A Warm Welcome to 17 New Staff Members

Yassmeen Abdulhamid joined the Juilliard staff in February as administrative assistant to the provost and dean. She recently earned her M.A. in English literature at the University of New Hampshire, where she also taught three sections of First-Year Writing as part of a graduate assistantship. Through that program, she spent six weeks last summer studying at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge, U.K. As an undergrad at SUNY-Plattsburgh, Yassmeen minored in music and studied voice with the music faculty. Though her musical inclinations are diverse, she is a self-proclaimed Purcell lover.


Yoko Anderson, international student advisor/programming assistant, is from Nagoya, Japan. She went to School for International Training in Vermont for her master’s degree in international education. She recently got married in Hawaii and lives with her husband in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Before coming to Juilliard at the end of October as an administrative assistant/accounts receivable assistant in the Finance Office, Joshua Ash worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as the administrative assistant for the head of protection services. Hailing from southern California, he lived for six years in Orlando, Fla., before moving to the tristate area. He holds a B.A. in communication from Rutgers University. When not with his 5-year-old daughter, he enjoys video games, movies, and roller coasters. On the weekends during the spring and summer, he works as a character at Six Flags Great Adventure (and he’ll talk about it ceaselessly, if you let him).

Chad Cygan, a program assistant in the Office of Educational Outreach, completed his Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in 2007 received his M.M. in voice from Juilliard, where he performed the title role in Idomeneo, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and both Natura and Pane in Cavalli’s La Calisto. Chad appears as a soloist in New York City, is a published composer, and maintains private voice and guitar teaching studios. He continues his voice studies with W. Stephen Smith.

Jazz assistant/jazz orchestra librarian Andrew Gutauskas is a saxophonist and received his B.M. in jazz studies from William Paterson University in New Jersey and his Artist Diploma in jazz studies from The Juilliard School. He has shared the stage with jazz greats such as Jimmy Heath and Frank Wess, as well as pop artists Paul Simon and Michael Bublé. Aside from musical interests, Andrew enjoys running in and around New York City, including Riverside Park and Central Park, training for the occasional marathon.

Shannon Harris, assistant to the vice president for development and public affairs, returned to New York City this year from L.A. where she completed actor conservatory training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts-West. Since graduating from Barnard College in 2001 with a B.A. in English, she worked in varied settings to support her artistic endeavors, which include acting and writing. Her four-year stint as office manager of St. Vincent’s Hospital Rape Crisis Program is especially noteworthy. Shannon is thrilled to be a part of the Juilliard family.

Contributions coordinator Rebecca Lee graduated from New York University with bachelor's and master’s degrees in classical piano performance. During her graduate studies, she was adjunct faculty and taught private piano lessons, along with harmony/improvisation keyboard classes. Upon completion of her master’s degree, she held an internship with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center where she got hands-on experience with many different facets of the music business. She discovered a penchant for development work and is now happy to be part of the Development Office.

Vicky U. Lee, campaign associate for the Juilliard Second Century Fund, recently returned to the U.S. after two years abroad—the first spent in France as an English language teacher followed by a year in England studying for an M.A. in creative writing at the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing. As an undergrad, Vicky pursued French and international relations at N.Y.U., graduating magna cum laude. She held internships in various industries as she tried to “figure things out,” including stints with the John Kerry for President campaign, Time Out New York, and J.J. Abram’s Bad Robot Productions in Burbank, Calif. She speaks five languages to varying degrees of success and is very happy to be joining the Development Office at Juilliard.

Mary Mazzello, accounts payable assistant in the Finance Office, has worked as a teacher and administrator for various educational organizations including the University of Missouri in St. Louis, Washington University, and the Center of Creative Arts. She holds a B.A. in economics and a minor in dance from Washington University in St. Louis.

Nicholas (call me Nick) Mazzurco, director of student accounts/bursar, came to Juilliard from the New School. He realized that higher education administration was in his future after a short stint in the corporate world following his graduation from Skidmore College. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and dog. Unfortunately he has no performing arts skills whatsoever but somehow receives “street cred” from friends and family for working at Juilliard. (He’ll take what he can get.)

Alicia Mejias joins the Student Affairs Office as an administrative assistant. She is a recent graduate of SUNY-New Paltz where she also worked for the university’s Student Affairs Department. Alicia enjoys the stories she hears from Juilliard students about classes and upcoming performances at the School.

Julie Potter, publicity administrator in the Communications Office, is a graduate of Butler University where she received her B.S. in arts administration/dance with a minor in public relations. A Pittsburgh native, Julie spent a semester studying the arts in London and interned at the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and the River North Chicago Dance Company. Prior to working at Juilliard, she practiced travel and lifestyle public relations at Weber Shandwick, New York and worked as a photographer at Camp Manitou for Boys in Oakland, Maine. Julie volunteers with the Nonprofit Board Clearinghouse of the New York Junior League and enjoys traveling, reading, and surfing.

Associate bursar Frank Pulido grew up in Caracas, Margarita Island, and New York City. He received his degree in business administration/finance from Bloomfield College in 2001. Before coming to Juilliard, Frank worked as a senior student financial services counselor at Laboratory Institute of Merchandising. In his spare time, Frank enjoys exercising, watching sci-fi films, and listening to music. He also loves to invent jokes and do funny impersonations of people. Frank is very thankful for the opportunity to be part of the Juilliard community.

Loren Seugling, coordinator of student activities in the Student Affairs Office, is a recent graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education. While in graduate school her assistantship was at Frostburg State University (Maryland) where she was the program assistant for student activities. As an undergraduate Loren attended Ithaca College where she studied marketing, advertising and public relations, and legal studies. At Ithaca College Loren was active in the Theater Arts Management program.

Joanie Simon, residence hall director for operations, has recently joined Juilliard’s Residence Life team. Originally from Scottsdale, Ariz., Joanie received a B.F.A. in art history from Arizona State University and an M.S. in counseling/student personnel services from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. Before coming to Juilliard she worked in residence life at St. John’s University in Queens. She and her husband, a sculptor, now reside with our resident students in the Rose Building.

Andrew Warner, the new administrative assistant in the Office of Career Development, is following in the footsteps of both his parents, who worked together at Juilliard in the early 1970s. He graduated from Washington University-St. Louis in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in art history and archaeology, and spent most of the following years working in a managerial capacity in the world of retail sales. After a brief stint working as a residence hall counselor at Interlochen Arts Academy in 2004-05, he decided to move to New York City and get a job in the arts as soon as it was feasible. He is now thrilled to be living in the city and trying to make the most of the myriad artistic opportunities available here.

Vanessa Wise, director of individual giving, joins the Development Office after spending more than five years in the corporate world in marketing at Time Inc. There, she managed the newsstand businesses of Money, Fortune, Business 2.0, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and most recently, In Style magazine. She received her M.B.A. from Columbia University in 2002 with a focus in media and marketing and her B.A. in English from Brown University in 1997. While at Brown, she was very involved in theater, and since then, she has performed three solo cabarets in New York City. Before attending business school, Vanessa worked at the Kennedy Center and the Washington Opera in event planning and development. She is grateful for her corporate experience, but happy to return to the nonprofit sector supporting something she is passionate about.

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