Office of Enrollment Services

Meet the Enrollment Services Team


Leah Cooper, Upper Level Academic Advisor
Assistant Director of Academic Advising

Leah Cooper is an interdisciplinary artist who has lived and worked in Baltimore since 1989. Within her practice she seeks to produce work that yields questions rather than asserts conclusions. Thus, the effectiveness of her practice is bound to the quality of her questions. She believes, first and foremost, that artists are thinkers and problem solvers, and because of this she is strongly committed to working with and supporting artists during their academic careers. Leah received her BA in Studio Art from University of Maryland and completed her MFA at MICA. She strives to bring her experience as an artist and an educator into every conversation she has with her advisees.

Click here to make an appointment with Leah!

Ken Dippong, Director of Academic Advising

Ken joined the MICA community in 2011 after working for his alma mater (where he earned a BA in English and a MED in Adult Learning and Development), Cleveland State University, for 15 years. In addition to his many years in the advising profession, he has worked in both admissions and registrar fields; these experiences have deepened his knowledge of, and appreciation for, the student's entire life cycle (and its myriad challenges). Ken's journey to MICA was inspired by a profound interest in working with art and design students, and his belief in their boundless potential as agents of social and cultural change. When he's not answering email, Ken is known to pen the occasional play, poem, or imagined letter to the editor.

Click here to make an appointment with Ken!

Driving directions to Baltimore Body Shop & Service, 2720 Sisson St,  Baltimore - Waze
Hadley Garbart, Director of Student Records and Institutional Research

Robin Gunkel, Upper Level Academic Advisor

Robin began advising at the University of Baltimore in 2009 as a freshman advisor. Prior to being an advisor, she taught college composition and freshman seminar. She is a community organizer who has hosted the Mushroom City Art Festival since 2013. Robin earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and is a PhD candidate in Sustainability Education with Prescott College. Since joining the MICA advising team, she has found working with MICA students to be a hugely rewarding experience. She enjoys learning about her advisees visual work while assisting them with their academic challenges and celebrating their successes. Her interests include writing poetry, learning to sing and play the guitar, and hanging out with her two Bengal cats, Sumi and Zen.

Click here to make an appointment with Robin!

Cija Jefferson, Upper Level Academic Advisor

Cija (pronounced Kia) Jefferson is a writer, and host of Writers & Words, a Baltimore reading series. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore, and BA from Sarah Lawrence College. She has been an academic advisor at multiple universities/colleges for over 10 years. Her advising philosophy and practice is grounded in accessibility, providing an environment that facilitates active participation in the academic journey, and encouraging students to unearth and trust their voices.

Click here to make an appointment with Cija!

Tru Ludwig, Upper Level Academic Advisor and Transfer Specialist

Tru has been an advisor at MICA since 2006 working primarily with the transfer student population. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, he earned his BA in Studio Art and Art History, with a minor in Music History, from St. Olaf College. He holds an MA in Art History, and an MFA in Printmaking and Drawing. Since 1999, he's been teaching in the Art Education, Art History, First Year Experience, and Printmaking departments at MICA; and Art History at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. Tru's studio practice is devoted to large-scale woodcuts and multi-plate etchings which have been shown on four continents and are included in collections across the country.

Click here to make an appointment with Tru!

Carissa Mattern, Associate Registrar

Carissa earned her BFA in Art History, Theory & Criticism from MICA in 2010 and began working as the Associate Registrar in early 2017. In 2019 she earned her MA in Public Management from The Johns Hopkins University with her capstone titled Core Police Training and Independent Review Act: A Modified Policy to Tackle Use of Force. Since 2017 she has also worked as a policy analyst and researcher for two Maryland State Senators, on a Congressional campaign, and with the Baltimore City Council. Her politically charged paintings and photography have been shown across the country, are part of several permanent collections, rated on Trend Hunter, published in The Huffington Post, and featured on Chasing News: New Jersey with Tamara Laine. But, her force from within does not awaken until there is coffee.

Christine Peterson, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services

Christine manages functions relating to the college’s academic calendar, course schedule, student records and registration, academic advisement, graduation, academic standards, and policy development.  She also contributes to campus planning efforts for facilities, enrollment and retention.

Dana Small, Assistant to the Registrar