Lonnie Woods III on Transitioning to Faculty Position Leading ARAD’s Practicum in Arts Administration and Internship Courses

ARAD’s beloved Professional Development Coordinator, Lonnie Woods III, is transitioning to a new and exciting faculty position leading the Practicum in Arts Administration and then the Internship course. We spoke to Lonnie about the Practicum class that first-year ARAD students will be taking with him, including his vision for the course and the lessons he’d like students to walk away with. You can also learn more about Lonnie here!

What makes you passionate about professional development? 

Believe it or not, editing resumes for myself and my friends in college sparked my love for professional development. As a trained visual artist, I see constructive critique, creating, editing and formatting as an artform; those same principles apply to professional development. I am passionate about professional development because so much of it is about discovering who you are and making room for new versions of yourself. The professional work that we do is often a reflection of who we are (at least I think it should be that way). Each time we make a career change, we are making a life change, which translates to this exciting opportunity to curate and repackage yourself. I find the repackaging process exhilarating but I realize that it makes many people nervous. I get to be the person who helps students to calm those nerves and put their dreams into a plan.

What can students expect from the 8-session practicum they’ll be taking with you in their first semester of the program?

Students can expect to learn the tools and resources needed to create and execute a personal career plan in the arts. Students can expect to learn about essential career related topics such as professional relationship building, negotiation, job search techniques, personal branding, and career options within the arts field.

How does your class dovetail with the internship component of the ARAD curriculum?

In this course, students apply what they learn in their other ARAD courses to their individual career goals. Practicum in Arts Administration will prepare students for the internship search and hiring process as well as give them the tools and resources needed to equip and empower them to choose the internship and career path that will best align with their goals. 

What are you most looking forward to in starting this position?

I am looking forward to meeting the new students! The main reason that I work in academia is because I genuinely enjoy supporting students. I also look forward to sharing space with the future generation of folks who will go on to impact the arts industry in a powerful way. I look forward to helping students streamline their visions and dreams into a plan that they can execute and update throughout their time in the program and beyond.

What are the biggest lessons you’d like students to take away from your class?

  1. Choose collaboration over competition; network across as well as up. Your success does not always surround your ability to climb the ladder. Your success partner may be sitting right next to you in class.
  2. Your career plan is your own. You have the ability to edit, re-write or completely change your career story at any given time.

BIO

Professor Lonnie Woods III is a student affairs administrator, educator, and professional development practitioner whose research examines the career competencies of college students studying arts related majors. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Fine Art Photography from Towson University and a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University (NYU).  Lonnie serves as an Arts Career Consultant, College Readiness Specialist and Teaching Artist  and has collaborated with world renowned arts organizations such as: The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Whitney Museum of American Art, The Smithsonian Museum of American History, The Studio Museum of Harlem and Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Meet Melissa Weisberg, ARAD’s New Social Media Manager

ARAD is delighted to welcome Melissa Weisberg (ARAD ’20) as our new Social Media Manager. Learn more about Melissa, her goals for her new role, and what she’s been up to since graduation.

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Student Spotlight: Jessica Isgro

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Jessica is a Student Mentor for 2016-17

Jessica Isgro graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Bucknell University in 2015 where she majored in Music Education and minored in Creative Writing. Jessica has worked in the marketing, publicity, and editorial fields, holding internships with Lincoln Center, West Branch Literary Magazine, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 21C Media Group, and The Princeton Festival. Most recently, she worked as a voice teacher and a freelance publicity writer.

What attracted you to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University? Initially, I was attracted to the Arts Administration Program at Teachers College, Columbia University for its strong, well-rounded curriculum. Additionally, as I interned with various arts organizations, I met many program graduates who passionately detailed the profound impact the program had on the development of their professional abilities.

How are your studies helping to advance your career goals? My studies in the ARAD program have helped me develop and fortify skills that are vital in the field while simultaneously allowing me to pursue my own interests. The strong curriculum makes room for self-directed learning pursuits, allowing ARAD students to develop skills that will allow them to become arts leaders.

Describe student life as a member of the ARAD community. There is never a dull moment for a student in the ARAD community, and our relationships as students extend well beyond the classroom. Within my first semester of the program, my peers and I attended music performances, art exhibitions, sporting events, Student Advocates for the Arts meetings, guest lectures, networking events, and countless restaurants. The ARAD community actively seeks varied and interesting experiences in New York City, both within and beyond the arts scene.

