Office of Open Studies

Open Studies Team

Meet the Open Studies Team

Open Studies

Fueling Your Creativity

We fuel creative journeys through convenient and innovative learning models that provide broad access to MICAs rigorous art and design education.

Amy Hodges received her BA in Photography from Virginia Intermont College and a Master of Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University. Amy joins Open Studies (OS) as the Director of Administrative Services after thirteen years as the Executive Assistant in the Provost’s office.

In this newly redefined role, Amy will help advance the work of OS as part of the leadership team and work to ensure that it has strong business practices that support innovation and growth. She will be providing strategic leadership for the creation, implementation, and organization of project and resource management strategies with the goal of achieving greater office efficiency and effectiveness. Amy will also create plans to ensure agility and effectiveness of OS hiring practices for contract faculty and staff while managing processes associated with compliance, contracting onboarding, and record keeping. In addition, she will work to balance operational budget requirements to achieve long term business goals.

Amy is the recipient of MICA’s Lori L. Stuart Award in 2014 and the Fred Worthington Memorial Award in 2019.

Amy Hodges

Ashley LaBoda earned a PhD and MA in Spanish Linguistics, both from the University at Albany, SUNY in Albany, NY and a BA in Spanish and French from Houghton College. After completing her graduate studies, Ashley worked at Franklin and Marshall College and George Washington University, where, in addition to teaching, she coordinated the Spanish curriculum and directed an assessment of student achievement of learning goals and outcomes—thus sparking her interest in the administrative side of academia. She then joined Verto Education as the founding Course Director of the Spanish language program where she developed the curriculum and trained faculty to deliver courses abroad.

Ashley joined MICA full time in the department of Open Studies in December 2020 as the Director of Curriculum Design and Development. Her role entails providing faculty training and support, with a focus on promoting best practices in teaching and learning; ensuring quality and accessibility of course design and delivery; and aligning institutional and program goals with course objectives and learning outcomes.

Dashielle Horn earned an MA and PhD in English from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, following a BA in English and History from Salisbury University. While completing her graduate work, she taught first-year writing and literature courses at Lehigh before moving on to lead the tutoring center and College Writing programs at SUNY Purchase College.

Dashielle joined MICA's Open Studies department in June 2020 and serves as the Director of Graduate Student Success for the MPS programs (Data Analytics and Visualization, the Business of Art and Design, Product Management, and UX Design) as well as the dual degree MA/MBA Design Leadership program in partnership with Johns Hopkins University. Her role entails providing student support, developing programming, and strategic leadership regarding student success and retention. Because her doctoral research is not particularly relevant to the work she currently does, it’s now more of a hobby! She focused on British women novelists of the eighteenth century. Her dissertation investigated the formation of the spinster figure and early women writers’ efforts to write opportunities for single lives into existence. Other hobbies include needlecraft and adopting senior cats— she has a clear personal brand.

Dashielle Horn

David Gracyalny has been vice provost of MICA Open Studies since 2015, and for 14 years prior was dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Studies as the unit was previously called.

Immediately before MICA, David served as Associate Dean of Continuing Education at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in DC from 1998 – 2001. Prior to that, he was Associate Dean and Director of Continuing Education at the Maryland College of Art and Design in Silver Spring, MD. He transitioned into administration from a life of art teaching on both high school and college levels. David holds a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BA in Studio Art from University of Maryland, College Park.


Jacqueline Clements is an artist at heart and an administrator by trade. Having successfully served two tours of duty as a Marine, Jacqueline transitioned into the civilian sector by way of the steel industry. She brings a wealth of knowledge gained from her experience in the military to working in the non-profit sector. She also worked as a freelance photographer, photographing weddings and portraits. She later landed a position with The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) as the Human Resources Coordinator, where she served as the liaison between Baltimore City Administration and BMA staff. After a few years in her position with the BMA, interest in neighboring Johns Hopkins University (JHU) was developed. Employment with JHU provided a wider range of opportunities; to include work in the areas of recruitment, benefits, and employee relations. Jacqueline retired from JHU in August 2019 and joined MICA in November 2019.


