FATE Educator and Leadership Awards are given biennially. Nominations are solicited from FATE members following our Biennial Conferences and juried by a committee of FATE members and past award winners.

If you are interested in serving on the FATE Educator Awards Committee, please contact FATE President Stacy Isenbarger at fate.stacyisenbarger@gmail.com

Special thanks to previous FATE Awards Committee Chairs Valerie Powell & Barbara Giorgio-Booher for making these awards possible.

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2017 FATE Awards Winners

FATE Educator Awards

Rae Goodwin

Associate Professor & Director of Foundations, University of Kentucky

Rae GoodwinRae Goodwin has worked as an artist-educator for twenty-three years. She began teaching in primary and secondary education in 1994 after earning a BA from the University of Framingham. When she became frustrated with the systems of education, she started her own arts enrichment business, which she ran for nine years before working in higher education. Her mission as an artist-educator has always been to empower individuals through creative expression. Goodwin began teaching on the college level at her alma mater, Winthrop University, where she taught as a TA and then a Lecturer. She moved from the Carolinas to the hills of Kentucky in 2007 to take a full-time position at the University of Pikeville. After two years in Pikeville, she left for the horse country of Lexington, where she still works, as the Director of Foundations and Associate Professor of Art Studio. Currently, Goodwin is also the Acting Associate of Undergraduate Studies for the School of Art and Visual Studies at the University of Kentucky.

Throughout her career, Goodwin has been unrelenting in both her pursuit of substantive change in arts education and in her drive to create art for exhibitions and performance art events. Towards substantive change in arts education, she has served on the boards of FATE and Integrative Teaching International (ITI). She has published articles in FATE in Review and FutureForward and presented at many conferences including SECAC and CAA. Her research into pedagogy in Foundations is influenced by many of her peers, Bell Hooks and Howard Gardner among others. She is focused on meaningful curricular change that takes us beyond how we were taught and towards an approach that is appropriate for our students and the contemporary field at large. Goodwin currently serves as the Vice President of ITI.

Goodwin brings the same level of commitment to her art practice, which focuses on gender-based assumptions of freedom, intimacy and risk. Since 2003, much of her work has been about maternal ancestry and familial lineage as they influence the construction of identity. Goodwin’s work has been shown work at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, McColl Center for Visual Art, Dimanche Rouge in Paris, 10/12 Gallery in Brussels, defibrillator gallery, Grace Space, Panoply Performance Laboratory, Month of Performance Art Berlin, SAIC and BIPAF. She has also worked extensively in residencies in France, Brussels, RU in Brooklyn, among others. Recent collaborations include Casey McGuire, Mairead Delaney, Thomas Albrecht and Petra Carroll. The exchange of ideas, modes of thinking and making, and interactions are critical to Goodwin’s overall practice and demand that she take greater and very necessary risks.

M. Michelle Illuminato

Assistant Professor & CORE Program Head, Portland State University

Michelle IlluminatoM. Michelle Illuminato is an artist and educator who creates events, public-exchanges, and artworks to help reveal the complicated and often contradictory relationship between people, their culture and the land they live on. She creates dialogue and works in collaboration, often with next question as a way to better understand these relationships.

These activities translate into the classroom, where she asks students to slow down, to notice and to make connections to the people, ideas and issues in their world. Since 2006, Illuminato helped to shape the innovative Foundations Program at Alfred University in rural western New York. As of September 2016 she is turning her energy to creating a new CORE program at Portland State University in Oregon.

Illuminato counts her Key to the City of Aliquippa Pennsylvania as her most treasured public award and this summer her project the Lost & Found Factory, was recognized by Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review as one of the most compelling artworks from across the country. Other recent projects include: Tripoli Street BakeYard, Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center, Pittsburgh, Art Advocacy Speaks: Art for Social Change Spinning Plate Gallery, Pittsburgh, Lost & Found Factory, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, The Neighborhood Revisited, Open Engagement 2015, Pittsburgh, Pop Rocks, Strohl Art Center, Chautauqua Institute, NY, Lenz, Vogelfrei 10, Darmstadt, Germany. 

Over the years, Illuminato has helped to reconnect people with their lost items, explored how women and girls experience public space, asked people from the Finger Lakes to literally get on a soapbox to talk to their neighbors, and worked with residents of Belgrade Serbia to create a new guide to their city. She has organized cook-off’s that feature foraged foods, created audio tours of people’s personal landmarks, asked people to use their cellphones to help illustrate a 200-year-old book. She’s explored local collections that shed light on communities and staged public readings.  From all of these interactions, she has learned that people speak about their lives in ways that are striking, often poetic, and when placed next to the words of their neighbors, provide a new map to understanding a specific people and place.   

