Ready for my first class (in 2015)! At VSA Ohio before going to Ohio State. That blazer has elbow patches.

Assistant Adjunct Faculty

The Ohio State University, Department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy.

  •  AE5684 Arts Participation, Cultural Literacy, and Audience Development.     Building on empirical and theoretical research, this course constructs a framework to understand audience participation, understanding and reception of specific art forms. 23 Students. (Winter 2018; Winter 2019)
  • AE5682 Nonprofit Arts Institutions, Governance and Board Leadership.    Research-based, practical exploration of nonprofit boards critically examines governance policies and practices; specifically focusing on management, board and staff relations and issues of accountability. 16 students. With Dr. James H. Sanders, III (Fall 2017)
  • AE5674 Creative Sector & Creative Cities.     Examines policy experiences of U.S. and other countries pertaining to the composition, workforce, and support systems of the creative industries across non-profit, commercial, community, and embedded settings. 17 students. (Winter 2015)

Guest Lecturer

  • AE3681 with Biyun Zhu, MA, Department of Art Administration, Education, and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, February 7, 2020.
  • Art Education for Children with Special Needs, with Dr. Joni Boyd Acuff, Department of Art Administration, Education, and Policy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, February 21, 2017 and March 5, 2019.
  • Introduction to Arts Education, with Dr. Vesta Daniel, Department of Art Education, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, Fall 2015.
  • Art Education for Children with Special Needs, with Dr. Vesta Daniel, Department of Art Education, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, February 18, 2011.
  • Positioning Passion: Exploring Arts Careers, with Dr. James H. Sanders III, Department of Art Education, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, February 9, 2011.

Adult and Lifelong Learning

Teaching Philosophy

*Submitted 11/22/19 for AE7300, Teaching at the Graduate Level with Dr. Shari Savage.  As of 10/29/20 Dr. Savage and I are working on a (my first!) journal article about AE7300.

I didn’t expect to teach. When I was younger, my plan was to follow in the paternal family footsteps and become a pharmacist. After quickly realizing chemistry was not my strength, the dominoes fell and led me here, following my maternal side’s leadership. It took time to grow into this role and every step makes me a stronger educator. I have been, am, and always will be a student, administrator, researcher, advocate, and teacher.

My first foray into formal teaching came while I was deep into post-graduate school arts administration. It was unexpected and an honor offered by my alma mater. I was meant to fill in and was quick to accept the responsibility without really thinking about the minutia of pedagogy, grades, and the student experience. A previous syllabus was shared and I set to work catching up on the research on creative sectors as I lived daily efforts to make the arts and arts education more accessible to people with disabilities and the community in my “real job.” I wore a blazer with elbow patches and my grandmother’s lucky locket on the first day of class. My carefully crafted presentations guided me through early courses. Eventually, my shaky voice shifted into a more comfortable facilitator of discussions around personally meaningful aspects of the material. Sparks began to fly in the eyes and voices of my under/graduate students. They weren’t blank spaces for me to deliver facts and figures, but real people with experiences to acknowledge and expectations to support and challenge. The insights and enthusiasm of those 17 students hooked me. I wanted more.
No teaching career really happens in a single moment of realization or opportunity. They are building blocks for everything to come. I still needed to grow confidence in myself and recognize that lifelong learning is just that – an ongoing process. I came to realize I was already an in/formal educator in my daily activities. During my 11+ year tenure as the executive director of a statewide nonprofit I led dozens of workshops, webinars, and partnership efforts focused on accessibility in the creative sector. Each time someone walked away with an actionable item to implement in their space or followed up with an impact story it reinforced the value of fostering spaces for the exchange of knowledge and ideas, usually based on trial and error.

I’m inclined to be humble, sarcastic, and honest about real-world challenges. Not knowing something is a reason to learn more. Mistakes are opportunities to grow and change. I share plenty of examples of my own failures and “teachable moments” in the field. This makes me real, likeable, and approachable; traits today’s students need in their educators. We need to be cognizant and transparent about the challenges permeating the real world. This is not meant to ignore the responsibilities educators have to their many charges, but to open doors to creative problem solving our students can use to disrupt expectations and make positive differences in their communities.

My student evaluations were strong enough that I was invited back to teach more under/graduate classes. I stumbled, learned, and grew with each session. I questioned my motives and capacities. When first teaching a class about arts participation, cultural literacy, and audience development, I adhered to traditional expectations of the student-teacher relationship. I led and they followed. They didn’t complain, but when each class ended, I asked myself what could make the next better. Each class led me towards the realization that my role as an educator was better served when making the student experience a valid north star for knowledge, based on the literature and individual understanding. What role does the policy and practice of a state arts council play in their lives as practitioners and citizens? How can a symphony attract a Gen Z audience obsessed with the latest influencers who are accessible with a touch on their phones? What words are marketers using to convey missions and programs to a soon-to-be majority-minority nation? My job bridging the research to practice gap narrowed and student perspectives grew.

Today, I am obsessed with bridging that gap between research and practice for future professionals and leaders in the creative sector. Theories abound, cross fields, and apply to every aspect of our lives – even if statistics mean nothing to the individual, they have plenty to offer our communities. I have pursued the opportunity to conduct research at every stage of my professional (and educational) experiences. I’m happy asking every tenth visitor to fill out a survey, cleaning and coding data for analysis, and finding accessible ways to visual findings. This process always yields something informative for an organization and the way they operationalize daily activities that impact visitors to galleries, theatres, festivals, and educational programming. It is important for me that teachers and students play a nearly equal role in the education process. As an educator I can set the stage for personal meaning making, inspiring and activating students to follow their passions. I can equip them with empirical and theoretical bases for enacting positive changes to make a difference in their lives and communities. As a lifelong learner, each class, reading, assignment, and student will teach me more about effective pedagogies and strategies for making myself a better educator.