I was born and raised in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. I grew up in two different homes, one of which was…get this…an underground house! I had a loving dad, mom, and sister. My pet rabbits…not so much! Nevertheless, I have always had pets in my life. I watched two different dogs get run over…one of them survived! My sister always wanted cats, but I was super-allergic. However, my sister is the baby, so she won! As a consolation prize, I got allergy shots for several years. Geez! Now, I’m not complaining…I am a lot better around cats and don’t get nearly as badly impacted by seasonal allergies as I did when I was a child.
My dad is an artist, and he provided me with some of my first art lessons. By the time I graduated from high school, I was pretty sure I wanted to be an artist and give art lessons, too. While I was growing up, my parents regularly attended church, and I began to own their faith for myself. I feel as though there were two pivotal times in my childhood that led me to become a Christian. I told you already that I lived in two different homes as I was growing up. When I was in first grade, my family moved to a different town, and I started attending a different school. I didn’t know anybody there! I tried to fit in, and often took the class clown approach to win friends…not a great idea. I felt as though the foundation that I had known from my very first memory was being eroded. In church, I heard a message about how Jesus Christ was a solid rock upon which I could build my life and place my hope. The second impact point that drove me to Jesus was my parent’s separation and eventual divorce. This time, during my tween years, was tough on me. I learned in church that I have a heavenly Father who will never leave me nor forsake me. That was a tremendously comforting message to hear!
I seriously pursued art first at Young Harris College and went on to complete my undergraduate degree in art education at the University of Georgia. I was an art teacher! I taught middle and high school art classes at The Montgomery Academy in Alabama, during which time I completed my M.Ed. in art education at Auburn University at Montgomery. During the time that I studied at Young Harris College, I met the love of my life, one Amy Adams…not that Amy Adams! Mine’s better. We were married right after she finished her undergrad and we made a life for ourselves in Montgomery.
During the time that I later completed my Ph.D. in art education, also at the University of Georgia, my wife and I welcomed our first child, Madison, into our family. I was introduced to teaching and learning online as an instructor of record for a large art appreciation course, fueling my research interests in online teaching and learning in art. I currently hold a position as Professor of Art Education at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. My wife and I welcomed our second child, Trathen, into the family shortly after I began my job at East Carolina University. I have been a youth soccer coach for both of my kids and I am an active musician. I worship and serve as an elder at Christ Presbyterian Church in Winterville, North Carolina. I live with my two teenaged children and…you guessed it…a rescue dog.
Pablo Picasso famously said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
Surfing, Biking, Playing Guitar, Making Art, Cooking
Best advice I ever received
Get your graduate degrees before you have children.
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Princess Bride
My latest accomplishment
I learned how to homebrew.
I am conducting research on the impact of art education courses on undergraduate student sense of civic-mindedness and community engagement.
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