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.

Jean Dahlgren


Graphic + Media Design

Jean Dahlgren received bachelor and master degrees from SUNY Oswego and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Marywood University. Her work has been published in AIGA’s online journal, Voice and Education International. She has presented at national design conferences including AIGA Future History and the National Art Educators Association. Jean’s design work has been featured in Vogue, Town and Country and Martha Stewart magazines and was included in the Urban Forest Project in New York City’s Times Square.

She is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and serves as faculty advisor to Sage’s AIGA Student Group. She has lead design-themed study trips both domestically and abroad to London, San Francisco, Italy and Greece. She has worked for the College Board for several years as an AP Reader for Studio Art. Her most recent project, Art & Design Advisor ( is a website for high school students who need help with portfolio preparation. Jean also teaches portfolio preparation in the summers at Sage.


Melody Davis


Art History

Melody Davis, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for Art History at the Sage College of Albany. Her research specialties are contemporary art, theory and criticism and nineteenth and early twentieth century photography and visual culture. Her work on historical stereography will be forthcoming in 2015 from the University Press of New Hampshire: Women’s Views: The Narrative Stereograph in Nineteenth-Century America

Davis is also the author of two books of poems, including the recently released Holding the Curve from Broadstone Books and the art critical study, The Male Nude in Contemporary Photography. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, The Henry Luce Foundation (ACLS), and the Sage Colleges, and was a finalist in the National Poetry Series. Her scholarship has appeared in the anthology, The New Woman International: Photography and Film; and journals such The History of Photography; Art Journal; Millennium Film Journal; Paragraph; Le Magazine of the Jeu de Paume Museum; and Metroland; and exhibition catalogues of the Susquehanna Art Museum and the Opalka gallery.


William Fillmore


Art + Extended Media

William Fillmore was raised in Fullerton, California. After earning his Bachelors in Business Administration, he pursued his desire for making art, and earned his MFA in Sculpture in 2013, from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Since leaving school, he has participated in numerous Artist in Residence programs, including The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada, Core Clay Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio, Franconia Sculpture Park, Schafer, Minnesota, Campos De Gutierrez, Medellin, Colombia, and Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont.

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


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 fifteen 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


Linda Morrell


Art + Extended Media

Linda Morrell, a native of Albany, New York, is an artist and educator who has worked in photography for the past thirty years. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and her Master of Fine Arts degree is from George Washington University.

Morrell has been a faculty member at the Sage College of Albany since 1985. She served as program coordinator for photography until 2013 and is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Art + Design. Within her courses she teaches digital, traditional and alternative applications.

Morrell’s work has been acquired by permanent collections, among them The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in Utica NY. She has had more than 40 exhibitions of her work both nationally and internationally and has published articles on her subject in regional and national publications. In the spring of 2007 and again in 2013, she was a Visiting Professor of Photography for the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy.

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.


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