collaborate with acclaimed sculptor Richard Swanson. This collaboration culminated after he lent his expertise to a unique project; Using primarily organic materials, Jesse, Swanson, and others created and developed a large scale landscape design installation.
In Jesse’s words, his “chief philosophical beliefs are wrapped up in sense-data.” Much of his art and corresponding philosophical reflections stem from work conceived and realized throughout the United States including Washington, California, Nevada, Oregon, and New York. Though as an emerging artist, his work has been displayed through juried selection, and/or sold to private collectors chiefly in Utah.
Shelton has exercised his freedom of expression by experimenting with video projection, digital manipulation and mixed-media visual artwork which utilizes his unique choice of medium of “found” objects. He is currently creating album art for local musicians in his hometown of Logan, Utah.
Shelton attributes his achievements to his studies and application in art and philosophy. He particularly credits his former professors of philosophy at Utah State University for facilitating substantial academic, social, and emotional growth through cultivation of self-discovery resulting in internalized, irrevocable, transformative learning.
It is interesting to note that although Shelton’s chosen focuses of study as an undergraduate student did not include courses in education, Jesse’s reflections fueled in him the development of his personal philosophy of education. He professes that the human process of learning should not be interpreted and practiced as being simply a means to acquire a desired end. Instead, he believes that learning should be viewed and exercised as a perpetual cycle and formal education should be considered “a launching pad for the facilitation of future learning.”
Jesse is an advocate for greater cultural appreciation for the fine arts as a necessary, integral facet of community, society and education. As a highly reflective philosopher, Shelton’s personal experiences as a student from his years in elementary school through his post graduate studies and into his professional experiences have generated in him a keen interest in the field of education. Believing firmly that the arts serve to fuel continual enrichment in both children and in adults, he is active proponent for the advancement of the arts and is a proud member of Americans for the Arts. Jesse’s particular interest in the process of life-long learning drives his advocacy for the integration of the visual and performing arts in K-12 education. He specifically cites the importance of arts education as it applies to the “conceptual economy,” a term describing the correlation between creativity, innovation, “design thinking” and economic competitiveness, particularly in the global context.
Shelton is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree with a Nonprofit Management emphasis at DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management. He enjoys spending his time engaged in activities that involve creative problem solving, research, observation, originality, politics, art, fashion, and aesthetics.
Curriculum and Assessment Committee, Fundraising Committee: Choreography and Dance
Lezlie Mogell was born on May 17 in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Livonia, Michigan. Lezlie’s first dance class was tap at age three. She studied at the dance studio Miss Harriet’s in Livonia. Mogell toured as a dancer with Cher for two years and was featured in the stage show “Dream Street.” Moreover, Lezlie appeared as a dancer in countless TV award shows and music videos. Mogell joined the cast of the immensely popular music variety TV series “Solid Gold” as a regular featured dancer in 1984 and remained on the show until the end of the 1985 season. After leaving “Solid Gold” Lezlie continued to appear in various television award shows and music videos. Among the music videos she has been featured in are Cher’s “We All Sleep Alone,” Jermaine Jackson’s “I Think It’s Love,” Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face,” and Michael Jackson’s 17-minute science fiction musical short “Captain EO.” Mogell has not only worked as a choreographer for Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, and K.C. and the Sunshine Band, but also has done the choreography for many TV commercials and episodes of the sitcom “Rags to Riches.” She pops up as a dancer in both the film “One from the Heart” and the made-for-TV movie “Breakin’ Through.”Her favorite dance subject is jazz. Mogell still continues to choreograph TV commercials, music videos, and stage shows on a regular basis.
More information about Lezlie Mogell can be found on her IMDB profile: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0595710/bio