The Team

Diane Austin, President, Board of Directors, has been a member of the Project STEP Board of Directors since 2012. She is in her 23rd year at Lasell College (Newton, MA) where she is the Vice President of Student Affairs. Prior to that position, Diane worked at Bentley University for 18 years: eight years in the Office of Counseling and Student Development; and ten years serving as a student development administrator. Diane earned both her B.A. in English and her M.S. in Counseling from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, where she was honored as a Distinguished Visiting Alumna (2004). A frequent member of regional accrediting teams for institutions of higher education, in her 44 years working in higher education, she has made in excess of 125 professional presentations, and has worked as a consultant to various college and university campuse

A long-time subscriber to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Diane is an Overseer Emerita of the BSO, having served as an Overseer for the maximum of 12 years; she also served for three years as the President of the Boston Symphony Association of Volunteers. She is the Immediate Past President of the SUNY Plattsburgh Alumni Association; and she recently joined the Board of the Bidwell House Museum (Monterey, MA).

Leigh KelterLeigh Kelter, Interim Executive Director and Director of Institutional Relations served as Project STEP’s Executive Director from 2001-2005 and moved on to specialize in non-profit fundraising in her subsequent position as the Director of Development at the Conservatory Lab Charter School. She returned to Project STEP in 2010 and has been focusing specifically on foundation, corporate, and government fundraising since then. Ms. Kelter was appointed Interim Executive Director in August 2018. In this role, Ms. Kelter is responsible for all operational, financial, and managerial aspects of the organization. She works closely with the Board to help set policy and direction in order to continue to provide the finest opportunities for students. Ms. Kelter received a Master of Arts in ethnomusicology from UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts in music and anthropology from Tufts University.

Jin-Kyung Joen, Artistic Director and violinist, has enjoyed a multi-faceted teaching and performing career on three continents. She has performed extensively as a member of I Filarmonici di Torino, Accademia Romana, I Soloisti Aquilani, and the Revere Piano Quartet, as well as a soloist in Italy, USA, Poland, Greece, and Korea. She has performed at various music festivals and concert series including the Foulger International Music Festival, Killington Music Festival, Bosa Antica International Festival, Miami-L’Aquila Festival, Portogruaro International Festival, Brandeis Summer Festival, Stagione dell’Ensemble Barattelli, Amici della Musica di Milano, and Zacopane Music Institute.

For the past twenty years, Ms. Joen has been a violin faculty member at the Preparatory Division of New England Conservatory. Her students have been top prize winners in regional and international competitions, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Competition, the Alexander and Buono International Competition, and all levels of the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition. Previously, Ms. Joen served as the Focus Coordinator at Project STEP. In the summers, she has also been on the faculties of the Bosa Antica (Italy) International Music Festival, Foulger International Music Festival and the Killington Music Festival.

Ms. Joen holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from Boston University, an Artist Diploma from the Boston Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Music from the Conservatorio di Piacenza, Italy. Ms. Joen studied violin with Zinaida Gilels, Roman Totenberg, Pavel Vernikov, Ilya Grubert, and Mario Ferraris, and chamber music with Piero Farulli (Quartetto Italiano), Pasquale Pellegrino (I Musici), Ronald Feldman, members of Trio Tchaikovsky and the Lydian Quartet.

Mariana Green-Hill, Co-Artistic DirectorMariana Green Hill, Artistic Advisor and violinist, began studying violin at the age of four. At age nine she auditioned into Project STEP, and under its auspices Ms. Green Hill studied at the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School. Her teachers included Farhoud Moshfegh, Marylou Speaker Churchill, then Principal Second Violin of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Tamara Smirnova, Assistant Concert Master of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Green Hill received Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the Juilliard School, and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes College of Music. Ms. Green Hill is a Second, Third and Best Tone Award Winner of the Sphinx Competition and placed First in the Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Competition, the 17th Annual NAACP Act-So Competition, and the Chinese American Art Society Competition. Ms. Green Hill has been a featured guest soloist with the Memphis, New Jersey, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, the Boston Pops, Symphony Pro Musica, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Civic Symphony, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and the Cape Ann Symphony.

Ms. Green Hill is a member of the Young Eight, a group of emerging African American artists who perform chamber music throughout the country. She is concertmaster of the Soulful Symphony in Baltimore. For eight years she was the second violinist of the Amaryllis String Quartet. She currently teaches at the Boston Arts Academy and Orchard Gardens Pilot School, as well as privately. She is Artistic Advisor of Project STEP where she consults with the Artistic Director and Executive Director on issues pertaining to the Youth Preparatory, Preparatory and Pre-College Divisions. She also assists with content and student selection from the FOCUS program. In conjunction with the Artistic Director and the Executive Director, she helps develop curriculum for the program. She is a resource for parents and faculty.

Matthew Smith, Artistic Coordinator, joined the team at Project STEP in the fall of 2015 and is equally active as a performer and educator. His recent activities include a lecture and recital at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing and a recital and masterclass at the Tianjin Conservatory. In the U.S., he has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is a musician-in-residence at the Boston Center for the Arts as a member of the musician-led chamber orchestra, Palaver Strings. As an educator, he has served as a Teaching Assistant at The Boston Conservatory, and most recently as a Music Educator and Teaching Artist Fellow through the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He received a Master of Music degree in Cello Performance from The Boston Conservatory, where he studied with Andrew Mark, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Arizona State University, where he studied with Thomas Landschoot and graduated summa cum laude.

FullSizeRender-12-03-18-01-10Jodie McMenamin, Manager of Individual Gifts, joined Project STEP in the fall of 2014. Jodie has worked for over 10 years in the arts and culture sector of Boston in development for various non-profit organizations including the USS Constitution Museum, Arsenal Center for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her role at Project STEP includes working with the Executive Director, Board of Trustees, and the Communications & Administrative Coordinator to lead a successful campaign of individual support for the organization’s continued growth and stability. In addition to her position with Project STEP, Jodie is a successful urban landscape painter and has exhibited work in over 30 exhibitions in New England. Her art has been featured in Boston Magazine, Daily Artspace, Apartment Therapy, and the Boston Weekly Dig. Jodie’s work is on permanent reserve at the Boston Public Library, and State Street Bank, and permanent exhibition at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to her paintings, Jodie is a member of the Fort Point Arts Community and Dorchester Arts Community. She studied Industrial Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and a Master’s of Science in Art Administration from Boston University.