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Interlochen Arts Academy welcomes new faculty for 2022-23 academic year

The school’s new teaching artists and scholars include operatic soprano Jennifer Cresswell, published poet Karynna McGlynn, and filmmaker Dan Tice.

IAA New Faculty 2022 1

L-R: Instructor of Mathematics Jessica Sklar, Artist-in-Residence Darcy Parker Bruce, and Instructor of Voice Dr. Jennifer Cresswell. 

IAA New Faculty 2022 2

L-R: Director of Creative Writing Karyna McGlynn, Instructor of Interdisciplinary Arts Stephen Speciale, and Instructor of Film & New Media Daniel Tice. 

IAA New Faculty 2022 3

L-R: Film and New Media Program Director Briana Yarhouse, Interlochen Online Director of Education Susan Gedutis Lindsay, and Interlochen Online Program Coordinator Hayley Collins.

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L-R: School Counselor/Social Worker Megan Emmendorfer and Student Affairs Team Leader Megan Walton.

In the fall of 2022, 11 new teachers, instructors, and artists-in-residence joined the ranks of Interlochen Arts Academy faculty. These outstanding artists and educators bring a wealth of accolades, experience, and insight to their roles in academic and artistic divisions.

Academic Faculty

Prior to accepting her position as Instructor of Mathematics at Interlochen, Jessica Sklar was a professor of mathematics at Pacific Lutheran University for 21 years. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Oregon in June 2001, under the guidance of Frank Anderson. Her scholarship interests lie in the areas of math and art, math and pop culture, recreational math, and abstract algebra. She also creates mathematical art.


Darcy Parker Bruce joins Interlochen as Writer-In-Residence. They are a playwright and educator from New Haven, Connecticut, with an MFA in Playwriting from Smith College. In the summer they join the Sewanee Writers’ Conference as part of their staff. Bruce was the recipient of a 2017 Tennessee Williams Scholarship through the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and was granted ATHE's 2018 Judith Royer Award For Excellence in Theater for their play SOLDIER POET. Bruce was a 2019 LAMBDA Literary Fellow. In the summer of 2022, their play To The Moon And Back opened at Chester Theater Company. 

Arts Instructors

The Voice Department welcomes the new Instructor of Voice Dr. Jennifer Cresswell—a soprano, librettist, educator, and author with a passion for curating and creating art through a 21st-century lens. Her recent performance highlights include appearances as “Cherubino” in Ragnar Kjartansson’s Bliss with Detroit Opera; “Social Worker/News Reporter” in X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X; and “Olivia” in Minnesota Opera’s filmed production of Kamala Sankaram’s INTERSTATE, for which she also served as co-librettist. Dr. Cresswell is co-founder of GDQ Arts, a nonprofit arts organization focused on elevating women’s stories through spoken and sung theatre. Her writing has been published in Classical Singer, The Middleclass Artist, and An Injustice! 

Karyna McGlynn is Interlochen’s new Director of Creative Writing. McGlynn is an award-winning writer, educator, and visual artist who recently served as the associate professor of creative writing and literature at Christian Brothers University. She has been a member of five National Poetry Slam teams and was a finalist for the Women of the World Poetry Slam. Some of her other honors include the Rumi Prize for Poetry, the Academy of American Poets' Prize, and the Zell Fellowship in Poetry. McGlynn is a published author whose new poetry collection, 50 Things Kate Bush Taught Me About the Multiverse, is currently available through Sarabande Books. Her previous collection, Hothouse, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, and her writing has recently appeared in the Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, New England Review, Georgia Review, Black Warrior Review, Witness, Ninth Letter, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day. 

Steven Speciale—Interlochen’s new Instructor of Interdisciplinary Arts—is a pianist, conductor, and educator. He has taught Electronic Music, AP Music Theory, and Choir at Loyola High School of Los Angeles while also serving as Director of Music for St. Andrew’s in Fullerton. Under Speciale’s direction, the Loyola choir sang at Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, Our Lady Queen of Angels Cathedral, and live on television from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Speciale revamped the music program at Loyola, establishing a thirty-seat Mac Music Lab and shifting the curriculum toward project-based portfolio classes. His students have written iPhone apps as standalone music compositions, built reactive music tables, invented QR code music trees, and created many other electronic music and multimedia projects.

