Art + Design Faculty

Lynn Capirsello


Interior + Spatial Design

Lynn Capirsello is a designer and educator who specializes in interiors. She is a two time graduate from Syracuse University receiving her BFA in interior design and her MS in Art Education Preparation. After working in Syracuse and NYC, and designing and opening her own coffee house (called The Red Monk) she began her teaching career at Syracuse University where she taught for over 8 years. She came to Sage in 2009 and is currently the Interior + Spatial Design Program Coordinator. Lynn believes that through design education one can inspire and challenge each student to become the future creative leaders and thinkers in the profession.

Karen Conway

Interior + Spatial Design

Karen E. Conway, Allied ASID, LEED AP ID & C is an instructor in Interior Design. Karen earned a BS in biology and journalism at Cornell University and worked in environmental and non-profit fields in public communications and graphic design. As her interest in visual communications developed, she returned to Sage College and earned a BFA in Interior Design.

Karen’s previous career in the environmental field heavily influences her work as a designer and she is certified LEED AP with the US Green Building Council (USGBC) with a specialty in Interior Design and Construction. Karen has worked in commercial interior design, architecture, historic preservation and high-end residential design firms in all aspects of design and specification. As a part-time instructor, she continues to work in the Interior Design field creating architectural drafting and construction documents, 3D models, presentation materials, web sites and photo realistic renderings.

Karen is a member and has served in various committee roles with ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and USGBC.

Melody Davis


Art History

Associate Professor Melody Davis earned a Ph.D. in Art History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, an M.A. in Art History and Criticism at Stony Brook University, and a B.A. in English from Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research specialties are the history of photography, stereography and visual culture, with an intersectional focus upon gender, race, and the creation of discursive practices through multivalent perception, social circulation, and patterns of collecting.

Dr. Davis is the author of seven books. Her most recent publications in art history are Women’s Views: The Narrative Stereograph in Nineteenth-Century America (Durham, N.H.: The University of New Hampshire Press, 2015); and a 2019 digital book, “Sentiment and Irony: The Stereoscopic Treasures of F. G. Weller.” She was the recipient of the Susan Warren Beatty Faculty Research Award at the Sage Colleges for an essay published in Stereo World, “A Victorian Women’s Dirty Joke.” She has held fellowships from the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS and the Sage Colleges, and she publishes and lectures internationally on the history of photography. Davis is also a poet; her latest volume, Ghost Writer (Broadstone Books, 2019), was nominated for a Pushcart award and the Pulitzer Prize. She can be found as a feature at poetry readings in the Capital District of New York, and beyond.

William Fillmore


Art + Extended Media

William has had the great fortune to profess his passion for the studio arts for the last five years as a professor of visual art at colleges and universities, from California to North Carolina, and now New York. William’s creative style and tastes are as eclectic as varied as his career. He takes great pleasure in questioning what is possible with material and ideas, and above all else he loves challenging people’s expectations

Eleazar Hernandez

Graphic + Media Design

Eleazar Hernández earned a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico, an M.A. in Art History at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and pursued a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His primary research focused on the construction and positioning of Preclassic Maya architecture (2000 BC – 150 AD), the visual vocabulary of Maya façade decorations, the movement of groups through Maya ceremonial sites, and the rise of social complexity.

Eleazar also Design Executive Officer/Founder of multicultural company, Creative Culture. His work has been displayed at the Smithsonian Museo Alameda and has also been recognized by LogoLounge, AIGA, the American Advertising Federation, American Graphic Design Awards, Tellys and Behance. He was listed as a top designer in Graphic Design: USA’s People to Watch  annual and he recently authored “Leading Creative Teams” for APress  Publishing in New York City.

Sean Hovendick

Sean Hovendick

Graphic + Media Design

Sean Hovendick graduated from Eastern New Mexico University studying broadcast communication, art and computer animation. After ten years of industry experience in video post-production, motion graphics and interactive media, Sean went on to earn his MFA in computer art from Syracuse University. As director of the Graphic + Media Design BFA program, Professor Hovendick is also member of AIGA, the College Art Association (CAA), and the New Media Caucus (NMC).

