Faculty Senate pays tribute to School of Art

Kanwischer-Art
Accepting the Unit Recognition Award on behalf of the School of Art faculty is Director Charlie Kanwischer (center) with Provost Joe Whitehead (left) and President Rodney Rogers.

For over 75 years, the School of Art (SOA) at Bowling Green State University has provided a nurturing environment for encouraging students to express their creative voice and explore art and design that is innovative, vibrant and full of possibilities. With the largest undergraduate enrollment of any art program in an Ohio public university, the school’s 38 full-time faculty members serve as productive artists and scholars while maintaining their strong commitment to teaching 542 undergraduate majors and 30 graduate students.

Faculty Senate presented the School of Art the 2019 Unit Recognition Award, which honors an academic or instructional service unit that makes an outstanding contribution to Bowling Green State University and recognizes the importance of faculty who work together to make a difference in the educational environment. It includes an engraved plaque and a $1,000 award. The school was honored at the Faculty Excellence Awards April 16.

Jenn Stucker, graphic design division chair, nominated the school for its demonstrated record of effective and sustained collegiality, commitment to the University’s core values and recognized impact upon the quality of the educational program.

“I am immensely grateful for the dynamic, creative and outstanding colleagues I get to work with and I believe their dedication and efforts toward students, BGSU, the community and the public good deserve to be recognized,” Stucker wrote in her nomination.

The school’s collaborative efforts are evidenced by members’ participation in activities such the Arts Roundtable and the annual ArtsX art extravaganza. Members of the roundtable work with other University units to achieve and support a collective vision to utilize the arts resources at BGSU. The School of Art initiated ArtsX 10 years ago, and continues to successfully bring together representative elements from theatre and film, dance, creative writing and music for one night to showcase student and faculty work by opening its doors to the community.

In addition to cross-disciplinary collaboration, the school actively supports the University’s core value of fostering diversity and inclusion, Stucker said. School of Art Director Charlie Kanswischer served as a committee member for the “Beyond the Dream” series and has written a diversity plan to help guide faculty in their search for new faculty. Other School of Art activities that support diversity and inclusion include: guest speaker Jacinda Walker’s talk on closing the diversity gap in design disciplines, Antionette Carol’s workshop on community action and equity, Stucker’s accessibility and content-creation faculty workshop, photography division director Lynn Whitney’s students’ engagement with Wood Lane residents, and graphic design faculty Amy Fidler’s keynote speech on neurodiversity and design at this year’s Undergraduate Symposium on Diversity.

The educational impact of the National Association for Schools of Art and Design-accredited unit is noticeable, Stucker said, as graduates have been admitted to excellent master of fine arts, master’s and Ph.D. programs across the country. In the past five years, graduates from the Bachelor of Fine Arts in art education program have a 100 percent job placement record.

Stucker also provided examples of art faculty members supporting one another through award nominations for both internal and external awards.

“The SOA faculty have a long tradition of taking pause and recognizing those around them and how their efforts contribute to the BGSU environment,” Stucker wrote. “Creativity is at the heart of what we do as educators to our students, and we extend that creativity into the public sphere through our community engagement activities.”  

In addition, during the 2018-19 academic year, nearly $2 million in total gifts have come into the School of Art thus far.

“These gifts are a testament to the quality of the School of Art’s impact as others have made the choice to invest in its future,” Stucker wrote.