2020 Board Candidates

NCECA is pleased to introduce 2020 candidates for two positions on its Board of Directors: Director at Large and Student Director at Large. Elections will open early March and will be conducted via SurveyMonkey. All current members prior to March 1 will receive an email invitation to vote. If you joined membership after this date, please notify candice@nceca.net or joberman.nceca@gmail.com to receive your evite. All votes must be cast by 4pm ET, Friday, March 27, 2020. If you become a member while at conference, please see Candice at registration to get set up for voting.

To learn more about each candidate, click on the names below.  To watch their videos, scroll below.


Director at Large

Simon Levin has been working in clay since 1990, when an elective ceramics course in college lead to an M.A. and an M.F.A from the University of Iowa. He is a full time studio potter working exclusively with wood firing. His work is exhibited and published internationally. Simon is a writer for many ceramic journals, though he dislikes writing about himself in the third person. In 2013 he was a Senior Fulbright Scholar researching local materials. Simon has built wood fired kilns for both US colleges and universities as well as schools in Taiwan and China. Between 2004 and 2019 his apprenticeship program has trained and influenced 21 potters. A resident of Wisconsin for 18 years, Simon has recently moved to Pawnee Illinois where he is currentlyre-establishing his pottery.

 C.A. “Cat” Traen is a teaching artist working in clay since 2002, leading to a BA and MEd from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Motivated by enriching others through community building and collaboration, Cat has mentored thousands of students and teachers to equip and ignite the next generation in clay. 

Since relocating to Memphis in 2017, Cat serves as faculty in the ceramics department at University of Memphis and is finding her way as an educational consultant for Laguna Clay Company and regional school districts with a mission to support start-up clay programs at underserved public schools. 

Internationally active since 2015, Cat teaches workshops, exhibits, and is collected in the US, Europe, and Asia. Beyond her work as an emerging international artist, Cat is developing a study abroad program for the University of Memphis with a focus on economic development opportunity for traditional craftspeople in depressed areas in India and the Mid Southern US. 

A proud member of National K12 Ceramics Exhibition Foundation, Cat has presented at NCECA multiple times and seeks to widen the scope of opportunity for all as a representative of the clay community at large. 

Student Director at Large

I am Michelle Castro. I received my BFA with major focus in ceramics at Midwestern State University. I am currently at Florida State University working towards my MFA. I have wanted to do ceramics since I was in 5th grade; I don’t think I will ever stop. 


Brandy Green was born in Missouri in 1994. In 2016 Brandy received her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art with an emphasis in ceramics from the College of the Ozarks. Currently, Brandy is a graduate student at Texas Tech University due to achieve her Masters of Fine Art in 2021.