— by Mellany Armstrong, Associate Director of Communications

A thunderstorm provided a rousing background for the celebration of four graduates of Moore’s MA in Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations in an online ceremony Friday evening, August 7.

The graduating class included Suzanne JoyalJenna RobinsonMaeve Rooney and Hannah Swanson.

Moore President Cecelia Fitzgibbon praised them as leaders.

“They will stand out among their peers, because they are more prepared, greater positioned to be competitive; because they have the ability to combine focus with innovation,” she said.

While studying for her master’s degree, Joyal continued her work as director of visual arts at Youth in Arts in California. When schools closed because of Covid-19, she worked with her teammates at Youth in Art to create daily video arts lessons to engage students stuck at home.

Robinson worked as the graphic design art teacher at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School while studying at Moore, and she will continue to work with her school administration to continue to make the Prep an equitable learning environment for all students.

Rooney continued to work as a full-time art teacher at Mitchell Elementary, a public school in Philadelphia, while she pursued her master’s degree. She plans to continue to work with the Mitchell administration and the school district to further develop a trauma-informed approach for application on a broader basis.

While writing their thesis, Swanson completed their student teaching at Martin Luther School and accepted their first full time teaching position in January. Swanson is now the art teacher at Fairwold Academy, a K-12 approved private school for students with emotional, behavioral and intellectual disabilities.

The graduate Art Education program at Moore is the only graduate-level program in the U.S. that offers a specific focus on populations with special needs and art educators’ approach to accessible art and design.

“This important program serves to elevate the modes in which we offer fully supportive education for all and we commend our faculty and students for their leadership in this expanding field,” said Director of Art Education Lauren Stichter.

The class’s thesis presentations are available to view on Moore’s new Thesis Exhibition website, Read more about their impactful work there.