Rachel Jacob is the Art Director for the Cornell Creative Art Center in Kingston NY, as well as the Hudson-Valley lead for the Regional Centers for Workforce Transformation in NY. She received her undergraduate degree in Visual Arts Education K-12 in 2010 from SUNY New Paltz. The same year, she started working as a DSP at the Arc of Mid-Hudson. There she worked with adults who did not communicate with speech, but definitely had a lot to say, so she employed her background in art education to establish a conduit for their voices by creating artwork. She gained additional experience at the Arc working in management and in Staff Development. As a lifelong learner, she received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Marist in 2017. She pursues her artistic ambitions as a freelance artist, focusing on painting and pen and ink illustration. She is excited to merge her education, experience and passion for the arts and working with people with I/DD to help cultivate meaningful community connections at the CCAC.
Ceramics Studio Manager
Rebecca Morton was born in Lewisburg, PA. Rebecca earned her BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2004. In 2002, she participated in an International China Ceramic Cultural Exchange where she traveled throughout China and spent time working at the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute at Jingdezhen. After graduation, Rebecca moved back to PA where she designed and built her own ceramic studio with successful operation for ten years. Rebecca earned her MFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2017. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States. She is currently living in Kingston, NY
Supported Arts Instructor
Jillian Rahm is pleased to join the staff at Cornell Creative as a Supported Arts instructor. Jillian received her BFA in communication design from the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan and went on to study expressive arts therapy at the new School for social research. Over her 25 pus year career Jillian has worked as a practicing artist specializing in found object art, as a designer and product consultant for a variety of fortune 500 companies and over the past decade in human services and higher education designing and coordinating both youth and adult educational and empowerment programs. Ms. Rahm has recently founded Lost and Found studios, a working art studio that offers classes in found object collage design. Jillian believes deeply in the healing power of the expressive arts and brings her creativity, compassion, and humanity to all life’s endeavors.
Nina Ries Easter
Supported Dance Instructor
Nina Ries Easter (BFA Juilliard, dance) is an experienced dance educator with a special enthusiasm and love for working with diverse students and adaptive settings. She has taught classes for professional ballet studios, the NYC public school system, the MS Society, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and has specifically designed classes for adults and children on the Autism spectrum and with developmental disabilities.
She sincerely believes everyone is capable of learning the fundamentals of dance and movement and having a joyful class experience.
Yoga & Meditation Instructor
“Life is art lived from the heart!”
Melissa discovered Mindfulness after a stress induced health scare in 2013. A change was needed to recreate balance in her life, not only in diet and exercise but also in perspective and mental approach. It was here that she began her love story with “Wellness”, finding yoga, meditation, coaching, and massage as amazing outlets to self-exploration, growth, and healing. It is her mission to co-create experiences with others where they can love, play, and grow on their own journey in an atmosphere that is supportive and enjoyable.
Certifications: RYT200, Restorative Yoga, Usui Reiki Master Certification, Life and Wellness Coaching Education specializing in Play, NYS Licensed and Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage, Thai Massage, B.A.
Admin & Graphic Designer
Elena Lo-McEnaney is the Admin and Graphic Designer for the Cornell Creative Art Center. Having grown up in Kingston, she spent her summers during her high school years working for The Arc Mid-Hudson, assisting with any creative projects she could get her hands on. Since then, she has graduated from SUNY Purchase with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies, where she focused on blending her love for art and design with her interest in sociology and social media. She’s enthusiastic and eager to be a part of the CCAC team, and to contribute to the work she feels is so valuable to our community.