Alumni Testimonials

Why CAELI?

Learn what motivated alumni to apply to CAELI, what they found most beneficial about the program, and how the institute has impacted their leadership, career, and personal growth.

Helen Chao-Casano (Class of 2015) is director of the music school at the Punahou School in Honolulu, HI. She has also served on the boards of Music Teachers National Association, as the Southwest Division Director, and the Honolulu Chamber Music Series.

Read our interview with Helen.  

Noah Bloom (Class of 2013) is director of programs at Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, CT. He has also served as associate director at Church Street School for Music and Art, and has been a professional musician and music instructor.

Read our interview with Noah.

Jessica Mele (Class of 2011) is a program officer in the Performing Arts Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Prior to this she was executive director at Performing Arts Workshop, an arts education organization in San Francisco.

Read our interview with Jessica.

Linda Fernandez (Class of 2014) is an inter-disciplinary visual artist and founding member of Amber Art & Design.

Read our interview with Linda.

Josue Cruz (Class of 2015) is the managing principal at LMC Consulting, Inc., an arts education consulting organization serving Northeast Florida. With over 15 years in education, he works to ensure access to and equity in arts education. He is a class of 2015 CAELI alumni and proud of it.

Read our interview with Josue.

Aliza Greenberg (Class of 2012) is the COBALT Manager for the Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City. Prior to this position, she served as the education program manager for Roundabout Theatre Company in New York.

Read our interview with Aliza.

Troy Anderson (Class of 2010) was appointed executive director of the Chicago Institute for Music Education in September of 2011—less than a year after he completed CAELI.

Read our interview with Troy.

Testimonials

Impact on Leadership

  • "Engaging in the type of reflection inspired by CAELI has enabled me to be fully present and make more meaningful contributions to my organization, staff, and community."
  • "I now understand that the job of a leader is not to have all the answers; the job of a leader is to ask good questions."
  • "CAELI challenged my old ideas about hierarchical leadership structure and stressed the importance of empowering and developing others to lead."
  • "It enabled me to create a greater balance between work and life."
  • "CAELI taught me how to listen with the possibility of being changed. I've since slowed down my process and am more open to hearing different opinions before making a decision."
  • "CAELI helped me realize that to become a stronger leader, I need to devote quality time to reflection, to build on my strengths, and to take risks in order to stay true to my values."
  • "My experience with CAELI has begun a profound personal journey of self discovery and awareness. It opened many doors to understanding why I have committed my life to the work I have chosen and also to a better understanding of how I can continue to develop and grow as a leader and person."
  • "CAELI sharpened my ability to be an effective leader and arts administrator. Beyond my personal development, the institute has also impacted my organization. Upon my return I summarized the experience to my colleagues. I am optimistic that this knowledge will help to develop leaders at all levels of the institution.”

Institute Design

  • "By far the most comprehensive and effective training that I have had in my 20 years in arts education."
  • "The institute offers a perfect balance of instruction, introspection, coaching, and practical application. All of its elements add up to an experience that profoundly helps emerging leaders develop personally and professionally."
  • “The CAELI seminar was facilitated by a group of top-notch executive trainers, each with a very different perspective on leadership, which created a rich variety of viewpoints to reflect upon.”
  • "I would highly recommend CAELI to anyone who is seeking a transformative, interactive, and deeply reflective experience."

Peer Relationships

  • "The relationships I developed with the faculty and my peers were completely transformative and something that will guide my work for years."
  • "CAELI was an incredible experience! It helped me focus my goals and gain added respect and responsibility levels from colleagues within my organization. A lot of this stems from the fact that I developed very close relationships with a number of CAELI participants. A group of us have initiated a monthly-ish conference call in a very open format to discuss issues, achievements, concerns, etc. Having these connections helps not only all of us, but also our organizations."