Mark Jones

Program Director

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Mark is a graduate of the University of Michigan, holding both a Masters (MM) and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree. Prior to his position as the Program Director for Living Arts, he held the position of Academic Program Officer in the Center for Engineering Diversity and Outreach, managing a wide variety of academic, personal and professional development programs. He has held the position of Assistant Professor of Music at Alcorn State University and the University of Tennessee at Martin, teaching applied trumpet, music theory, music appreciation and brass methods courses. He has also performed with many orchestras and brass ensembles throughout his career.

Rachel Oti

Student Affairs Program Manager

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Rachel Oti earned her Bachelor’s Degree in arts education at Aquinas College and Master’s Degree in art administration and nonprofit management at Eastern Michigan University. She has over a decade of experience supporting the artistic community in Southeast Michigan through event organizing, marketing, and programming. Most recently, Rachel was the Program Specialist at Arts at Michigan where she connected U-M students to the arts through arts competitions, trips to arts experiences, serving as the advisor for the Arts Ambassadors student organization, and more! Helping students find and build meaningful connections within the arts is extremely important to Rachel. She is also very passionate about uplifting local artists and attends many of the creative events in and around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

Maggie Reed

Office Assistant

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“Maggie Reed is a third year music student studying Vocal Performance and Choral Music Education. She was a Living Arts member 2019-2020, and is currently a member of the UM chapters of the American Choral Directors Association and Sigma Alpha Iota. Maggie loves her dog, Willy and her many houseplants and she looks forward to one day putting her UM education toward being a choir director.”

Lauren Strawn

Peer Mentor Coordinator

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Lauren is a third year undergraduate student in the STAMPS school of Art and Design studying illustration and visual narrative. She has been both a mentee and a peer mentor in Living ArtsEngine. She’s been a student assistant for the Pre-College program at STAMPS and a camp counselor. She’s passionate about using art and design as a way to build community.

Ries Plescher

Alumni Coordinator

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My name is Ries (pronounced reese) [he/him], and I’m the Community Coordinator for the program this year! I’m originally from Anchorage, Alaska, but have lived most of my life 2 hours away in Grand Rapids, MI. I’m a Junior studying Civil Engineering and Geology, with additional coursework in Sustainability. I enjoy watching anime, listening to and playing music, making terrible memes, and trying to find the last 5% of campus that I haven’t walked through!