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Meet the Staff

Dwayne V. Elliott  MA Student Development | Director of Arts & Campus Events |
| 615.322.2471
Organizations: Vanderbilt Programming Board Exec Board; Music Group, Vandy Fanatics

Dwayne has been working as an event planner in higher education for nearly thirteen years. His experience and devotion to higher education and working with young adults are exemplified in every project that he supervises. Dwayne has helped implement and facilitate a wide array of events and concerts hosting crowds ranging in size up to 14,000 patrons.

Prior to working at Vanderbilt University, Dwayne served as the Program Coordinator at Georgia Sate University, in Atlanta, GA, where he advised and planned several events, ranging from musical acts to educational programming.

Dwayne began his career at Vanderbilt in May of 2004, and served as the Associate Director for the Office of First Year Programs and then was promoted to Director of the office in 2006. Elliott boosted attendance to non mandatory first year programs and developed a comprehensive first year programs for 1,600 students and their families.

In 2007, Dwayne took the position of Director of Student Campus Events at Vanderbilt University. In this position, Elliott advises the Vanderbilt Programming Board and serves as the liaison for Vanderbilt Athletics for the Office of the Dean of Students. During his tenure, he has increased student involvement and ticket sales for both the homecoming Commodore Quake concert and the Rites of Spring Music Festival. He also produced the very first ever back to back sold out Commodore Quake shows in Vanderbilt history and sold out the very first Rites of Spring Music Festival in its 30 plus year history. In May of 2013, Dwayne took the position of Director for Arts & Campus Events which merged his previous department, Student Campus Events with the Arts & Creative Engagement Office.

Dwayne earned his Master’s degree in College Student Development with a concentration in College Counseling from Appalachian State University and his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Appalachian State University. Dwayne is originally from Morganton, NC.  Dwayne loves spending time with his wife Shellian and daughter Amya and in his spare time he enjoys playing golf and attending concerts.

Kelvin Amburgey, MFA | Assistant Director of Dance | kelvin.r.amburgey@vanderbilt.edu | 615-322-7076
Organizations: Tap That!; Vanderbilt Off-Broadway

Kelvin was born in southeastern Kentucky and started toward a career in the arts at the age of 3 when dance became a part of his life. He explored the arts worlds of dance, theatre, music and painting but found himself forever pulled back to his passion for movement.

Kelvin has taught in the Vanderbilt Dance Program since 1994 and as Assistant Director of the program since 2009. He has his undergraduate degree in Theatre from Morehead State University and his Master of Fine Arts degree in Choreography and Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Kelvin has worked professionally in Theatre, Film and Dance as a performer, choreographer, director, and costume designer since the age of 5 and enjoys all aspects of the Arts.  He was a member of Tennessee Dance Theatre for several years and danced with Acme Moving Company and Searching For New Dances in the Middle Tennessee area as well as his own company Shards Dance Project. As an actor he has appeared on stage with the Pennsylvania Opera Theatre, Cherokee Historical Association, Circle Players, Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre and TV shows “One Tree Hill” and CMT countdown. Kelvin has had over 100 choreographic works performed on stages throughout the United States.

He has taught Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Improvisation, Musical Theatre, Auditioning Techniques, Dance Appreciation, Musical Theatre History and many other courses at colleges, studios and universities throughout the southeast United States, including Vanderbilt University for 18 years and Middle Tennessee State University and Cumberland University as well as Aesthetic Education for Nashville Institute of the Arts, and Wolftrap Early Childhood Education through the arts.

“I love exploring the world through the arts be it movement, theatre, painting, designing or building, I learn more about myself and my space in the world.” “Creating is Life and Life is Creating.”

David Heustess | Assistant Director for Visual Arts | david.f.heustess@vanderbilt.edu | 615-343-0491

David says that he knew when he was eight years that he wanted to be an artist; he just didn’t know how to tell anyone.  His actual journey in the arts began with musical theater in high school. While studying theater and dance at Appalachian State University, he began to realize that he was being cast more as a dancer. So he focused his training on modern dance and in 1982 began performing with a company in Charlotte, NC under the direction of choreographer Mary Ann Mee. For six years David danced as a soloist in original works choreographed by Mee and other nationally recognized choreographers, plus the repertory works by Doris Humphreys and Charles Weidman. A highlight in David’s dance career is being involved in the first restaging of Weidman’s Christmas Oratorio.  He also attended two summers at the prestigious American Dance Festival at Duke University on scholarship. In 1988, David moved to Nashville to join the Tennessee Dance Theater. This opportunity not only allowed him to continue to perform and choreograph, but also was the catalyst for his training in visual arts.

After studying pottery in Nashville area art programs, David attended the Appalachian Center for Crafts and in 1995 completed his BFA degree with concentrations in clay and fiber arts. David began teaching clay classes at Sarratt Art Studios and became director of the program in the spring of 2004. David has a passion for arts education and brings an array of educational experiences to Sarratt Art Studios from his involvement in various nationally known arts programs from the Lincoln Center for the Arts and Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts.

