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Meet the Team

Artward Bound's staff, teachers, and mentors are working artists and youth education experts with decades of experience in professional and teaching environments. 

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Administrative Staff

Chandra Méndez-Ortiz
Executive Director of Artward Bound and Youth Pathways • 617.879.7122

Chandra Méndez-Ortiz is an artist, educator, and program director with over 20 years of experience in arts education. She received her Bachelor's degree from Florida State University, a Post-Baccalaureate degree in Painting from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and a Master of Science in Art Education from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Chandra currently works as an artist, educational consultant, program director for Artward Bound, and part of the leadership team for the Radical Imagination for Racial Justice Grant Program.  Recently, she served as the Vice-Chair for MassArt's Strategic Plan and was awarded the 2018 State Universities of Massachusetts Education Alumni Award for Excellence in Education and Service to the Commonwealth. 

Fun fact: Chandra is an avid gardener, cook, and landscape designer.

Bethany Strohm
Program Manager & Artist Toolbox Instructor • 617.879.7167

Bethany Strohm has worked with Artward Bound since 2012. She has a BFA in Painting and a M.Ed from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is also a sculptor, painter, and maker of strange baskets.

Fun fact: Bethany has a polydactyl cat named Cal who has 25 toes.

Greg Linse
Digital Media Designer/Online Learning Coordinator • 617.879.7183

Greg Linse graduated from MassArt in 2013 with a BFA in photography. He first joined Artward Bound as a one-off volunteer during his senior year but came on board in a more administrative capacity in 2018. He is passionate about using his video and photography skills to allow the Artward Bound story to reach more people in the community.

Fun fact: Greg dreams of one day going to North Carolina to see the wild horses.

Lissa Frómeta Paulino
Administrative Assistant

Lissa Frómeta Paulino is an Afro-Latina and Artward Bound alumni who joined in 2015. She is now a Junior studying Sculpture at Massart and is excited to be part of the Artwork Bound family to help and support students just how they helped me while I was in high school.

Fun fact: Lissa is bilingual and loves anime and video games.

Xinlin Huang
Digital Design Associate

Xinlin Huang graduated from MassArt in 2020 with a dual degree in Industrial Design and Ceramics. She has a passion for experience design as well as all kinds of 3D art. Since joining the Artward Bound community in the fall of 2017, she has evolved from helping students academically and artistically to being a full-fledged member of the AB design team.

Fun fact: As a child, Xinlin was chased by a chicken and now has alektorophobia, the fear of chickens.

Teaching Staff

Althea Bennett
Design Concepts Instructor

As an arts educator, Althea’s teaching is hip hop, meaning that it is a pastiche of history, culture, art, respect, representation, expression, and experimentation. Her classroom is tranquil yet active, a sculpture classroom open to all mediums. Through the lesson plans and experiences, she gives her students opportunities to uncover their personal histories leading to an understanding of their futures. Althea’s students discover new connections with materials and techniques, being innovative and resourceful.

Fun fact: Althea’s artist name is Daughter of Contrast; a reflection of who she is made from and what she produces.

Tony Perez
Citizen Artist Instructor

Tony Perez(He/They) is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Boston, Massachusetts. They recently received their MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a concentration in sound. Their practice, PRONZY, is rooted in homefinding; using archiving, poetry and painting as tools for unpacking trauma and exploring subjects like diaspora, ancestry and love language.

Fun Fact: Tony whole-heartedly believes that Burger King's marinara sauce is top tier. Don't @ them, they aint budgin'.

Academic Staff

Dan Chamberlain
Math Instructor

Dan Chamberlain is a high school math teacher for Boston Public Schools. He believes a math class should teach students to reason quantitatively so that they can better understand the world around them. Dan also holds true that numbers, figures, and patterns are so closely related to art and he is passionate about trying to link them together. 

Fun fact: Dan lived in a tent in Iceland for two months.

Katrina Jackson
Math Instructor

Katrina Jackson, known as Katrina by the AB community, is a long-time Boston Public Schools Mathematics teacher and a four year returning Math Academic Instructor at Artward Bound. She has experience teaching students with all different backgrounds and thrives off learning from new cultures and experiences. She continues to work with the Artward Bound community to infuse creativity and art into mathematics while playing games and having fun doing so. Katrina is married with four children and loves to model.

Fun fact: Katrina has participated in MassArt's Senior Fashion Shows in the past.

Shumon Jenkin
ELA Instructor

Shumon Jenkins is teaching ELA this summer for Artward Bound students in grades 9 to 11. He was born and raised in Brockton and currently lives in Boston. When he was younger, he had pieces published in the Journal of Critical Scholarship and Education and the DoveTales Resistance. Ultimately, he wants to publish a novel that changes the culture that made him who he is today, a grown black man with joy.

Fun Fact: He knows how to sing the alphabet backwards!

Mentor Staff

Quan Nelson

Quan Nelson is an Artward Bound alumni and this is his forth summer as a mentor. He joined Artward Bound in 2014 and has his associates degree in Fine Arts at Bunker Hill Community College. He is currently studying illustration at massart as a rising junior. This program showed Quan that the only limitation to his success is his fears and that if he wants to achieve his goals, to look forward with no doubts.

Fun fact: Quan makes music in his spare time to listen to while creating art.

Duru Özkefeli

Duru Özkefeli moved to the United States from Turkey 7 years ago. She is currently a sophomore in Art Education at MassArt. She enjoys painting and needle felting the most but also enjoys exploring different mediums of art. She is very passionate about connecting with others and creating a safe and open community. This is her first year at Artward Bound. 

Fun fact: Duru loves thrifting. 

Gersom Rivera

Gersom Rivera graduated from the Artward Bound program in 2017 and graduated Massart in 2022 with a BFA in illustration. He joined Artward Bound as a student back in 2014, in the summer of 2018 he joined on as a staff member. He is passionate about comic books, 3D modeling and toy design with his skills he tries to assist the students and teachers anyway he can.

Fun Fact: Gersom likes to collect toys and comic books, loves Tokusatsu shows like Kamen Rider And Ultraman

Ricky Vasan

Ricky Vasan is a painter and musician. Currently pursuing a BFA in Painting at Massart. Ricky grew up in India and has been in Boston for the last three years. He is passionate about educating and this is his first year with Artward Bound. 

Fun fact: Ricky is a color-blind painter.