Alumni 2006- 2010

Christie Finn – Music ’07 is an American singer and poet active in the world of contemporary music and interdisciplinary performance. She is based in southwest Germany. In August 2020, she released a new recording of Christopher Trapani’s Waterlines with the Ictus ensemble. The work was written as a response to 2005 disaster, Hurricane Katrina. Below is an excerpt from the composer’s program notes:
‘That immediate sensation of shock after the storm is still emblazoned in my mind,’ Trapani, a native of New Orleans, recalled: ‘the fear of losing everything from the concrete to the intangible, from houses and photo albums to cultural traditions.’ As he sifted through vintage recordings of Southern music recalling the earlier cataclysm of the 1927 Mississippi River Flood, Trapani began to conceive a substantial work commemorating Katrina and paying tribute to Trapani’s Southern musical heritage. The result is Waterlines, a song cycle in which Trapani channels the cataclysm into a brilliant celebration of an extraordinary musical culture. The recording can be  listened to and downloaded here.
Finn has performed as a soloist with arspoetica (Germany), Asko | Schönberg (Netherlands), CrossingLines (Spain), Hezarfen (Turkey), ICTUS (Belgium), Nadar (Belgium), Oerknal! (Netherlands), oh ton (Germany), VocaalLAB (Netherlands) and several ensembles in New York City, including ekmeles, the S.E.M. Ensemble, Experiments in Opera, and Tactus. Finn was a Linehan Artist Scholar and graduated with a B.A. in Music from UMBC in 2007. She holds a Master of Music in Classical Voice from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Music in Contemporary Performance from Manhattan School of Music. Finn is also an active poet and serves at the Managing Director of the Hampsong Foundation
Career highlights include the world premiere of the opera To the Lighthouse at the Bregenz Festival, the world premiere of the Mojiao Wang’s opera Encounter at the Beijing Modern Music Festival, recording Waterlines with ICTUS as well as Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures for the Saarländischer Rundfunk, the world premiere of Klaus Lang’s opera die fette seele, and the U.S. premiere of Nono’s Quando Stanno Morendowith ekmeles. She performed as a soloist in the first and second annual Resonant Bodies Festival in New York City.

Kimberly Patrick – Music Technology ‘08, has a geek’s dream job, working as a sound editor and foley artist for Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Sound. Studyingmusic technology at UMBC kick started Patrick’s interest in film sound. Kimberly realized how much she enjoyed recording and adding sounds to moving images and after graduation went to film school at the University of Southern California to get her MFA in film and television production. She started as an intern at Lucasfilm in 2012 and advanced from there.
Patrick credits Professor Alan Wonneberger with encouraging her to pursue a career in film sound and the Linehan Artist Scholars program with giving her much needed financial help and an introduction to artistic collaboration. “It exposed me to a large group of artists that I got to work with, which ultimately is what I do every day now — I get to work with a bunch of different artists from different departments and… we can just make beautiful things together.”
To give back to the school, Patrick coaches current students on how to get into the business. She has gone back to UMBC to speak to music classes and did a foley recording exercise with Professor Wonneberger’s class. To succeed, Patrick says, “I think you have to be an experimenter. And you have to have an ear for what things work and what things don’t and be able to describe why things work and why they don’t.” It can be rewarding artistically when it all comes together.
Her resume includes Star Wars: The Force AwakensStar Wars: The Last Jedi, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as well as the Marvel movies Captain Marvel and Thor: Ragnarok. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy award for her sound editing for the animated series Star Wars Rebels. For more see UMBC Spring 2019 magazine.

Holly Googe – Dance ’09 A native of Brooklyn, NY, Holly trained and performed at the Ailey School, Dance Theatre of Harlem and LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. After graduating from UMBC with her B.A. in Dance and minor in French, Holly began working as a performer, an educator, administrator and most recently, a choreographer. She has performed on Carnival Cruise Lines, in the Tony award-winning musical Memphis (Riverside Theatre/Walnut Street Theatre), the independent short film “Bittersweet” (A. Blast Films) and on HBO’s “Vinyl,” just to name a few.
Holly recently choreographed her first dance video set to Kierra Sheard’s song, “Save Me.” In addition, Holly has had the
pleasure of working for various organizations including L’Oreal, the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre and Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn, in external affairs.  Today, Holly is still actively performing and teaching dance in NYC and North Jersey. She teaches ballet, theatre dance, jazz, hip-hop, tap and contemporary jazz. When she isn’t working, she enjoys doing yoga, creative writing, cooking and watching music documentaries. Instagram: @hollygooge

Ellen LineActing ’10, LMSW is a social worker in Baltimore City. She is currently working at Mountain ManorTreatmentCenter providing therapy and leading mental health groups for men who are in recovery from drug andalcohol addiction. She is channeling her theatre background into developing her Burlesque persona, Eddie Puss-Complex, and running Baltimore based Burlesque Troupe, Pink Flamingo Burlesque. She returned to Baltimore after adventures in art, career, and love took her to Providence, RI and Austin, TX.  Since graduating from UMBC, she has worked in theatre administratively at Baltimore Theatre Project and Trinity Repertory Company and artistically with Creative Action.  She earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin in August 2017.  She is extremely grateful for art she created and experienced and the opportunities to grow she enjoyed as a Linehan Artist Scholar.

