Professional Portfolio

Program Development & Launch

Skills

Ideation
Research
Implementation
Problem Solving

Projects

SMCO Custom Training
PNCA Summer of Making
PNCA Creativity Labs
PNCA Online Registration System

Projects

The needs of non-traditional learners require a unique set of instructional methods and pedagogy. I have found the most successful way in which to address the needs of our students can be defined through programmatic norms that encourage a blended approach to using instructional models that focuses on

1) project based classes that engages the student and requires the learning of new information and skills in a hand-on less conceptual manner. In the field of art, design and craft education these outcomes are important not only for the success of an individual classroom, but encourages future enrollments and retention.  An environment that encourages collaboration and a sense of shared purpose can result in best outcomes for the largest amount of students.

2) Instructor training that focus on best practices for pedagogy. Having a clear syllabus (which can also be used as a recruitment tool), the importance of lesson planning (and the difference between syllabus and lesson planning), the importance of communicating, through speaking, writing and classroom presence. Training also addresses student expectations and how even though focusing on a collaborative environment, there are misconceptions about what the role of the Continuing Education Instructor is. I often refer to it as combating the desire to have a class’ contents uploaded onto a usb stick and plugged directly into the student brain, skipping the crucial learning steps. 

3) I also believe in an administrative philosophy that focuses on engaging and communicating with Continuing Education students as adults. While this comes out of the practical applications it follows with instructional design model that recognizes that adult learners come to a program with a host of knowledge and skills and value practical applications of knowledge. This is reflected in moving away from non-essential  orientation programs, that are the normal experience of matriculated students, to information sharing that is concise, appropriate and timely (such as how to sign up for class, where a class is located, passwords, etc.).

My philosophy is a holistic approach to bringing meaningful achievement to non-traditional learners through interactions that extend from the recruitment, registration and the classroom. While working within the confines and opportunities of a market driven, non-credit based programs, there is a unique space that continuing education occupies that allows for educational opportunities that are unique, rigorous and brings the liberating notions that education offers.

I developed the Summer of Making shortly after starting work at PNCA in 2008, with the first summer special session kicking off in 2009.

Summer of Making explored the confluence of art, design and craft, while fostering a community of makers. It brought together the PNCA mission of excellence and innovation in arts education with the flourishing Portland DIY ethos of creating and community building.

The first session was compressed into just over one week, featuring a special grouping of courses designed to expose students–who were usually new to PNCA and the CE program–to a variety of high-level craft techniques in an intensive format. These courses were in subjects not traditionally offered by art and design colleges at any level, such as improvisational quilting. Additionally, existing courses in the subjects generally focused on the beginner or intermediate hobbyist, as opposed to the serious advanced hobbyist or aspiring professional. 

Connected to this were courses focused on communicating about one’s craft by using new media to discuss, distribute and document work.

The cornerstone of the first session (and subsequent Summers of Making) was a special weekend workshop with internationally known quilter, textile designer and artist, Denyse Schmidt. 

The outcomes for instructional activities:

  1. clearly defined material and technical competencies
  2. understanding historical and contemporary practices and their cultural contexts and relevance
  3. ability to sustain practice independently at a high level of articulation and to recognize creative and professional achievements
  4. exploration of innovative expression in particular medium or in hybridization of practice
  5. collaboration

The popularity and success of this program resulted in its incorporation into our year-round curriculum, and adopting the condensed, intensive, special schedule to other fields of instruction.

In Fall 2013 I added Ukulele building to the continuing education curriculum at PNCA. New programming always has unique challenges in terms of promotion, especially when the likely audience comes from outside our traditional student base. Because of that, it needed special attention in its promotion.

To reach a fresh group of potential students, I chose to feature the course on the cover of the catalog, which is distributed throughout Portland in coffee shops and other public places, in addition to being mailed to a large list of former students.

Additionally, I launched a Tumblr for the CE program, which heavily-featured this new course and exposed the program to a slightly younger demographic. It also helped to further document our students’ work, as I blogged each course meeting. 