Dan Tice, Interlochen’s newest Instructor of Film & New Media, is a filmmaker who has worked in numerous aspects of the industry as a film editor, camera operator, story consultant, and represented screenwriter. His screenplays have been optioned by production companies including Davis Entertainment and Schorr Pictures and have recently received awards from the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, the Marfa Film Festival, and the CineStory Foundation. His short films, including Thank You For Not Smoking, have screened at numerous festivals including Sundance and the British Short Film Festival.

Joining the Film & New Media Department as Program Director is Briana Yarhouse, an animator and researcher whose work has played in many festivals. Her animated documentary Beyond Freedom was nominated in 2006 for best short of the year at the Berlin Film Festival. She has juried animation for the Woods Hole Film Festival and the Xiamen International Animation Festival, and her teaching experience includes 15 years as professor in the Digital Art and Design and Visual and Critical Studies programs at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Yarhouse’s essays and papers have been published in the ASIFA Magazine, The International Journal of Comic Art, and the Society for Animation Studies Journal, among others. She is the director of International Animation Day for the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation.

Interlochen Online Faculty

​​The new Director of Education at Interlochen Online is Susan Gedutis Lindsay. She is a music educator and writer/editor with extensive experience in instructional design and music. Following her position as Director for Instructional Design at Berklee College of Music, Lindsay worked as an elementary instrumental music teacher; she taught all instruments and served as band and orchestra director at four district schools in Plymouth, Massachusetts. For more than ten years, she was the managing editor of Massachusetts Music Educators Journal. She has edited hundreds of books and online courses, and is the author of See You at the Hall: Boston's Golden Era of Music and Dance. She has also taught in the Music Department at Bridgewater State University. Lindsay performs on alto and baritone saxophones and flute in several Massachusetts-based jazz, rock, and folk bands.

Hayley Collins is the new Program Coordinator for Interlochen Online. She joins Interlochen with over 10 years experience in arts administration and a passion for making arts programs accessible and a part of any well-rounded education. A graduate of Westminster Choir College, she has had a lifelong fascination with music, specifically voice. Collins most recently spent eight years as the Director of Programs and Development at Opus 118 Harlem School of Music in East Harlem, New York. 

Student Affairs Faculty

Peter Asaro, a ten-year boarding school veteran, has been appointed the Assistant Dean of Students at Interlochen Arts Academy. Asaro will work closely with Vice Provost of Student Life Megan Walton, overseeing the Residential Life faculty, program curriculum, community meetings, clubs, and student conduct. Throughout his years in education, Asaro has served as a classroom teacher, dorm faculty member, Summer Program Academic Dean, Director of Instructional Support, and Director of Students and Residential Life. 

Megan Emmendorfer is joining Interlochen Arts Academy as the new School Counselor/Social Worker. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work in Social Work and Family Studies from Central Michigan University and a Master of Social Work in Social Work from Indiana University. 

Elizabeth Nelson, Director of Libraries, comes to Interlochen after many years serving as Library Director at an independent school in New Canaan, Connecticut. She holds a Master of Music in Voice and a Master of Library and Information Sciences from the University of Michigan and Long Island University Post, as well as a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice from the University of Michigan. An Interlochen Arts Camp alumna, Elizabeth began her career as an opera singer, transitioning to education and library services when she began teaching at a boarding school. She is committed to lifelong learning.

The new lead for Interlochen’s Student Affairs team is Megan Walton, who will oversee Health Services, Recreation and Wellness, and Residence Life. She will also oversee the Student Representative Board, student clubs, and Community Meetings. Walton has had a 25-year career in boarding and day school education—serving as an administrator, teacher, mentor, coach, counselor, and advisor. Most recently, Walton served as the Assistant Head of School at Besant Hill School, an independent boarding school, in Ojai, California. Walton takes a holistic approach to education, encouraging the development of both intellectual and emotional intelligence.