Admissions Team

We look forward to meeting with you, reviewing your work, answering your questions, and assisting you in the admissions process. Schedule a campus visit.

Julia Welles

Senior Academic Affairs Specialist

Julia received her B.F.A from KCAI and her M.F.A from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She worked in the non-profit art organization sector and taught at the college level before joining the KCAI Admissions staff, which she has been a part of for over 15 years.

Territories: transfer students from Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming. Julia is also responsible for all international and all spring applicants.

Contact Information: or 816-522-4705

Maret Cissner

Admissions Counselor

Maret Cissner hails from south Alabama and has been living in Kansas City since attending KCAI. She graduated from KCAI with a B.F.A in Ceramics in 2013. One of her passions is environmental sustainability in the studio and is involved with several local and national initiatives to support this cause. Her current studio practice is focused on preserving and practicing textile design and garment construction techniques. Outside of helping students find their path at KCAI, Maret is also heavily involved with organizations supporting women in our community.

Territories: Ohio, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, D.C., Maryland, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas (Dallas and Houston)

Contact Information: or 816-802-3425.

Darcy Deal

Senior Director of Admissions

First-time Freshmen Territories: St. Louis, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan
Transfer Student Territories: Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, Wisconsin

Contact Information: or (816) 982-5344

Josie Eckerman

Admissions Counselor

Josie Eckerman has lived and worked in Kansas City for the past 7 years. Relocating several times throughout her childhood to cities from Alaska down to Chicago and in between, she continues to explore the country as an Admissions Counselor seeking out passionate young artists like herself. Since graduating from KCAI in 2019 with a degree in Fiber, she continues her studio practice but now creates through the lens of analog photography. With an eye for color and working with her hands, she has also begun to explore the art of tinkering with furniture design through structures made of wood, tile, and grout. In the future, she aims to inspire others and in turn find equal inspiration from the talented future students of KCAI. 

Territories: Local and Southern Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Alaska

Contact Information: or 816-802-3528

Bo Hubbard

Admissions Counselor

Bo Hubbard is a Kansas City resident originally from Oklahoma. He received his B.F.A. from KCAI in Painting in 2016. Since graduating, he has opened an artist-run event space that promotes the combination of visual and performing arts. In his own studio, he creates tufted rugs that incorporate his interest in painting and fiber arts.
Territories: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri (Local), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas (Austin & San Antonio) and Vermont.
Contact Information: 816-905-6363

Gregory Thurmond

Admissions Counselor

Gregory Thurmond is originally from central Iowa and relocated to Kansas City to attend KCAI. They graduated from KCAI with a B.F.A. in Sculpture in 2020. Their studio practice is centered around their own experience as an LGBTQIA+ individual. This work includes performance, installations, and figurative sculpture. Outside of working with future KCAI students, Gregory enjoys playing and watching soccer – especially Sporting Kansas City!

Territories: Local Missouri (zip codes starting with 641), Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, Non-Local Kansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont
Contact Information: or 816-802-3418