The course itself was designed to not only enable students to build a specific item (a ukulele), but it exposed them to intermediate woodworking and wood-finishing techniques that translate to other projects. 

This series of courses was designed for students interested in creative experimentation while learning about art, design, and craft in ways that are meaningful, fun, and educational.  Examining craftsmanship and design-oriented thinking, each course introduced students to new ways of art-making with unique curriculum and engaging instruction.

In addition to the specific processes explored, the courses instruct students in fundamental skills they can apply to other practices. 

Courses included:

  • Welding
  • Electronics for Artists
  • Ardiuno
  • Theremins & Monophonic Synthesizers
  • Tube Amplifiers
  • Chair Prototype
  • Lamp Prototype
  • Ukulele Building
  • The Unconfined Box
  • Physical Computing
  • Mixed Media

To reach a fresh group of potential students, I chose to feature the course on the cover of the catalog, which is distributed throughout Portland in coffee shops and other public places, in addition to being mailed to a large list of former students.

Additionally, I launched a Tumblr for the CE program, which heavily-featured this new course and exposed the program to a slightly younger demographic. It also helped to further document our students’ work, as I blogged each course meeting. 

The course itself was designed to not only enable students to build a specific item (a ukulele), but it exposed them to intermediate woodworking and wood-finishing techniques that translate to other projects. 

Spearheaded a new online course registration at PNCA Continuing Education. I inherited a SQL based system that was limping along. Together with the IT and Registration departments, a new registration site was crafted in-house.

Program Management

Skills

Operations
Reporting
Growth Strategy & Budget
Organizational Solutions

Projects

SMCO Client Online Library
PNCA Academic Faculty Training & Mentoring
PNCA Online Registration System

Projects

Worked with Bolt Neighborhood fabric to launch their first foray into online sales. Using Squarespace’s e-commerce system we set up a successful shop. After outgrowing Squarespace, we moved their site onto Shopify allowing them to expand their online inventory and better manage their sales.

Using both Squarespace and WordPress, created a number of resource libraries for clients. Using the functionality of both platforms I am able to create an easy-to-update system that does not require plugins or special coding. This has been especially helpful to non-profits in making their websites fulfill their educational mission.

I developed a serious of accessible, efficient programs at PNCA to develop instructor training to faculty, many of whom were first-time instructors in a formal setting. The key to this initiative’s success was that the programming was delivered by already-successful educators both within our program and from outside. Seminars included:

  • Classroom management;
  • Syllabus & lesson planning;
  • Documenting students’ work;
  • Learning/student management systems; and
  • Ongoing formal instructor orientations.

As part of this effort, I also worked to ensure support for new instructors and those taking on new courses. 

Communications

Skills

Digital Strategy
Print Ephemera
Creative Problem Solving
Project Management

Projects

SMCO Rebrand
PNCA CE Catalog
Print Advertising
PNCA Program Advertising Budget & Strategy

Projects

Using a proven methodology developed over 10+ years in the industry, SMCO crafts message-first, intelligent websites that reaches the right audience. Collaborating with clients to understand their goals, creating a clear direction and messaging for a website that translates to their other promotional efforts.

Summer of Making explored the confluence of art, design and craft practices. We brought together the PNCA mission of excellence and innovation in arts education with the Portland ethos of creating and community building by offering courses, workshops and events that explore art, craft, design and entrepreneurship. 

I managed the scheduling, design and production of the PNCA Continuing Education course catalog since I began work at the college in 2008. Over that time, the catalog’s purpose became more focused, while I decreased the associated costs by curtailing print size and making a catalog that had a much longer “shelf life.” I changed the style of the catalog’s cover and featured artwork from the program’s instructors, a focus on the program’s strongest recruiting advantage. This not only led to a prospective student’s seeing the high quality of the instruction, but had the very happy effect of providing beautiful, memorable covers that stood out on the shelf and in people’s mailboxes.

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