The USFSM Center for PAInT

About the Center for PAInTPaint01

The Center for PAInT brings together an international network of educators and arts partners to engage in and share research, advocacy, professional development, curriculum innovations, and resource development to meaningfully integrate the arts into teaching and learning to support student success.

Center for PAInT Leadership

G. Pat Wilson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at USFSM and the Interim Dean of the College of Education. Twenty years’ experience in education for children identified as needing support services in reading and writing led to Pat Wilson’s interest in ways children build and reveal thinking through means not dominated by language.  Thus, she has studied children’s understanding of text as revealed through tableaux and sketching.  She currently teaches reading and writing instruction/assessment at USFSM with a focus on understanding of the sign-systems children use, both language and non-language based.   She incorporates the concept of multi-sign system representation to generate understanding as a vital aspect of literacy.  She currently serves on the Curriculum Committee for PAInT.

Brianne L. Reck, Ph.D., is the Executive Director and the Senior Fellow of the Center for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT). Dr. Reck also serves as an Associate Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership and Online Programs in the College of Education at USF Sarasota-Manatee.  She chairs the Research and Advocacy Workgroup for the center, serves as Senior Editor for the Center’s book series, as liaison to the Sarasota Center for Arts and Cultural Alliance Education Task Force and to The Sarasota County Schools Superintendent’s Community/Schools Partnership for the Arts.  In partnership with the Sarasota Opera, she is piloting Project MAESTRO (Making Arts-Integrated Education Sustainable Through Relationships with the Opera), a unique collaboration that is developing models for collaborative inquiry and engaging future teachers and school leaders in refining their skills with experiences in, about, and through the opera and the company’s festival productions. Dr. Reck’s research focuses on leadership preparation and creating safe space for traditionally marginalized students in schools.  She is currently examining ways in which integrating the arts can transform practice in P-12 and in educator preparation learning environments.

PAInT Associated Faculty

Patricia D. Hunsader, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor and former Executive Director of the Center of Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) at USF Sarasota-Manatee. She serves as Vice President of faculty senate and chair of the Academic Programs Committee. Dr. Hunsader teaches graduate and undergraduate mathematics methods courses, and her research interests include mathematics curriculum, arts integration and classroom assessment. She has published and presented her research both nationally and internationally, most recently at the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction conference on task design at Oxford University, and at the International Congress on Mathematical Education in Seoul, Korea. She is co-author of the 7th edition of Mathematics: A Good Beginning. In 2011 she was named a STaR (Service, Teaching, and Research) Fellow, a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Hunsader was granted the Outstanding Professor Award by students in 2011 and 2013, and the Outstanding Teaching Award by faculty in 2012.

Lora Kosten, Ph.D. is a Level II Instructor for the College of Education at USF Sarasota-Manatee.  She teaches courses in elementary education methods and social foundations of education.  In addition, Dr. Kosten serves as Faculty Coordinator for the USFSM Instructional Site in North Port. She was previously employed as a principal in the Central Falls, Rhode Island School District where her school was involved in an Arts Integration Partnership with Brown University. Dr. Kosten recognizes the importance of arts-based learning and infuses both theory and practice in her courses to expose prospective teachers to how meaning is created and achievement increased through the arts. She has a strong interest in research regarding the use of the arts to improve the communication of ideas and feelings among children. Dr. Kosten is an artist who enjoys working with acrylics and watercolors. She serves as faculty liaison for the Venice Symphony.

Colleen H. Lord, Ed.D. is an Instructor in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee.  She has taught graduate students for 7 years in educational leadership. She has served as principal at both the elementary and secondary level in Florida, as well as district leadership in Abu Dhabi.  Dr. Lord led a school community through the improvement process culminating in National Blue Ribbon recognition in Washington, D.C.  Her research interests include mentoring principals and school improvement in international education.   She incorporates art education in the leadership courses and participates in community events.

Jenni Menon Mariano, Ph.D., is Associate Professor and Chair of Secondary Education and Literacies programs in the College of Education at USF Sarasota-Manatee.  Her research examines how formal and informal educational experiences, including engagement with the arts, promote development of life purpose and thriving. In the early 2000′s she coordinated an inter-ethnic peace-building program in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which involved 6000 students and 400 teachers in the development of arts-integrated curricula. Dr. Mariano serves on the Center for PAInT Research Committee.