FATE Leadership Award

Scott Betz

Professor of Art + Visual Studies, Winston-Salem State University 

 Scott BetzProfessor Scott Betz served as President and board member and member of FATE (Foundations in Art: Theory and Education) for 19 years. In his six years as FATE President, he saw first-hand the major national pedagogical directions of foundation teaching.  During his tenure, he wrote, analyzed, and interpreted two national teaching surveys. Prof. Betz was also the interim director of the Center for Design Innovation, a University of North Carolina center of excellence. In his 28 years of college-level teaching, he has tried and tested a variety of successful approaches. As a practicing art professor who teaches 6-10 courses every year, he sees the challenges of daily art and design instruction. He has written four lab books for different courses that focus on active learning processes, which open opportunities for personal reflection and expression. Teaching at a historically black university, he sees the student reactions to the bias of Western artists, images and processes and strives for a balanced global approach in his examples. This attention to global, contemporary and digital applications won him a major research grant (the first for an artist/designer at his university) to develop more examples of the connections between global historical color/art usage and the contemporary digital present. His grant will help fund much of the research necessary for developing and co-writing a new textbook with his wife and art historian Dr. Laura Amrhein.

His creative research is well known internationally through successful collaborations among media and across a variety of genres including traditional studios, installation, sound and game design. His work has been the basis of more than 100 exhibitions in Colombia, China, Australia, Argentina, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Taiwan, Korea, Canada, Japan, and across the United States. In June 2013, he was invited to speak on the subject of 3D Printing for the international artist lecture series in conjunction with the Kraków Print Triennial at the Kunstlerhaus Museum, Vienna. In 2015, he was invited back in a collaborative exhibition "LOOP." His two children Will (16) and Kate (14) have been inspirational in his work and instrumental in building a theory about collaboration. 

Some of the answers he found in regard to a theory of collaboration is that the best of collaboration is not simply an issue of multiple parties working on a complex project. For example, each collaborator might have a particular expertise and hand off performance, which is sometimes referred to as a collaboration “pipeline”. In the many steps of collaboration, those in earlier steps do not necessarily engage with those in the later steps down the line. A second example is where all collaborators have similar expertise making the workload lighter that is sometimes referred to as collaboration “teamwork” similar to a barn raising. Here, all may be present but no new challenges are put forth to stretch learning. His ideal collaboration is different from the two above. It is instead a combination of all-present at the same time and an embrace of the different expertise in the project. It is a process of immersing oneself in the discussions and activities and challenging one’s own expertise to grow and evolve through the team collaborative project that is at times uncertain. This type of collaboration embraces the diverse expertise of the pipeline but through the full team participation from beginning to end. For the majority of the time, one is placed outside of their comfort zone. It is this model that nurtures the new discovery of becoming which is shared and reaffirmed by the group and raises the value of this collaborative approach higher.

Betz joined Winston-Salem State University as an Associate Professor in 2004. He was appointed as the Foundation and Studio Art Coordinator in 2005-07 and as the Art Program Coordinator in 2007-09. Betz was then promoted to Professor of Art + Visual Studies in 2010.

2015 FATE Awards Winners

FATE Emerging Educator: Chris Kienke

Chris KienkeChris Kienke has been teaching studio courses for over 14 years. He serves as the Chair of the Foundations Curriculum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Previous to that he was Professor of Foundations studies at Savannah College of Art and Design from 2006 – 2013, and Assistant Professor of Foundations and Design in the School of Architecture and Design at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates from 2000-2006. As a faculty in the department of foundation studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Chris was an excellent member and demonstrated a strong commitment to foundations education.

Chris is an inspired and effective educator. He creates a supportive environment, in which he motivates and guides students to succeed. He is committed to providing students with a strong and solid foundation guiding them toward conceptual rigor and technical proficiency consistent with contemporary approaches in studio practice. As a member of the assessment and curriculum development / revisions committee he provided valuable insights. Students, fellow faculty and administrators valued and relied on Chris’s amazing capacity for innovation and his willingness to share knowledge with his colleagues within the university and in national and international peer groups. Chris has consistently participated in national and regional forums that focus on foundation education such as Think Tank; where he was Vice President for Communication for Integrative Teaching International. In addition to his significant accomplishments as an educator Chris is a dedicated practitioner of studio art and an insightful scholar. 

