meet the team

Deb Mexicotte

Managing Director

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Deb Mexicotte received her BFA and MA in Theatre from Case Western Reserve University and the University of Michigan, and worked in local and regional theatre as a designer and painter before joining the University of Michigan. She has spent her career working initially with students and student organizations engaged with the arts to help them achieve their highest developmental aspirations, and more recently with faculty and administrators to integrate the arts and design with science and engineering across the curricular and co-curricular spheres. Deb was named Student Organization Adviser of the Year in 1999 and has led research efforts on the impact of the arts on students at U-M. Prior to the last six years at ArtsEngine, she spent eight years as the Program Director for Arts at Michigan, a co-curricular arts engagement program. Her experience in the community includes many years as a Trustee on the Ann Arbor Board of Education and leadership positions with the Arts Alliance of Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission.

John Granzow

Faculty Director

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John Granzow applies the latest manufacturing methods to both scientific and musical instrument design. After completing a masters of science in psychoacoustics, he attended Stanford University for his PhD in computer-based music theory and acoustics. Granzow started and instructed the 3d Printing for Acoustics workshop at the Centre for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. He attended residencies at the Banff Centre and the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. His research focuses on computer-aided design, analysis, and fabrication for new musical interfaces with embedded electronics. He also leverages these tools to investigate acoustics and music perception.

Granzow’s instruments include a long-wire installation for Pauline Oliveros, sonified easels for a large-scale installation at La Condition des Soies in Lyon, France, and a hybrid gramophone commissioned by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He is a member of the Acoustics Society of America where he frequently presents his findings. In 2013, Granzow was awarded best paper for his work modeling the vocal tract as it couples to free reeds in musical performance.

Mark Jones

Living ArtsEngine
Program Director

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Mark Jones has most recently served as an Academic Program Officer in the Center for Engineering Diversity and Outreach, Managing a wide variety of academic, personal and professional development programs as well as serving as an academic coach for the M-STEM academy. He has worked as an 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 the mid-west, south and Mexico. He holds a bachelor degree (BM) from the University of Akron, a Masters (MM) and Doctorate (DMA) from the University of Michigan and a Performance Certificate from Northwestern University.

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.

student staff

Andrew Armstrong

Videographer

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Andrew Armstrong is a senior earning a dual degree through the Ross School of Business and through the Film, Television, and Media Department in LSA.  He has served as co-president for FVSA, a film discussion club, and continues to serve as a producer for M-agination Films.  In the last three years, he has fulfilled various roles in the creation of over 20 short films.  He is currently serving as one of four co-founders of a photography and videography start-up.  After college, he hopes to pursue a film production career either in the creative or business world.

Ariel Berman

Videographer

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Ariel is a Senior at U of M majoring in Film, Television, and Media with a Screenwriting Sub Major. Over the course of his time at Michigan, Ariel has participated in over 30 unique projects in a shmorgishborg of different roles. Over the past year Ariel co-founded Delos Collective, a photography/videography group that works paid events in order to fund their short films. Beyond his 2022 graduation, Ariel hopes to move to Los Angeles and pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

Brendan Dewley

Videographer

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Brendan Dewley is a junior studying Film, Television, and Media at the College of LSA. He writes for multiple student humor publications, is a Producer and Writer at the student-run television network, has worked on both the cast and crew of many student productions, and is in Midnight Book Club, a campus improv comedy group. Brendan is interested in pursuing the writing, production, and performing of comedy.

Mary Hepp

Videographer

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Bio coming soon!

Ancel "Fitz" Neeley

Videographer

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Ancel “Fitz” Neeley (He/Him) is a senior currently studying composition and percussion performance at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance. While spending most of his time as a musician, Ancel frequently works as a composer, engraver, recordist, videographer, and performer for various students, productions, and organizations through U of M. Outside of U of M he primarily works as an educator for high school ensembles. Ancel is passionate about collaborating with other artists having commissioned/performed for many U of M composition, performance, and art and design students. While having also been commissioned by The University of Michigan Concert Band, The Michigan Music Teachers Association, and notable percussionists Tom Sherwood, and Cameron Leach. In his free time he is probably walking his dog, getting pizza with friends, or watching a good show. 

Michael Ngan

Social Media Assistant

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Michael Ngan is in his junior year in the BS (Arch) program at Taubman. As a student from
Hong Kong, he is fully aware of how architecture can bridge between different languages
and cultures. He enjoyed working across disciplines in the Living Arts residential community
in his freshman year. Being identified as a sporty kid, he thinks learning should be no
different: Never forget to have fun and challenge yourself. In his free time, he enjoys
reading, watching sports, composing, and making music, and is a proud member of the
University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club, one of the oldest collegiate choruses in the country.

Eric Oliveira

Videographer

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I’m Eric, and I am majoring in sound engineering through the SMTD. I love being part of creative projects in all sorts of fields. I am particularly fond of music and sound recording and editing, as I have always been a musician.

Ainesh Shintre

Videographer

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Bio coming soon!

Alex Snow

Videographer

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Alex is a senior at the University of Michigan. He is studying aerospace engineering with a focus in astronautics. His research interests include aerodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, hypersonics, and space propulsion. He is creatively driven and works as a photographer and videographer for student project teams of diverse educational backgrounds including the School of Engineering, Music, Theater, Dance, Art, and Design. Alex has created marketing content to promote and raise awareness for the Cancer Support Community and Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Alex has also listened to over 100,000 minutes of music on Spotify for two years in a row, and his taste of music is not even as diverse as his love of food. His goal is to eat at every restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor before he graduates. Alex makes a conscious effort to appreciate the spontaneous, unexpected, and little things in life. He prioritizes his mental and physical well-being by making time for himself and working out.

Jenny Suh

Graphic Designer

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Bio coming soon!

Charles Wyson

Videographer

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Charles Wyson is a filmmaker from Los Angeles, currently studying Art and Design at the University of Michigan. Charles began making films at age 9, and began seriously pursuing the craft at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Charles has produced, written and directed eight of his own short films, and has served as Cinematographer for over 35 student films. His film Sanctus won Best Film at the Brentwood Film Festival, came in 2nd Place at the Malibu Teen Film Festival, and garnered Charles an award for Best Director at Westflix Film Festival. Charles is an alumnus of YoungArts, a national compaction for artists under the age of 18, where he was one of seven filmmakers in the US to receive an Honorable Mention for two consecutive years.

Bailey Yonkman

Graphic Designer

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Bio coming soon!

Tianyi Zhai

Videographer

 

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Tianyi Zhai is a student from the class of 2025 at the University of Michigan, currently studying FTVM (Film, Television, and Media) and Psychology. She is also the founder and president of the only Original Chinese Film Club, “Cinnamon Cinema” at U of M. She also has experience with theater production. She wrote and directed three original musicals in high school and produced them with her team. She loves storytelling and focuses on evoking strong emotional responses from audiences.