| Staff
Staff 2018-08-03T11:30:53+00:00

Our Staff

Gina Burkhardt
Gina BurkhardtPresident/CEO
Gina Burkhardt is the President and CEO of Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT). Previously, she was the Senior Vice President at the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Burkhardt was President and CEO of Jobs for the Future, a national not-for-profit organization focused on education and the workforce; the Executive Vice President of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), an organization working in education, health, and the workforce; and, as CEO of Learning Point Associates which merged with AIR.

Burkhardt was born and raised in Auburn, N.Y. and began her career as a middle school mathematics and science teacher in Wayland, N.Y. She completed her doctoral coursework in educational psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed coursework in the Executive Education Program at University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She currently holds and has held several professional board appointments.

Elizabeth Eisenhauer
Elizabeth EisenhauerOperations Manager
Elizabeth Eisenhauer is a Buffalo native with a history of personal and professional involvement in the community and extensive experience in nonprofit administration. She has worked with organizations as diverse as the Sisters of Mercy, Everywoman Opportunity Center, New World Record, Elmwood Village Association, and the Parkside Community Association. She holds a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Geography.
Lindsay M. Gallson
Lindsay M. GallsonDevelopment Coordinator
Lindsay Gallson joined BCAT as Development Coordinator in 2016 bringing with her a breadth of experience in both development and fundraising. After graduating from the University at Buffalo with a BS in Business Administration, Lindsay worked in marketing before joining the WNY Women’s Foundation specializing in operations, finance and development for five years. Born and raised in the Buffalo area, Lindsay cares deeply about her community and wants to assure it thrives for many future generations.

Adult Workforce Team

Deborah A. Porter
Deborah A. PorterDirector of Adult Workforce Programs
Deborah Porter joined Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology in 2013 and currently serves as the Director of Adult Workforce Programs. Her education and training includes a Bachelor of Science in Business Management/Marketing; 2009 Leadership Buffalo graduate; Cultural Competency certificate; Business Solution Certification (BSC); NYS BPSS Private Career School Director License/School Administrator and other leadership training. She currently serves on the NYS Youth Mentoring Advisory Board; Erie County Arts & Cultural Advisory Board; Charter School of Inquiry as Trustee/Secretary; and Concordia Foundation as Board Chair. Deborah is actively involved in her community and committed to helping empower adults to reach their potential.
Marie Bertola
Marie BertolaPharmacy Technician Instructor
Marie Bertola (R.Ph) is a lifelong WNY resident who comes to BCAT with more than 20 years of experience in pharmacy practice. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and is a New York State Licensed, Registered Pharmacist and Certified Pharmacist Immunizer. She has received certification training in Patient Centered Diabetes Care, First Aid CPR/AED and Blood Borne Pathogens. Marie is a licensed NYSED instructor and an Advocate Educator for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. She is a member of several professional organizations: Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, Pharmacists Association of Western New York, National Community Pharmacists Association and Pharmacy Technician Educators Council.
Colene Melson
Colene MelsonMedical Coder Instructor
Colene Melson (M.S. Ed., CPC, COC, CMBS) is a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and a Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) through the Medical Association of Billers. She is also a New York State Certified Special Education and Literacy Educator. Colene received her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Education and Literacy Instruction at Niagara University. She has 10+ years’ experience in the medical billing and coding field, having worked in various specialties such as pediatrics, internal medicine and radiology. In addition to office experience, Colene has worked as an instructor for Bryant & Stratton College’s Professional Skills Center teaching adult learners medical coding, billing and healthcare ethics.
Darren E. Saxon
Darren E. SaxonAdult Workforce Coordinator
Darren joined BCAT in 2017 bringing with him a bevy of experience in the adult education, wellness,
and corporate arenas. After graduating with a BS in Health and Wellness and completing his MS in Human Services from Buffalo State College, he directed health promotion classes for American Axle Automotive plant.
Darren then started his career in various areas of the banking industry. After spending eight plus years in the industry from mortgage underwriting to retail branch manager, and finding it unfulfilling, he pursued his first love of helping people become the best version of who they can be. While in banking, he started teaching financial literacy classes and turned that into a career in adult education at the State University of New York Educational Opportunity Center. As adjunct faculty, he helped adults achieve their goal of a high school diploma and financial independence. Now at BCAT, he is fulfilled by assisting students to achieve their goal with a certification in medical coding or pharmacy technician