Kate Porter earned both her B.F.A in Photography and M.A.T. at MICA. She also earned an Administration 1 Certification, Certificate of Advanced Study in Organizational Change, College of Graduate Studies and Research at Towson University and holds an MSDE Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate Art PreK-12 as well as being MSDE Administrator I and II Certified. Prior to coming to MICA, Kate worked as the program director for Youth in Focus (a non-profit youth development photography organization in Seattle, WA) and as the assistant principal for the Baltimore Design School.

After completing a year and a half of success in the role as MICA’s director of youth programs, community based adult/lifelong learning programming has been added to Kate’s portfolio. Kate served as the director of youth and community education in Open Studies for 4 years. In this role she provided strategic and logistical leadership and direction for all programs serving young students (grades K-12) and community education for life-long learners through MICA’s Open Studies academic unit. These programs currently include: Young People’s Studios; the PreCollege Art and Design Residency Program; the Art and Design College Accelerator Program; Community Education; and Professional Practice. The director also managed and implement any new or special initiatives related to the K-12 or community audiences.

Kate was promoted to Associate Dean of Open Studies in April 2022 where she will focus on leading organizational strategy, strengthening operational efficiency and effectiveness, oversight and management of area policy, regulatory compliance, accreditation, assessment, program review, academic services and resources, etc. for all Open Studies programming including degree programs, lifelong learning programs, and youth programs.

Katie earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a concentration in the Civil Rights Movement from the University of Baltimore in 2006. In 2011, she earned a Master of Arts in Legal and Ethical studies, also from UB.

Her professional experiences include work as an Academic Specialist at University of Baltimore in the Legal, Ethical, and Historical Studies department, and various roles with the full and part time MBA programs at the Carey Business School.

Katie joined the Open Studies department at MICA in May of 2022, and is thrilled to have joined such a dynamic and enthusiastic team. Outside of building a career in higher education, Katie enjoys many passions: gardening, hiking, pit bull and rescue dog advocacy, taking long walks around Baltimore, knitting, baking, concert going, eating great food, watching movies, and reading - especially historical non-fiction and fantasy novels - and spending time with her wife and two teenage children.

Lindsay Cubbage earned a BS in Hospitality Management and Administration from the Univ. of South Carolina, followed by graphic design studies at Santa Monica College. While completing her undergraduate work, she was also a Historian for Gamma Phi Beta, Zeta Sigma Chapter at USC, she also volunteered with Girls on the Run and the Stop Hunger Now Project while continuing her fine art ceramics practice on the side.

Prior to joining MICA in Jan. 2020, Lindsay was a marketing coordinator at Ticketmaster and an Executive Project Manager at Popchips. She first found her love for design and working within the Fine Arts as a Career Services Advisor at the Art Institute of Washington. Her passion for working with other artistic individuals, brand design, and creative services meets no end.

As the Assistant Director of Brand Marketing for the Open Studies team, she aims to uplift its core programs through inspiring design, optimal creative project management, and marketing strategy. She genuinely enjoys the creative process and will always find a way to create.

Aside from balancing her full-time role at MICA, Lindsay loves to travel and aims to travel to all 7 continents, volunteer with other fine art organizations such as the Getty, continue her ceramics practice, long distance run, Cross Train (Crossfit), and works with other creative clients through her business space, Cubbage Creative.

Lindsay Cubbage

Nakita has earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature from the University of Maryland-College Park an M.S. in Professional Writing from Towson University ,and a doctoral degree in Lifelong Learning in Adult Education with a focus in Online & Distance Education from the Pennsylvania State University. Her professional experiences include direct student support in roles at the Pennsylvania State University and Anne Arundel Community College. Outside of her experiences working in Higher Education, Nakita has also worked at a non-profit, where she provided programmatic support to grant dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented students earning graduate degrees in STEM.

