After a career working in film and television, Angelica Brisk, Ed.M.'09, decided to strengthen her understanding of how people learn. While Brisk is well-regarded and known in the professional arts community, she figured that HGSE's Arts in Education Program (AIE) was the best place to begin her new life as a teaching artist.
"The most important quality she may have brought to HGSE classes and the AIE community, in particular, was a blend of personal humility, intense curiosity, professional standards for quality work, and intellectual integrity," says Professor Steve Seidel, director of AIE. "She questioned and challenged us, but never more than she questioned and challenged herself. It was, for me, an honor to think and learn with her this year."
Now, it appears that Brisk's work has paid off as she embarks with fellow AIE classmates on creating a new community arts organization. Upon learning that she had been honored with the Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award for AIE, she answered some questions about her time at the Ed School and beyond.
What was your favorite class and why?
The one I just walked out of... It's a great feeling being engaged in the present. Whichever class I was attending was the one that inspired me at that moment. Every class had its strengths and pushed my thinking in wildly new directions.
What are your post-HGSE plans?
First, I will finish my documentary about painter, Hyman Bloom. Next, I will spend 10 days with my oldest daughter, anxiously watching her fence at Nationals in Dallas. And hopefully by the end of the summer I will be teaching video production at a school and at my new community arts organization!
What is something that you learned at HGSE that you will take with you throughout your career in education?
A strong theme throughout the courses and the work I've done this year is to document the work and write about it as a participant researcher. I may not be going into an official research capacity, but anything I attempt to do in the future will be an opportunity to explore, document, and write.
How did you stay inspired throughout the year?
The AIE cohort has been an amazing support group, boosting my energy on the low days this year. Not only are they incredibly talented, engaged artists and educators, they also know how to have fun. I was also insanely lucky to have my two daughters and my husband cheering me on every step of the way.
What advice do you have for next year's students going through your program?
Take advantage of the speakers and the special guests that come to campus and check in with the university wide calendars, especially the Office of the Arts. If you are doing any research in your fall semester course put the Student Research Conference deadline on your calendar right away so that you can work towards submitting.
If you could transport one person/place/thing in Harvard Square to your next destination, what would it be?
I'm a local, but the one thing I would like to take with me is my EBSCO account. I'm in love. And could I keep my gym membership? I never made it in ONCE during the year.
2009 Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award Recipients
Suzannah Holsenbeck, TEP
Elisha Brookover, L&L'09
Mangala Nanda, IEP'09
Andrew Cabot, SS'09
Nancy Schoolcraft, MBE'09
Joe Baker, EPM'09
Kathy Yang, L&T'09
Angelica Brisk, AIE'09
Melissa Mayes, R&P'09
Jerome "Jay" Green, HDP'09
Ashton Wheeler Clemmmons, SLP'09
Terri-Nicole Singleton, TIE'09
Emily Almas, HE'09