Youth Arts Team

Da’Von McCune
Da’Von McCuneYouth Program Manager
Born, raised and educated in Buffalo, Da’Von L. McCune received his BS in Accounting and Masters in Urban Planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). Instead of taking the normal career path and joining an accounting firm, Da’Von wanted to give back to his community by working with youth. Being a product of various after school programs such as Upward Bound and Beam, it was natural for Da’Von to return to after school programs as a staff member. His work at the 21st Century Learning Community Center at McKinley High School and Science Technology Enrichment Program (STEP) at UB provided opportunities to concentrate on helping youth succeed academically. Da’Von became a GED® instructor for BPS Adult Education, teaching at-risk youth and adults. Creating a culture of academic achievement by using self-responsibility and music as a foundation, BCAT noticed his successful results and asked him to bring that same passion and forward-thinking to adults and youth at BCAT.
Tom Dreitlein
Tom DreitleinYouth Program Coordinator
Tom Dreitlein is a recent graduate of The University at Buffalo where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English and Communication. He has spent his time in Buffalo fostering growth in the poetry community, founding UB Poets and organizing the first ever intercollegiate poetry slam at UB. A two time TEDx speaker, Tom facilitates workshops around Buffalo aiming to discuss the intersection of poetry, expression and introspection. In the fall of 2015, Tom began at BCAT as a volunteer, going on to become an intern and then a part time staff member as a Spoken Word Teaching Artist before taking on his role as the Career Readiness Counselor.
Yanava Hawkins
Yanava HawkinsCollege and Career Counselor
Yanava Hawkins is a Buffalo native and graduate of the University at Buffalo class of 2016 receiving her BA in Social Sciences with a concentration in Community Mental Health as well as her BA in Communications. After completing her education at UB, Yanava served a year with Americorps VISTA as the Community Engagement Specialist at Gateway-Longview. She is thrilled to be part of BCAT to support youth on their direction of choice after high school graduation. Yanava’s main focus is to provide the youth with access to resources and open their minds to unveil their highest potential.

Teaching Artists

Michael Mulley
Michael MulleyFine Art Photography
Michael Mulley is a Fine Art Photographer and Gallery owner with a 20-year history in the Arts in Buffalo. He hosts the “Art Under the Stars” exhibits each month during the Summer and is Curator of the Broadway Market Photo Project. His work has been exhibited throughout Western New York. He joined the staff at BCAT in 2015 as a Fine Arts Photography Teaching Artist.
Hiram Cray
Hiram CrayFine Arts
Hiram has 20 plus years working in the community as an activist and artist. Starting out as a young activist in his community working with 50 Women with a Vision on Jefferson Ave to help community wellness by participating in street cleanup, street garbage can installation, Tops Supermarket development, Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Library development, Apollo Media Center development. Hiram’s early and continued civic participation, has cultivated a deep rooted passion for community building and teaching.

Hiram comes to BCAT with a BFA from Buffalo State College, and Certification in 3 phases of welding from QTTI. He is currently pursuing a Multidisciplinary Masters Degree, with the goal of attaining a Phd in Art Practice.

His diverse vocational background includes experience in Maxillofacial Prosthetics @ Columbia University & Bronx VA Hospital; work as a Life Skills coach and Family Resource Specialist @ Gateway-Longview; School Support Specialist/Case Manager @ Mid-Erie; Assistant Martial Arts instructor @ Summit Martial Arts. Hiram has worked as a traditional art teacher with various organizations and schools which include, Tapestry Charter, Locust St Art, Langston Hughes Center, Albright-Knox, and at community events throughout Buffalo, NY. Hiram’s work with youth includes children with emotional and developmental delays and he is certified in both Cultural Competency and DSW.

Preach Freedom
Preach FreedomHip Hop Ensemble
Preach Freedom is a singer, songwriter, composer, percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, teaching artist, and a proud father. He is currently the lead singer for Preach Freedom & Connect, occasionally fronts for One World Tribe., and is the drummer/percussionist/vocals/woodwind instruments for Rusted Root. Preach joined BCAT in 2015 as Hip Hop Ensemble Teaching Artist.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Contact Info

The Artspace Building
1221 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14209

Phone: 716-259-1680