alumni program mission

The Living ArtsEngine Alumni program exists to support and broaden the pre-existing Living ArtsEngine community through peer-mentorship, social support, and encouragement of the interdisciplinary ideals that Living ArtsEngine stands for. We encourage the engagement of alumni within the community and provide the opportunity for alumni-initiated workshops, socials, and other events. We hope to extend the community and its values outside of the freshman class living in Bursley Hall.

living arts swirl logo
alumni leading workshop


Living ArtsEngine alumni have the opportunity to lead workshops of their own. This serves as a resource for current Living ArtsEngine students as well as an opportunity for alumni to engage with the community while further developing their leadership skills.

alumni board group photo


Once a month, the Alumni Board puts on a social for alumni to allow them to get together and catch up. Past socials include Bubble Tea Night at Sweeting and Ben & Jerry’s Night.

alumni and student projects


The Alumni Board works to plan events or projects that will involve and encourage the collaboration between first-year students in the residential community and the alumni community. Past projects include the Bursley Mosaic (pictured above).

alumni board

The purpose of the Alumni Board is to stimulate long lasting meaningful connections among alumni of the Living ArtsEngine program and cultivate an atmosphere of connection and support for Living ArtsEngine programming, its past and present members and their endeavors.

The volunteer board members will provide their knowledge, expertise and network connections to offer advice, guidance, resources and hands-on-service to provide ArtsEngine with the means to carry out Living ArtsEngine’s vision and mission.

Phoebe Wu

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Phoebe Wu (she/they) is a freelance pianist and piano teacher based in Chicago, IL. She performs contemporary classical music as a chamber musician and soloist in the Chicago area and beyond, having recently collaborated with ensembles including New Music Detroit, Khemia Ensemble, and ÆPEX Contemporary Performance. Phoebe has premiered works by Fjóla Evans and Viet Cuong, and worked with composers Jennifer Higdon, Evan Ware, and Carlos Simon. They also work frequently as a choir accompanist at schools all around the city. As an educator, Phoebe is the co-founder and piano teacher of Chicago Piano & Drums, a music studio offering piano, drumset, and vibraphone private lessons to students of all backgrounds and experiences. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan. 

Phoebe is also currently an apprentice where they are studying piano technology: tuning, repair, regulation, and maintenance of acoustic pianos of all shapes and sizes. In the brief moments between everything piano-related, you can find Phoebe riding their bike, baking, and quilting.

Paul Giessner

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Paul Giessner is a 2012-2015 alumni of Living Arts, and participated in the program as a freshman, peer mentor, and resident advisor.  While attending the University of Michigan, he studied pipe organ performance and electrical engineering, and was a member of the Men’s Glee Club and the Eta Kappa Nu Honors Society.  He currently works remotely for Anza Renewables as an engineer, supporting the design, integration, and commissioning of utility energy storage projects.  He lives in Howell, Michigan with his wife, Ali, and their two pups, Dax and Daisy!

Paul continues to enjoy experiencing creativity in all of its forms, from performing in experimental ensembles to dabbling in Arduino projects to building all of the things out of Legos!  Recently, he’s gotten involved in a variety of activism causes in both his local community and the state of Michigan as a whole.  In his free time, he likes to read books, listen to (and play) music, cook (and eat), and spend time outdoors.

Caroline Michele Uy

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Caroline Michele Uy is a Chicago-based stage manager, producer, dramaturg, and theater practitioner. They are currently the Literary & Dramaturgy Apprentice at the Goodman Theatre and have done freelance theater work with Steep Theatre, the National Museum of Mexican Art, New York Stage & Film, Berlin Opera Academy, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. They graduated from University of Michigan in 2020 – BFA Design & Production (Stage Management), BA Cognitive Science (Language & Cognition; Minor in Germanic Languages and Literature)

Lauren Murphy

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Lauren Murphy was a Living Arts member from  2014-2016 and while at the University of Michigan she earned her Bachelors of Science in Information. After graduation, she stayed at the School of Information to help develop and launch their Masters of Applied Data Science degree. She continues her work there today as a Senior Instructional Content Specialist, supporting the staff and faculty connected to the Applied Data Science program in a variety of ways. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys co-organizing a small book club, exploring the Ann Arbor parks, and finding new music to fall in love with.

Chelsea Pugh

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Chelsea graduated University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Science. She was a member of the Living Arts Engine community in 2011-12 and served as a peer mentor in 2012-13. During the summer of her junior year, she interned at a cloud communications company called Twilio and decided she wanted to live in San Francisco. After graduation, Chelsea began working as a full time software engineer at Apple. Chelsea has worked on various efforts during her time at Apple, including the Safari browser, Siri Search, and most recently Vision Pro. She is now an engineering manager working with a team of software engineers. In her spare time, Chelsea likes to go for runs, play board games, explore the city, and play cello in a community orchestra. The Living Arts Engine program inspired Chelsea to work with interdisciplinary teams and strive for creativity in her daily life.

Grace Giordano

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Grace spent her umich years with Living Arts (Engine), first as a student and peer mentor, and later in the office. She has a BFA from Stamps and is currently an MFA candidate in Painting at Boston University. Outside of her painting practice, she loves making her own clothes, jewelry, and ceramics, playing guitar in the park, and reading way too many books.