In addition to managing his commercial design firm since 1998, Professor Hovendick is also a new media artist creating interactive, photographic, and time-based artworks that explore the hidden forces of power, identity, and social order within the mediated psyche. Exhibiting both nationally and internationally, Sean’s work has been recently shown at Terrault Contemporary in Baltimore, MD; Black Box Gallery in Portland, OR; the CCA Contemporary Art Center in Tbilisi, Georgia; the 23rd dokumentART European Film Festival in Szczecin, Poland; and FUSE Art Space in Bradford, UK.

Mindy McDaniel


Art + Extended Media

Melinda McDaniel grew up in Florida, inspired by the visual overload of Walt Disney World and the endless light at the center of the state’s predictable weather. She received a BFA in Studio Art from Florida State University and an MFA in Photography from The Ohio State University.

Melinda’s low-relief, sculptural work pushes the boundaries and expectations of the photographic image. In 2014, Melinda was selected for the Emerging Artist Award by The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY. Her work has recently exhibited at The 2016 Governors Island Art Fair, the Albany International Airport Gallery, and BRIC Contemporary Art in Brooklyn, NY. Melinda calls Troy home where she lives with her husband Fernando Orellana and her dachshund Pbo. She is represented by Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, New York.

Matt McElligott

Matt McElligott

Department Chair

Professor Matt McElligott is the chair of the Art + Design department and has been a member of the Sage faculty since 1998. He teaches illustration, graphic design, and digital multimedia courses, and is a graduate of Alfred University and the University of Buffalo.

Matt is the author and illustrator of seventeen books for children including the Mad Scientist Academy series, Even Monsters Need Haircuts, and the Benjamin Franklinstein series, as well as the author and lyricist of the musical Backbeard The Pirate, based on his stories. His books have been published in six languages on five continents, and have sold over a quarter million copies around the world. Recent awards include the 2012-13 Oregon Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award for The Lion’s Share and the 2012-13 South Dakota Prairie Bud Children’s Book Award for Even Monsters Need Haircuts. More information at

Leah Rico


Graphic + Media Design

Leah Rico received an MFA in Visual Studies and BFA in Painting and Printmaking from SUNY Buffalo. Leah Rico is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice explores language as its subject matter. Leah uses sound installation, experimental audio, drawing, print and design work to examine the embodiment of voices as words and gestures, and language as a metaphor for worldly experience. Most recently, she has used the experiential nature of sound in her audio installations to investigate the experience of spoken language. She is currently exploring the use of mobile technologies for art installation.

Dedicated to an interdisciplinary knowledge of visual and experiential practices, she has worked as Associate Director for Big Orbit Gallery and Soundlab in Buffalo; as Project Manager for Sustainability, Diversity and Design Educators at the national office of AIGA in New York; and as an educator in Critical Theory and Digital Media at SUNY Buffalo and Rensselaer, before starting as Lecturer in Graphic Media + Design in 2015.

Gary Shankman


Art + Extended Media

Gary Shankman received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Boston University and his Master of Fine Arts in painting from American University. He continued his studies at the Koninklijke Acadamie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, Belgium when he received an ITT International Fellowship Grant. Upon returning stateside, Gary received a scholarship to Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.

Besides participating in group shows throughout the United States, Gary has had solo exhibitions in Antwerp, Belgium, Washington D.C., London, England, Alexandria, Va., and Albany, N.Y. Gary’s paintings are included in collections of Superior Court Art Trust, Washington D.C., the American University Museum, Washington D.C., and Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Baani Singh

Interior + Spatial Design

Baani Singh is an architect, designer, sustainability professional and an educator with specialization in sustainable interior architecture. She is a registered architect in NY, NJ and MA; LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional); LFA (Living Future accredited), and NCIDQ (National Council of Interior Design Qualification) certified designer. Baani has over 15 years of experience in commercial design projects in USA, Canada and India. She was honored with ‘Women Who Mean Business’ award in 2016, ’40 under 40′ in 2017 by Albany Business review and recently honored as ‘Outstanding Women of 2018’ by Women Building Council NYC. Baani believes in shaping the minds of our future designers by challenging them through technical knowledge of health, safety and welfare in the spaces they design.

Back to top