Meet Your Faculty
Dale is a director with over 18 years of experience working in video and film. He’s worked in various capacities of television and film production but most prominently as an editor. In 2015, he decided the time had come to pursue his childhood dream and he transitioned to directing. Dale primarily enjoys his work on narrative projects and continues to work on commercials and short films. He’s currently in production on a documentary-series about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is set to finish in 2020. He also has another documentary and a narrative series in development. Dale is drawn to projects that pose interesting questions and explore human nature. He hopes to help audiences gain a broader perspective through character and story. Dale is currently the Director of Video for Polymath Innovations, a creative agency in Atlanta, and is also an Artist in Residence faculty with the Joel A. Katz Music & Entertainment Business Program. He resides in the Atlanta area with his wife and two children.
Danny Howes is the Associate Director of the Joel A. Katz Music & Entertainment Business Program (MEBUS). He is a senior lecturer of music and technology and teaches all MEBUS entertainment media and audio production courses. He has over 40 years of experience in the entertainment industry specializing in audio production, music technology, and performance. Danny is a seasoned world traveler and serves as tour facilitator for the longstanding MEBUS London study abroad program. Danny has visited Tokyo Disneyland, and as a Florida native visited Walt Disney World many times. He actually viewed the 1960’s Walt Disney World construction site from a 2-seater plane.
Keith Perissi, MEBUS Director, has a lifetime of experience in the fields of touring, promotion, marketing, booking, songwriting, talent management, and entertainment business entrepreneurship. Keith has extensive world travel experience that he gained during his years as a touring musician. He has worked professionally with Disney many times and has also worked and toured throughout the entirety of the United States, Great Britain, Europe, and most parts of the globe. Safety and ethics while travelling are a top priority for Keith and the MEBUS program. His leadership skills and ability to provide quick solutions for any global challenge are a valuable asset in the planning, teaching, and implementation of the MEBUS study away trip. Through his partnership with MEBUS benefactor, Joel A. Katz, Keith connected with Disney contacts to develop several opportunities for students to gain direct access to Disney experiences. Keith has vast knowledge of Disney’s entertainment business culture and shares his insights and real-world professional experiences with his students. Keith and the MEBUS program are dedicated to providing students with life changing global business experiences through MEBUS. Keith continues to remain active in Atlanta’s thriving entertainment industry, though has stepped off the stage as a performer choosing the classroom as his preferred venue for teaching and learning. He has found that it is students who inspire him most, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge, experience and industry relationships to encourage the next generation of entertainment industry professionals to meet their career objectives.
Dr. Jon A. Preston
A long-time fan of Disney with over 30 visits to the resort, Dr. Preston serves as the Dean of the College of Computing and Software Engineering at KSU. He has taught courses in 3D modeling, graphics, mobile and casual game design, programming, software engineering, game design and development, educational and serious game design, algorithms, data structures, and human-computer interaction. Dr. Preston has also been involved in numerous startup companies and research projects focused on cutting-edge use of computing in industrial and entertainment industries. His top three favorite Disney attractions are Avatar Flight of Passage, Soarin’ Around the World, and the Carousel of Progress.
Dr. Chao Mei
Dedicated to the research of interactive computer graphics, Dr. Mei is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Software Engineering and game development. He offered courses in computer graphics, Production Pipeline & Rendering, app extension and scripting, and many software engineering related courses. He has development experiences on various platforms include Windows, PS4, Android and IOS. He is funded by NSF, non-profit organizations, and KSU to conduct research on using Virtual Reality technologies to help people with special needs. He has visited half of all the Disney resorts worldwide, during which he waited 7 hours in line for the "Tron Lightcycle Power Run" soon after it was first introduced in Shanghai.
Haley-Kate Daykin (Program Coordinator)
Haley-Kate Daykin is an alumna of the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program (MEBUS) and the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. She has a professional background in the sports and entertainment industry, including a season in Fan Experience with the Atlanta Falcons and three years with the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena. She contributes not only her business experience, but also performance experience as a professional dancer and actress. She is passionate about sharing her experience with students and helping them achieve their professional goals.