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Meet Our Instructors

Program Director

Stephanie Gush is a Penn State graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in Art, with an emphasis on printmaking. She has been involved with the CFAC for eighteen years, beginning as an instructor for art camps and after-school art classes. She enjoys working with Penn State students to develop and promote art programs for all ages. Stephanie freelances in graphic design and illustration, paints, enjoys hiking and volunteers at community art events. She has experience teaching printmaking, bookmaking, drawing/painting to children and adults.

Assistant and Instructor

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 a variety of craft 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, such as scrapbooking and drawing and spending time with family.


Katelyn Anthony is a Penn State student studying Engineering on the path to Aerospace and is originally from West Chester, PA. Art has always been a major part of her life in high school. She has been throwing for a little over three years now and enjoys learning new ways to improve. She looks forward to teaching others her knowledge and techniques. She has traveled to Denmark, France, and Spain, which is a huge inspiration for her work. In her free time, she loves to do anything outdoors with friends, just enjoying nature. 

Sonya Aboud 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. 

Kelly Beck is a local to the State College area and is majoring in Community, Environment, and Development at Penn State. Kelly has been working with ceramics for over two years and enjoys learning new ways to work with clay. She participates in 4-H Club, where she has held officer positions and taught baking and rabbitry. 

Hannah Bodnar is studying for her bachelor’s in Middle-Level Education with a concentration in Mathematics at Penn State. She also holds a BS in Agribusiness Management. She lives in State College but is originally from Coal Center, PA. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking and spending time with her two cats, Fletcher and Delilah.

Luke Fasano is a double major in Art Education and Ceramics at Penn State. He has been into art all of his life and fell in love with pottery the first time he tried it. He really enjoys hand building and making sculptural pieces. He is excited to teach a workshop for the CFAC. 

Hannah Gomez is a senior at Penn State and has been a local to State College area for twelve years. She is majoring in Landscape Architecture, and loves drawing, creating things, and being in nature. She is very excited to share her love and appreciation of art.

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 digital photography with an emphasis on improving photographs using new software.

Lindsey Kircher is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and Painting in the School of Visual Arts at Penn State. She is also earning minors in Spanish and Arts Entrepreneurship. After graduation, she hopes to earn her Master of Fine Arts degree and pursue a career as an artist. Aside from spending time in the art studio, Lindsey loves to travel, read, and spend time outside. She is excited to be teaching and sharing her love of art through the Center for Arts and Crafts at Penn State!

Madeline Leamy is an English major at Penn State with a passion for creativity! She hopes to have the opportunity to work as an environmental lawyer one day and work for the preservation of the national parks. When she is not studying her days away, she spends hours hiking, reading, painting, throwing pottery, taking photos, and blogging. She loves to work with others and is looking forward to sharing the art of jewelry making.

Andrea Linn is a first-year student at Penn State studying Visual Arts and has experience in a wide variety of media. She has been studying art for four years and her first love is ceramics. She is looking forward to learning more through teaching and sharing her knowledge of the arts.

Victoria Maglonzo is a senior at Penn State majoring in Early Childhood Education with hopes of making art and self-expression a focus in her future elementary classrooms. She has worked with numerous art-types ranging from knitting to drawing and everything in between, but her ultimate passion lies in ceramic work. With experience and awards in both wheel throwing and hand building, she is very excited to continue creating while sharing this love with her art students.

Olivia McCormick is a Russian and Slavic Studies major at Penn State and served as the Rotex Student Ambassador to Poland 2017-2018. She is a lifelong art enthusiast and painter and enjoys painting abstracts in both oil and acrylics and taking inspiration from the places she has traveled. She believes the most important part of creating art is positivity and creativity. As a teacher, she likes to give her students a platform of basics so that they can excel in what is important artistically to them and expand their creative space surrounded by positivity.

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.

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 1970s.

CC Ray is a senior at Penn State in the Bachelor of Arts program with a minor in English. Their passion lies in creating characters and worlds for stories, and most of their artwork is dedicated to bringing those stories to life. If they are not writing or drawing, they are normally reading or taking a walk through the Arboretum. Though new to teaching, they are excited to spread what they have learned over years of art-making to others.

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.

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.

Jaclyn Yuro is a senior at Penn State, originally from New Jersey. She is majoring in Psychology and Italian and minoring in Human Development and Family Studies. She started dancing when she was just two years old and has continued to dance and teach ever since! She is also the Vice President and THON chair for Penn State Dance Alliance, a dance organization on campus. Aside from her passion for dance, she loves traveling, meeting new people, and hanging out at the beach!

Wenqing Zhai is a Penn State third-year drawing and painting BFA. Her focus is on oil painting in Realism and Impressionism. Most of her work comes from her own life and feelings. She loves adventure and challenges. She is also a fan of old music and movies.