Our Team

Program Staff

Nadia Williams, Program Director

Nadia Williams is an alumna of the Parsons Fashion Design BFA program. Nadia has taught precollege Fashion Design courses at Parsons and in numerous NYC public schools as a teaching artist. She is a member of NYCoRE (NY Collective or Radical Educators), sits on The New School University Social Justice Committee, and is faculty of advisor for Sisters Art Salon (a collective of women artists of color) and The New School DREAM Team (which supports undocumented students and allies).

Joelle Riffle, Program Administrator

Joelle Riffle is a communication designer from Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in communication design in 2013. Joelle has a range of professional and creative experiences, from her time as a graphic designer at the small branding and web studio to her current role as the program administrator at the Parsons Scholars Program. Her design practice and administrative work overlaps in the desire to work from a people-focused approach to collaborate and mobilize for positive change, particularly around underrepresented populations in creative fields.

Senior Advocates

Lindsay Lee Long, Youth Advocate

Lindsay Long is a visual artist with a strong passion for art education. She is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where she earned a BFA in illustration, and continues to develop innovative graphic artwork and promotional designs through her company, Fresh & Focused Designs. She has worked with youth of a variety of ages and backgrounds as an art educator in New York and Maryland and believes artistic expression should be highly valued and a part of the everyday human experience. Along with her passion comes a commitment to inspiring youth and people of all ages as well as encouraging creativity and self-expression through the visual arts.

Nicole Pimentel, Youth Advocate

Nicole is a New York City based fine artist who makes art inspired by her Peruvian and Puerto Rican roots. She graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2010 with a BFA in Illustration. Nicole holds the initial certification as a NYC public school teacher (Visual Arts, K-12) and earned her Masters Degree in Education at CUNY Queens College. Nicole began her role as Youth Advocate at the Parsons Scholars Program in 2011 and most recently worked with the graduating class of 2016. She also works as the Visual Arts Teacher at NYC Charter High School for Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industries (AECI) located in the Bronx, NY.

Crystal Henry, Youth Advocate

Crystal Henry is an Artist working through photography, textile and other traditional art forms, using mediums to explore ideas and expand on theory. Her experience as a New Yorker of Caribbean descent has informed her experiences and her practices. Most recently, she has been creating work about family history. Graduating from Parsons School of Design has really shaped her experiences as an artist, pulling ideas of design and experimentation into her practice. Crystal is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell 2017 Young Artist Residency Pilot program.

Benefiting personally from free young arts education programs for underserved youth growing up in the city, she has seen the value that these programs can bring. Early experiences with the Joan Mitchell Foundation as well as working with the Parsons Scholars program throughout her years has provided opportunity to teach, organize and create for students interested in exploring their own path in the arts.

Junior Advocates

Nicolas Savvides, Youth Advocate

Nick Savvides is a designer, hip-hop artist, and community organizer from Queens, NY. Nicolas believes that strong, local communities can change the world. Nicolas' work is a practice of sustainable design and economic development. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s in Architecture, where he was a New York Needs You Fellow and a Coca-Cola Foundation Scholar. Savvides focusses his work on community-based design and sustainable responses to urban problems. In 2012 he participated in the College of Human Ecology’s Terra Verde 2012 abroad program which evaluated eco-design and philosophy in Holland, Germany, and Switzerland. He also conducted an invited service trip to Rajasthan, India that mapped over 500 residential and infrastructural sites and surveyed over 2,000+ village residents on site usage patterns. While in college, Savvides co-founded and was program administrator of Practice Makes Perfect Inc. Savvides has worked as a teaching artist on various design build and career exposure projects in the East Brooklyn area. 

Yelaine Rodriguez, Youth Advocate

Yelaine graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in Fashion Design and is a Parsons Scholar alumna. During her undergraduate studies, she attained a scholarship to study photography in Paris, and Fashion Design at Central St. Martins London. Throughout her 4 years in college, Yelaine worked as a mentor in the Parsons Scholars Program. Rodriguez has taught at Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic, and continues to teach in the Parsons Pre-College Academy. Yelaine is an Artist, Educator, Curator, and Cultural Organizer. With The Bronx as her backdrop Rodriguez's combination of costume design and sculptures creates whimsical and revealing imagery of the complexities of her experiences as a Dominican American raised in The South Bronx. Through her art, Rodriguez explores her dreams and realities, blending the lines between fashion and performance arts as a search of self-discovery. Her dedication to her community has been the driving force behind the creation of La Lucha, an artist-based organization that brings together Dominican and Haitian artists to explore their identities and relationships through art.

Sophomore Advocates

Francisco Donoso, Youth Advocate

Francisco Donoso, born in Quito, Ecuador by way of Miami, Florida, holds a BFA in Painting & Drawing from SUNY Purchase and maintains his studio practice in Inwood, NYC. He’s interested in the intersections of art, education and social justice, with a love for youth empowerment.

Havanna Fisher, Youth Advocate

Havanna is a budding interdisciplinary artist from Harlem who works across the fields of design, performing arts and film. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design from Parsons and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in dance from Eugene Lang. She has a profound interest in using the skills and techniques that she has acquired to combine the arts with education to bring about political awareness and thus probable change within the American landscape of ideological identity.

Undergraduate Mentors and TAs

Richard Supriano, Mentor and TA

Raquel Castillo, Mentor and TA

Tatiana Glover, Mentor and TA

Maria Bravo, Mentor and TA

Allison Esannason, Mentor and TA

Jahiakil Brunson, Mentor and TA

Stephane Jean Phillippe, Mentor and TA

Mary Gordon, Mentor and TA

Jelani Shipman, Mentor and TA

Ashlie Baptiste, Mentor and TA

Tiffany Claborn, Mentor and TA

Naiky Paradis, Mentor and TA

Nazifa Ahmed, Mentor and TA

Tatyana Palacios, Mentor and TA

Wendy Zamorano, Mentor and TA

Elizabeth Peralta, Mentor and TA

Andrea Robertson, Mentor and TA

Tiama Wilson, Mentor and TA