Meet Our 2016 Faculty

Hines, Jordan

Jordan Hines (Architecture + Design) - Chair

Jordan Hines is an architectural designer living in Lexington, Kentucky. After years of practicing architecture in Houston, Louisville, and Lexington, Jordan is currently a faculty member at the University of Kentucky College of Design in the School of Architecture where he teaches first and second year design studios and is co-coordinator of the Design Discovery Program. He is co-founder of Informal Office, a small research and design firm. Jordan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Masters in Architecture.


Mark Richards (Architecture + Design)

Mark Richards received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture at the University of Kentucky and a Master of Architecture from Pratt Institute. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY. he is a freelance designer & Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt. Mark has worked with architecture and industrial design students in Kentucky, New York, New Jersey, and Paris, FR.

Bernitt, Dan

Dan Bernitt (Creative Writing) - Chair

Dan Bernitt is an American author, playwright, and performer, whose worked has been performed in venues across the United States, as well as in Ireland and Italy. His books, Dose: Plays & Monologues and Phi Alpha Gamma, were named finalists for the Lambda Literary Award.


Mitchell L.H. Douglas (Creative Writing)

Mitchell L. H. Douglas is a cofounder of the Affrilachian Poets and Associate Professor of English at IUPUI. He is the author of two poetry collections: \blak\ \al-fə bet\ , winner of the Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor's Choice Award, and Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem, an NAACP Image Award nominee. A Louisville native, he lives in Indianapolis.


Lawson, Shayla_2016 Facult Pic

Shayla Lawson (Creative Writing)

Shayla Lawson is the author of three poetry collections: A Speed Education in Human Being (Sawyer House Press, 2013), the chapbook PANTONE (MIEL Books, 2016), & the forthcoming I Think I’m Ready to See Frank Ocean (Saturnalia Books, 2018).  She attended GSA in 1999 and returned as faculty in 2013 where she has served both chair and faculty positions in Creative Writing. She is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and teaches poetry for Literary Arts in Portland, OR and Mississippi University for Women.


Theresa Bautista (Dance)

Theresa Bautista is the founder and co-producer of Moving Collective, a contemporary dance company based in Louisville, KY. She teaches at several dance studios and is adjunct faculty at the UK Department of Theatre and Dance and the U of L School of Music. She recently presented her work, Go Round, at the Regional Alternative Dance Festival in Michigan.

Conner, Ariadne

Ariadne Conner (Dance) - Chair

Ariadne Conner spent her youth studying with many pre-professional schools across the country including Ballet Chicago, School of American Ballet, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.  She concluded her performing years with the Richmond Ballet.  Following this time she began choreographing and co-founded Charlottesville Ballet.  Currently she is the founder of Fleur-De-Lis Academy of Ballet and Tulira Teacher Training Academy.


Ila M Conoley Paladino (Dance)

Ila has BA in Dance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and MFA in Dance from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Ila is a choreographer, instructor, and occasionally a performer. Ila has taught and been a guest choreographer at several institutions including Pikes Peak Community College, University of Texas El Paso, University of Kentucky, Ormao Dance Company, The Moving Collective, Flatlands Dance Theater, and Savannah State University. She is a freelance artist and director/choreographer of ICONography Dance.


Bill Caise (Drama)

Bill's is glad to be back at GSA. Over the last year Bill has lead a Research Tour to Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery, Alabama researching the Civil Rights Movement. This research was used to create: #crossing the bridge: SELMA 2 FERGUSON, a show which explored the intersection of the historical and current civil rights movements. Bill was Also honored to play Dean Hernandez in the Purdue premiere of Kirsten Greenidge's BALTIMORE.


Havens, Julane

Julane Havens (Drama)

Julane Havens is the Associate Artistic Director for Walden Theatre/ Blue Apple Players in Louisville, where she has directed over 20 productions including Walden’s first productions of Shakespeare’s Henry IV parts 1 & 2. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri, Kansas City/ Kansas City Rep.


Bo List (Drama) - Chair

Bo List, a native Kentuckian, is a proud graduate of the Universities of Kentucky and Memphis Departments of Theatre and Dance (BA, 2000 and MFA 2003, respectively). A playwright, director, educator, and producer, he serves as Producing Artistic Director of AthensWest Theatre Company and Director of Theatre at Sayre School.

Rich Byrd

Richard Byrd (Instrumental Music) - Chair

Richard Byrd is Professor of Theory/Composition at Eastern Kentucky University and trumpeter with the EKU Faculty Brass Quintet. He is an active performer, teacher, composer/arranger and writer. He can be heard on the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra CDs Quotient and Off the Charts and his solo CD Portrait of a Trumpet.

Nancy Campbell

Nancy Campbell (Instrumental Music)

Nancy Campbell teaches at the School for Creative and Performing Arts and serves as Orchestra Content Specialist in Lexington. She held leadership positions in both Kentucky Music Educators and the American String Teachers’ Association. She conducts two of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras and co-directs Lexington’s Original Viola Ensemble.

