Board Members

Chris Wells

Director

Chris Wells holds a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Science in Energy Management from Oklahoma City University.  He currently works in the private sector as an Information Technology professional.  Before pursuing a business career, Mr. Wells studied vocal performance. As a music enthusiast, he is dedicated to helping others gain access to music education.  

Meredith Blecha-Wells

Artistic Director

​Praised for her “beautifully full and lyrically strong tone” by Gramophone Magazine, Meredith Blecha-Wells is a sought-after performer and instructor.  She has played throughout much of the United States, as well as Europe, Australia, Central America, and Asia. Currently based in Oklahoma City, Dr. Blecha-Wells performs regularly with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble, the Tulsa Camerata, and the Pangaea Chamber Players. 

As a recording artist, Dr. Blecha-Wells recently released her debut album, Small Storms: A Collection of Short Pieces for Cello and Piano by Bohuslav Martinu.  Released on the Navona Records label, her playing is described as “technically dazzling” (the Whole Note) and is praised for her “lyrical warmth and her powerful athleticism” (Classical Music Discoveries).  Additional recording endeavors include projects for the Lorenz Corporation, as well as live performances on KOSU, KUCO, and KWTU.

Dr. Blecha-Wells is currently the Associate Professor of Cello at Oklahoma State University, where she was awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Junior Faculty Award for Scholarly Excellence.  Her students have won a number of competitions, including prizes in Classics Alive Artists, Enkor International Competition, American Protégé Competition, Ad Astra String Competition, MTNA, Hyechka String Competition, among others.  As a devoted teacher, Dr. Blecha-Wells has seen her students accepted to study at prestigious institutions such as the Eastman School of Music, Rice University, Indiana University, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

Dr. Blecha-Wells received a bachelor's and master's degree in Cello Performance from Indiana University, studying under Janos Starker and Helga Winold. She also holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she served as the teaching assistant to Distinguished Professor Alan Harris. Additional studies include festival participation at the Taos School of Music, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

In addition to performing and teaching, Dr. Blecha-Wells is passionately invested in community engagement.  Most recently, she formed the Global Pedagogy Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing teacher training to students and teachers living in developing countries.  Visit www.globalpedagogyinitiative.com to learn more about this organization.  

Kasia Bugaj

Kasia Bugaj is Assistant Professor of String Music Education in the College of Music at The Florida State University. She received her Ph.D. in Music Education from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She also has degrees from Western Michigan University, The Peabody Conservatory, and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. She has a minor in writing from Johns Hopkins University and pursued a certificate of literary translation at Indiana University.
 
Prior to her appointment at Florida State University, Dr. Bugaj was the director of the Attica Violin Project, a curricular elementary school violin program in Attica, Indiana. She was also the assistant director of the Fairview and Highland Park string programs, and taught violin and viola on the faculty of the Indiana University String Academy. She was adjunct faculty at Valparaiso University, a member of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and also played with the Grand Rapids and Louisville Symphony Orchestras.
 
At FSU, Dr. Bugaj teaches string techniques and methods courses; she also teaches at the FSU Summer Music Camps. Her research interests include string pedagogy, working with underserved populations, and music teacher education. She has presented at state, national, and international conferences and—in addition to academic articles—has published articles about music for the general audience. She is an active translator of Polish musical texts.

Leslie Hart

Leslie Hart is an active freelance horn player in the San Francisco Bay area and is the director of instrumental music at Castilleja School. She completed a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music in 2011. Leslie has written on cadenza improvisation (Horn Call May 2010 and May 2013) and her dissertation “Improvisation in the Collegiate Horn Studio” (University of Rochester 2011) describes college horn majors learning to improvise in orchestral horn excerpts. 

 

She has presented clinics in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and the United States including 2009 and 2011 International Horn Symposiums, Mid-South Horn Workshops, Northeast Horn Workshops, and Northwest Horn Symposium. Leslie is also a member of Emerald Brass Quintetand Frequency 49 Woodwind Sextet

Leslie is an educational clinician for Jupiter Instruments and representative for IVASI.

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Junior Board Member

Nicole Mendyka

A native North Texan, Nicole graduated from Guyer High as a member of the Wind Ensemble, Full Orchestra, and Lonestar Youth Wind Ensemble in 2016. As a future music educator, Nicole Mendyka currently studies at Oklahoma State University under Dr. Virginia Broffitt-Kunzer. She is currently a member of the OSU Wind Ensemble, Cowboy Marching band, and various chamber ensembles. Along with the Global Pedagogy Initiative, she is also a officer for the OSU Chapter of NAfME. 

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Contact

Address:

132 Seretean Center for the Performing Arts

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK 74078

Email: info@globalpedagogyinitiative.com

Phone: (812) 679-9114

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Mission

Global Pedagogy Initiative is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing pedagogical training to music teachers and students.  We work with underserved communities in the United States and with communities in developing countries.   

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