Jody Lynn McBrien, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at USF Sarasota-Manatee, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in social foundations, media education, and international education. She includes arts-integration in both her teaching and research capacities. For example, she has written about refugee children’s use of photography to explain and understand their lives in a new country as well as children in post-war Uganda using drawings and paintings to represent those experiences which they cannot say in words. She has also had her USFSM students define challenging concepts in critical pedagogy using arts media. Dr. McBrien presents her work nationally and internationally, the most recent being at the International Consortium for Social Development held in Kampala, Uganda. She serves the Center for PAInT as the chair of its international component, INPAInT.

A. Helene Robinson, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at USF Sarasota Manatee.  She was a special education teacher for 14 years before moving into higher education. She has designed and instructed undergraduate and graduate courses in Exceptional Student Education and Elementary Education, and created a graduate degree program in Arts Integration.  She facilitated a collaborative partnership with the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, which led to the award of the Untie the Right Brain grant.  The grant project created a collaborative network of private universities, agencies, and school districts to offer courses in Arts Integration to over 175 teachers throughout Florida.  She has published and presented nationally and internationally in arts integration for disadvantaged student populations.  She serves on PAInT Work Groups devoted to curriculum and research.  Most recently she conducted professional development workshops for mentor teachers and interns involved in an arts-integration grant project.

Stephen Rushton, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Education. Dr. Rushton teaches courses in Creative Experiences and the writing process, and supervises student teachers. He specializes in communication skills and interpersonal relationships within the learning process.  He recently began incorporating the emerging research from the neurosciences to support the development of highly effective educators. He has been the recipient of three teaching awards during his 14 years at USFSM. Dr. Rushton serves as the Chair of the PAInT Professional Development and Events Work Group, and is faculty liaison for several local arts-focused charter schools as well as the South Florida Museum. He has a deep passion for integrating the arts into all of his teaching.

Center Staff

Christopher Bolgiano, Ph.D., After completing a B.S. in business, Christopher managed office technology projects in the corporate sector.   Mid-career, he made a shift to the academic community, completing a M.S. in Business Education and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.  Over the past 20+ years, Christopher has held a variety of positions at Cornell University and the University of South Florida.  At Cornell, Christopher served as a college pre-med/pre-law advisor and later functioned as a business administrator in a large department with a bargaining unit component.  More recently, at USF/Tampa, he worked with an instructional technology group where he served as the business and grants administrator responsible for $2.5 million in sponsored program funds.   Currently, in his role with the USFSM College of Education, Christopher serves as an Academic and Programs Administrator and supports the Center for PAInT as its fiscal and business administrator.

Susan Burke is the Arts Experience Coordinator for the Center for PAInT. Burke has experience in the non-profit sector as director of education at the Sarasota County Arts Council and as Executive Director of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education.  Since relocating to Florida in 2001, she has served on the Community/Schools Partnership for the Arts, an Advisory Committee to the District Superintendent and on the Arts Education Task Force, a community coalition that supports arts education in Sarasota County. From 1996 – 2010, Susan administered Encore!Ensemble Theatre Workshop, a summer program that she created that brings together teens from around the world to study and create theatre. In addition to her work in arts education, Burke, who has an MBA in Integrative Management from Michigan State University and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Toledo, has extensive experience in the private sector in project management, information management, new media and marketing, and nuclear power plant licensing.

Amber C. Lee is a seasoned technical communicator who earned her Bachelor’s degree at USF in English – Professional & Technical Writing, and recently joined the College of Education in the capacity of Office Manager. Amber has a professional interest in sustainability, systems, and innovation, and plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Management Information Systems. Ms. Lee serves the Center for PAInT in an administrative support capacity.

Dr. Jacqueline Williams, Ed. D., serves as the Administrative Coordinator for PAInT and has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) for the past three years. She has been affiliated with the Arts Academy Foundation of Charlotte County as a member of the Board of Trustees since August 2013.  The Arts Academy Foundation evolved out of the passion for integrating the arts with Academics and the lack of programs/funding for the arts in the district.  Through those concerns, the foundation developed collaborative efforts with the Charlotte County Public Schools District Office. This relationship culminated in Dr. Williams becoming a founding member of the Arts Academy Magnet School at Charlotte High in Punta Gorda, Florida. She has served in the capacity of Project Director, Edison College-Charlotte Campus, Punta Gorda, Florida where she developed a Collegiate Charter High School. She has been an instructor in Exceptional Education in public schools in New York and Florida and has taught in both traditional and nontraditional classrooms.