James Corcoran

James Corcoran (Instrumental Music)

James R. Corcoran Jr., Associate Professor of Music at University of the Cumberlands, serves as instrumental faculty, percussion, for the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts.  He is a free-lance musician in Kentucky and the surrounding region, is active with the Percussive Arts Society and is sponsored by Innovative Percussion.


Doug Drewek

Doug Drewek (Instrumental Music)

Dr. Doug Drewek is the Jazz Ensemble Director and Instructor of Saxophone and Clarinet at Centre College.  He has played with a wide variety of ensembles including DiMartino-Osland Jazz Orchestra, The North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, The North Carolina Symphony, The Lexington Philharmonic, the Temptations and Aretha Franklin.

Don Speer

Donald Speer (Instrumental Music)

Pianist Donald Speer has traveled throughout the US and Europe as a collaborative artist, including performances in England, France and Italy. He has just returned from a performance at the Canadian Flute Festival in Toronto, and will travel to Madrid later this summer to perform for the International Clarinet Association. In addition to his collaborative work with GSA faculty and other well-known artists, Dr. Speer has maintained an active performing and teaching schedule at Western Kentucky University for the last 24 years.

Sharon Kinnison

Sharon Kinnison (Musical Theatre)

Sharon Kinnison offers a twenty-year career as an actor, singer, director, educator and writer. She is currently the Fine Arts Chair at Louisville Collegiate School. Her regional and national stage acting and directing credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Stage One, Music Theatre Louisville, Valley College Center Repertory Company, Miry Productions, Diablo Light Opera Company, North Bay Opera and Contra Cost Musical Theatre.

Donna Richards

Donna Richards (Musical Theatre) – Chair

Donna Richards has a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the Los
Angles School of Performing Arts at UCLA. Donna lived in New York for 12 years where
she performed and traveled with various Broadway shows such as “Chicago,” “Cabaret,” “West Side Story,” “A Chorus Line,” “42nd Street,” “Oklahoma,” and “Showboat.” She is currently working on projects that are site base choreographic pieces dealing with the science of climate change and the environment.

Shirar, Ryan

Ryan Shirar (Musical Theatre)

Ryan Shirar, is a NYC-based music director hailed as "exceptionally versatile" by the NY Times.  He is a conductor, pianist, and arranger whose recent performances include Broadway, Carnegie Hall, Aspen Music Festival, NY Philharmonic, and the prestigious Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, where he made his international conducting debut last month.   


Margaret Fenton (New Media) – Chair

Margaret Fenton is a documentary photographer and adventurer currently based in the United Kingdom. In her documentary multimedia work, she focuses primarily on non-profits in the USA and abroad. Margaret has worked with youth in India, Hong Kong and Australia in recent years and is a current Rotary International World Peace Fellow. She holds undergraduate degrees in anthropology and French from Centre and in photojournalism from Western Kentucky University. Her favorite Kelvin combination is 3,200 and 28,000.   

Parker, Kiley

Kiley Parker (New Media)

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kiley Parker is an award winning producer, writer and director. In 2013 she graduated from the University of Colorado of Boulder with a degree in Journalism and Political Science. Shortly after graduation she moved to Telluride, Colorado and ran the production department at the New York based company, PLUM TV, where she created several shows for broadcast and hosted the live weekend morning show. Kiley’s passion for long form storytelling and journalism led her back to Kentucky where she produced and directed several documentaries for Kentucky Educational Television. In 2010, Kiley co-founded ParkerLane, LLC, a media production, marketing and consulting firm that specializes in digital media programming, documentary and independent film. She’s worked as an assistant director on the feature film Red River Moon, UMP and Associate Producer on Runoff and Producer and UMP on Beauty Mark. Under her company name, Kiley produced and directed the documentary feature, Raising Ms. President, about why women don’t run for office, as well as the short film The Baby Shower, which was the winner of the 2015 Short Screenplay Competition at the L.A. Comedy Festival. Kiley resides in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband and young daughter.   

Sarah. Hahn

Sarah Hahn (Visual Art)

Sarah Hahn received her BFA with a concentration in drawing and ceramics from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2008 and her MFA with an emphasis in ceramics from the University of Kentucky in 2013. Currently she splits her time between Columbus, OH and Danville, KY.  She is a member of ArtAxis, ROY G BV Contemporary Art Gallery, Ohio Designer Craftsman and the Columbus Art League.   Sarah is a Professor of ceramics at Centre College where she enjoys teaching students to get their hands dirty.  In addition to teaching, Sarah exhibits her work regionally, nationally and internationally.


Susie Harrison

Susan Harrison (Visual Art)

Susan Harrison is a mixed-media and installation artist, currently serving as an exhibiting member and administrative co-director of Pyro Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky. Harrison is also managing director of Brick Street Studios, a cooperative studio/ workshop space in development in New Albany, Indiana.

