Board of Directors
Founder & Executive Director, Curriculum Designer
Founder Tempest NeuCollins received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She went on to work as a teaching artist and K-5 art teacher in Brooklyn before leaving in 2015 to start Doodles Academy. She currently lives and works in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“When teaching art, we are not just teaching the next generation of artists. We are also teaching the next generation of doctors and scientists to be creative, adaptable, and innovative thinkers. Every child deserves access to these skills.”
Board Chair, Grants, and Equity and Impact Metrics
Cathy currently lives in New York City and is a Department Administrator for Undergraduate Film & Television at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
“I joined Doodles Academy because I believe that ever child, in every school, deserves an education which includes art, encourages creativity, and nurtures the imagination.”
President, Curriculum Advisor, & Advocate
Carey Swanson is a Designer at Student Achievement Partners with a focus on literacy. Projects she supports center around the work of learning to read, as well as immersive literacy experiences with texts and topics that reflect and affirm students’ identities and expand their knowledge of the world around them. She is grateful for the chance to apply this lens to her work as a board member at Doodles Academy.
Prior to working at SAP, Carey was a school leader and teacher in NYC for 15 years, and believes in the promise of learning that a reimagined approach to school has the potential to fulfill.
Kathleen Elie lives in Queens, NY and has been working in nonprofit finance for 19 years. The majority of her career has been serving in charter schools and education based organizations. Kathleen is currently the CFO at Urban Arts Partnership.
“I have watched students transform from shy and quiet to confident and engaging in an art class. With a strong art curriculum in schools, children are given the opportunity to find their true selves and use art as a beautiful form of expression.”
Recruitment & Diversity
Facilitation, Equity and Impact Metrics
Chris lives in California, and is currently a Lecturer, Life Design Lab at Stanford University | Manager, Coach, Facilitator, Speaker
“Art and self-expression is not a nice-to-have if we want our students to grow into their full academic and human potential. I support Doodles because we don’t just guide students in creating art; we help students explore critical content areas, like language arts and history, through the making of art, and we prioritize diverse artists and content.”
Fiana lives in Brooklyn, NY. She began her career in PR, working at global PR agencies like Ketchum and Edelman, and working with a range of Fortune 500 companies and smaller brands including American Heart Association, Dove, IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, and Wendy’s. She also studied Fashion Marketing at Parson’s, and worked in leadership roles for several high profile luxury brands including Givenchy and Saint Laurent, leading sales teams and developing major partnerships with Barneys, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus.
“Arts education has its own intrinsic values. It serves important purposes for students beyond the limited outcomes captured on standardized tests. This is something school leaders shouldn’t lose sight of and thanks to organizations like Doodles Academy, there’s a good chance they won’t.”
Vida Torres lives in Virginia near Washington D.C. and is a UX Designer for Jenzabar, an educational technology company that creates high-quality school information systems for institutions of higher learning. As a former college advisor and classroom teacher, Vida has taught students from all ages and backgrounds and has witnessed the significant positive impact that arts education can have in the lives of young people.
“Art is impactful and can be life-changing for young people, allowing them a vast amount of opportunities for self-expression, problem-solving, and making meaningful connections with the world. I joined Doodles Academy because I believe the life-changing powers of a quality arts education should be available to all children, no matter their background.”
Educator Leadership Council
Ife Abdus-Salam is an educator and administrator with 15 years of experience in New York City schools, non-profit organizations and cultural institutions. Ife has served as an educator and administrator for a number of organizations including the Studio Museum in Harlem, International Center of Photography, and the New York City Department of Education.
“I am excited at this opportunity to work with Doodles Academy as it keeps me connected to these core facets of my identity as a Visual Art Teacher and Visual artist, and allows me to continue to engage and impact students in their artistic education beyond place in the classroom.
Alyssa lives in Rochester, NY and teaches at Discovery Charter School. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Art Education from Nazareth College. Alyssa has 10 years of experience teaching art education in the K-12 and higher education setting. She is also an active member of the New York State Art Teachers association serving as the Region 2 Co-Chair, Board Representative, Newsletter Design Editor, and District Membership Co-Chair.
“The Doodles art curriculum provides my students an authentic and engaging learning experience.”
Dana has over 20 years of experience as an arts integration specialists and teaching artist in Washington State, USA. She has taught in schools at all levels, teaching art, doing collaborative arts integration work, and teacher training. She has worked with refugee organizations, with learners of English as a Second Language, and lived and worked at the village level in both West Africa and Melanesia. Dana studied Making Thinking Visible concepts through The Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.
Major Volunteer Contributors