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 Specialists

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: responsible for all transfer, international, and 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 and Arkansas

Contact Information: or 816-802-3425.

August DeMarea

Admissions Counselor

August DeMarea is from the Kansas City area. He received his B.F.A .from KCAI in Illustration in 2019. As a student he developed a passion for editorial and design work, playing and experimenting between the two in an abstract manner. Now after school he pursues freelance projects and creates a variety of self-published work.
Territories: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas (Local), Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington
Contact Information:

Darcy Deal

Senior Academic Affairs Specialists

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

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 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, Rhode Island, Texas (Austin & San Antonio) and Vermont
Contact Information:

Alyx Jacobs

Admissions Counselor

Alyx Jacobs is a Kansas City transplant from Omaha, Nebraska. She received her B.F.A. in Graphic Design at the Kansas City Art institute in 2016. During her time at KCAI, alongside her design work, Alyx found a love for printmaking and quilting. Currently, Alyx combines these passions to create naturally dyed and screen-printed quilts, while also doing freelance graphic design work for local clients.

Territories:  Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming 

Contact Information: or 816-379-8868.

Karen Townsend

Vice President for Enrollment Management

With 19 years of progressive experience in admissions and recruitment, Townsend most recently served as the Director of Admissions of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston. Prior to her work at SMFA, Karen held leadership positions at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Maine College of Art, and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Townsend received her B.F.A. from Corcoran School of the Arts And Design | George Washington University in Washington, DC.