Bobby Scroggins

Bobby Scroggins (Visual Art)

Bobby Scroggins is an associate professor in the ceramics program at The University of Kentucky. He received his B.A. at the Kansas City Art Institute and his M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Scroggins’ ceramic vessels and mixed media sculptures have been featured in exhibitions throughout the United States, China and in parts of Europe. Most recently, he was commissioned to create two heroic scale bronze busts of Generals Benjamin O. Davis and Noel Parrish of U.S. Army Air Corps Tuskegee Airmen fame. The sculptures are now on permanent display at The Aviation Museum of Kentucky.

Annabelle Williams

Annabelle Williams (Visual Art) - Chair

A native of Goodnight, Kentucky. Annabelle received her Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Kentucky where she stayed on to teach for seven years. Annabelle has been the painting and drawing instructor for the Governor`s School for the arts since 2002. She has assisted and instructed art workshops within the prison system in south western Kentucky. Annabelle is an honored part of the pilot program Rising Artists in eastern Kentucky. Apart from teaching her paintings and drawings have been in numerous regional and local shows as well as the international show “The Nude” and receiving awards for some.

Arnold, Shareese

Shareese Arnold (Vocal Music)

The Herald Times described her voice as “rhapsodic splendor.” Shareese Arnold is a recipient of the Ursula Springer Endowment Award from the Wagner Society of New York and a 2015 Met winner for Kentucky. She is working toward her DMA at the UK and on faculty at Berea College.

Brittany. Benningfield

Brittany Benningfield (Vocal Music)

Brittany Benningfield (GSA 2001 - Vocal Music) is a doctoral candidate in vocal performance at the University of Kentucky where she performed leading roles in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro and Verdi's Falstaff. Brittany is an adjunct faculty member at Transylvania University, and also teaches private voice.

DeVizio, Claire

Claire DiVizio (Vocal Music)

Soprano, Claire DiVizio received her BM in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan and her MM in Vocal Performance from the University of Louisville. A three time winner in the Michigan District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. DiVizio’s roles in the standard operatic repertory include Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Giorgetta (Il Tabarro), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), the Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro), and Leonora (Il Trovatore). Ms. DiVizio,  is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Thompson Street Opera Company, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary operatic woks. Founded in 2011, the TSO just completed its triumphant 6th season!


Barry Lawrence (Vocal Music)

Barry Lawrence has studied at the University of Louisville and Indiana University. Internationally, he has performed Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in England, France, Italy, Holland, Japan, Iceland, Yugoslavia, Poland, Austria and Germany. He has toured nationally in productions of Jerome Kern’s Showboat and Menotti’s Amahl and The Night Visitors. Mr Lawrence was a student of Nicola-Rossi Lemeni and Virginia Zeani.

Eleanor McClellan

Eleanor McClellan (Vocal Music)

Eleanor McClellan has performed on stage and in recital on three Continents. She received an M.M. from the University of Louisville, completed course work towards the D.M.A. at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and has studied in France and Italy. Currently she is Music Library Specialist and Vocal Studies Faculty at the University of North Alabama.


A.T. Simpson (Vocal Music) – Chair

Dr. Alexander T. Simpson Jr. is an Associate Professor at Bellarmine University, the Artistic Director of Black Classical Artists of Louisville and the President of Kentuckiana Branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians. He received his doctorate from the University of Kentucky, has been GSA’s Choral Director since 1996 and a GSA Voice Faculty member since the program’s 2nd year.


Michael Spears (Program Counselor)

Michael Spears has a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling certification. He is an alumni of Brescia University, Saint Catharine College and Eastern Kentucky University. Mike has worked with high school students in a variety of environments including serving as the GSA coordinator for Boyle County High School. A native of Lexington, Mike lives in Danville with his wife and three children.

Pickins, Harry

Harry Pickens(Artist-in-Residence)

Harry Pickens is an internationally recognized jazz pianist who has performed in 17 countries on four continents with hundreds of legends in the jazz world, including Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, James Moody, and more. He is the 2009 Recipient of the Kentucky Governor’s Award for the Arts in Education, the state's highest honor in the creative and performing arts, a four-time-winner of the LEO Reader’s Choice Award for Best Jazz Musician, and Artist-In-Residence for the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. A Kentucky Educational Television documentary about Harry, In the Garden of Music, recently received a regional Emmy Award. A 2010 recipient of Leadership Louisville’s ‘Connector’ designation signifying trusted community leadership, he currently serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for New Initiatives at the University of Louisville. As a professional musician, speaker, teacher, and consultant, Harry Pickens uses the power of sound, story, and song to help individuals and organizations get 'in tune' with their greatest possibilities. His inspiring and unique performances, ‘keynote concerts’ and workshops have touched the lives of over 250,000 people over the past 25 years. .