VCU’s Buffington named National Higher Education Art Educator of the Year

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The National Art Education Association has named Virginia Commonwealth University’s Melanie Buffington, Ph.D., the 2015 National Higher Education Teacher of the Year.

Buffington, assistant professor and graduate programs coordinator in the VCU School of the Arts’ Department of Art Education, has current research interests that include museum education, emerging technologies, culturally responsive pedagogy, contemporary art, service-learning and pre-service teacher preparation. She also has taught middle school art and interned in numerous museums.

Melanie Buffington is one the country's rising stars in the field of art education.

"Melanie Buffington is one the country's rising stars in the field of art education," said Joe Seipel, dean of the VCU School of the Arts. "What a great honor she is receiving. We are so proud to have her here at VCU."

The association will recognize Buffington at the National Art Education Convention in New Orleans in March. At the conference, the Women’s Caucus will also honor Buffington with the Kathy Connors Teaching Award.

“We are so very fortunate to benefit from Dr. Buffington’s many talents and commitment to our department,” said Sara Wilson McKay, Ph.D., chair and associate professor, Department of Art Education.

In addition, Kim Turner Towne, VCU clinical faculty who supervises and hosts VCU student-teachers at Lucille Brown Middle School in Richmond Public Schools, was selected as the National Middle Level Art Educator of the Year.

The NAEA comprises visual arts educators. Members include primary, secondary and higher educators, researchers and scholars, teaching artists and students.