Daphne Gardner – Visual Arts ’09 is living in New York, directing digital series and videos for Comedy Central as well as projects for MTV, VH1 and TV Land. In 2017 she directed and edited the Behind Broad City series, following the production of Broad City’s fourth season. She has produced and edited two seasons of the Comedy Central’s Emmy nominated web series Hack Into Broad City. She is the creator and director of the documentary web series Her Room, which screened in Flux Factory’s STROBE TV exhibition. Additionally she co-hosts the Ladies Horror Night podcast with Kate McEdwards, covering female centric horror films and video store culture. Her website is:

Talya Schenk – Music 10’ is an active performer and teacher of the viola. After UMBC, Talya earned a Master of Music from The Hartt School. She is pursuing doctoral studies at The Catholic University of America. Her teachers include Kimberly Sparr, Maria Lambros, Rita Porfiris, and Karin Brown. She maintains an active private studio of viola and violin students in Rockville, Maryland. Ms. Schenk performs with the Apollo Orchestra, Takoma Ensemble, and the Symphony of the Potomac and has attended world renowned programs such as the Round Top Festival Institute, National Orchestral Institute, and Texas Music Festival. She has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center, and at the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC honoring conductor Valery Gergiev. Talya has participated in masterclasses with members of the Juilliard and Takács Quartets. 

Danielle Spaeth (Durbin) – Music ’09 graduated Magna Cum Laude in Music Performance for flute. She continued her education at UMBC and earned a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in American Contemporary Music. She then earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee with an emphasis in flute performance and served as a Graduate Assistant for the Department of Bands.
Danielle is an accomplished soloist, chamber musician, teacher, and director.  She is a very active musician in local churches and in the community.  Danielle has taught at many summer music camps and has directed a number of community musicals. She teaches privately and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband, two boys, and three dogs.
While at UMBC, Danielle received three fully funded Undergraduate Research Awards. She participated in two interdisciplinary art group projects, based on reaction art and Surrealism, and a solo project on flute lineage and as a vocalist, she performed with the UMBC Camerata under the baton of David W. Smith, at Carnegie Hall under the baton of John Rutter, and as a part of Christmas in Washington. In 2009, she was a recipient of the UMBC Achievement Award in Music.  During her Post-Bacc., Danielle premiered many contemporary chamber pieces with RUCKUS, the resident faculty ensemble at UMBC.

Daniel Roberts – Music ’10    After teaching for four years, Daniel released a self-produced album with a new musical group called “They’ll Have Dreams” that pushed the musical boundaries of live music performance with a two person group. You can see more at They’ll Have Dreams.
In 2017, Daniel spent a year in California as the Creative Arts Director at Costa Mesa First United Methodist Church where he and the staff explored new approaches to integrating the arts in a purpose driven community.
After leaving Costa Mesa First, Daniel released his debut solo EP “American Tune” which he self-produced. It is available everywhere. You can also listen to it here:
After releasing his EP, Daniel started a YouTube channel to promote the EP and collaborate with other talented musicians and artists.
You can check it out here: Daniel John Roberts
In October 2018, Daniel created, produced and released a new podcast titled “Unmake My Enemy” where he explores cultural, psychological, social, political and religious topics through artistic collaborations and discussions with exciting and challenging artists from a wide variety of backgrounds. The podcast is available on all streaming platforms.
See more at

Lesa Gould (Wilcox) – Visual Arts ’09 with an emphasis in Animation and Interactive Media. After graduating, Lesa went on to work as a technical artist for a social gaming company in Timonium, MD. Later, she decided to pursue writing full time and self-published four novels between 2011-2013.  Then she took a short hiatus to be a stay-at-home mom after the birth of her son in 2015.  Lesa began writing again in 2016 and is currently preparing six novels for publication over the next couple years.  She, however, has not forgotten her visual arts and game design roots and is also developing an interactive story known as a visual novel.  She hopes it will also be released in the next couple years.
Lesa is very grateful for the opportunities provided to her as a Linehan Artist Scholar.  She treasures all of the experiences and people that she has encountered, that have shaped her into the person she is today.

