Danielle Weaver

DANIE WEAVER has had a love/hate relationship with poetry. Studying English in College, she felt poetry was stiff and stifled, just repeating back what the professor demanded the poem to be. It wasn’t until she was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011 that she discovered it to be a way to cope with being a cancer patient. She wrote about everything she knew and felt, and poetry became an outlet. It became the vial for tears, frustrations, pain, joys, questions, laughter and observations about how the world worked for a cancer patient.

Gavin Darby

GAVIN DARBY has been playing and writing music for over fifteen years. While the guitar is his primary instrument of choice, he is also learning to play the mandolin, banjo, and ukulele. He has recently begun creating electronic music, and is fascinated by the intersection of the acoustic and digital worlds.

Leslie Vazquez


Leslie is in her final year of her Bachelor’s completion at SJSU in Recreation Therapy. She is a dynamic leader and supporter of individuals of all abilities. Everyday Leslie lives by her dream of helping better lead better lives through therapeutic techniques in the arts, nature, & recreation.

Katie Zeisl

KATIE ZEISL is honored to be CAA’s Director of the School of Theatre & Special Events and to have the opportunity to wear many hats as a professor, campus event planner, site manager, and administrator.

Katie received her B.A. in Theatre Arts (Magna Cum Laude), with concentrations in acting and theater education, from San Jose State University, as well as a Certificate in Meeting and Event Planning from San Francisco State University’s College of Extended Learning.

Katie is a reader and actor for City Lights New Play Readers Series where she recently played Julia Waldren in The Last Iceberg. She performed in the 2015 and 2016 productions of Epic Immersive Theater’s Matthew Briar and the Age of Resurrection, playing multiple roles across three decades. She was the Preacher in From the Notebook of July 12, 1782, (SJReal of the former San Jose Rep); Jenny Tepperman, Panther, and Avatar in March (Dragon Theater); and Miranda in Guerilla Wanderers Films’ corporate commercial, Mission Impossible Virtual Instruments and is a bridesmaid in their upcoming short film, Shogun Wedding.

Katie was SJSU’s 2010 Kaucher Mitchell Fellow in Storytelling and Oral Interpretation. She now serves as a prelims judge at the biannual Kaucher Mitchell Mathis-Swanson storytelling and oral interpretation events.

Michael Dubinsky

Michael studied Photography at Ohio University. He is a published photographer and has worked in all aspects of the photography field. He enjoys sharing his skill sets with CAA students. CAA shows the true spirit of creativity.

Earl Rivard

The gift of song comes as naturally to Earl as breath. He was drawn to music early, beginning his formal vocal training with the Singing Boys of the San Francisco Bay at age 8. The intervening decades have been a powerful musical journey. He has excelled in musical styles including classical singing, musical theater, a cappella, folk-rock, and Latin American trova. In 2007, to embrace his full potential, he began to study voice with private teachers. Although he was substantially blinded by a drunk driver at the age of four months, his voice sees the passion in every song. The result is an artist who is nuanced, seasoned, and versatile. In his career, he has shared his musical gifts with innumerable audiences in many settings. Whether serenading an intimate gathering or filling a church with his powerful voice, the depth, skill, and passion of his performance never fails to captivate his audience.

Bernard Smith

As choir accompanist I have the privilege of working with Professors Earl, Katie and Pam as well as all the talented members of the choir. And as a student at CAA, I enjoy my classes; reading partners, speaking with confidence, language arts and many others as well.  I also enjoy singing with Lyric Theater, playing trombone in jazz and classical ensembles, but most of all I enjoy playing the piano and singing at many venues around the San Jose area.  I am happy to be here today at our Annual Staff Showcase not only as an accompanist for the choir, but also as a student, to see the many talents of my CAA professors.