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Meet the Current Fellows

Esmilda Abreu, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs

Dr. Esmilda Abreu received her Master’s degree in Psychology, her doctorate in Organization and Management, and focuses her research on leadership, corporate culture, and mentoring. Dr. Abreu has studied meditation and mindfulness and has had a personal mindfulness practice for more than 38 years. She is a contemplative scholar with the Research Academy for University Learning at Montclair State and has served as a Mentor to new faculty for 6 years. She supervised a team of practitioners in the Cardiac Thoracic Surgery Department at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Abreu received the Governor Whitman’s Pride Award for working with diverse populations, developed the first hospital credentialing program for complementary medicine in the country, served as Co-Chair of the Mentoring Committee on the Presidential Commission of Affirmative Action and Diversity at Montclair State University, and established Bias Education Response Team at Pratt Institute. As Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs at Pratt Institute she fosters student success and academic excellence. She integrates contemplative practices into her Business and Negotiations courses at Pratt Institute.

Project: Mindful Making Meditation Incubator

Pinar Guvenc
Managing Partner - Carbajo

Pinar is Managing Partner of Eray / Carbajo, an architecture and design studio based in New York and Istanbul where she oversees business operations and product development processes. Previously, Pinar worked at New York Grant Company as a Senior Consultant, specializing in economic incentives and grants for real estate development, job creation and technology innovation. In 2013, she co-founded, an e-commerce site for functional furniture, which in 2015, merged with Lazzoni, a global furniture manufacturer and retailer. She has a BSc in Industrial Engineering from Bilkent University and MSc in Finance from Southern Illinois University.

Project: Marketing Collaborations Workshop Series

Gaia Hwang
Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Communications Design

Dr. Gaia Scagnetti is an Associate Professor and program co-coordinator of Pratt Institute's Graduate Communications Design program. Her current research projects discuss new pedagogies, strategies, and approaches for higher education in design. Her works have been featured in several conferences and exhibitions and publications and showcases. In 2010, Gaia completed post doctoral research at the Design Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2009, she obtained a Ph.D. degree cum Meritus in Multimedia Communication at the Politecnico di Milano with a thesis on Visual Epistemology in Information Visualization and Mapping. 
Gaia has worked and taught in four different countries in the past ten years. Her professional practice is now based in New York; she firmly believes that research could and should live outside academic conferences and serve the wider public. 

Chinaedu Maduagwu
Visiting Assistant Professor - Design Management

Chinaedu has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from University of Louisiana, Lafayette and a Master’s degree in Design Management from Pratt Institute and is currently working on a second Masters in Data Analytics and Visualization, in the School of information at Pratt Institute. Chinaedu has worked as a product designer for various engineering firms, such as Unique Systems LLC and Forum Technologies. More recently, his design passion has led him to work in business strategy and operations positions in New York.



Tessa Maffucci
Visiting Instructor - Fashion Design

Tessa Maffucci began her academic career at New York University’s Gallatin School and holds a master’s in Fashion Studies and Digital Humanities from The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She teaches in the Fashion Department at Pratt Institute, currently acting as the Departmental Sustainability Coordinator to help advance campus-wide curriculum and programming goals for sustainable design strategies. In her professional career, Tessa works as the Director of Digital Marketing at W&P Design, a full-stack design company based in Brooklyn. She is an Associate Editor at The Fashion Studies Journal and her research focuses on the intersection of fashion and digital media, with an interest in material culture and identity.

Project: Digital Marketing for Fashion Manufacturers Workshops

Mark De Pace
Visiting Instructor - UG Communications Design

Mark is the co-founder of Ghost Robot, a New York City based creative studio. He studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts before beginning his professional career as a line producer for commercials and music videos. Since joining Ghost Robot, his keen eye for talent and penchant for creative exploration has helped shape the ethos of the company and developed a portfolio of best-in-class work. Highlights include music videos for Bjork, Yoko Ono, Run the Jewels, Grizzly Bear and Kanye West. Commercials for Google, Instagram, EA Games, and Ford Motor Company. And the feature films Creative Control, First Winter, Thanksgiving, and A Love Letter for You. In addition to his duties at Ghost Robot, Mark is a visiting professor at the Pratt Institute and New York University.

Project: Visual Storytelling: Video Production Studio

Stephanie Powell
Adjunct Associate Professor - Photography

Stephanie Powell has over twenty years experience as a photographer, artist and educator. Her clients range from creative agencies to individual architecture, fashion and food and beverage brands. Stephanie is also an internationally exhibiting artist who has recently been featured in Flaunt magazine and I Heart Photography. She has an M.F.A. in Photography from the Art Institute of Chicago and a B.F.A in Studio Art from the University of Oregon.

Rhonda Schaller
Director of Career and Professional Development, Visiting Associate Professor

Rhonda is a visiting Associate Professor; Director of Career & Professional Development and founder of the Meditation Incubator at Pratt Institute. She is an artist, author and educator working with visualization and mindfulness meditations as creative deepening and career-planning tools since 1985. A recent scholar in residence at UNSW, Sydney she is the author of Create Your Art Career (2013, Allworth Press), Called or Not, Spirits are Present (2009, Blue Pearl Press), and contributed chapters for The Mindful Eye: Contemplative Pedagogies in Visual Arts Education (2018, Common Wealth Pub) and Starting Your Career in the Fine Arts (2011, Allworth Press).

Project: Mindful Making: Meditation Incubator

Featured Projects

DIY Photography Workshops

DIY Photography Workshops

Photography Professor Stephanie Powell developed a 3-part workshop series that trains manufacturers in the basics of digital photography and photo editing.