Student Profiles


Andrés Arteaga (MFA ’19)

Born and raised in the barrios of Los Angeles, Andrés Arteaga informally practiced art, dance and writing as a means to dream, hope and survive. He studied English Literature and French at Seattle University ('12) before moving back to Los Angeles to become a Jesuit. During his time in the Society of Jesus, Andrés pursued his artistic passions, noting a correlation between human flourishment, social justice, spirituality, and the arts. Andrés primarily worked with Latino and migrant communities in the U.S. and in Mexico as a commissioned painter, arts instructor, and ESL teacher. Upon leaving the Jesuits, Andrés became a Spanish and Religion arts educator at Villa Academy and is currently assuming the role of Director of Equity Education and Inclusion. He joins the MFA program with a desire to learn and grow as an artist and administrator. He is certain that the program will offer him the necessary tools to one day effectively serve the Latino and the LGBTQ+ Latino community via the arts.

Adam Burges (MFA ’19)

Originally a southern artist from Mississippi, Adam Burges currently resides in Seattle, Washington, splitting his time as an independent studio artist and glass studio technician at Glassybaby. He holds a B.F.A. in Sculpture from the University of South Alabama where he focused heavily on kiln-formed, blown, and cast glass sculpture. Upon graduation, Adam was selected for a residency as the lead gaffer and instructor at the Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach Alabama. It was there where he was allowed the opportunity to help develop a successful public access glassblowing program. During that 3-year residency, Adam got his first taste of how nonprofit art organizations operate and was hooked. His artistic journey has landed him in the Pacific Northwest where he continues to create his work and pursue his M.F.A. in Arts Leadership. Adam’s style is unique as he constantly experiments with various materials on a quest to obtain a visual voice that is truly his own.

Lina Cholewinski (MFA ’18)

Lina Cholewinski often finds it difficult to distinguish whether her hands are paintbrushes or vice versa. She's a local Seattle Mural Artist who has painted numerous murals, some of which she still wears on her jeans today. She has been working at Urban Artworks, a nonprofit organization that paints murals with at-risk youth, since her freshmen year of college. She now serves as the Production Manager, working with local and international artists on GRAND scales from Kent to Ballard and everywhere in between. Her mission is to invigorate the public and empower local and international artists to create and support public art in order to grow the local arts community. Although art was only a hobby up until five years ago, Lina has dived into the Seattle Arts Sector and fully immersed herself into the lifestyle of an artist.

Dexter Henderson (MFA '18)

Born and raised in California, Dexter received his BA in Theater Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) where he found his passion for inclusive and diverse art. During his time there, he served as the President of the African American Theater Arts Troupe and the Production Assistant Coordinator of the Rainbow Theater Arts Troupe at the Cultural Arts and Diversity Resource Center. Dexter ultimately made his decision to pursue graduate studies after working with UCSC's SOMeCA to develop a student agency model toolkit presented to the White House Initiative of Educational Excellence for African Americans. Dexter currently serves as the graduate liaison for the Black Theater Network Board of Directors. He knew that with his passion for the arts and his drive for helping others, the SeattleU MFA Arts Leadership program was just right for him. Dexter hopes to work with a dynamic team of arts leaders in order to reform the need for arts education in our current society.

Meaghan Leferink (MFA ’18)

Meaghan's excitement to be a part of the Arts Leadership program at SU stems from a desire to increase the capacity of arts organizations to do equitable work that people in the community acknowledge, care about, and care for. She is especially interested in helping arts organizations foster education programs that grow Seattle's next generations of artists. Meaghan received her BA in Music from Mills College in Oakland, CA where she developed a love for artistic collaboration and hard conversations. She is currently the Program Director at Seattle Music Partners, which provides students at low-income schools in the Central District with free music lessons in an after school program setting. Through her practicums and classes Meaghan hopes to learn more about delivering high quality arts education programming to the most students possible, while developing ties with her classmates and future co-workers. When she's not in class or at work, Meaghan sings with Seattle Pro Musica and volunteers for other arts organizations like Rain City Rock Camp for Girls. 

Qiang Qiang (MFA '18)

Born and raised in China, Qiang Qiang received her BA in Music Performance and MA in Musicology from South China University of Technology. Her passion lies in both performing and visual arts, including crossover art forms.. Her extensive study in viola and piano has deepened her music aptitude. During her travels around the world, she has enjoyed checking out the local music scene, including folk music. No matter where she leaves her footprint, the local music atmosphere is something that engenders delight in her. The Arts Leadership program seemed perfect for her, offering her a chance to contact with people in different arts disciplines. Through theoretical curriculum and practical applications, she can practice what she is learning in class and support the arts community here in Seattle. 

Carson Rennekamp (MFA '18)

Carson Rennekamp came to Seattle University from Corvallis, Oregon to study the relationship between art and technology. Carson received his B.F.A. in Sound Design, with minors in Film & Television and Art History, from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2015. While at SCAD, he contributed sound design work on several award winning short films. Carson practices experimental music and video art under the moniker Rahikka, challenging the ideas of sonic space, repetition, and symmetry. Carson currently works as the Donor Services Representative in the Development Department at Seattle Art Museum. With his degree, Carson seeks to introduce new media art programs to youth in the Puget Sound region so they may explore creative storytelling, collaborative learning, and innovative problem-solving.


Monica Tanbrin (MFA '19)

Born and raised in Indonesia, Monica came to Seattle pursue her B.F.A in Fashion Design at Art Institute of Seattle. She has worked as Product Stylist at Zulily and was nominated as one of the finalists at Seattle Style Night: Up and Coming Fashion Designer 2015. She also has an internship as Assistant Fashion Designer at one of the manufacturing companies in Indonesia. On the side, she is also the Co-Founder of, which is a Seattle-based women's clothing line that offer the needs in braless alternative. Her goal is to broaden the awareness and also strengthen the connection between fashion and arts to the world. Throughout her studies at Seattle University, she hopes to understand techniques to promote and analyzes what art means to society, while connecting with fellow classmates and teachers as well. Outside of class, Monica likes to explore new places, restaurants, hiking, gathering with friends and painting. Find more about Monica’s work at her website.


 Jessica Taylor (MFA '19)

Jessica Taylor grew up attending art classes at local non-profits in her small city because the school system never offered enough. Jessica watched funding for the arts be the first to be taken away at her public school and seeing something so essential to our education disregarded, this shifted her passion to be an advocate for the arts. Throughout college, she worked with various non-profits, such as The Living Arts and Science Center and the Lexington Art League, which has taught her the intricacies as well as the wonderful possibilities that a program can provide for their community. Graduating with a BA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication at Transylvania University, Jessica hopes to apply and strengthen these skills to successfully work with or for an art non-profit. When she’s not busy trying to learn to hang complicated artworks or come up with savvy social media tag lines, you can find her at local poetry readings, hiking trail she’s never ventured or working at the Marketing Assistant for the Arts Departments at Seattle University.


 Shannon Welles (MFA '19)

 Shannon earned her BA in Criminology from the University of South Florida and studied Art at Georgia State University. Music is her greatest passion, and she has worked in the live music industry for 18 years. A fine art photographer, she has exhibited her photographs nationally and worked with numerous local and international arts organizations in the 16 years she has been a Seattle resident. Over the past decade, she has shifted focus to earth, community, and place-based knowledge areas. She has studied permaculture, earthen building, herbalism, and Pacific Northwest native plants and ethnobotany. She is the founder of Hypha, a collaborative project employing art, science, and gift giving to grow community networks of plant sharing. Her mission is to use the Arts to tell new stories of life based on interdependent networks and cooperation in order to build a web of resilient communities.

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