Student Spotlight: Kayli Callahan

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Kayli is a Student Mentor for 2016-17

Kayli Callahan is a 2015 graduate of Cornell University, where she earned a B.A. in the History of Art and minored in Law & Society and Studio Arts. While completing her studies at Cornell, Kayli worked as the Development & Special Events Intern at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. She is currently working at Teachers College as the Annual Fund Department intern in the Office of Development and External Affairs. Kayli plans to pursue her interests in both arts administration and law to work towards bridging the communication gap between arts administrators and governmental policy officials.

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Student Spotlight: Mari Ogino

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Mari is a Student Mentor for 2016-17

Mari Ogino graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. Following graduation, she held positions at a contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles, the FIDM Museum, and the Wildwoods Foundation. Additionally, she volunteered with Oakgrove as the event and site coordinator. Mari is researching visible and invisible barriers that prevent some children from accessing arts education. She also advocates to make arts education accessible to all children. Arts accessibility is the driving force behind her decision to pursue an M.A. in Arts Administration; she wants to ensure that arts programs are fully funded and sustainable.

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Student Spotlight: Jade Ong

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Jade is a Student Mentor for 2016-17

Jade Ong graduated from Tufts University with B.A.s in Clinical Psychology and Art History. In her undergraduate years, she worked in neurology research at Massachusetts General Hospital, and studied the neuropsychological basis of creativity at Harvard. Prior to joining the Arts Administration program, she worked at Christie’s doing auction consignments and sales, lot evaluation, research, and events planning. She currently serves as the co-president of Student Advocates for the Arts at Columbia, and is a member of the Acquisitions Committee at the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum. Jade is originally from Singapore, and is fluent in both Mandarin and English.

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Student Spotlight: Kelly Olshan

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Kelly Olshan is a Student Mentor for 2016-17

Kelly Olshan graduated Valedictorian from UNC Asheville, where she received her BFA in Painting and a minor in business management. Her thesis, a solo exhibition and associated research paper, received national recognition. As an undergraduate, she served as President of the University’s arts organization, where she managed student exhibitions, coordinated guest speakers, and organized other arts-related events. Before enrolling in the Arts Administration program, she served as the Local Arts Advancement intern for Americans for the Arts. As both an arts administrator and practicing artist, Kelly owns and manages her own fine art business. After graduation, she is invested in establishing more fiscal and educational resources for contemporary artists.

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Student Spotlight: Sara Smigen

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Sara is a Student Mentor for 2016-17

Sara Smigen is a 2012 cum laude graduate of Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Voice) and a business minor. After college she worked for Proctors and Capital Repertory Theatre in Schenectady and Albany, New York where she worked her way up from intern to Marketing Account Manager. While there some of her favorite duties were designing and coordinating commercial and video shoots, season brochures, and managing subscription campaigns. With her performance background in opera and voice, Sara is particularly interested in building a stronger bridge between opera and musical theatre audiences. She hopes to work in management and season planning for a multidisciplinary performing arts organization.

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Student Spotlight: Mary Angelo

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Mary is a Student Mentor for 2016-17

Mary Angelo is a graduate of Idyllwild Arts and holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University. Mary served as Resident Choreographer for the Red House Arts Center in Syracuse and received a Gregory Award Nomination for her work on HAIR! at Arts West Playhouse in Seattle. Her company, Angelo Dance Project has performed in Dumbo Dance Festival, Young Choreographers Festival and Dancing Under the Stars Festival. As an administrator she has worked with organization including Creative Outlet Dance Theater, Art Directors Club, Citi Habitats, and Red Bull North America. Mary is currently interning at New York City Center in the Programming office.

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Student Spotlight: Lu Meng

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Lu is a Student Mentor 2016-17

Originally from China, Lu Meng is a 2015 graduate of University of California, Berkeley. She was the Art Practice Undergraduate Honors Studio awardee. Prior to joining the Arts Administration M.A. program at Columbia, Lu held internships with Art Front Gallery in Singapore, Today Art Museum in Beijing and China Guardian Auctions in Beijing. She also volunteered at Asian Art Museum at San Francisco. Lu is interested in the managerial side of visual arts and online art trading platform. She also has great enthusiasm for East Asian Art and Ceramics.

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