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 nonprofit 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.
Crystal Selk
Crystal SelkDirector of Development
Crystal comes to BCAT with over ten years of nonprofit leadership experience focused on design and implementation of strategic fundraising efforts. She has spent her career dedicated to the arts and education in Buffalo and Pittsburgh, PA. She holds an MS in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University and a BA in Art History from UB.

Adult Workforce Team

Deborah A. Porter
Deborah A. PorterDirector of Adult Workforce Programs
Deborah A. Porter joined Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology in 2013 and currently serves as the Director of Adult Workforce Programs. Her education and training include 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/School Administrator and other leadership training. She currently serves on the Erie County Arts & Cultural Advisory Board; Charter School of Inquiry as Trustee; Taking it to the Streets Ministry as Marking Coordinator. Deborah is confident and actively involved in her community and committed to helping adults reach their potential, succeed in life and be authentic. She models the behavior she wants others to follow while helping others to deal with emotional challenges and improve interpersonal relationships by taking back the controls of their own lives. She is a 2019 candidate for the Oishei Fellowship for Leaders of Color.
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.

Darren E. Saxon
Darren E. SaxonAssistant Director of Adult Workforce Programs
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.
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.

Coming Soon: Fall 2019 Teaching Artists