Staff Bios

Samantha Rapp – Director of Strategic Partnerships
Sam graduated from Kenyon College in December 2015 with a BA in Psychology.  During her time at Kenyon, Sam’s passion for inspiring others to pursue lifelong learning was fostered. Prior to joining the MCG team, Sam worked in Carlisle for Pennsylvania Counseling Services implementing behavioral interventions to children with neurodevelopmental disorders.  She relocated to Pittsburgh in September 2015 as MCG’s College and Career Planning Specialist, which allowed her to expand the postsecondary horizons for MCG Youth & Arts students and grow the organization’s scholarship fund.  Sam is committed to collaborating with community partners who share the goal of improving the quality of and access to youth development opportunities.

Cecilia Ebitz – Visiting Artist & Exhibitions Coordinator
Cecilia earned a BFA in Sculpture from Penn State University in 2011, dividing her undergraduate studies at the University Park campus and Bard College. Her interdisciplinary art practice seeks to affirm agency through ritual play and manipulation of everyday materials. In Pittsburgh, Cecilia has shown her work at Space Gallery, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Pittsburgh Zine Fair. In 2010 Cecilia cofounded Bunker Projects, a studio, gallery, and residency space in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Previously Cecilia has taught art classes and workshops for youth at the Smithsonian Institute in DC, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Mattress Factory, and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, where she completed a F.I.N.E. Residency in 2016.

Zakaria Miller – PULSE Fellow, College & Career Planning
A graduate of Appalachian State University, Zakaria majored in Communication Studies with a minor in European Studies. She was heavily involved in community service at Appalachian State, working as a Peer Leader Alternative Service Experience where she recruited undergraduates to commit to an international or a domestic service week. She also helped clean and rehabilitate trails, historic sites, and other locations impacted by hurricanes in the Virgin Islands with the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park. As in intern for the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, she helped market and run events for their members. Zakaria’s hobbies include writing poetry, hiking, dancing, and scrapbooking. She is responsible for coordinating college and career engagements at MCG.

Rose Mary Gubser – Sr. Administrative Assistant
Rose Mary Gubser has worked for the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild for over 25 years and is currently employed as the Executive Assistant to David Deily,  Director of Youth and Arts Education Programs.  A graduate of Bidwell Training Center, Rose Mary provides the administrative support critical to running an organization dedicated to educating and inspiring urban youth through the arts.

Jill Wiggins – Database Manager/Teaching Artist
Jill is a graduate of West Liberty State College and is an award winning digital filmmaker. As a teacher, Jill is ambitious and believes in helping her students realize their maximum potential. Her recent passions include teaching 3D modeling and printing and laser engraving in MCG newest space, the Tech Suite.

Jeff Guerrero – Production Associate/Teaching Artist
With more than 20 years experience in print design and publication, Jeff brings his skills and experience to the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Point Park University, Jeff holds a degree in Applied Corporate Communication. He specializes in creating graphics and layouts with Adobe publishing software, and counts web design and digital photography among his marketable talents. He also dabbles in ceramics.

Bryce Hemington – Ceramics
Bryce Hemington is a ceramic artist with over 10 years experience working in the arts. After receiving a BFA from Edinboro University and a teaching certification from Carlow University he has gone on to be a Masters candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in ceramics. He was a resident artist at Touchstone center for the Crafts in 2014 and exhibited his thesis exhibition in 2014. His work primarily focuses on wood fired utilitarian ceramics made on the potter’s wheel.

Talon Smith – Ceramics
Talon Smith was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Smith produces functional ceramic wares that are influenced by the changing landscape of Pittsburgh. She began studying ceramics at CCAC in 2008 and continued her education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Smith has been a participant in the Highland Park Pottery Tour, and was awarded the Emerging Artist Scholarship for the 2016 Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Germaine Watkins – Photography
Germaine is a former student of MCG and is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has worked at MCG for more than two decades, and is passionate about sharing his love of photography with students. Germaine also teaches photography at the University of Pittsburgh Osher Life Long Learning program. A partial list of his photography accomplishments include: Pittsburgh Black Photographers’ Group book project and blog titled “Feel Like Going On: A Year in the Life of Black Pittsburgh”, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh, National Urban League Convention, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festivals, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum, Mavuno Art Festival, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, August Wilson Center, Living Life on Life’s Terms exhibition, Clarion University, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, Whirl Magazine, Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Carnegie Library Websites.