David has exhibited his work locally in various fairs and events including the American Artisan Festival, and artclectic. David is working on a series of sculptural beaded vessels. An avid traveler, David has been site leader for two trips to Sri Lanka for Vanderbilt students. If he was not a visual artist, David is fairly confident he would be involved in culinary arts (who doesn’t love to eat?) and dreams of working in a small pastry shop in Paris, France.

Linda Marks | Senior Graphic Designer |linda.marks@vanderbilt.edu | 615-343-4420
Organizations: The ACE Design Team

Linda hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she grew up above her father’s printing shop across the street from the Homestead Steel Works – steel, coal, and ink therefore run in her veins.

She graduated with a degree in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to working at Vanderbilt, she worked for Pennzoil Company in Houston, Texas. Coming to Music City with her performing songwriter husband, she managed Zimmerman/Saturn Gallery for many years. Also a visual artist, Linda has been represented by ZSG, Cumberland and Zeitgeist galleries. Linda has been a graphic designer with Vanderbilt’s office of the Dean of Students since 1996 where she has helped to create a face for the programs in Arts and Campus Events in particular. She presently advises and supervises the ACE Design team which performs graphic design for the myriad of student groups on campus.

She is passionate about all things artistic including music, art, books, and movies.

Annetta Pickett | Administrative Assistant II |annetta.green@vanderbilt.edu | 615-322-2471

Annetta has over 28 years of experience as an administrator assistant in the higher education field.  The first thirteen years were at Meharry Medical College in the Physiology Department.  Her employment with Vanderbilt began in 1998 as a Program Assistant for the Sarratt Student Center.  In 2000 she was promoted to Administrative Assistant II.  She completed her Bachelor Degree of Science in Professional Studies from Austin Peay State University in 2008.  She has served as a member of the University Staff Council Committee and the Green DOT Committee.



Cindy Young | Assistant Director, Special Art Initiatives | cynthia.r.young@vanderbilt.edu | 615-322-7077
Organizations: The Vanderbilt Performing Arts Community; Momentum Dance Company; Rhythm & Roots Performance Company; The Dodecaphonics; VIBE

Cindy is a native of Teaneck, New Jersey. She graduated from Montclair State University with a degree in Elementary Education. She has a keen ability and strength to understand the needs and desires of young adults.  As a result, she continues to build an impressive service-oriented career in student programming, community outreach and arts development at Vanderbilt for over 16 years.

As Assistant Director for Special Art Initiatives, Cindy works with more than 20 student performing arts groups as the liaison for the University to the Nashville community in arts and service opportunities. She provides mentorship to Vanderbilt’s undergraduate/graduate students and helps them navigates the extracurricular activities that drive scholastic achievement and interpersonal relationships.

In addition to her role as Assistant Director for Special Art Initiatives, she serves as the Artistic and Founding Director for Rhythm & Roots Performance Company on campus.  Since its creation in 1994, Cindy has passionately invested in the organization, taking hundreds of students and supporters on a journey of self- exploration and community awareness through dance and drama.  Along with the student performers, Cindy crafts original story-lines through journaling using mediums such as song, dance, and poetry.  The end result is an original theatrical production featuring the students’ talent, time and technique.  She is not merely an adviser to the organization, but a mentor introducing today’s youth to meaningful forms of expression, making formidable and lasting relationships with tomorrow’s leaders while maintaining a connection to her artistic interest.

Cindy has taken the group to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to perform at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, as well as performances with world-renowned saxophone players, Kirk Whalum and David Sanborn.

From her years as a core dancer with the Teaneck Terpsichoreans, she knew she wanted to combine her love of the arts with the education of students and those in the community.  The dance group traveled all over the country, performing at venues such as Rutgers University, Farleigh Dickinson University, University of Connecticut, Boston College, North Carolina A&T and even the world-renowned Cotton Club and Apollo Theater in New York City. Cindy’s early experiences and exposure from performing with this group were priceless and the reason why Rhythm & Roots was created.

Cindy is passionate about the performing arts and community action, using both to develop Vanderbilt’s students into the next generation of engaging community leaders.  It is through her skill and guidance that Vanderbilt students understand the power of positive investment and community engagement.

Courtney Pamela Kelly  | ACE Graduate Assistant, VPAC & VPB Advisor courtney.p.kelly@vanderbilt.edu
Organizations:  The Vanderbilt Performing Arts Community; CityVU; Vandy Fanatics; The Music Group

Courtney is a first year master’s student at Peabody specializing in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Management from Bucknell University in 2013, and worked as a Marketing Analytics Analyst  for Condé Nast. Courtney advises the Vanderbilt Performing Arts Community (VPAC), CityVU, Vandy Fanatics and the Music Group.

Katie Lombard | ACE Graduate Assistant, VPB Advisor |katherine.m.lombard@vanderbilt.edu
Organizations: Homecoming; The VenUe; The Music Group

Katie is a first year master’s student at Peabody specializing in Higher Education Administration and Policy. Katie attended Clemson University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences and a minor in Education in 2015. Katie advises the Music Group, VenUe and the Homecoming Committee.