a2ru Launches “Tradition-Innovations in Arts, Design and Media Higher Education”

a2ru News, Member News

November 16, 2022

A2ru launched a new open-access, peer-reviewed digital journal – Tradition-Innovations [in Arts, Design, and Media Higher Education]  – at the 2022 annual conference earlier this month. The journal will be published in partnership with a2ru member institution University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Yvonne Houy, the UNLV College of Fine Arts Learning Technologist, serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the new publication. 

At the a2ru conference launch of the journal, the editorial board spoke eloquently and passionately about the need for a publication at the intersection of creative work, scholarship, and teaching that provides space for interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary innovations which honor disciplinary expertise and move the fields of Art, Design and Media forward. 

The inaugural Tradition-Innovations editorial board has expertise in a wide range of disciplines in the fine and performing arts, design, and media fields. As a group, they also represent a wide range of professional roles: creative practitioners, professors, directors, researchers, learning technologists, arts administrators, curators, and advocates. 

To learn more about the journal and its submission guidelines, please visit the Traditions-Innovations website. 

Editorial Board Members

Felice Amato, Ph.D., MFA

Assistant Professor, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Felice Amato is an assistant professor at Boston University, where her interdisciplinary practice and teaching focus on puppets and masks. She fell in love with puppets, so to speak, while completing her MFA and subsequent arts-led PhD in the art department at UW-Madison. As part of the larger category of material performance, they have become the unifying core of her work and have opened pathways to a broad yet coherent interdisciplinary practice. As an arts-based researcher, Amato creates a variety of work, exploring in-depth the phenomena of performing objects. She is engaged in scholarly writing and research and uses the genre for pedagogical innovations and to cultivate community. Collaboration and leadership within the field are important aspects of her life and research; she developed a yearlong global arts research conference on the theme of women and masks in 2021-22. Amato serves on the board of UNIMA–USA, the American chapter of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette, a UNESCO, where she chairs the Academic Committee. She has received awards for her artistic work and has published and presented in the fields of education, puppetry and the arts. Amato has designed and taught innovative courses at Boston University that cross colleges and disciplines. She has initiated several university-wide residencies and was named the Provost’s Art Fellow in 2019.  Amato is currently writing on female embodiment and the representation of trauma through material performance. Having worked extensively with an Italian mask family, she is engaged in using the mask as a tool of research. She is a founding member of an international feminist mask collective, that has, as one of the principal goals, the creation of a mask lending library that would expand access, involvement, and insights. 

Felice Amato biography

Contact: famato@bu.edu


Angela M. Brommel, MFA Creative Writing, MA Theatre

Senior Advisor & Executive Director for the Arts, Nevada State College, Henderson, Nevada, USA.

Angela M. Brommel is Senior Advisor & Executive Director for the Arts at Nevada State College where she is Chief Curator of Collections & Galleries, and affiliate faculty.  She has the esteemed honor of being Clark County Poet Laureate for the 2022-2024 term. Angela received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and an MA in Theatre from the University of Northern Iowa. 

The author of two books, Mojave in July (Tolsun Books) and Plutonium & Platinum Blonde (Serving House Books), her poetry has been published in the North American Review, The Best American Poetry blog, and many other journals and anthologies. In 2018 she was a Red Rock Canyon Artist-in-Residence, serving as the inaugural poet of the program. She also serves as Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor for The Citron Review.

An interdisciplinary artist and scholar whose creative scholarship crosses Art, Creative Writing, and Theatre, some of her areas of creative work include art and literary history, curation, feminist criticism and theory, defamiliarization as feminist praxis in the work of women writers and painters, the arts as a healing modality, and the role of creatives in economic development and tourism. 

Angela M. Brommel NSC biography

Angela M. Brommel author website

Contact: Angela.Brommel@nsc.edu


J.R. Campbell, MFA – Textile Art and Costume Design; PgCert – Phd Supervision in Art and Design

Executive Director, Design Innovation, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA.

J.R. Campbell is helping to cultivate the Design Innovation Initiative at Kent State University to support design thinking, project-based learning, technology-infused maker communities and the curation of cross-disciplinary collaborative teams to tackle “wicked” problems. Campbell’s research/creative work is grounded in textile design and technology applications in practice. Campbell has been researching, designing and creating artwork with digital textile/imaging technologies for more than 25 years. His work pushes the limits of imaging technologies as they relate to clothing, our environment and the human form.

Contact: jrcamp@kent.edu


Keli DiRisio, MFA in Visual Communication Design, MS in Print Media

Assistant Professor, Creative Director and founder of Command g Design Lab, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA.

Keli DiRisio has a Master of Science and a Master of Fine Arts, both from RIT, in addition to having owned a design studio and video production company and working in the design industry for over 20 years. For the past five years, Keli has been a professor of Graphic Design at Rochester Institute of Technology, with her teachings focused not only the foundations of graphic design, but also on user motivations and how our design decisions can affect and infuence emotions. She is currently working on a mobile application solution with a clinical researcher and social worker to help college students understand and regulate their emotions and coping mechanisms as they apply to everyday stress and their mental health. Keli is also one of the founders and is the Creative Director of Command+g Design Lab, a student design studio at RIT.

