CCAD Senior Leadership Team

President's Cabinet members report directly to the President.

Dr. Melanie Corn


Dr. Melanie Corn is the fifth president of Columbus College of Art & Design. Since joining the college in 2016, Dr. Corn has made significant progress on the dual goals of building a national reputation for the college and strengthening CCAD’s role as a leading cultural institution in the region. She has overseen the implementation of a three-year strategic plan, the construction of the new state-of-the-art Cloyd Family Animation Center, and an increase in new applicants and in overall enrollment at the college.
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Julie Taggart


President's Cabinet

Julie Taggart was appointed Provost in January 2020. She began her career at CCAD in 1994 when she was hired to teach drawing, painting and color theory. She shifted her focus to administration after being appointed chairwoman of painting in 2002. Taggart is an alumna of CCAD and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Syracuse University. In addition to her work at CCAD, Taggart is on the board of the Greater Columbus Arts Council. She maintains an active studio practice and is represented by Contemporary Art Matters,
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Thomas Dotson

Chief Financial Officer

President's Cabinet

As the Chief Financial Officer for CCAD, Tom is responsible for all the business and financial affairs of the college, including accounting and finance, endowment management, legal matters, and procurement.  Tom also oversees human resources, payroll, and employee benefits.  His career spans over 17 years in corporate finance with varied experience in financial planning & analysis, corporate development, strategic planning, and continuous improvement.  He enjoys working with the CCAD community to consistently execute on our mission each day. 
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Matt Gardzina

Chief Information Officer

Matt Gardzina is Chief Information Officer where he oversees the merged Library and Information Technology department including Packard Library, Archives, Instructional Technology, and the College’s technology services (academic technology, infrastructure, business systems and applications, and support). Since June 2021 Gardzina has interim oversight of College Operations (Auxiliary Services, Facilities, and Safety & Security). Gardzina came to CCAD in June 2019 from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he served as Director of Digital Pedagogy & Scholarship since 2012.
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Miranda Kridler

Vice President for Planning & Operations

President's Cabinet

Miranda Kridler is the Vice President for Planning & Operations at Columbus College of Art & Design. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute and a Master of Urban Planning degree at The City College of New York where she was awarded the Rachel Carson Award for United Achievement in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design. She brings a love of creative problem-solving to her work leading space, site, and capital planning projects including multi-building space relocations with high campus impact. 
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Chris Mundell

Vice President for Institutional Engagement

President's Cabinet

Chris Mundell joined CCAD in 2007. He has held a variety of positions in student affairs with an emphasis on student success initiatives and learner support services. Mundell has been instrumental in expanding student support services on campus, including the implementation of CCAD’s academic early intervention system, student behavioral intervention and care team and the Creative Coaches peer-to-peer tutoring program. As Vice President for Institutional Engagement, Mundell is responsible for key programs and services that enrich the quality of student life on campus. 
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Natalie Parscher

Associate Vice President for Marketing & Communications

President's Cabinet

As Associate Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Natalie Parscher leads the development and execution of strategic marketing and communications efforts that support and further CCAD’s goals for enrollment, fundraising, and brand awareness and engagement. She is focused on creating brand and marketing strategies that advance the college’s mission of helping students unleash their creative power to shape culture and commerce for the better.
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Emily Ragland

Vice President for Enrollment Management

President's Cabinet

Before CCAD, Ragland, who holds a BA in Psychology from Capital University, held several leadership roles in Capital University’s Admissions department, most recently as Assistant Vice President for Admission. Prior to joining Capital University, Ragland worked as an Admissions Counselor at Otterbein University. Ragland’s experience in the nonprofit world includes co-founding Ohio Gap Closers, which delivers college planning training for foster parents, social workers, teachers, and community members. 
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Dr. Joshua Butts

Dean of Faculty

Joshua Butts, who received his doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, and degrees in English from The Ohio State University, has taught at Columbus College of Art & Design since 2009. He teaches courses in literature, creative writing, composition, and theory and criticism. Butts has attended residencies at Byrdcliffe and the VCCA, was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference, and has attended the Home School. His poems have appeared recently in Pleiades, Southern Humanities Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, and Blackbird. 
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Erika Gable

Associate Vice President for Development

Erika Gable is excited to be leading the Development Team at CCAD. She is a relationship-builder, fundraiser, non-profit leader, and fellow artist. Beginning her formal artistic journey at the age of seven with Saturday Morning Art Classes in Madison, WI, Erika then took high school drawing classes at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, and started her undergrad education at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design before finishing with a BS in Art from UW-Madison. Since then, Erika has worked in organizations ranging from the United Way, local social enterprises, statewide education policy, national major gift fundraising at OSU, to serving as the Executive Director of the Women's Small Business Accelerator and running her own nonprofit consulting business.
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Laura Meek

Associate Vice President for Financial Aid & Student Records

Laura Meek joined CCAD June of 2022 and has over 25 years of experience in higher education. She has oversight of both financial aid and student records operations, personnel, and processing. She has served in financial aid roles within enrollment management at both public and private colleges since 1994. She is a long-standing member of the Ohio Association of Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA) and has held multiple positions on their executive board.
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Athena Sanders

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students

Athena has worked at CCAD since 2016 and previously from 2008 to 2012, serving in various roles as Director of Advising & Learning Support, Assistant Dean of Students, to now, AVP for Student Affairs & Dean of Students. She has a BFA in Art Education and a Master of Education in College Student Personnel -all from Ohio University. Sanders' role focuses on the education and development of students through a holistic lense to support their experience outside the classroom. She oversees areas of student development including Advising & Learning Support, Student Engagement & Inclusion, Counseling & Wellness, and student conduct.
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Richelle Simonson

Associate Vice President for Operations

Simonson has been appointed Associate Vice President for Campus Operations. In this role, Simonson will oversee Safety and Security, Maintenance/Facilities team, as well as CCAD Auxiliary Operations including campus food service, Ampersand Supply Store, Parking and Mobility, Mailroom, college events, residence hall leases and agreements, and special projects. Prior to joining CCAD, Simonson spent over 25 years overseeing a variety of auxiliary operations for The Ohio State University. She started her career working for Ohio State’s Department of Athletics overseeing ticket operations, retail store, concessions contracts and events, and championship management.
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Beverly Thomas

Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Beverly Thomas joined CCAD in February 2019 and previously worked at GC Services Limited Partnership where she served as Human Resources Director overseeing all aspects of HR operations across several locations in Columbus, Ohio and St. Louis, Missouri. As Associate Vice President for Human Resources, her responsibilities include oversight of HR operations, recruiting, talent management, development and training, employee relations, and payroll and benefit administration. She has effectively balanced big picture thinking and strategic planning with hands-on execution that has allowed her to provide strategic leadership and affect positive change for HR programs and employee services. 
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