Nakita joined the Open Studies team in October 2021, her work in the unit focuses on holistic support to students enrolled in the MPS programs (Data Analytics and Visualization, the Business of Art and Design, Product Management, and UX Design) as well as the dual degree MA/MBA Design Leadership program in partnership with Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation worked to understand how adult-learners seek and utilize information during the college admissions process.

Her hobbies include listening to and singing along to her favorite songs, attending concerts, traveling, and watching a ton of reality tv and anime.

Natovian McLeod graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2015 with her BFA in General Fine Arts and her Master of Art in Teaching in 2016.

She was an Elementary Art Teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools for 6 years and in 2022 she was awarded Maryland Elementary Art Teacher of the Year.

Natovian has facilitated professional development focused on artist reflection, literacy skills, and student engagement. Her practice addresses anti-racist and culturally responsive practices in art.

Before becoming the Director of Youth Programs and Community Education at MICA, Natovian was the program coordinator for MICA's Art and Design College Accelerator Program (ADCA) and for the PreCollege Art and Design Residency Program. She is committed to arts education and hopes to promote more access and educational opportunities to students in Baltimore.

Sabrina Dépestre earned her B.B.A. in Marketing from Florida International University. She joined MICA in January 2019 and serves as the Director of Brand Marketing for Open Studies. She is responsible for creating & executing marketing initiatives and strategies with the goal of obtaining, growing, and retaining students for all OS programs.

Her volunteer efforts focus on supporting & connecting youth, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the education, art, social impact, and tech sectors. She is a Mentor & Coach for Bridges Baltimore, a non-profit that provides year-round programming for youth ages 9-23 in Baltimore City; a Board Member of Innovation Works, a social impact organization that helps build sustainable neighborhood economies in Baltimore City; and the Baltimore Chapter Ambassador for She Builds Initiative, a platform that connects Haitian women entrepreneurs and professionals from around the world.

In between balancing her full-time role at MICA and volunteering, she spends her time with family, practices yoga, and buys more books than she has time to read.

Sabrina Dépestre

Shannon Stevens joined MICA in September 2011 and currently serves as the Director of Student Relations and Records for Open Studies. In addition to managing the registration team, she oversees all registration and enrollment operations, leads admissions processes and creates accurate and meaningful data reports to help inform decisions that positively impact enrollment in OS programs. Prior to her time at MICA, she worked as a professional makeup artist, which is still a passion of hers in addition to skincare.

When she's not working, she loves to spend time with her family, particularly her fur babies and enjoys going on hikes and spending time at the beach when the weather allows it. 

Shannon Stevens

Shekina earned her Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society at the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC. Prior to coming to MICA, Shekina was a Senior Administrative Coordinator at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity where she assisted with the planning and logistics of project services and provided high-level support for research teams.

Shekina joined MICA in August 2019. Her work is primarily focused on providing administrative support, managing internal and external event logistics, and assisting with student registrations for Open Studies programs. Throughout her career, she has maintained high performance standards within a diverse range of administrative and operational roles.

Aside from balancing her full-time role at MICA, Shekina loves to spend time with her family, paint abstract artwork, and create unique jewelry.

Tonya has earned a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral and Social Studies, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Learning Design and Technology from University of Maryland Global Campus. In addition, she has earned a Master's in Secondary Education from George Washington University.

Professionally, she has worked in the private sector as well as government industry in Office Management, Administration, Graphic Design and Real Estate. Most recently, she has worked in Education, as a Learning Facilitator and Team Lead.

Joining Open Studies in November 2021, she continues to provide support to students through the registration and student life cycle.

Some of her interests include traveling, shopping, cooking and dancing.

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Office of Open Studies


1229 W Mount Royal Ave Baltimore, MD 21217