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School of Art and Design’s Freedman named Higher Art Educator of the Year

October 14, 2014
Kerry Freedman

Kerry Freedman

Kerry Freedman, professor of art and education in the NIU School of Art and Design, enjoys those “a-ha” moments – those moments when complex understanding strikes students in her classes.

For Freedman, that’s just one of many things she enjoys about teaching.

The passion and dedication that Freedman exudes are good examples of why she has been named the Higher Art Educator of the Year by the Illinois Art Education Association (IAEA).

Freedman, who has earned numerous honors and awards during her illustrious career, including being selected as the Higher Art Educator of the Year by the National Art Education Association (NAEA) in 2006, said that receiving the award from her home state association has special significance.

“The recognition has great meaning for me,” Freedman said. “I grew up in Illinois and had my early art education here, so being recognized for my contributions to Illinois art education makes me feel as though I have paid back.”

Kelly Gross, a doctoral student in the NIU School of Art and Design, nominated Freedman for the honor.

“Dr. Freedman’s research and scholarship within art education sets a standard that all her students try to emulate,” Gross said. “I have learned as much from her leadership as her teaching and scholarship. Ultimately, all I can say is that I feel profoundly grateful for Dr. Freedman’s continuing guidance and that the NIU community is enriched because of her presence.”

The IAEA Awards Program is intended to recognize art educators who are committed and dedicated to their students and the art education profession. This program, which recognizes excellence in individuals and programs, helps provide for the development of quality art education throughout the state of Illinois.