Carly Engelke – Dance ’08  originally from Baltimore, MD, now resides in New York City. She has danced with The Next Stage Project, The Baltimore Dance Collective, SilvertreeProductions, performed at New York City Fashion Week, and in multiple productions along the East Coast. She has been training dancers for over ten years, and currently manages Shooting Stars NYC. Shooting Stars was the first competitive dance company in NYC, and has performed with Betsey Johnson, at The Barclays Center, and at Madison Square Garden. Before she began training New York City’s finest, Carly was the head of the dance department at Camp Starlight, taught at multiple studios through out the Baltimore-Washington Area as well as Long Island, and choreographed for several award winning studios. Her choreography has received regional and national recognition, been selected for the American College Dance Festival, and performed on prime time television. Carly is currently a Regional/National Judge, and Master Teacher for Starquest International. Carly’s students have been accepted into the Kirov Academy, Carnegie Mellon, Julliard, The Bolshoi Ballet, Alvin Ailey, among others. Carly prides herself on teaching the highest caliber of technique while instilling a love of dance, and promoting team work, and self confidence.

Michelle Purdy – Music ‘10 graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in percussion performance under the instruction of Tom Goldstein. While at UMBC Purdy participated in a vast array of ensembles including Percussion Ensemble, Contemporary Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Gamelan Ensemble, and Chamber Players. As a Linehan scholar, she had many opportunities to work with with dancers and visual artists, and continues to enjoy much interdisciplinary collaboration. Upon graduation from UMBC, Purdy continued her studies at The State University of New York at Buffalo where she earned a Master of Music in contemporary percussion performance under the instruction of Tom Kolor.
Purdy has performed at June in Buffalo, Baltimore’s Artscape Festival, the So Percussion Summer Institute, Make Music New York, The Livewire Festival, The High Zero Festival, and the Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale. She has performed with the Talujon Percussion Quartet, the Wooden Cities Contemporary Ensemble, and the Baltimore trio Microkingdom. Purdy currently performs with the science/music group Inverse Square Trio, the percussion quartet Umbilicus, the Sonic Meditations Ensemble, arts-in-education percussion trio Enviro Drum-Maryland, and the Columbia Orchestra.
Purdy teaches Applied Percussion, Musicianship, Music Theory, History of Jazz, and Musics of the World at Carroll Community College.
She currently resides in Baltimore, MD.

Jody Tiburzi (nee Smith) – Dance ’10 also received her Masters of the Art of Teaching in Dance Education from UMBC. Before receiving her MFA Jody performed with Deviated Theatre Company, as well as Project Reach with Carol Hess. She began dancing at the age of three and went on to teach, choreograph, and gain awards with Dance Unlimited Performing Arts Factory. Her choreography has been recognized at a regional and national level. Jody is currently a Dance Instructor for the Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program at Wiley H. Bates Middle School in Anne Arundel County. She has had the opportunity to work with students from many different backgrounds and levels, and wishes to instill a love of dance and appreciation for the arts in all of her students.

Shane Parks – Music ’10 is Management Associate at Broadway Asia International and a composer/arranger working in New York City. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition from UMBC and an MFA from New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts. At UMBC, he lead the school’s musical theater club as president, produced two concerts of original music, and was awarded an undergraduate research award for his work on Stephen Schwartz’ Children of Eden.  He has written and arranged music for Extant Arts Theatre Company, New York Shakespeare Exchange, and St. Pius X Youth Players.
Shane started at Broadway Asia International in October 2013. He is currently Management Associate at BAI and lead manager on China Goes Pop!, a new acrobatic revue which opened in Beijing this August, and a new immersive theatrical production of The Little Prince, to open in China late 2017.
As a composer, Shane creates musical theatre, mashups, arrangements all genres, incidental music, random bouts of sound, and will try anything once (musically).

Dr. Lindsay Phebus – Dance ’06 Since graduating in 2006 Lindsay danced with the Baltimore DanceProject, Dragonfly and Deviated Theatre. She earned a doctorate in psychology in 2014 and is Licensed Psychologist working with Veterans. “Even though my profession isn’t artistic at face value, it demands constant openness and creativity. These are two qualities that I was able to develop during my time as a Linehan Artist Scholar. The program has the ability to push the boundaries of your mind and guide you into uncomfortable spaces, something that has been necessary in building my practice. I am so grateful for those experiences and opportunities this wonderful program has provided! Thank you!”

Jacob Jensen – Visual Arts ’08 graduated with a degree in Visual and Performing Arts, with an emphasis in Clarinet Performance. He returned to UMBC in 2009 to complete a Certificate in Contemporary American Music. During this time, he also became the Marketing Manager for a local DJ company. In 2014, Jacob transitioned to another DJ and production company, handling their marketing and software operations. At the end of 2015, he opened up a boutique DJ company. Jacob continues to write and edit music.

