Dr. Fatih Benzer is an assistant professor and the coordinator of the art education program in the Department of Art and Design at Missouri State University. He earned a doctoral degree in art education from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts degree in painting from California State University. Benzer's areas of interest are studying visual cultures through semiotics, issues related to diversity and multicultural education, as well as the role of digital technologies in teaching art. His research has been published by National Art Education Association. He also published essays on contemporary art in RH+ Art Magazine in his native country, Turkey. Benzer has presented his research both in national and international venues such as Japan, South Korea, Portugal, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He is the past president of United States Society for Education through Art. He teaches all levels of undergraduate art education and studio courses, as well, graduate courses. His iconographic paintings are inspired by ancient mythologies from Greek, Ottoman and Persian miniatures, whirling dervishes in Sufi belief represented by Rumi’s ecstatic poetry of freedom and devotion, and abstracted geometry inspired by antique Greek, Egyptian and Byzantine architecture. The concepts such as stigma, stereotypes, and co-existence are the main themes in his current work. His artwork has been exhibited both in international and national exhibitions.
Jennifer Brandel (AIA, NCARB, NOMA) is an assistant professor of Architecture at the School of Design, Architecture and Art at North Dakota State University. She holds a Professional Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Fine Art in Visual Arts from North Dakota State University and a Master of Fine Art from California College of Arts. Brandel also has professional experience working with clients on the design of small and large healthcare spaces and teaches architectural courses including design and creative processes, speculative design, urban design, and object making. Her creative works include ceramic, drawing, and sculptural works primarily engaged in an exploration of the relationship between humans, environment, and nature.
Michael Butcher has a passion for working in the theatre. He has taught theatre for 33 years. In that time, he spent 23 years as the theatre teacher/director at Kickapoo High School and has recently been teaching and directing at both Kickapoo and Gloria Deo Academy in Springfield. He has directed and produced over 100 plays and musicals including his two all-time favorites "Les Misérables" and "The Phantom of the Opera." Butcher earned his bachelor's degree in Speech and Theatre from Missouri State University and holds a master's degree from Drury University. In 2019, his students' production of "Into the Woods" was selected to perform at the Kansas City Music Hall. His students have won many State Thespian Conference awards and scholarships. Many of his students have qualified to compete at the International Thespian Festival and several of these students have placed in the top 10 in the world and received international scholarships. Butcher's students have also won district and state honors through MSHSAA one-act play and readers theater competitions. He has been an instructor for Drury’s Pre-College programs for over 25 years and has previously served as an instructor for the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. Many of his former students have gone on to have successful careers as professional actors, technicians, performers, and teachers. Butcher is a member of the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri and the Educational Theatre Association.
Gemma Campanini is dedicated to helping others discover, cultivate, and embrace their creative voice. Demonstrating this commitment through a variety of projects, Campanini currently serves as the director of the monthly "Show Me Poetry" poetry slam, is the founder and manager of the "Oh Snap Poetry" open mic series, and is the co-founder of the "Making Pages" writers’ group. She is passionate about bringing creative outlets to her community and has led a variety of creative writing workshops in communities where she has lived. In addition to teaching public speaking courses while earning her Master of Arts degree in Communication, Campanini designed and conducted her graduate research project investigating how learning to write and perform original poetry can be tools for emotional growth. Her creative writing has been published in Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Scribble, and Waxing and Waning: A Literary Journal. Outside of her professional activities, Campanini enjoys tea, cats, hiking, and spending time with loved ones.
Amber Davidson has been teaching art for over 12 years. She currently teaches Art
1, 3D Design, and Digital Photography at Carl Junction High School. Davidson also
taught elementary art for Webb City and Joplin School Districts. Prior to working
in the public schools, Davidson taught at art centers including Spiva Center for the
Arts in Joplin, Missouri, and Edwardsville Arts Center in Illinois. She also taught
K-12 art at a small private school and high school art at a juvenile detention center
Davidson holds a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville and a Master of Science in Education, Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Studio Painting from Missouri Southern State University. In 2021, Davidson displayed her graduate work along with three other local art teachers at Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin.
In recent years, Davidson has been active in the art community by showcasing student art and her own studio work regularly. Her work was published in the MSSU Bordertown Creative Arts Magazine and the Carl Junction Literary and Visual Arts Contest. Two of Davidson's paintings were also recognized at a juried show at Missouri Arts Education Association Spring Conference.
Davidson has a wide range of art experience including drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, mixed media, and photography. Aside from teaching and creating, Davidson enjoys spending time with her husband and two children and loves to travel.
Sean Falconer is enthusiastic about learning and the power of connecting with others
through language. Falconer holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Missouri
State University and is graduating this year with a Master of Arts in Communication
and a graduate certificate in Conflict & Dispute Resolution.
Professionally, Falconer has been teaching workplace violence reduction, de-escalation, and conflict resolution skills in the Mercy health system since 2017, and has experience in the fields of mental health, foster care case management, and child welfare. Falconer enjoys helping people rethink their relationship with conflict and conflict management in order to connect with others more deeply and authentically. His personal interests include studying foreign languages, formline art of the northwest coast, doodling, and lots of reading.
