Art History Associate Professor’s Professional Engagement Strengthens Her Teaching Practice
For Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) Art History Associate Professor Anne Norcross, pursuing professional engagement outside of the classroom is the key to a dynamic, supportive, and engaging teaching practice. Over the past academic year, Norcross has been involved in a number of different initiatives that have broadened both her perspective and her professional network.
In the fall of 2016, Norcross served as a discipline peer reviewer on the Fulbright Scholar Program’s art history committee, her third such stint on the committee. Along with other art history scholars and educators from around the U.S., she reviewed a number of different teaching and research proposals and identified those that were strong enough to move forward. The experience has led Norcross to become the Fulbright U.S. Student Program Advisor at KCAD, where she promotes the program and guides students interested in applying through the process.
Throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, Norcross was also heavily involved with the College Art Association (CAA). In the fall of 2016, she served as a juror for the CAA 2017 Professional Development Fellowships program, which honors an art historian, curator, or critic with a $10,000 grant and a one-year membership to CAA.
After securing a Timme Travel Grant from Ferris State University, Norcross traveled to New York City in February of 2017 to present her paper “Teaching the Art History survey to Art & Design students” at the CAA Annual Conference. While the focus of the session Norcross participated in was on teaching art and art history as a general education course, she was asked to specifically address the role of art history at an art and design college.
“At KCAD, the Art History survey is the beginning of a process where students from all art and design disciplines come together to learn about and engage with art through history,” says Norcross. “The knowledge they gain through studying art history contributes to how they understand the world and influences their own artistic practices.”
Norcross was also appointed to the CAA’s Education Committee through 2019. The 17-member committee unites educators from around the U.S. to promote the visual arts as an indispensable human activity, a vital creative endeavor that explores and uncovers valuable social, historical, and cultural context.
“I am interested in a variety of methodologies, approaches, and activities that seek to inspire student interest and create a dynamic classroom environment,” says Norcross. “The Education Committee provides me with a network of colleagues whose scholarship on teaching and learning aligns with my interests.”
Learn more about KCAD’s Art History program at kcad.edu/arthistory.