A Student’s Master of Art Education Came from Her Heart

by ASHLEY HOPTAY

July 22, 2009

Staci did not choose to be an artist. Art chose her.

At 13 years old, Staci learned that she was deaf. When Staci was younger, a virus had destroyed her hearing, but her parents did not treat her any differently, so it was not until Staci was 13 years old that she learned she was deaf. This discovery left her feeling ashamed, embarrassed and incomplete. Her world became strange and unknown, and the amazing woman inside of her was buried under layers of sadness.

Staci first discovered the power of art when she visited an art museum in Europe. She once thought that paintings should only be filled with smiles and happiness, but after staring at the art, she noticed the array of emotions that the different paintings portrayed.

That was when Staci’s heart decided she should become an artist because it would be an escape from her cold and lonely world.

“When I was a child, I couldn’t talk to anybody,” she said. “Drawing and painting were my only ways to communicate.”

She used art to speak for herself. Her drawings express her joys and fears, her happiness and her sadness; it is her way of showing the world who she is.

Staci wanted to pursue an education in art to help guide her in the direction that her heart was pointing, so she went to Texas Tech University to study fine arts. However, her education was not finished there.

“I desired more knowledge so that I could achieve my aspirations,” she said.

Her quest for more knowledge led her to explore distance learning options where she was able to receive a Master of Art Education through the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Master of Art Education program offers support with contemporary social theories and strategies while simultaneously strengthening research skills in relation to art and visual culture. Art educators also receive classroom and studio practice. The program is composed of a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate coursework, which can be completed online as well as the Lubbock campus during the fall and spring semesters and the TTU Center at Junction during the summer semesters.

Staci enjoyed the program because it gave her a more complete art education, and it made her feel like she could be a better teacher. Plus, this program allowed her to accomplish coursework from home.

Staci now teaches art. She hopes to provide inspiration to her students and motivate them to become successful artists.

In the future, Staci would also like to get her Ph.D. in Arts. Best of luck on your journey!

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