I believe in project based learning, using students' existing interests to motivate learning and the value of expanding collective knowledge through sharing our own stories and reading those of people unlike ourselves. I have taught several types of poetry classes to teens and adults in out of school settings, including lessons on meter, form, and environmental writing. I have also taught writing for radio, interview, journalism and personal essay and lessons on revision and publishing. I also teach a variety of creative arts which I link to storytelling though not always through words.
I have been teaching students of all ages, in multiple settings both academic and out of school environments for over ten years. I am an artist and grant writer and have honed an effective style of writing that combines data and personal narrative. My students have dramatically improved their ability to express themselves in writing as well as constructing revised, polished, well crafted pieces with clear story arc and organization, whether they are creative or academic.
MFA in Creative Writing — Creative Non Fiction |Certificate in Teaching
Chatham University | Pittsburgh, PA | 8/2012
BA in Interdisciplinary Studies —Cultural Anthropology + Visual Art
New York University, Gallatin School | New York, NY | 5/2004
-SELECTED TEACHING AND FACILITATION-
Senior Teaching Artist CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART|Pittsburgh, PA|August 2016 - currently Develop and teach The Art Connection for 8th grade, an 18 week program based finding inspiration in the museum exhibits, to create projects connected to students’ own stories and identities.
Artist in Residence UNITED SOMALI BANTU OF GREATER PITTSBURGH | Office of Public Art, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council | Pittsburgh, PA | 4/2017 - 6/2019 Embedded with Somali Bantu refugee community and co-developed a project to help the community better integrate into US society while retaining unique cultural identity knowledge of their past.
The Color Of Strength, website (2019): Lead a team of youth to collecting video interviews for a web documentary that answers questions about the past, present and future of people currently living in the community of Northview heights.
Museum Educator - Learning Research and Special Projects CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY|Pittsburgh, PA|August 2014 - Present Research, design and implement engagement strategies to convene diverse expertise and facilitate collaborations in the production of communication tools.
Neighborhood Platform - Climate and Urban Systems Partnership(CUSP) (2017):
With partners in Homewood, designed and implement community engagement strategy where youth designed and facilitated climate change communications tailored to their neighbors.
Energy NET (2014-2016): Designed and collaborative learning sessions with university scientists, museum staff, and Oakland teenagers. Supported teens to design, construct, and install museum quality exhibits for diverse public audiences about energy and the environment.
Youth Summit on Race and Identity(2014): Coordinated summit in conjunction with the exhibit Race: Are We So Different? For youth, and facilitated by youth, the summit was attended by 150 participants from 20 SWPA schools and organizations.
Garden Manager/CoFounder GARDWEENO!|North Braddock, PA|Summer 2014 - Present Lead community members in re-imagining an abandoned lot as garden and art installation. Host community building events, cook-outs and workdays, and STEAM programming for area children.
Team Coordinator THE BRADDOCK YOUTH PROJECT|Braddock, PA|May 2013 - August 2014
Facilitated design and execution of youth-generated community projects including the development of a community cafe, promotional murals for local businesses, and expression of their perspective of their community.
Visiting Artist EKIALO KIONA COMMUNITY CENTER| Mfangano Island, KENYA|12/2012 – 2/2013
Taught journalism, creative writing, community documentary, audio production, and ethnography skills to young adults. Assisted in establishing regular on-air cultural programming.
WORDS WITHOUT WALLS | Pittsburgh, PA | 2/2012 - Present
Taught personal storytelling to inmates at Allegheny County Jail and Western Pennsylvania State Correctional Institute.
PITTSBURGH PUBLIC SCHOOLS | Pittsburgh, PA | 1/2012 - 11/2012
Taught at CAPA and Westinghouse Highschools.
EARTH INK | Pittsburgh, PA | 1/2011 - currently
Taught k – 6th graders in poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing. Developed environmental writing curriculum. (concealed information)
Project Manager - Global Focus Program
CHATHAM UNIVERSITY | Pittsburgh, PA | 9, 2010 - Spring 2012
Designed and implemented co-curricular international education program. Wrote promotional materials. Coordinated visits by ambassadors, guest speakers, lectures and presentations and ongoing educational initiatives.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER PROJECT|Mississippi River, MN to MO USA.| 2008 Designed and built a raft of reused materials and traveled over 600 miles, acting as a confluence of public and private space that explored ideas of freedom, speed, and human relationship with natural resources. (concealed information)
-AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS, COMMITTEES-
Artists As Change Agents in Complexity. Workshop Fellow with EMC Arts. Pittsburgh, PA (2019)
Committee Member, Environment Health and Public Art Initiative. Office of Public Art (2019)
Climate and Urban Systems Partnership Minigrant Award for Truth Booth and Reconciliation Station. Creatives For Climate, Carnegie Museum of Natural History (2018)
Committee Member, ReMake Learning Awards. Sprout Fund, (2016)
boOST Fellowship. University of Pittsburgh School of Education and Allegheny Partners for Out of School Time | Pittsburgh, PA (2015 - 2016)
Community Partner of the Year, Gardweeno! Monongahela Valley Initiative and North Braddock Cares, 45th Senatorial District Certificate of Recognition (2015)
ReMake Summer Learning Award. $5,000. Sprout Fund, project manager: Gardweeno! (2014)
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|1 hour||Not available||Not available||$18|