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Ohio Northern University art education professor and alumna present at Ohio Art Education Association annual conference

November—Professor Linda Lehman, Ohio Northern University Visiting Instructor in Education, and ONU Alumna Meggie Bierkan (BFA/graphic design ’09) were both selected to present at the 2013 Ohio Art Education Association conference in Toledo, Ohio, in November.

Professor Lehman presented a session on engaging young students of all ages and abilities in experiences viewing and discussing art. Her session, “High Success Lessons for Special Needs Students,” also focused on lesson plans that addressed standards while offering students success creating art.

Mrs. Beirkan co-presented a session called “Saving Rain for Sunny Days: Rain Barrel Art.” Her topic centered around a community project she and her students completed this past year for the Regional Storm Water Collaborative and sponsored by the Cincinnati Zoo.

In addition, two Ohio Northern art education majors joined art teachers, professors, alumni and other students from around the state in Toledo for “Reflecting the Standards,” the theme for this year’s professional conference organized by the OAEA.
Hannah Rodenhausen, senior art education major from Marysville, Ohio.
Jennifer Jervis, senior art education major from Bellefontaine, Ohio.

Beginning November 14, the conference engaged attendees in main stage presentations and workshops. During the three-day event, ONU students heard speakers discuss the role of media in schools, the development of great lesson plans, and the topic of contemporary teaching practices and theories.

“The students from the art & design department were thrilled to attend the annual conference for Ohio art educators,” Prof. Lehman said. “It was a great chance for the students to network and meet art teachers from across the state to discuss, share and learn information on new art techniques, art media and art education philosophy that can be utilized in the classroom.”

Throughout the weekend conference, students also had other opportunities to attend a variety of lectures, such as the influence of art and design on businesses and the careers associated with the creative industries. Students then attended a session about creating and implementing a student-centered curriculum. Other sessions included curriculum structures, lesson plans, creative centers for learning, cultural development and much more.

Mrs. Bierkan earned her BFA degree in graphic design from Ohio Northern in 2009. While a student at ONU, she earned a Petrillo award, was involved in Delta Zeta, the Arts & Sciences College Student Advisory Board, and was included into Omicron Delta Kappa, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Kappa Pi honoraries. She served as co-president of the ONU student chapter of AIGA|The Professional Association for Design. In 2012 she completed a Master of Art in Visual Art Education from the University of Cincinnati. Meggie currently is an art teacher at Bethel-Tate High School located in Bethel, Ohio. She teaches a variety of courses including beginning art classes, mixed media, three-dimensional art, digital photography, painting and drawing. Recently, she and her students partnered with the Regional Storm Water Collaborative and the Cincinnati Zoo on a project designed to increase the use of rain barrels by transforming them into works of art.

Prof. Lehman graduated cum laude from The Ohio State University at Lima with a Bachelor of Science degree in education before going on to teach elementary education at a number of schools in the area, such as St. Charles, Lima Garfield, Elida, Allen East, and Bath Elementary. She continued her education by obtaining her art certification, and eventually her Master’s degree in education.

Prof. Lehman teaches art education at Ohio Northern where she also coordinates the Saturday Morning Arts enrichment program (SMArts) to provide fine arts education to the community’s children.

Prof. Lehman is a member of the Watercolor Society, The Ohio Art Education Association, The Chicago Museum of Art, the Lima Art Study Group, and serves on a number of university committees. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for ArtSpace Lima.

She recently received a 20-year Circa Recognition Award from the Ohio Art Education Association. In addition, she was inducted into the OAEA Circa Honor Society that honors educators who have shown long-term service and professional dedication to the OAEA in the field of visual art education. She also has presented at regional and national conferences including the OAEA’s conference. Her recent session, entitled, “Connecting Visual Arts with the Disciplines,” described ONU’s Saturday Morning Arts (SMArts) program connecting the visual arts to other academic disciplines including biology and history.

The art education major at ONU is an intensive full-time teacher preparation program that enables students to earn a PreK-12 licensure as a teacher. ONU’s program is designed to prepare its candidates to be not only accomplished art educators, but also articulate advocates for the role of art in PreK-12 education. The curriculum involves partnerships with public schools and is designed so that students come to understand educational theory through personal experience in authentic teaching situations. For instance, students at Ohio Northern plan and teach a group of middle school students participating in the Saturday Morning Arts (SMArts) program. Also, ONU teacher candidates complete 12 weeks of student teaching experiences in an elementary public school and in a secondary public school.

The Ohio Art Education Association is the professional organization of art educators in the State of Ohio. It represents art teachers at the levels of elementary, middle school, secondary, and higher education. The organization also represents art teachers at the student / pre-service level, museum educators, supervisors and art administrators, and retired art teachers.

The mission of the Ohio Art Education Association is to advance and support quality art education through professional development, leadership, service, advocacy, and education by uniting art educators in the promotion and understanding of the visual arts in a quality education; stimulating the professional growth of members; initiating art education service and advocacy programs; encouraging the involvement and commitment of members in all activities endorsed by the organization; informing members of current educational developments and areas of their potential involvement; and educating citizens.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2013–14 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

image: A workshop attendee completes a prototype during Meggie Bierkan’s presentation at the OAEA conference. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Bierkan.