UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Susan Russell, associate professor of theater, has been appointed director of the Center for Pedagogy in Arts and Design (CPAD). She will work with new associate directors Crystal Ramsay, assistant director of innovation at Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT), and Chris Stubbs, director of digital learning in the College of Arts and Architecture.
CPAD, a joint initiative of the College of Arts and Architecture and TLT, was established in 2017 as a cross-disciplinary center to advance teaching, learning and research in the arts and design and related professional development activities.
“Each member of the leadership team brings extensive careers in innovation, technology, creativity, curriculum design and community building to CPAD,” said Russell.
CPAD will have three focus areas in the coming months. The first focus is the unique Teaching Lab located in Borland Building, developed by TLT and the College of Arts and Architecture. Featuring one-of-a-kind arts-based technology, the lab serves as both a home for CPAD research and a flexible space for the college.
According to Ramsay, CPAD is poised to be a leader for the next generation of teaching and learning in the arts and design.
“I’m thrilled to represent TLT and with a particular focus on the state-of-the-art teaching lab,” she said.
The second focus, the Research Engine, will address how classes in residence in the Teaching Lab are enlivened and engaged by utilizing arts-based teaching technologies. An example is the groundbreaking course "Moral Moments," which has found its academic home in the College of Arts and Architecture. "Moral Moments" is a unique story-based course in communication, community building and critical thinking that can help any individual, classroom and community engage with difficult conversations.
The third focus is building Faculty Communities, where new and experienced faculty members can meet and exchange strategies for successful teaching and learning. These faculty communities will be spaces for communal conversations and individual explorations, professional development opportunities, and experiences in friendship and problem-solving. The CPAD Academy has offered focused faculty opportunities in summer 2021.
“CPAD is dedicated to promoting and forwarding conversations and actions concerning justice and equity,” said Russell. “CPAD imagines a community where everyone is valued as a human being, and where everyone, whether present or virtual, is working intentionally on teaching and learning the ‘Artistry of Life.’”