Falconer is excited about helping others to learn, think critically, and have fun creatively by asking questions, urging students to challenge themselves, and exploring the world with an attitude of curiosity and creativity.
Equally at home as a performer and a teacher, Dr. Jason Hausback has been active in many musical spheres. Prior to his arrival at Missouri State University, Jason was the Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at Eastfield College (Mesquite, TX), and Brookhaven College (Farmer’s Branch, TX). He was also a teaching fellow in both the trombone studio and the jazz studies department at the University of North Texas. Under his direction, the U-Tubes won the 2010 Eastern Trombone Workshop National Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition, and issued their first CD entitled “The U-Tubes” in the spring of 2011. While a student at UNT, Jason was also a member of the internationally-acclaimed One O’Clock Lab Band and was on the recording “Lab 2009,” which was subsequently nominated for two Grammy Awards.
Jacob Hiser is a versatile pianist who studies many musical traditions. He has performed at venues and festivals across the United States, as well as France, Hungary, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. Originally from Missouri, where he graduated from Missouri State University with a bachelor’s in Jazz Studies, he moved to Boston to complete a master’s in Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory. He now splits his time between Boston and NYC, teaching and performing. His past teachers include Ran Blake, Joe Morris, Bruce Brubaker, and Jason Moran. Hiser is currently adjunct piano faculty at UMass Lowell, an accompanist for Boston Children's Chorus, and faculty/accompanist at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire.
Tanner Munson is studying for his Master's of Music in Vocal Pedagogy at Missouri State Univeristy. He received his Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance from Missouri Southern State Univeristy. Currently, Munson is the upper school music teacher at The Summit Preparatory School and runs a private voice and piano studio. In addition to teaching, Tanner has performed professionally across the Ozarks with companies such as Small Umbrella Theatre and Heartland Opera Theatre. His most notable roles include Theodore Lawrence in "Little Women: The Musical," Jamie Wallerstein in "The Last Five Years," and Davey Jacobs in "Newsies: The Broadway Musical."
Dr. Heather Nelson, mezzo soprano, loves all the things that have to do with the singing voice and telling other voice teachers about all the neat things she learns. Based in Springfield, Missouri, she works with voice teachers from all over the world to understand the voice better, and use that knowledge to make a positive difference in their studios. She enjoys cooking (and eating) good food, British TV, and spending time with Sis the cat. Learn more about Nelson at www.drheathernelson.com and www.instagram.com/drheathernelson.
Kaleb Patterson is a choral and musical theater director at Marshfield Junior High School in Marshfield, Missouri, teaching grades 7-12. Patterson graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theater Performance in 2011, where he sang in Dr. Randi Von Ellefson’s choirs, and studied voice with Mr. Larry Keller. He also holds a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Southwest Baptist University. He spent the first five years of his career as a professional singer and actor, traveling the world with companies including Carnival Cruise Line, Busch Gardens, and other regional productions across the midwest. Patterson has served as tenor section leader for the Bruton Parish Choirs in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, from 2018-2020, Artistic Director for the Richmond Men’s Chorus from 2018-2020, and was honored to perform often as a tenor with the Schola Cantorum at the Richmond Cathedral. Throughout his six years in education, he has directed, music directed or choreographed more than ten productions, and enjoys being on both sides of the table. Patterson continues to perform locally as a tenor/baritone with the Springfield Chamber Chorus, and with professional and community theater productions. Patterson attended MFAA in 2006 and was an RA in 2010.
Meganne Rosen is a painter and arts educator from Springfield, Missouri. She has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in painting from California College of the Arts (CCA), an additional master's degree in studio art and theory, and an undergraduate degree in art history. Rosen teaches in the Department of Fine Arts and Humanities at Ozarks Technical Community College and has an active studio practice. She has previously taught at Missouri State University, Drury University, CCA, and the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. Rosen has over ten years of collegiate teaching experience and is always excited for opportunities to work with gifted high school artists.
Shauna Le Ann Smith lives and works in Springfield, Missouri, where she is a current MFA in Visual Studies candidate at Missouri State University. She received her BFA from Missouri State University in 2016 and her AFA from East Central College in 2014. Exploring the relationship between artmaking and community building, Smith uses interdisciplinary practices to create site-responsive work which takes the shape of gatherings, objects, spaces, or relational forms. A question central to her work is "What is possible here?". Her solo exhibitions and social practice activities located across Missouri include Meditations on Wholeness and Connection (2021), Co-founding L.A.W.N. Lawn Art With Neighbors (2020 – Present), Slow Viewing (2019-Present), How We Are Feeling (2020), The ECC Project (2019), On Life and Death (2018), and I Feel It (Everywhere) (2016).
Erin Tyler holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Missouri State University and is currently in MSU's Master of Fine Arts - Visual Studies program. In 2012, Tyler attended Missouri Fine Arts Academy as a student and returned as an instructor in 2019 and 2022. She began her self-led art practice with detail-focused drawings in pencil and charcoal. Her current art practice involves painting, installation, and collage and often relies on found objects, systematic art-making processes, experimentation, and chance. She has recently shown in numerous galleries locally, as well as in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Miami, Florida. Tyler previously worked as a Teaching Artist at the Springfield Art Museum and will be an artist-in-residence and teacher at Villa Lena in Tuscany in July 2023.