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Wednesday, September 07, 2011 - OU's Linda Tyson receives 2012 Art Educator Award
By Katie Land, news editor

For her dedication and outstanding work at Oakland University as well as in the greater community, Linda Tyson has earned the 2012 Michigan Higher Education, Art Educator Award by the Michigan Art Education Association (MAEA).

The award is a well-deserved recognition, according to Dr. Louis Gallien, dean of Oakland’s School of Education and Human Services.

“Linda Tyson has earned an outstanding reputation in the state as a tireless visionary for the arts in Oakland County and beyond,” Dr. Gallien said. “This award comes as no surprise to most people who inhabit the world of art; from the city of Detroit, to the University of Michigan, her alma mater, to Oakland County, where she is a longtime citizen. Linda’s commitment to the arts is both infectious and enduring.”

Tyson has been a part of the Oakland community for the past ten years, teaching a variety of courses including Educating Children in Art, Visual Culture: Theories in Art Education, International Baccalaureate: Philosophy and Practices, Secondary Art Education Methods, and the Art of Children's Books.

Tyson’s numerous personal engagements have placed her as treasurer and executive board member of the MAEA, as a member of a research committee for the National Art Education Association, as an external examiner for the International Baccalaureate Organization, and as co-director of the Oakland University Summer Art Intensive for high school students.

At the same time, she also acts as the co-host of a podcast series called “Podcasts for Leaderful Schools,” with Dr. Robert Maxfield. Available through iTunes, the weekly series engages a wide range of guests in critical conversations centered on school reform and equity.

“I am honored to have received this award but would like to recognize the collaborative support from the university, the Department of Art and Art History, and the Department of Teacher Development and Educational Studies, which has afforded me the opportunity to be integrally involved in building connections between the university and the art education community,” Tyson said.

As a special instructor and coordinator of art education at OU, Tyson works to bring home the significance and universality of art to her students.

“Art education is important for a variety of reasons,” she said. “Whether art is integrated or infused across the curriculum, students learn outside the silos of discrete subject areas and see connections across subjects and disciplines. A curriculum in the arts gives our students opportunities to be creative and innovative while allowing them a space to experiment.”

By stressing how art and design can be found in the everyday, Tyson hopes to help new teachers understand the importance of encouraging art and innovation in their own classrooms.

“I want my students to glean the importance of having art classes in K-12 education for not only the development of our future designers, architects and artists, but as a way for students to represent their understanding and learning through a creative lens,” Tyson continued.

Currently, Tyson is in the final stages of earning her doctorate, working to complete her dissertation.

The 2012 Art Educator Award will be presented to Tyson at the MAEA Annual Conference on Saturday, Nov. 12. For more information about the MAEA, view the website.

To learn more about programs and events in Oakland’s SEHS, view the website.