Contact: keli.dirisio@rit.edu


Nils Gore, M.Arch, Registered Architect; NCARB

Professor, University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.

NILS GORE  is a licensed architect and a Professor in the Architecture Department at the University of Kansas, where he focuses on community engaged scholarship through completion of student design/build projects in the public realm. These projects include work in Mississippi, Lawrence, New Orleans and, most lately, Wyandotte County Kansas, where the work is focused on projects that promote public health through healthy eating and active living. In all of these projects, he works with students to develop innovative material and tectonic design solutions that enhance and support an enriched community life. 

The work has won numerous design awards,  has  been published in scholarly journals and book chapters, and has been presented in public lectures and scholarly presentations. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has taught at the Boston Architectural Center, Mississippi State University and the University of Kansas. 

Dotte Agency, http://www.dotteagency.org 

Contact: ngore@ku.edu


Leah Howd, M.S. Library Science

Technical instructor in support of online education, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

After years of working in public libraries, Leah made the jump to higher education where she focuses on instruction of creative technologies such as streaming and podcasting. Leah draws on her background in librarianship to incorporated information literacy into technical instruction. She also supports instructors in producing and using hybrid learning.

Leah Howd’s website

Contact: l.k.howd@hr.nl


Fen Kennedy, Ph.D., Advanced Labanotator

Assistant Professor, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA.

Dr. Fen Kennedy is a dancer/scholar holding a PhD in Dance Studies from the Ohio State University and based at the University of Alabama. Their research investigates how dance articulates the values and norms of society, and how those norms can be challenged and changed. Their research can be read in Dance Chronicle, The Journal of Dance Education and is forthcoming in various anthologies. Their choreographic work includes Finches for the Gasden Museum of Art, and Walk As If You Could Break the Earth for the Collaborative Arts Research Initiative at UA.


Contact: fkennedy@ua.edu


Sarah O’Connell, MDra, Directing

Principal Director, Eat More Art LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Sarah O’Connell (MDra, Directing, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) is an international theatre producer and cultural strategist who advises public and private stakeholders on matters related to the Creative Economy. She is the Artistic Director of The Asylum Theatre in Las Vegas, and co-owner of Axislights Inc, a commercial lighting company that serves the live event industry. In 2015, she founded Eat More Art Vegas, an online platform dedicated to the advancement of southern Nevada’s local arts, culture, and creative community.

Eat More Art, LLC, https://www.eatmoreartllc.com/

Contact: sarah@eatmoreartvegas.com


Perrin Teal Sullivan, MFA, Resilience and Adaptation Fellow

STEAM Education Research, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.

Perrin is an artist, designer, and educator driven by a belief that the arts cultivate forms of knowledge that are essential to our agency and wellbeing – as individuals, communities, and ecosystems – in the face of complex challenges. Her work in STEAM education focuses on integrating art and science practices to help learners of all ages develop new perspectives and enhanced capacity for understanding and creating the world around them. She collaborates with diverse learning institutions including libraries, museums, science centers, and schools to design and develop integrated STEAM programs specific to their learning contexts. 

Contact: pptealsullivan@alaska.edu



Yvonne Houy, Ph.D.

Learning Technologist, UNLV College of Fine Arts, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. 

Yvonne Houy supports arts / research integration as UNLV College of Fine Arts Learning Technologist serving faculty in Architecture, Art, Dance, Film, Entertainment Engineering Design, Music and Theatre, and as a2ru Executive Committee member. At UNLV she serves as At-large UNLV Faculty Senator, Faculty Senate Executive Committee member, and mediator for the Ombuds Office. A graduate of Cornell University (M.A. & Ph.D.) and the University of California, Berkeley (B.A.), and former Visiting Assistant Professor at the highly selective, liberal arts-focused Pomona College, Dr. Houy understands the needs and challenges of higher education institutions that value research, teaching, and diversity. Her publications include peer-reviewed articles, presentation posters, and digital scholarship on teaching innovation research, and book chapters on social control through emerging media technologies, resistance techniques to such social control mechanisms, and the intersection of sustainability and technology. 

Yvonne Houy UNLV Biography

Contact: Yvonne.Houy@unlv.edu


a2ru Liaison

Maryrose Flanigan, MFA Poetry 

a2ru Executive Director, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.  

Maryrose Flanigan is the executive director of a2ru, where she oversees a network of universities that are committed to advancing arts-based and interdisciplinary research, practice, and teaching in higher education. Prior to joining the staff at a2ru, she served in various roles at the National Endowment for the Arts: including as program manager Poetry Out Loud and the NEA Big Read. She has also worked at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U); and for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). Maryrose has an MFA in poetry from American University.


Contact: flanigam@umich.edu








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