Juilliard Welcomes New Staff Members

Caitlin Choi has been named the assistant in Human Resources. Originally from Florida, Caitlin earned her B.A. in international studies from Stetson University in Deland, Fla., where she also studied French and music and played viola in the Stetson University Symphony and Chamber orchestras. After graduating, in 2009, she started a speakers’ bureau for a homeless coalition in Daytona Beach, Fla., as an Americorps volunteer, and through that position became a human resources training specialist at Haven Recovery Center in Daytona Beach before relocating to New York this summer. Caitlin lives in Brooklyn with her husband and enjoys traveling, playing viola, baking, reading, and eating Indian food.

Back row, from left: Caitlin Choi, Tess Drahman, Chad Gneiting, Kent McKay, Justin Elie, Molly Yeh. Front row, from left: Jobina Smith, Katherine Howell, Irina Shteyn, Emily Rakes, Nick Stagliano, Lee Anne Tuason, Teresa McKinney. (Not pictured: Price Messick.)

(Photo by Juilliard Journal)


Tess Drahman, administrative assistant in Career Services, recently received her M.A. in media studies, with a certificate in media management, from the New School. Although she was born in New York City, Tess grew up in Bangkok, where her parents taught at the International School. She attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia where she received her B.A. in art history and film studies in 2008. After a year of working in career services at the University of North Florida, Tess relocated to New York in 2009. She has also held internships at the BBC, Tribeca Film, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and the American Museum of Natural History. 

Justin Elie has joined the Juilliard community as an assistant technical director in the Production Department. Justin has a degree in theater from the University of Maine, where he studied music and theater, and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama in technical design and production. Justin has also worked with Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y., and the Theater at Monmouth in Maine. 

Chad Gneiting, administrative and acquisitions assistant in the library, comes from Utah, where he graduated from Weber State University as a musical theater major. Upon graduating, he worked at Walt Disney World as a performer and production assistant. Since moving to New York City in October 2010, he has worked behind the scenes with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade team, the Transport Group, and the New York International Fringe Festival. 

Katherine Howell, administrative assistant to the Office of Finance and Administration, is a native of California and moved to the East Coast a year ago. She received a B.A. in music from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.M. in vocal performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. At Berkeley, she received an American-Scandinavian Foundation fellowship and an Alfred Hertz Memorial Traveling scholarship. Katherine has been a lead teacher of SAT and ACT college prep, managed international accounts for a start-up company in San Francisco, and even worked as a commercial actor and fit model for companies including Levi’s and Dockers. She has also worked in administration and development for summer opera programs in the Bay Area.

Kent McKay, who became the Production Department director in the spring, has spent nearly all of his adult life working in the theater. He spent 11 years working in his native Canada (for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, the Grand Theater Company in London, Ontario, and the Canadian Stage Company), and then, from 1993 to 1998, he worked for Livent Inc. & Livent Concert Productions as a production manager and a production and technical director. From 1998 to 2005, Kent managed the implementation of a variety of large exhibition spaces, festivals, museum openings, and conference venues in the U.S. and Canada. In 2005 he returned to full-time work in the theater, as director of production at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Conn. 

Teresa D. McKinney, director of educational outreach, loves to conceptualize and foster enduring relationships between organizations and educational and cultural institutions. Most recently she was the education director at New York City Opera, where she spent more than 10 years creating arts partnerships for New York City schoolchildren and students of every age. Prior to moving to New York, she worked at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University as project manager for an outreach program called Community Stories. Raised in Santa Barbara, Calif., Teresa moved to the East Coast to earn her bachelor’s in music from Hampton University and her master’s in arts administration from the Florida State University School of Music. 

Price Messick, fresh out of Kansas City, decided to find some new digs on the right coast, and wound up as an assistant in the Juilliard box office. Being in the whirlwind of the arts is a constantly invigorating feeling and keeps his passion strong for continuing to pursue his own career in the arts.

Emily Rakes joins the Vocal Arts Department as the projects administrator for curriculum and outreach. Through the Juilliard Professional Intern Program, she spent the past year as an administrative intern in Vocal Arts. Emily graduated in 2008 from the University of Minnesota-School of Music with a degree in vocal performance. Before moving to New York, Emily worked as an intern with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Minnesota Opera. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, cooking, and exploring New York City.

Irina Shteyn has joined the Finance and Administration Office as the senior financial analyst. Prior to joining Juilliard, she worked in various roles at JPMorgan Chase, most recently as a business manager associate for investment banking. Irina graduated from Boston College with a B.S. in finance and marketing. As a native New Yorker, Irina loves to explore and take advantage of everything the city has to offer. When she is not searching for the next best N.Y.C. experience, Irina can be found indulging her loves of tennis, travel, running, and cooking/eating. 

Jobina Smith has joined the Juilliard staff as a payroll coordinator. A member of the American Payroll Association, she has been handling payroll for 17 years, most recently for Gilmore Manufacturing. Originally from Plainfield, N.J., she now resides in Roselle, N.J., with her husband and 2-year-old son. Jobina enjoys spending time with family, traveling, reading, shooting pool, and riding her motorcycle. 

Nick Stagliano joins the Office of Development and Public Affairs as development assistant to the vice president. Nick graduated in May with a degree in archaeology from Hamilton College, where he was a member of several choral groups as well as a timpanist in the orchestra. While at Hamilton, Nick was an intern in the Development Office and managed the choir’s annual spring break tour. He was also a contributor to and editor of the college’s weekly newspaper, as well as an editorial assistant to a member of the philosophy department, with whom he worked on two books—one on the feminist philosophy of Richard Rorty and another on the philosophical concept of experience. Nick enjoys good food, playing racquet sports, reading biographies, listening to Mozart, and spending time in New Hampshire.

Lee Anne Tuason joins the staff as an archives assistant. Originally from Maryland, she moved to New York City three years ago to attend Pratt Institute, where she received her M.S. in library and information science. In addition to Juilliard, she also works as an archives assistant at the Lincoln Center archives. 

Molly Yeh, editorial assistant in the Publications Department, graduated from Juilliard in May with a bachelor’s in percussion performance. A native of Chicago, she enjoys splitting her time between writing (usually about food) and playing music. With a strong passion for contemporary music, she has performed in numerous world premieres and recently released her first recording, on Naxos. Her writing has been published in Time Out New YorkThe Violet Online, The Juilliard Journal, The Forward’s the Jew and the Carrot blogand on her own mostly food blog My Name Is Yeh (mynameisyeh.com). She lives on the Upper West Side with her extremely large mustard collection.


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