Accomplishments + Opportunities


VCUarts Graduate Student Travel Grant Award — up to $500 to present at a conference.

VCUarts Graduate Research Grant — up to $3,000 to support a research project.

Graduate School Travel Grant — up to $200 to support presenting at a conference (can be combined with the VCUarts graduate travel grant).

Graduate School Thesis/Dissertation Award —  includes a tuition waiver and a $7,500/semester stipend; to support students in the final phases of their thesis work.

Art Education Travel/Study Abroad Support — up to $500 for domestic travel and up to $1,500 for study abroad; used to support graduate student travel opportunities.

***All awards are competitive and awarded as funding permits.***

Recent Graduate Student Accomplishments


Meredith Hertel (’13) served as camp manager for the Smithsonian Associates Summer Camp (2014).

Luke Meeken (’13) and Jesse White (’13) served as instructors for the Smithsonian Associates Summer Camp (2014).

Amy Williams and Erika Ogier served as assistant director and instructor of the Creative Arts Day Camp, a three-week-long summer camp held in the Art Education department for children grades K-9.

Lauren Rouatt served as project manager for Dr. Ryan Patton’s CurrentLab, a week-long game design institute for K-12 teachers (2014).

Jill Palumbo (’13) will have an article (revised from her MAE thesis manuscript) in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Social Theory in Art Education (2014).


Esi Sam Annan presented at the NAEA conference in San Francisco, CA (2014).

Jill Palumbo presented at the Assessment in the Arts Annual Conference in Denver, CO (2014).Amy Smith and Elizabeth Sampson presented “Exploratory Discovery of Multiple View of the Big Idea” at the NAEA convention in San Diego, CA (2014).Luke Meeken and alumna Meredith Cosier, along with Dr. Ryan Patton presented “Ride the STEAM Train with Video Game Making” at the VAEA conference in Falls Church, VA (2013).Esi Sam Annan presented at the VAEA conference and received $350 travel Grant from School of the Arts (2013).

Luke Meeken, Lauren Austin, Jesse White, and Jill Palumbo presented “VOKE: Visualized Research to Encourage Emerging Voices in Art Ed” at the VAEA conference in Falls Church, VA (2013).

Jill Palumbo presented her thesis findings at the VAEA conference, Falls Church, VA (2013).

Elizabeth Sampson, along with Dr. Sara Wilson McKay and Jeanne Walter, presented “The Art of Nursing: An IPE Model to Enhance Clinical Reasoning in Students” at the National Nursing League (NLN) Education Summit (2013).

Elizabeth Sampson completed a summer internship with CentroNia — a bilingual charter school in Washington DC. She was the Arts & Literacy Intern, creating a pilot art and literacy program for bilingual students that will be implemented this fall and spring (2013).

Jesse White and Luke Meeken presented “Constructing Arts Knowledge: Constructivist Art Explorations in an Inclusion Preschool Classroom” at the Intersections: Arts and Special Education conference at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (2013).

Luke Meeken
co-presented “Developing ‘Agency’: Pre-Service Art Educators Learning Digital Game Design” with Dr. Ryan Patton at the Games, Learning, & Society conference in Madison, WI (2013)

Jess Norris
, along with a team of researchers including Dr. Melanie Buffington from the Art Education Department and Dr. Liz Cramer from the School of Social Work, was awarded a Community Engagement Grant for a an afterschool program at the Neighborhood Resource Center (2013).

Rachael Cohen
was awarded a VCUarts graduate research grant, “Understanding Best Practices in Creative Reuse Arts Programming,” as part of her work with STUFF Redux, Richmond’s creative reuse center (2013).

Valerie Graves was awarded two Hanover Education Foundation Creative Instructional Grants; one for “Art Matters-Mobilizing Artistic Talent to Enhance ‘R’ School” and “SWAG-Self-Expression through Writing and Art Graffiti Journals” (2013).

Jill Palumbo
 presented at VCU’s GSA Student Research Symposium, Richmond, VA (2013).

Meredith Hertel
was awarded a VCUarts graduate research grant for her project on Comparative Interdisciplinary Education (2013).

Lauren Austin, Jill Palumbo, Luke Meeken, Jesse White, and Rachael Cohen
were awarded VCUarts graduate research grant for “VOKE: A new arts education journal that focuses on visual research from new voices.”


Jill Palumbo presented at the VAEA conference, Norfolk, VA and received a $200 travel grant for this through VCU (2012).

Luke Meeken and Jill Palumbo were awarded the Graduate School Thesis/Dissertation Award, one of the highest honors available to graduate students at VCU. This award includes a tuition waiver and stipend.

Meredith Hertel and Jesse White were awarded assistantships for a Presidential Research Incentive Program grant (The Art of Nursing) for the 2012-2013 academic year and will be on the panel of presenters for the project at the NAEA Convention in Fort Worth, TX (2013).

Meredith Hertel was accepted as an intern with the VMFA for their outreach educational program ArtSmarts (2012-2013)

Meredith Hertel was accepted as a college mentor with the VMFA for their high school program Museum Leaders in Training (2012-2013).

Cindy Eide served as a Richmond Region art juror for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards hosted by the VMFA (2013).

Lauren Austin, Jesse White, Cindy Eide and Luke Meeken presented at the AEP Conference (2012) with Dr. Sarah Cunningham, and will be presenting the work at the NAEA Convention (2013): “Is it Time for a National Coalition for Arts Integration? A Conversation Between State Programs and a Graduate Research Team”

Cindy Eide was reassigned as adjunct faculty at the VMFA for teaching drawing workshops year round to K-12 students, and she is now the lead drawing instructor for Youth and Family Programs.

Luke Meeken’s comments from “The Arts =/= Creativity: Talking Points from the Arts Education Partnership Forum,” a VAEA panel, were published in The VAEA Newsletter (Fall 2012).

Luke Meeken presented on MAE professor Dr. Ryan Patton’s game design panel alongside alumni Meredith Cosier, Erin Manwiller and Joshua Spees at the VAEA conference: “Gaming the System: Creating Games Within an Art Context,” VAEA Professional Development Conference (2012).

Jill Palumbo was awarded a $1,000 Study Abroad Scholarship for a Service Learning and Art Education Summer Program in Guatemala (2012).

Jill Palumbo presented at the Assessment in the Arts Conference in Denver, CO and received a $500 travel grant for this from VCUarts’ Dean’s Office (2012).

Jill Palumbo was awarded a $300 travel grant to attend the College Board AP Studio Art Workshop in Boston, MA (2012).

Jill Palumbo presented at the Annual College Board Conference in Silver Lake, FL (2012).


Jill Palumbo presented at the VAEA conference, Roanoke, VA and received a $200 travel grant for this through VCU (2011).

Alana Greer presented at the South Asian Studies Association Conference (Richmond, VA): “Hybridity in the High School Art Classroom” (2011).

Alana Greer presented at the NAEA Convention (Seattle, WA) and was awarded a travel grant for this through VCU: “Talking about Contemporary Art in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms” and “Teaching English Language Learners in the Art Classroom” (2011).

Alana Greer was a contributing Author to Practice Theory: Seeing the Power of Teacher Researchers (Eds.). M. Buffington & S. Wilson McKay to be published by the National Art Education Association.


Alana Greer presented at the VAEA Professional Development Conference (Norfolk): “Talking about Art with English Language Learners” and “Teaching in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms” (2010)

Luke Meeken had work included in a book/video anthology with an accompanying traveling exhibition that visited cities including New York, Pittsburgh, and San Diego: Strange Attractors: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities


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