Friday, September 02, 2011

My New Job

It's been too long... I don't know if my love of history first drove me to CVA, or if my years living and going to school in a historical neighborhood of St. Paul turned me into a history buff.

If you look through the pages of the Summer 2011 "Manse" (the newsletter for friends of the College of Visual Arts), you'll find this little announcement:

So I figure now is a good time to announce that I've been hired at CVA as a full time Assistant Professor in Photography and Foundation, and I'm the new Photo Lab Tech for the new darkrooms and digital photo lab. As I glance down the schedule for the beginning of the semester meetings, it's apparent that I also now have the longest title of any professor at CVA. :)

Ellen and I went to grad school together at MCAD, and we are both thrilled to be the 10th and 11th full-time professors at this small school made up mostly of dedicated, highly successful, working adjunct professors.

If you don't know much about the College of Visual Arts, here's a quick blurb from their website:

The College of Visual Arts is a private, accredited, four-year college of art and design offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fine arts, graphic design, illustration, interdisciplinary art and design studies, and photography. The fine arts degree offers concentrations in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. The interdisciplinary art and design studies degree offers a concentration in fashion.

Founded in 1924, the college is located in the thriving urban residential areas of historic Summit Avenue and Ramsey Hill in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

And if you're wondering what makes CVA so special, here are 2 short stories that will start to give you a bit of a idea. (These stories are what I've heard - I'm sorry if some of the small details are incorrect, but this is what I believe to be true.)

Story #1:

There was a fire one night this past summer (just a few months ago) at a small apartment building where a number of CVA students live. (With a student body of under 250 students, there's no dorm at CVA, but there's a "housing coordinator" who helps students find a place to live in one of many apartment buildings nearby [and they can get paired with other CVA students if they want to have roommates].) No one was injured in the fire, so don't worry. But the building was deemed unlivable until repairs were made.

It just so happens that the main security guard for CVA lives just across the road from this apartment building, and he knew many CVA students lived there. He came out to help, and he called the head of the physical plant (the head maintenance man) at CVA, and they both were there in the middle of the night with a truck helping students and making sure everyone had a place to go.

In the morning (less than 12 hours later), all of the displaced students showed up at CVA to find Target giftcards and grocery giftcards from the College waiting for them. And CVA put them up in a hotel for a week until they could make other living arrangements for the rest of the summer.

CVA didn't have to do anything - the students were living on their own in an off-campus apartment building. But that's not the way people at CVA work.

In a separate story, take a look at this great TV and TV stand in the new student lounge at CVA:

Story #2:

This 46" flat-screen TV was purchased by the 2 maintenance men at CVA with THEIR OWN MONEY as a gift to the students. And the TV stand was built by one of the sculpture studio techs ON HIS OWN TIME so the TV would have a place to live.

Many schools have the facilities that CVA has. Many schools have the accreditation that CVA has. Many schools have the history that CVA has. But it's the PEOPLE that make CVA so special.

I'm excited that CVA has allowed me the opportunity to share my talents with their students full time. I will do my best to live up to the high standards that the College has come to expect from everyone who walks through its doors.


Sue Short

Steve, it's great to have you FT at CVA! You've already been a great member of the team, and will do great things as a FT faculty member and administrator. Congratulations!

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