In Chris Kienke’s statement to the committee he demonstrated those characteristics sought in FATE Emerging Educator:
My first FATE conference was in 2009 in Portland, Oregon. Since then I have been actively involved in leadership roles at the regional and national level. Currently I serve on the board of FATE as the CAA representative. Previously, I served as Vice President for the 2011 and 2013 Biennial Conference. At the postHaus National Conference in April of 2013, my responsibilities included scheduling over 400 presentations, negotiating finances with the conference hotel, securing Tim Rollins as the keynote speaker, and building a stronger relationship with corporate sponsorship partners. It has been my pleasure to work with FATE and I am looking forward to many more productive years.

Ultimately success emerges through the student’s ability to learn through engagement, to abandon preconceptions, to allow accidents to happen and to recognize value in the unintended. An accident once it has occurred is either erased or incorporated, either way it has ceased to be an accident the moment it is considered.

FATE Master Educator: Jason S. Yi

Jason YiJason S. Yi has been at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) since 1996 where he has dedicated himself to teaching and developing the Foundations programs. Ever since his arrival at MIAD he has established an impressive and rapidly growing record of professional achievement while demonstrating an excellence in teaching and a particular dedication to Foundations level education. Between 2009 and 2013, he took on a leadership role at MIAD, three years as the Foundations Department Chair and one year as a Core-Coordinator. In these roles, he was charged with making sweeping changes in the Foundations curriculum and re-energizing a program that was perceived by many in the institution as stagnant. Through his dedication to openness and refreshing new approaches, he led his faculty and the college to a completely revamped curriculum grounded in research, meaningful choices, a wider range of academic exposure, the inclusion of digital tools in all courses, and a commitment to contextualizing one’s learning. Jason stated, “the change was extraordinarily challenging, but the entire process revealed the camaraderie, collaborative sprit and a commitment to Foundations education that exist in faculty who teach in Foundations.”

Jason can be best described as the college’s “most valuable player” as he is ready and willing to step into a new learning experience. He has proposed and taught many new courses at MIAD striving for innovation and relevance. Some of the courses include: a video class with a cable access channel, collaborative projects between Foundations and high school students, joint classes with other colleges in the area, study abroad courses in Vietnam, China, Italy, Thailand and courses resulting in exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum, local galleries and businesses. Jason has been equally active in securing exhibition, visiting artist, and residency opportunities that continuing his growth as an exhibiting artist and educator. He is a co-director of the Pitch Project (www.thepitchproject.org), an artist-run gallery and studio that exhibit contemporary artists with national and international presence and engage in artistic and cultural dialogues with the regional community in Milwaukee.  Most recently Jason S. Yi has been selected as one of 25 artists nationally to receive a prestigious grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, an award named after the late, Chicago-born artist.

In Jason S. Yi’s statement to the committee he demonstrated those characteristics sought in FATE Master Educator:
As a FATE member since 1996, I’ve presented in both the national and regional conferences. Most recently, at the Savannah FATE conference, Jan Feldhausen and I shared MIAD’s recent Foundations curricular overhaul under the title of “Unlocking the Curriculum”. As a deeply involved planning committee member for the MIAD FATE conference 2007 in “Shift, Connect and Evolve”, I gained intimate knowledge into the enormous planning required for such an event but more importantly the experience crystallized what I’ve known all along; educators teaching Foundations have dedication beyond reproach and are constantly striving to enhance their craft.

As a firm believer of collaboration and sharing knowledge with my colleagues and instilling the same ethos in my students, I am humbled by colleagues around me for their unrelenting commitment to teaching to first year students. This makes the FATE Master Educator award a very special honor.

2013 FATE Award Winners


Jerry Johnson of Troy University (left)
FATE Distinguished Service Award 

Eric Standley of Virginia Tech (right)
FATE Emerging Educator Award 

2011 FATE Award Winners


Jan Feldhausen of Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (left)
FATE Master Educator Award 

Elizabeth Bilyeu of Portland Community College (right)
FATE Emerging Educator Award 

2009 FATE Award Winners

Mary Stewart, Florida State University
FATE Master Educator Award

Ann Coddington, Eastern Illinois University
FATE Emerging Educator Award

2007 FATE Award Winners

Jeff Boshart, Eastern Illinois University
FATE Master Educator Award

Lee Ann Garrison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
FATE Emerging Educator Award






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