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Alida Anderson, Journal Editor 


Alida is Associate Professor in the School of Education at American University, with research and practice interests in inclusive and integrated arts approaches to language and literacy learning. Anderson’s background includes experience as a visual artist and teacher-therapist to students with exceptionalities. She has worked for over two decades in preschool and school age educational settings using creative arts approaches with children and families, including students with a range of exceptionalities in special and general education settings. Her background experience includes work in museum-based early childhood education settings, art-therapy/teaching in a school for students with autism spectrum disorders, diagnostic and clinical practice in communication sciences and disorders, and pre- and in-service teacher training and professional development in language, literacy, and arts integration topics.  Dr. Anderson has presented to international and national audiences on a variety of language- and literacy-related, and arts integration topics.  Recent presentations have been given to the Council for Exceptional Children, Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, Institute for Educational Diplomacy, Association for Childhood Education International, American Educational Research Association, British Dyslexia Association, VSA International/Kennedy Center, and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics. She holds a B.A. in Art/Art History from Colgate University, M.A. in Communication Sciences/Disorders from Northwestern University, and Ph.D. in Special Education from University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Anderson’s work is featured in Dyslexia, Child Language Teaching and Therapy, The Educational Forum, Urban Education, Journal of Research in Reading; Reading and Writing; Journal of International Teacher Education; Bilingual Research Journal; Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal; Preventing School Failure, and SAGE Open. She is editor of Arts Integration and Special Education: An inclusive theory of action for student engagement (2015, Routledge).


Jane Burnette, Journal Editor 


Burnette was a member of the team that produced Project PRIME, a research project that laid the groundwork for the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (PL 94-142), which later became IDEA. She worked for CEC for many years as Publications Manager for the ERIC/OSEP Special Project at the ERIC Clearinghouse, where she was responsible for developing research to practice publications from planning through marketing. Her products included books, minilibraries, ERIC research syntheses and digests, several sections of TEACHING Exceptional Children, and A Statistical Profile of Special Education in the United States, a publication useful for advocacy. Since working with CEC, she has written and edited numerous publications, and she contributed chapters to Reaching and Teaching Students with Special Needs through Art (Gerber & Guay, 2006) and Understanding Students with Autism through Art (Gerber & Kellman, 2010).


Matt Hunter, Artist 


Our logo was developed by Matt Hunter, an artist based in Pittsburgh, PA.  He studied at Pratt Institute as well as at Carlow University, and he continues to pursue self-guided education in the arts. Throughout his life, Matt has drawn or painted something just about every day.  His paintings have been exhibited in various venues, and are hung in many private collections across the United States.  His design work has been utilized by clothing companies, musicians, and non-profit organizations, as well as by business owners.  When Matt is not creating art, he can be found working as a carpenter, or spending his time with friends and family.


Sharon Manjack, Journal Art Director and Website Designer 


Sharon received her bachelor’s degree from UIUC and worked as an art director in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles. She received elementary, art, and special education teaching credentials, as well as a master’s in special education/ educational therapy from CSUN. She worked in various therapeutic educational settings, as a Getty Center art education docent, and taught incarcerated students with special needs for LACOE for many years before returning to Chicago to pursue her PhD in educational psychology from UIC. Her research focuses on the personal theories of art teachers about the purpose of art education and whether these theories influence inclusion attitudes. This research led to development of the Art Related Teacher Theories (ARTT) measure, which confirmed three main purposes for art education commonly referred to in literature and recognized by currently practicing teachers. She is also involved with efforts to ensure that paraeducators are adequately trained for the roles they undertake when working with students with disabilities in art education classes and that teachers who supervise them understand their responsibilities. Recently, she collaborated with researchers from the PAR2A center on a chapter for inclusion in the Handbook of Arts Education and Special Education. She is passionate about the appropriate inclusion of students with special needs in arts classrooms and actively seeks ways to advocate on behalf of students as well as the teachers and paraeducators who support them. Currently, she works for Chicago Public Schools as a special education teacher, consulting teacher, edTPA art and special education portfolio evaluator, and educational therapist. Past experience includes ISBE principal consultant, adjunct faculty for Columbia College and UIC. 


Lauren Stichter, Social Media Administrator 

Lauren Stichter 2

At Moore College, Lauren Stichter is the Program Director of the MA in Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations. Before taking on the director role at Moore, Lauren was the lead art teacher at The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf for 15 years. For the past 5 years Lauren has also been an adjunct faculty member at Moore teaching the Special Populations class in the Art Education department. In 2009, Lauren spent her 6 month sabbatical in northern India where she taught art to children who have different abilities and trained educators how to incorporate art into their curriculum. In the summer of 2014, Lauren became the Pennsylvania Art Education Association Special Needs in Art Education Chairperson. Lauren has presented at conferences, symposiums and workshops through the National Art Education Association and Pennsylvania Art Education Association. She has also begun a PAEA Special Needs in Art Education Collegial Assembly that meets quarterly in different regions of the state.

Last Updated:  1 March, 2021

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