Instructors and Staff

Stephanie Hightower

Stephanie Hightower is the program director and teaches Contemporary Art Issues. Her paintings and drawings were exhibited in 2014 at the Flatiron Prow Art Space, the New York Public Library, and currently at Wuersch & Gering on Wall St. Hightower’s work was selected for the “Artists in the Marketplace” at the Bronx Museum and for one-person exhibitions at The Cooper Union on two occasions. Hightower was awarded residency fellowships with CUNY, hosted by Technische Universität of Berlin, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Edna St. Vincent Millay Colony. The Bronx Council for the Arts also named her as a grantee. In 2011 she was named the Education Honoree for NURTUREart for excellence in teaching. As Associate Professor of Art at John Jay College, she teaches drawing and painting. She has lectured for Learning Through the Arts for the Guggenheim Museum, and was commissioned as a muralist for Brooklyn Public Schools through the Rotunda Gallery. She was awarded the Potawatomi Tribal Scholarship for graduate study. Education: MFA in Painting (Minor in Art Criticism) Pratt Institute (1987); BFA University of Dallas (1982).

Simone Meltesen

Simone Meltesen is the Assistant Director of the Outreach Pre-College Program. She was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and has lived and worked in New York for over a decade.  She has worked as an assistant for a variety of artists, including E.V. Day, Nancy Azara, and Ulrike Muller. She managed the art department at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls from 2006-2009, and was the Director of the Fellowship Program for Emerging Artists at A.I.R. Gallery from 2009-2012. In May 2015 she graduated with an MFA in painting from Hunter College, where she was awarded The Esther Fish Perry Scholarship for achievements in the Hunter MFA Program, and The Kossak Travel Grant for MFA Painting Students, for travel to Berlin to do research on female textile artists of the Bauhaus. In 2016, she was included in the exhibition Recurrence, at Union College in Schenectady New York. In May 2017, she will have her first post-MFA solo show, Pattern Recognition, at Space 1026 in Phliadelphia.

Pablo M. Diaz Pablo teaches Drawing and Mixed Media. He was involved with Outreach as a high school student, as an undergraduate teaching assistant, and a recruiting representative. Mr. Diaz is a painter and printmaker, as well as a technician at the Cooper Union Typography Shop. Previously, he has worked as an artist assistant at Two Palms Press and as a portfolio-prep teacher at Juan M. Campos High School in Brooklyn. Mr. Diaz has exhibited in group shows at The Crane Street Studios in Long Island City. He is currently an MFA candidate at Hunter College, and holds a BFA from the Cooper Union.
Adriana Farmiga Adriana Farmiga is a Ukrainian-American artist who lives and works in New York. She has worked with the Outreach Program since 2008 as instructor for 3dd and drawing, as well as Faculty Advisor/Recruitment Coordinator. She serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and has also In 2008 she received an Emerging Artist Fellowship at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens; she shows regularly in New York and abroad, and is represented by Newman Popiashvili Gallery (NY) and The Company in Los Angeles. Farmiga is also an programming advisor to the non-profit gallery space run by La Mama Etc., in the East Village. Education: MFA, Bard College; BFA, Cooper Union School of Art
Cara Di Edwardo Cara Di Edwardo is a lettering artist, papermaker and printmaker. She teaches Two-Dimensional Design. She has taught as adjunct professor at Cooper Union since 1991. She also teaches in the Continuing Education Department of Cooper Union and in the Saturday Outreach High School Program. She served as workshop committee chair 2002-2006 and president of the New York Society of Scribes from 2009-2012 and has organized Type@Cooper since its inception in 2010.
She holds a BFA from Cooper Union, and has also studied printmaking at Kyoto Seika University, École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs Paris, and as well as Biology, Chemistry and Foreign Languages at Hunter College.
Emmanuela Soria Ruiz

Emmanuela Soria Ruiz is the program's recruitment liaison. She was born in Granada, Spain and moved to New York City as a teenager.A proud alumna of the Outreach Pre-College Program, she obtained her BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art in 2015. She has worked as a teacher assistant for different after school programs in the city and is training to be an arts educator. She has a studio in Queens where she continues to try. 

Dave Johnson Dave johnson is a poet and plawright. He has taught the Creative Writing Workshop for Outreach since 2000 and is the senior editor (with Stephanie Hightower) for all publications. His works include: Baptized To The Bone, Dead Heat, Marble Shoot, and Sister, Cousin, Aunt/ Sorella, Cugina, Zia. Dave is a Visiting Faculty member of the MFA program at The New School and a Lecturer at Yale University. His newest work is a translation of the play, Gomorrah, based on the international best selling book by Roberto Saviano. And appointed by the Mayor's Office of New York City, Dave is currently serving as Poet in Residence for The Department of Probation of NYC.
Amy Buckley  Amy Buckley was born in Stockport, UK and lives in Brooklyn. Her work is rooted in physical experience. [Graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2013 she obtained a BFA in Photography]. Amy collaborates with her twin sister Hannah Buckley, a contemporary dancer, to create video and performance work. Her work has been shown in a range of venues from traditional art galleries like The Manchester Art Gallery, to film festivals around the UK, and as part of site specific commissions such as The Whitworth Pub Crawl. She has been involved in projects for Time Magazine, Garage Magazine, Wallpaper Magazine and had her collaborative work published in The Swedish Dance History Episode
Shellyne Rodriguez

Shellyne Rodriguez is a Multidisciplinary Artist from the Bronx, NY. My work is a broke Baroque. A broken Baroque.  Or just Quebrao which is “broken” in “broken Spanish” and an anagram for Baroque so it does the job of being both things in one word... and just like that, its baroqueness hides itself within its brokenness. That subversive way of being two things at once, of carrying within it all of the heavy shit one gets from the Western European canon while flamboyantly displaying its intervocalic consonant, which does everything to point to its class and its Carribean Latino origin is an effort at decolonizing itself. 


Juan Villanueva Juan Villanueva is an illustrator, letterer, motion graphics, and type designer based in NYC. Originally from Peru, he graduated from the Type@Cooper Extended Program in 2014. He’s passionate about drawing letterforms, designing typefaces, making fonts, and learning about the history and stories behind them. His practice revolves around Typography.
Samuel Chun Sam teaches Drawing and is a NYC based artist working in painting and sculpture. Born and raised in New Jersey, he moved up to NYC to attend The Cooper Union to study fine arts. He graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts in 2010 and maintains his practice as an artist.
Carla Edwards Carla Edwards is a New York City based artist teaching Three-Dimensional Design in the Outreach Program. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. Edwards works thru the appropriation of pop imagery, and her practice addresses identity politics and how the body is seen thru the rubric of popular culture. Central to her work, questions of how political affiliation, sexuality, and gender affect notions of community. She is an alumnus of Skowhegan School of Painting and Drawing (2004), and the Whitney Independent Study Program (2008). She has also taught at Lehman College, and Rhode Island School of Design. Education: MFA (2004) with honors from Rhode Island School of Design; BFA (1999) from The School Of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Mildred Beltre
Anya Kielar
Diann Bauer
Aurora De Armendi
Rashawn Griffin
Timothy Hull
Daina Mattis


Follow us on      

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.