posted by CAA — Dec 03, 2019
It’s been a good number of years since that brisk January morning when I had my first interview for a full-time teaching position at the CAA conference career center. What would be my first of dozens of annual conferences was dizzying — I was surrounded by so many others who also were passionate about the disciplines that fueled me. At that early stage of my career, I hadn’t realized I was beginning a lifelong relationship with a multifaceted arts organization.
As a senior faculty member at Kean University, where I hold the title of Distinguished Professor in the Michael Graves College, and through my role as a Co-Chair of Design Incubation, I have dedicated a great deal of time to mentoring junior faculty. Engaged inquiry enhances my career; I work to ensure others can pursue their research interests productively, as well as connect scholarship and teaching. At Kean University, I actively guide junior faculty through reappointment and tenure, usher their career pursuits of scholarship, and introduce them to editors, agents and arts organizations, such as CAA, Design Incubation, AIGA, and the One Club, among others. At Design Incubation, I work with our Research Fellows during our annual program and beyond to encourage and facilitate their projects.
With extensive graduate coursework in art history, a Master of Fine Arts in painting, a graphic design practice, and twenty-three published books and numerous articles, I am in a unique position to understand how visual artists, art historians, designers and educators can collaborate and cross pollinate. Publishers have translated many of my books into Spanish, Chinese and Russian, including Graphic Design Solutions, 6th ed., Advertising by Design, 3rd ed., Draw!, and Nimble: Thinking Creatively in the Digital Age. Many of my published articles bridge the divide between visual arts disciplines and draw upon other arts, such as dance, literature, and music. Whether fostering T-shape thinking in the classroom, or prompting colleagues to utilize a bisociative framework, I seek to expand ways to interpret the world.
For years, I have worked relentlessly to foster inclusion and diversity in the graphic design and advertising professions. I received a Human Rights Educator award for my work with The Enough Project.
I want to represent all disciplines, widen reach, foster tolerance, and increase understanding to help guide the future direction of CAA. Empowerment of members. Advocacy. Diversity. Inclusion. Access. I hope to take a lead on these urgent issues, providing lifetime career contexts for members, working towards CAA’s goals.
For CAA to stay agile, we must focus on dynamic career demands and how culture, technology and the global economy are transforming the visual arts professions. Such transformations deserve vigorous debate. Through greater outreach to designers, art directors, architects, and educators and building affiliations, we can establish wider participation and greater engagement. As a design educator, an artist, author, a chair of Design Incubation, and faculty mentor, promoting the visual arts comes naturally to me. I hope you will allow me to enlarge my lifelong relationship with CAA.