Dean, Continuing Studies
Erin Elman has served as the Dean for Continuing Studies at the University of the Arts since 2008. Over the past two decades, Elman has partnered with organizations as diverse as school districts, arts organizations, and international universities to provide both access to the arts and innovative programming to teens, adults and educators. Elman received her BFA in Art from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), an MA in Art Education and an MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking, both from the University of the Arts. She has taught studio art courses and seminars to various populations and is a working artist. Elman has artwork in numerous public and private collections.
Associate Dean, Continuing Studies
SWATTS@UARTS.EDU | 215.717.6096
Sheila Watts earned her BFA in Fine Arts from Parsons, The New School for Design and her BA in Psychology from Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Studies. While in New York, she worked for the education departments of the Guggenheim Museum and Dia Center for the Arts. Watts also has an MS degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University and has been working in higher education for the last nine years. An article from her master’s thesis "Identification and the Cultural Organization" was published in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society.
Director of Operations, Continuing Studies
MDIGIACOMO@UARTS.EDU | 215.717.6089
Melissa DiGiacomo joined Pre-College Programs as Assistant Director in 2002. She received her BFA in Photography from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and an MFA, also in Photography, from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. DiGiacomo previously worked as a Marketing Coordinator for American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. and was also a staff member in the photography department at the Smithsonian Institute Air and Space Museum. She currently teaches photography to undergraduate students at the University of the Arts, and her work has been exhibited in several galleries in Georgia, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.
Data Coordinator, Continuing Studies
GDAVENPORT@UARTS.EDU | 215.717.6539
Gehia Davenport has been employed with the University of the Arts since 1995. She holds a BFA in Dance Education from the University of the Arts. Shortly after graduation, she became a member of The Company Grace, which led her to an instructor role at the Amos Playground Recreation Center’s dance program. Gehia became the organization’s Director of Dance Programs in 1999. In 2002, she opened the doors of her namesake, non-profit establishment entitled Gehia’s School of Dance.
Davenport is an instructor and community advocate at heart. She has taught youths and adults in various Pennsylvania establishments such as Progressive Center for Dance, Wissahickon Dance Academy and Porter’s Daycare. She has guest choreographed and danced for the following non-profit organizations: Summit Presbyterian Liturgical Dance Group, Upper Room and Beloved Baptist Church. She has graced the stage of gospel recording headliner, Byron Cage, within the Breaking Chain Foundation event in 2010. Gehia currently leads the Women’s Dance and Fitness and Teen Dance Ministries within her church affiliation, New Hope Temple Baptist Church, where she introduced the art of dance within worship in 1995.
Communications Assistant, Continuing Studies
HFINCHLER@UARTS.EDU | 215.717.6537
Hanna Finchler attended Emerson College, where she earned a BA in Visual Media Arts with a concentration in Screenwriting and a minor in Art History. While in college, she worked as the Digital Editorial Intern at Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. After college, she moved to Seattle where she worked at a fiber arts store and interned at Sub Pop. Finchler moved back to the east coast in the summer of 2016 and joined the UArts team in June 2017.
KODOHERTY@UARTS.EDU | 215.717.6006
Kaitlynd O’Doherty earned her BA in Art History from Boston University. While at BU, she interned at the Boston Center for the Arts and co-founded the only entirely student run gallery at the university. Additionally, she has interned at several non-profit arts organizations in New York including the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Since moving to Philadelphia, she has enjoyed exploring the local arts community and continues to explore her interest in Arts Administration.
SPATER@UARTS.EDU | 215.717.6006
Sarah Pater received her MFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design and her BFA from Boston University. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Philadelphia), FJORD (Philadelphia), Brennan & Griffin (New York), Western Exhibitions (Chicago), 808 Gallery at Boston University, and elswhere. She has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art (Temple University), and the University of the Arts. Her research interests include the history of image making, American minimalism, and the aesthetics of everyday social spaces. Pater’s work was featured in the New American Paintings 2017 northeast issue, and she has been awarded residencies at the Sam & Adele Golden Foundation and Lacawac Artists Residency.