Center for Arts Leadership Student Board

The Student Leadership Board is an august group of UH undergraduates, graduates and recent alumni who create opportunities for the UH Student Body to engage with trends and events with the local and national arts community and provide the SLB opportunities to enhance their own leadership skills.

Student Leadership Board 2015

MAnders Moriah Hargrove Anders has been active in the arts since her early childhood. She is currently a sophomore Electrical Engineering student with the Honors College at the University of Houston. She hopes to be able to connect her fellow engineers with the arts through her involvement with the student board. She is from Kemah, Texas and enjoys living in the big city. 

Emily Chambers is a fourth-year history student at the University of Houston. Coming from a long line of Mexican-Americans activists within Houston, her goal is to assist in creating positive community opportunities through the arts. Through the board, she hopes to bridge the gap between the university and the community. After she graduates, Emily plans to attend graduate school for psychological research, merging her interests in community, art and the public. 


Karina Filipovich, a native Houstonian, is a freshman studying architecture. Always interested in being creative, she was drawn towards photography and digital media in high school. She has won awards in the arts from Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, V.A.S.E., Culture Shapers, and the Drexel Highschool Photography Contest throughout her high school career. She has also participated in Collaborations X & XI, showcasing her photographs at the Houston Center for Photography. Karina recently curated photographs for #MobileMoments, a show focused on mobile photography as a fine art, at HCC Central Art Gallery.

Zach Zachary Gresham is currently the Education Programs Director at Art League Houston, a non-profit contemporary art space that embraces 21st century approaches to curatorial programming, community-building, place-making, art education, and outreach to under-served communities.  Prior to his work with Art League Houston, Zachary worked as Education and Volunteer Coordinator at Lawndale Art Center, in the education department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and in the Academy at Houston Ballet.  He holds a BA from Lamar University, a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Rice University, participated in the 2014 cohort of the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI) through the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and is currently completing his MA in Arts Leadership and M.Ed in Art Education from the University of Houston.
MLascynski Melinda Laszczynski is a 2015 MFA Candidate at the University of Houston, where she is currently a Teaching Fellow. She graduated from The Cleveland Institute of Art in 2010 with a BFA in Painting. She has been in numerous exhibitions in the Houston and Cleveland areas, including The Big Show at Lawndale Art Center, Disturbance of Distance at Box13 ArtSpace, and In-Turn at Zygote Press. Her second solo exhibition, Always Plus One Day, exhibited in February 2014 at Fresh Arts in Houston, TX. Her work can be found in private and corporate collections, including University Hospitals in Cleveland, OH and Avery Denison in Mentor, OH.
Rashida Rashida Moore (Graduate, Arts Leadership) As a development professional, educator, musician, actor, and native Houstonian, Rashida contributes to the non-profit Arts and culture sector in Houston as an Arts leader. After several years of working for performing arts and higher education non-profits in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, she relocated in 2012 to her hometown of Houston, Texas and is Continuing Education and Affiliate Coordinator at AIA Houston. 
KStraw Kathryn Zolkowski Straw (Board President) is currently the Director of Corporate Relations of Houston’s Alley Theatre.  Prior, she served the University of Houston as Assistant Director of Foundation Relations. With over 13 years of nonprofit fundraising experience, she has a diversified career working in arts and cultural organizations, social services, and higher education. Formerly, Kathryn was a senior development officer with SEARCH Homeless Services in Houston and served as Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Prior to that, Kathryn spent six years as the grants manager with Atlanta’s Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre and was a member of the Intern Company at both Actor’s Express (Atlanta, GA) and St. Michael’s Playhouse (Colchester, VT). Kathryn holds a BA in Communication and Theatre from the University of Notre Dame and is pursuing an MBA at the University of Houston.
CWhite Cecelia White is a Junior working towards a BFA in Playwriting with a Certification in Nonprofit Management and a minor in Interdisciplinary Arts. Outside of school, Cecelia has been an active participant in the Houston arts scene, taking on many jobs such as actress, teaching assistant, or technical assistant in jobs with The Catastrophic Theatre, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Art League Houston, and DiverseWorks. She has also worked nationally with The Cornerstone Theater based in Los Angeles, a company nationally recognized in pioneering the field of community-based theatre. Cecelia finds the most purpose working in the fields of community-based art and social practice, and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in those fields.
BZech Brandon Zech is an interdisciplinary artist, art historian and curator working in Houston. He is currently studying at the University of Houston and will graduate in May 2015 with a degree in Art History and a minor in Interdisciplinary Art. Through working at a number of Houston arts organizations, including Aurora Picture Show, DiverseWorks, The Printing Museum, and Project Row Houses, he has gained a vast knowledge of the Houston arts. Brandon’s work has been exhibited at artspaces throughout the city, including the Frenetic Theatre, Alabama Song, and DiverseWorks.

Students were selected to the board via application process, and were selected to reflect a commitment to the arts, creative inquiry and community building. Applications for the Student Leadership Board occur at the beginning of the semester. More about the Student Board and their responsibilities can be found here.