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Art Educator          Teaching Artist            Arts Advocate          Community Arts Coordinator          PuppeteerHighly creative and innovative art educator, motivated, self directed artist and community arts leader, teaching philosophy emphasizes inquiry based discussion, exploration of materials, problem solving, team building and peer interaction, specializing in arts integrated lessons focusing on learning through an art form and another subject, developed after school and community center based arts programing,  skillful at teaching artists with disabilities and adapting to their needs allowing for an increase in creative expression, professionally engaged multiple arts organizations for grant and program collaborations, successful grant writer and administrator of arts funds, resourceful puppet creator, effectively able to intertwine puppetry with arts integration, and persistent arts advocate

Work experience

Nov 2009Present

Fine Arts Graduate Assistant

Center for Excellence in Disability: West Virginia University
  • Facilitated art lessons for five adult artists with a range of disabilities       
  • Documented the progress of artists and their work         
  • Created a database of arts events available to individuals with disabilities       
  • Assisted in managing a database and list serve of participating artists and arts organizations             
  • Actively networked with arts organizations across the state to expand program opportunities       
  • Promoted the Fine Arts Program at state and national arts conferences   
  • Created and supervised activities for Stepping Stones Arts and Accessibility Festival         
  • Assisted grant administrator in accomplishing goals and objectives
Jan 2011Mar 2011

Artist in Residency

Mountaineer Middle School
  • Joined in partnership with art educator to create an integrated arts lesson based on the Chinese New Year
  • Immersed students in the Chinese culture by learning traditions and building two giant dragons puppets
Sep 2010Dec 2010

Artist in Residency

St. Francis de Sales Catholic Central
  • Collaborated with art staff to create giant peacemaker puppets and international day of peace art installation   
  • Engaged students in puppetry and social justice in regards to campaigns for international peace
  • Assisted students with development of their own artwork and their personal expressive techniques
Aug 2008Aug 2009

AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader

National Service for United Way of Central West Virginia
  • Developed arts integration curriculum for VISTA sites to enhance program and grant goals and objectives        
  • Secured agencies and community organizations as partners for project success and program sites    
  • Maintained accurate and complete documentation of reports regarding the status of grant objectives                       
  • Monitored and guided VISTA members through their year of National Service
Aug 2007Aug 2008


National Service for Step By Step
  • Incorporated arts and culture educational opportunities into after school and summer programs inventively to include theater, literature, music and heritage crafts
  • Recruited artists to serve as mentors and educators for children and youth
  • Engaged schools and community partners work together to implement Arts and Cultural programs
  • Developed and maintained systems of documentation and assessment for arts programming
  • Secured funding for arts and culture programs through grants, foundations, and fund raising efforts
Oct 2005Aug 2007

Unit Director of St. Albans Club

Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club
  • Manage three Club employees and evaluate their job performance         
  • Developed curriculum and activities for after-school and summer programs   
  • Initiated and directed the Youth Fine Arts and Photography program at two Club locations       
  • Recruited and monitored volunteers for programs             
  • Collaborated with  Salvation Army officers and staff to develop special programs and events           
  • Received grant funds to enhance existing programs and facilities and to implement new programs


Aug 2009May 2011

Master of Arts

West Virginia University
Aug 2000May 2005

Bachelor of Fine Arts

West Virginia University


Nora Sheets

Ms. Nora Sheets was the coordinating teacher that I completed an artist residency in her classroom.

John Downey

Mr. Downey supervised me as an artist in resident and a substitute teacher at St. Francis de Sales Central Catholic School.

Kristina Olson

Joann Spencer Siegrist

Professor Siegrist was a mentor and guide during my graduate work at West Virginia University. 

Lourdes (Lou) Karas

Served as a mentor, guide and professional resource for information during my graduate school research.

Michael Tierney

AmeriCorps*VISTA  supervisor with Step By Step in Charleston, WV.

Helen Panzironi

Graduate assistant supervisor for the CED-WVU Fine Arts Grant in Morgantown, West Virginia.


Project and Grant Program Manager
From the beginning of my professional career I have organized and documented programs and activities for grant reporting. I have administered programs fine arts, photography, healthy choices, and physical education programs in the Boys and Girls Club. During my service with AmeriCorps*VISTA I further continued honing my skills as a project manager by helping to develop arts and culture activities for the after school programs of my host organization. I organized and ran special community project and events for the Schoenbaum Family Enrichment Center. I have orchestrated several collaborations between arts organizations during my VISTA service and continue to do so during my graduate assistant work.
Art Integrated Lesson Planning
During graduate school I researched and attended seminars on creating arts integrated lessons. My entire masters thesis focused on artist in residencies collaborating with teachers creating arts integrated lessons. These lessons fostered increases in problem solving, creative expression, team building, and diversity.
Database and Record Keeping
Currently database updating and record keeping is part of my job responsibilities with the Center for Excellence in Disabilities. Keeping current information on arts organization and artists that participate with the program are an essential part of keeping the program connected across the state. During AmeriCorps*VISTA service keeping records of work completed and capacity building for the non-profit organizations was the essence of my service. While working for the Boys and Girls Club keeping up to date member participation statistics and collecting information for grant writing was a large responsibility of the job. When grants were received, keeping record of funds spent and outcomes of the programs became a large priority.  
Art Teacher
Experience in teaching art in a variety of settings, in schools, community arts programs, after school programs, and one on one arts lessons for adults with disabilities.

Arts Education Portfolio

Fine Arts Portfolio


Assistant Presenter

West Virginia University

Participant and Student Researcher

West Virginia University


Appalachian Education Initiative


John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


West Virginia Art Education Association


National Art Education Association


Puppeteers of America National Puppet Festival