Staff & Advisory Board

Meet the Turchin Center Team

Denise Ringler

Denise Ringler

Director of Arts Engagement & Cultural Resources

Denise obtained her master’s degree in social planning and nonprofit management from Florida State University. For more than 25 years, she has worked as an arts administrator at Appalachian State University. Previous to that, she worked in settings devoted to community development, health and human services, public policy and social/economic justice. Denise provides leadership and day-to-day management for the operations of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and its multi-faceted exhibition, education and outreach programming, as well as the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, which is home to a variety of series, including An Appalachian Summer Festival, The Schaefer Center Presents, and the APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series.

Dawn Behling

Dawn Behling

Director of Visitor Services

Dawn is passionate about enhancing the experience of visitors from the moment they enter the front door of the Turchin Center. Dawn hires, trains and oversees the student gallery ambassadors and utilizes her talents in the planning of exhibition openings, receptions and special events. She also works with a variety of campus and community groups that utilize the center’s resources and facilities and is continuously seeking improvements and enhancements to the visitor experience at the Turchin Center. Dawn earned her BFA in textile design from East Carolina University and her MFA in studio art from Western Carolina. Dawn is a mixed media artist and has been working in the museum field for 12 years.

Christy Chenausky

Christy Chenausky

Director of Arts Education and Outreach

Christy has a passion for arts and learning. Since 2012, she has facilitated
education programs for the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts and the
Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, including the APPlause! K-12 Performing Arts Series. Influenced at an early age by arts education, Christy pursued a vocation that promotes learning in and through the arts and connecting university arts resources to community members of all ages. She works closely with university faculty and staff, community organizations, and the network of public, private and home-schools across a ten-county region. Christy has held positions in public schools and arts organizations. She has a B.S. in theatre arts education and an M.A. in arts administration.

Shauna Caldwell

Shauna Caldwell

Assistant Director of Arts Education and Outreach

After several years of leading the TCVA Open Studio workshop for Appalachian students, Shauna joined the full-time staff in 2019. Shauna is an artist from Boone, and continues to share her passion for art and creativity by developing educational programs for both the Schaefer Center and the Turchin Center. Her roots in Appalachia and her relationship with the environment shape her creative work. She uses artistic processes that connect her to her home, such as making paper and photographic emulsions with local plants, to discuss themes of sacred relationships and transformation. Shauna received BFAs in studio art and art education, and is currently pursuing an MA in Appalachian Studies.

Lindsay Miller

Lindsay Miller

Director of Donor and External Relations

Since moving to the High Country in 2009, Lindsay has spent over a decade in the nonprofit sector and has developed a strong passion for giving back to the community. She is responsible for securing gifts to the Turchin Center that help sustain its programs, recognizing these valued gifts, connecting with members to fully engage them in the work of the center and interfacing with organizations that collaborate with center. She volunteers her time with nonprofits focusing on education, land conservation and human services, and is passionate about philanthropy that helps to connect people to causes that matter to them. Lindsay holds a B.S in communications with a minor in marketing.

Lynn Rees-Jones

Lynn Rees-Jones

Director of Marketing

Serving as Director of Marketing since late 2016, Lynn promotes the Turchin Center’s dynamic exhibition, education and outreach programming by developing and implementing a “marketing mix” comprised of print materials, broadcast, print and digital advertising, press coverage, website development and social media. Lynn has worked in a variety of settings devoted to design, the arts, and marketing in both private businesses and non-profits, with a focus on landscape architecture, textile design, gallery operations and education. She serves as an active board member on local library and performing arts boards. Lynn received her B.L.A from the School of Planning and Design at Michigan State University.

Melinda Fudge

Melinda Friddell

Director of Development

Melinda joined Appalachian State University in the fall of 2016 and in addition to her position at the Turchin Center, she also serves as director of development for the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs and the Hayes School of Music. Prior to her arrival at Appalachian State, she served as the director of alumni relations at Valdosta State University, and as the director of development at Thomas University, in Thomasville, GA. Melinda is a graduate of Valdosta State University and Andrew College, where she majored in sociology with a double minor in criminal justice and biology.


Gabrielle Knight

Curatorial Specialist

Gabrielle graduated from Appalachian State University in the Spring of 2020 with a degree in art and visual culture with a concentration in art management and a minor in nonprofit management. As a student, she worked as the curator of the Looking Glass Gallery, an exhibition assistant at the Turchin Center, and an administrative assistant at the Smith Gallery.  In her role as Curatorial specialist at the Turchin Center, Gabrielle is responsible for creating all exhibition-related graphic design and assisting the curator in educational, archival, and exhibition, research and installation-related tasks.

Kaen Trefz

Karen Trefz

Budget Director

Karen has worked in budget management and event planning at Appalachian State since 2014 and joined the Turchin Center team in the fall of 2019. Karen works closely with staff of both the Turchin Center and the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs to develop budgets, produce financial reports, assist in budget-related decision-making and manage processes such as purchasing and payroll systems. She also works closely with the Turchin Center director on a variety of administrative projects and initiatives. Karen holds a B.S. in business administration from Bowling Green State University. She is thrilled to combine her finance background with her passion for the arts.

Kent Greer

Advisory Board

Since its opening in 2003, the TCVA Advisory Board members have served as stalwart supporters and community ambassadors who are devoted to the growth and development of the Turchin Center. Board members serve the center by supporting the mission, providing feedback to the center’s staff, cultivating friends and donors, and acting as liaisons with other arts organizations and community groups. The board is comprised of a diverse network of arts supporters who bring vision, commitment and leadership to their role, and who are integral to the center’s operations.
Advisory Board

Nancy Brittelle (chair)

Lori Hill (chair-elect)

Amber Bateman

Mary Bickers

Jennie Carlisle

Elle Ivy Green

Dot Griffith

Lynn Hill

Jeana Klein

Jane Lonon

Pam McKay

Michelle Novacek

Alana Patterson

Elena Sanchez

Peg Schroeder

Dabney Smith

Helen Snow

Mary Underwood

Larry Watson

Josh White


Edie Peiser

Peter Petschauer

Tina Silverstein

Ineke Thomas

Lillian Turchin


Ex Officio

Denise Ringler

Lindsay Miller

Melinda Friddell

Lee Rocamora