National Art Education Society Selects MC Art Teacher for Leadership Honor


Dr. Stephanie Busbea, professor and coordinator of the arts education program at Mississippi College, received the Mary Quinn Dix Leadership Award from the National Art Education Association.

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The nation’s leading professional membership group for visual arts educators has presented a prestigious leadership award to the Mississippi College Arts Education Program Coordinator.

Representatives from the National Art Education Association presented the NAEA Mary Quinn Ten Leadership Award to Dr. Stephanie Busbea at the 2021 Mississippi Art Education Association Awards Ceremony on November 12.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions and service rendered to the profession by a current or past agent of a state / provincial association in the performance and / or development of specific programs, goals or activities at the level of the state / provincial association.

Busbea, an art teacher at MC, served as MAEA President-Elect from 2015-2017, President from 2017-2019, and Past President from 2019-21. She also served on the Assembly of Delegates to the NAEA Convention from 2017 to 2019, the National Leadership Conference in 2016 and 2018, the Arts Education Committee of the Mississippi Arts Commission in 2012, 2015 and 2020, and as the coordinator of the MAEA fall and spring conference. from 2015-18, among other appointments.

The Leadership Award is presented in honor of the third president of the NAEA, in recognition of Dix’s pioneering work in developing the organization as a national professional association.

Dr. Randolph B. Miley, professor and art chair at MC, said he was delighted to see Busbea receive this honor.

“The NAEA is a very large organization that represents art educators around the world,” said Miley, former president of the MAEA. “This is one of the elite awards that the association gives out. It’s been a long time since we’ve been shortlisted for a prestigious award, and the national recognition we’re getting is pretty amazing.

“We are a very small state with just over 100 members, unlike New York and Florida which each have several hundred members.

An MC art teacher since 1997 and a former Assistant Art Instructor, Busbea holds a BSE in Arts Education from Arkansas State University, an MAEd. in Arts Education from the University of Georgia and a PhD. in Arts Education from the University of North Texas. She serves at Christian University as Deputy Chair of the Department of the Arts, Arts Education Coordinator and Advisor, Student Education Supervisor, and Graduate Lecturer.

Recipient of three MAEA awards, including the Arts Educator of the Year in Higher Education award in 2012, Busbea has now been nominated for another national award – the 2021 Arts Educator of the Year award in pre-service of the NAEA.

“Dr. Busbea exemplifies exceptional leadership and, through her diligent service as past President of the MAEA, has contributed significantly to the success of the organization,” said Miley. “Under her leadership, MAEA stands ready to take on a leadership role and to better serve as a strategic force to shape the climate for stronger visual arts education in the state. ”

Busbea wasn’t the only art teacher with MC connections to receive materials during the ceremony. Four MC alumni have been honored by the MAEA with the 2021 Art Educator Awards.

Susan Hodges, who obtained her BSEd. and his M.Ed. in MC Art, received the 2021 Artistic Educator of the Year award from the MAEA Intermediate Division. Florence High School and Florence Middle High School art teacher taught art at Gary Road Intermediate and Byram Middle School.

Courtney Melton, who received her Masters of Arts Education and Masters of Fine Arts in 3D Studio from MC, received the 2021 MAEA High School Arts Educator of the Year award. A 2019 National Board Certified Teacher, she teaches ceramics and works with music students at Madison Central High School.

“Courtney really enjoys teaching at the high school level and it shows in her attitude in the classroom,” Busbea said. “She not only teaches ceramics, but also scenography. She devotes countless hours to helping students design and build award-winning sets for their choir and theater performances.

“Courtney is also taking on student teachers to train the next generation of high school art teachers.”

Vicky Miley, who earned her M.Ed. in Arts Education at MC and is Assistant Professor of Art History at Christian University, received the 2021 MAEA Emeritus Art Educator of the Year Award. The MAEA historian has served the association as president, president-elect, secretary / treasurer, president of membership, and member of the Assembly of Delegates.

In 2018, Miley created the MAEA Archival Collection at Mississippi College. It is housed in the Department of the Arts. She retired from teaching at Pearl High School in 2017.

Summer Nation, who obtained her M.Ed. in arts education from MC, received the 2021 Bill Poirier MAEA award for best artistic educator of the year. Former MAEA President, President-Elect and Member of the Assembly of Delegates, she initiated the Initial Ceramics Program at Germantown High School and taught at Madison Central High School, Jim Hill High School and Bailey Magnet High School.

“Not only does she present strong and original lessons,” said Busbea, “she makes relevant connections with her students through art.”

As the former president of the MAEA, Miley succeeded Busbea; Current MAEA President Elise Payne and MAEA President-elect Renna Moore each attended Mississippi College in turn. Miley said successive representation in the organization’s leadership structure by current and former Choctaws bodes well for arts education statewide.

“It’s important because in this state arts education is pretty much in our hands,” he said. “MC and William Carey University are the only two universities in Mississippi to offer substantial arts education programs, and MC is the only one to offer a master’s program.

“If you look at art teachers in the metro Jackson area, they’ll go through MC for their undergraduate or graduate degrees. Having the only master’s program puts us in a substantial leadership position, and we are proud to take on this responsibility.

Miley said that MC’s performance in the NAEA and MAEA award categories underscores the vitality of faculty and students in the art department, so he was delighted that MC President Dr Blake Thompson was able to attend the gala. .

“More than three-quarters of everyone at the event had some sort of MC training,” he said. “MC opened the art program in 1955 as a studio art program, then added arts education, so that arts education and studio art are central to our lives. We take this role very seriously.

“With the climate here in our art department, with all the recognition we’ve gained, we’re really hitting high marks right now,” he said. “It’s just a great time for art.”

Founded in 1947 and based in Virginia, the NAEA includes members ranging from elementary school teachers to college professors and students seeking to become art educators. NAEA members encourage mentoring and networking, and they attend arts education conferences across the United States.

Likewise, the mission of the MAEA is to promote arts education through professional development, service, advancement of knowledge and leadership. The organization is made up of art educators who are passionate about their commitment to the need for art in the development of creative processes that benefit all students.

MAEA members believe the arts teach students creative problem solving that they can apply to life, professionally or personally. The MAEA provides the tools to implement these skills by keeping teachers at the forefront of arts education. is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the state of Mississippi.


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