News & Events


Fall 2014 Art Classes


Art Camp Catalog
CFAC graphic which links to the main page

Adult Art Classes

Meet Our Instructors


Program Director

Stephanie Gush is a Penn State graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in Art, with an emphasis in printmaking. Other programs that she is involved in are the Summer Children Art Camps and LateNight PennState Creative Crafts. She freelances in graphic design and illustration, paints and has experience teaching printmaking and bookmaking to both children and adults. She enjoys working with Penn State students to develop and promote art programs for all ages.

Administrative Support Assistant

Mandi Gatto is a Penn State graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in Integrative Arts, with a focus in drawing and painting. She joined the CFAC in 2006. She teaches scrapbook workshops to adults through the CFAC, and is also the Administrative Support Assistant, creating ads, maintaining email lists, and helping PSU students, staff and faculty sign up for art classes! Mandi has past experience teaching drawing/painting, pottery, and woodworking at summer camps. She enjoys doing anything crafty, including scrapbooking and card making in her free time.


Megan Brown is a senior studying Early Childhood Education at Penn State. She was an art camp instructor last summer, instructed classes in the fall, and looks forward to the spring. She aspires to become a kindergarten teacher some day and hopes to use her experiences from this summer to integrate art into her classroom. She loves to paint, read, write, take photos, go hiking, and watch movies in her spare time.

Karina Ciocca is a freshman at Penn State who intends to major in Mathematics. She learned the basics of knitting and crocheting from her great aunt when she was fifteen years old and has continued growing as a needleworker with the help of the internet. Since then, her creations have won multiple awards at county fairs all over central Pennsylvania. Knitting and crocheting are her favorite pastimes, and she’s excited to help students create works of yarn that they can be proud of.

Alexandra Coppolo is an Education major at Penn State, heading into her senior year as an undergraduate student. Having recently returned from a semester abroad in London, and visited Paris, Venice, Barcelona, Dublin, and Amsterdam,  she is eager to share her new knowledge of various arts with students. She grew up in a family of artists and has seen how particularly formative creative expression can be. She instructed art camps this past summer and classes in the fall. and looks forward to the spring.

Elaine Elledge graduated in May 2014 with a B.F.A. in printmaking from Penn State. Since her junior year she has enjoyed teaching printmaking techniques with almost every age group and in many diverse settings including internationally. Her most recent personal work has been a set of woodcut portraits.

Rafael Izakov has extensive experiences in black and white, color, slide, and digital photography. He has worked as a freelance reporter and his works have been published in magazines and newspapers. Rafael has won many photo competitions and enjoys photographing people, landscapes, streets, theatre, sporting events, and travel scenes. He works as a volunteer assistant instructor for photography classes at PSU and is now focusing on digial photography with emphasis on improving photographs using new software.

Emma Karpinski is currently working towards a BS in Art Education and a BA in Arts, concentrating on Drawing & Painting. She especially enjoys watercolor painting and collage making with mixed media. She hopes that she can teach people how to find their inner artist. Emma’s hobbies outside of art making include writing, reading, and spending time with her friends and pets.

Arya Kermanshah is a fourth year Penn State student. He loves working with his hands, and traveling around the world. He spent the past summer backpacking through Europe and visited the many Art-Meccas. He is aspiring to become a neuro or orthopedic surgeon. He is looking forward to working with all of you.

Sarah Nachtman is a junior at Penn State majoring in art education with a minor in Art History. She is originally from State College, PA. She enjoyed the fun and colorful time instructing art camps this summer and teaching classes to students and faculty/staff this past fall and is looking forward to teaching again in the spring. She enjoys teaching, spending time with family and friends, and visiting new coffee shops.

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Sonya Neumann has been teaching ceramics for more than fourteen years and still can’t get enough. Teaching children and adults wheel thrown and hand built ceramics is one of her most fulfilling experiences. She minored in ceramics at George Washington University. She was born in Trinidad and has traveled to Turkey, Florence, Rhodes, England and Crete.

Erica Parsons is a 2011 graduate of Penn State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education.  She has recently begun substitute teaching within the local district and her main artistic interest is in drawing and painting.  She plans to go to graduate school to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in the near future.  In her free time she enjoys camping, reading, and watching Steelers football with friends and family.

Ben Paskoff is a highly stressed out undergraduate at Penn State earning a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology along with a minor in Piano Performance. Eventually, he hopes to earn a PhD in genetics and fix at least one or two of the major disorders he is likely to develop later in life (thanks Mom and Dad). Growing up near a local art studio has given him a strong appreciation for many forms of art including Drawing, Painting, Stained Glass, and his own personal favorite, Ceramics. For him, the only thing better than delving into a fresh block of clay, is sharing the experience and helping others learn to sculpt their own masterpieces.

Ken Plattner has studied at the University of Maryland, in Munich, Germany and at Penn State.  In 1977, he opened his own stained glass studio on Beaver Avenue in State College. Ken began teaching stained glass for the CFAC in the late 1970’s.

Gerald Sanchez is a Health Policy & Administration major with a double minor in Information Science & Technology and Business at Penn State. He has been working in the Center for Arts and Crafts since freshman year. He has taken ceramics classes since high school but had never done wheel thrown pottery until freshman year. Since then he has come to enjoy and perfect skills in wheel thrown pottery. He cannot wait to teach other students what he has learned.

Sarah Snyder has been crocheting since she was eight years old with her mom.  She has learned more about fiber arts, through teaching others here at the Art Center and the Drop in Knitting group.  She also maintains an Etsy Shop selling her crocheted and needle worked items. She has lived in Happy Valley since 2008 with her two cats, Fleury and Sawyer. Sarah also works in Athletics and helps run the video board, running replays and graphics.

Danielle Spewak is a Penn State student who is working towards her undergraduate degree in Art Education. She loves to include wildlife and rural landscapes in her work but isn’t afraid to dive into anything art! From painting to sculpture she is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and organized. In the summer you would find her in her vegetable garden with her dog, Doctor Bullwinkle, Doc for short. Her favorite artists include Monet, Manet, Michelangelo, and Andy Goldsworthy.

Jennifer Taylor is a senior at Penn State double majoring in Geoscience and English.  Jen has been dancing for six years, and is currently Co-Director of the Penn State International Dance Ensemble (PSIDE), a group she has performed with for the last four years.  When she is not reading or collecting rocks, she likes to crochet, play the violin, and attempt to do big dance moves in her tiny dorm room.

Mary Trifiro is a junior at Penn State majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders in hopes of becoming a Speech Language Pathologist. She has worked with many different kinds of art forms, but her favorite mediums are pastels and watercolor. Her other interests include hiking, reading, playing the piano, cooking, and traveling to new places.

Seth Young graduated from Edinboro University with a Bachelors In Applied Media Arts. He attended The Governor’s School for arts in 2007 and studied four years of animation in college.  He has always had a lifelong passion for comics and loves to study the different styles and techniques used in them. In his spare time Seth is working on a comic with a collaborator in Philadelphia as well as participating in upcoming conventions.

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