Rachele Sills Torres – Music ’07
graduated with honors in Violin Performance. She also received a Master’s Degree with honors in Violin Performance from The Boston Conservatory. Additionally, Rachele studied at many prestigious institutions including the Meadowmount School of Music where she studied with Sally Thomas. Her main teachers include Lynn Chang, Dr. Airi Yoshioka, and Barbara Schneider. She has also worked and performed with Almita and Roman Vamos, Rachel Barton Pine, Mark O’Connor, and Yo-Yo Ma.
Rachele has played in numerous ensembles including the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra (where she was a featured soloist), Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, and the UMBC Symphony Orchestra where she was Concertmaster. In the summer of 2017, Rachele had the pleasure to join the Colorado Music Festival orchestra for several concerts in Boulder, CO.  Rachele is presently a section violin member of the West Michigan Symphony, and plays often with the Grand Rapids Symphony.
As an avid chamber musician, Rachele was one of the founding members of the Edwin Trio and currently enjoys playing chamber music and collaborating with numerous colleagues.  As an educator, Rachele has over 10 years of teaching experience and has taught for many programs including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra OrchKids Program and presently is a violin faculty member of Peabody Preparatory’s Allegro Strings Summer Program.
Rachele resides in Michigan with her husband, Gerald Torres (double bassist), where she maintains a home studio of over 30 students.

Kelly Schroeder McCann- Dance 10′ a Linehan Artist, received her degree in both Dance and Elementary Education. After graduating, Kelly taught first grade for two years in Maryland while also teaching dance at a local dance studio. From there she moved to Pittsburgh for graduate school and got her MEd in Instruction and Learning from the University of Pittsburgh. Kelly now resides in Chicago where she started a dance program at a Chicago Public school, Belding Elementary. Each student grades K-8 receives dance once a week during the school day. Through the students’ years at Belding they are exposed to ballet, modern, jazz, musical theater, tap, hip-hop, and stepping. They also get the opportunity to choreograph their own dances, learn about different cultural dances, and explore mixing dance with technology. A lot of what she teaches is thanks to the great dance education she received at UMBC as well as everything she was exposed to as a Linehan Artist Scholar.

Lisa Fecteau – Dance ’07  Shortly after graduation, Lisa moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams further. While studying at the Edge, Lisa took classes from many well-known choreographers and teachers. She was a company member of Faux Pas Dance Company and Nichelle Bane’s Reflections Dance Company. She returned to UMBC in 2012 for her MAT, so that she could share her passion for dance with a new generation. Lisa founded, taught, and directed the dance program at Lindale Middle School in Anne Arundel County for six years. Currently, Lisa is launching the new yoga and mindfulness program, Stretch Your Wellness, in addition to teaching her first passion, dance, at Meade High School in Anne Arundel County. She completed the 200 hour RYT program with Yogaworks in September 2017. This inspired her to share the transformation of mindful movement to further enhance the lives and potential of her students.

Helen Zhang – Visual Arts ’09 graduated Summa Cum Laude with a concentration in Computer. You may remember her work as Comic Artist for The Retriever Weekly, whose strip Slightly a Masochist ran weekly from from 2007-2009.
Helen recently celebrated her eleventh year as a video game artist and her fifth year with Backflip Studios in Boulder, Colorado. After getting her start in the Timonium game development scene, a art intern at BreakAway Games and Big Huge games, a 2D to Senior Artist at Zynga East, she relocated to Boulder, Colorado in 2013. Today, she creates mobile games as a Senior 2D and UI Artist at Backflip Studios, involved in user interface/user experience design, icons, logos, character/environment concepts, special effects, and 2D/3D graphics. You can see her work most prominently on DragonVale, a hit mobile game that is about to celebrate an incredible 7th year in the iTunes App Store! She is quite excited to start her next project, where she’ll be visualizing characters and environments, and chipping in with UI/UX design.
Her shipped titles include FrontierVille (2010-2011), CityVille 2 (2012), NinJump Rooftops (2013), NinJump Smash (2014), DragonVale Pop (2014), and DragonVale (2014-2018) – check them out in the iTunes App store and on Google Play!
Helen gets to bike to work every day and live the kind of life she used to dream about. She purchased her first house in North Boulder, a feat she credits to many years of gainful employment combined with the absence of student loan debt from the generous Linehan Artist scholarship. She is deeply grateful for the education and incredible experiences at UMBC that lead her here.
For more of Helen’s work, visit:
art blog,, portfolio,,
Art Station,