Teaching Statement

Teaching became a second career for me at the age of 50. I returned to academia to earn my MFA degree at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2004. I had been training animation crews for television projects and I was asked to substitute for a professor at AIB Lesley for 4 months while he was on sabbatical in 2004. I also had been leading small one day workshops and lectures at schools like Harvard, Skidmore, RIT and RISD. This was the extent of my teaching experience prior to joining the full-time faculty in the School of Film and Animation at RIT in 2005. I am currently an Associate Professor and Graduate Director in the School of Film and Animation at RIT.

I took to teaching like a duck to water. I found the opportunities for inventive thinking and opportunities quite broad in this new arena. I took students on a summer program to Bristol England in 2008, created two, quarter-long immersive classes in New York City in 2010 and 2012 I called “Big Apple Animation” and lead several more projects. Students have rated my classes and teaching at a consistent 4.5 out of 5 and I was nominated twice for RIT’s prestigious Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching Award . I won the award in 2015.

These days I continue to teach stop motion techniques around the globe based my own designed classes at RIT along with other university workshops to training crews at the Se-Ma-For Studios in Lodz Poland to Fulbright grants to teach in Lima Peru and Changchun China. I am currently slated to teach a workshop in the Maine Media Workshop and College in the summer of 2019. My specialties are Puppet and Non-puppet Stop Motion, Acting for Animation and the Business of Animation.

Artist Statement

Over my years on this planet I have found that there is very little I can count on as stable and never-ending. Certainly, love is one of those exceptions and so is change. The flow of life continues relentlessly and we can count on that movement. I think this is why I am fascinated with animation. This art form has all the elements of craft and communication that appeal to me like storytelling, visual art, music and sound but it also relies on movement. Movement is change. Animation concentrates on the single image or moment and the relationship of one image to the next. That movement from one image to the next tells us everything about how someone thinks, feels and reacts. It reflects changing attitudes or what remains the same. We can always count on movement as a constant. It is the flow of life in its forward journey and the very essence of animation. I try to tease out this concept with a little humor in my work, my characters, stories and animation.