PAInT Advisory Board

  • Greg Chestnut – Director of Music, First Congregational Church
  • Betty Connard – Community Advocate for the Arts
  • Shelly Dorfman – Community Advocate for Arts Integration
  • Terry Devine – Asst. Principal, Manatee School for the Arts
  • Angela Hartvigsen – Sarasota County Schools EdExplore SRQ.com
  • Brian Hersh – Project Director, Any Given Child
  • Johnette Isham – Realize Bradenton, Executive Director
  • Elizabeth Larkin – Professor Emeritus, USF Sarasota-Manatee
  • Sherry Lawrence – MCSD, Curriculum Specialist, retired
  • Steve Miles – Provost, New College of Florida
  • Elizabeth Power – Executive Director, Perlman Music Program/Suncoast
  • Nancy Roucher – Sarasota Arts & Cultural Alliance – Arts Ed Task Force
  • Judy Sedgeman – Manatee County Project Arts Connects
  • Robin Thompson – Executive Director, MCSD Teaching and Learning

PAInT Teaching Artists

2013-2014: Elizabeth Bergmann

Elizabeth Weil Bergmann is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the University of Michigan. In addition to her many years as a distinguished choreographer, teacher, performer, and administrator, she is co-author of “Connecting To Creativity: Ten Keys To Unlocking Your Creative Process”.  Bergmann retired after eleven years as the Dance Director at Harvard University. Prior to Harvard University, Bergmann was Chair and Professor of Dance at Florida International University, California State University, Long Beach, Shenandoah University and the University of Michigan. She has won awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (3 choreographic fellowships), the University of Michigan (Distinguished Faculty Award and Lifetime Achievement Award), the California Arts Council and the Virginia Commission for the Arts and was a Fulbright Scholar to Trinidad. Bergmann was a member of the Merry-Go-Rounders Dance Company in New York City and taught there for José Limón. She has also been a guest teacher and choreographer at the Interlochen Arts Center, DanzFest in Cattolica, Italy and for the Carreño Dance Festival. In 2013-2014 she is serving as choreographer for “Voices of the Holocaust”, a joint project with Gloria Musicae and the Sarasota Manatee Dance Alliance.

2013: Mary J. Kelly

Mary J. Kelly, MFA is a visionary, innovator and bridge builder with a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree and 30 years’ experience instructing students from Pre-K through college. She consults for private and non-profit organizations, providing customized instructional materials and implementing effective programs. Mary received her Master of Fine Arts in Theatre/Performance/Production and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre Education/Child Drama from Arizona State University, Tempe Arizona. Mary instructs by using the arts as skill-building tools, incorporating the best of oral and written traditions. Students gain a deeper understanding of the course work, discovering creative solutions to help release their highest potential and maximize learning. Mary is a professional Actress/Storyteller whose uniquely expressive vocalizations and visually exciting physical movements create characters that reflect historical and contemporary attitudes.  Her interactive treatment of traditional folktales has a mnemonic quality that enables listeners to better grasp and remember complex information.

2013: Michele Bluestone

Born and bred in NYC, Michele is an experienced educator who has taught in New York, Miami and now Sarasota. As a professional writer and editor, she owns and manages Bluestone Writing Group LLC, where the creative arts come alive in the written and spoken word.  New York City imbued her spirit with the arts, thus her choice to work with performing arts students at Booker High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, where she teaches creative writing, journalism and General Paper (college writing) in the Cambridge AICE Program (International Baccalaureate) teenage actors, musicians, dancers, artists and writers. It was while she was teaching and writing that she became involved with opera education, which led to work as a consultant at the Center for PAInT at USF Sarasota-Manatee. Michele earned an undergraduate degree from Rider University, with graduate degrees from both The City University of New York at Queens College and Nova Southeastern University.

2012 Louise Harrison

Louise  Harrison, sister of the late George Harrison, was a student of St. Mary’s College Fenham, Newcastle-Upton-Tyne. She was honored for her exemplary contributions to the world of music by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, and has dedicated fifty years to preserving the history and promoting the accomplishments of the Beatles. In 2005 she formed Louise Harrison Entertainment to manage a new Beatles tribute band, the Liverpool Legends. In 2011, she formed a non-profit organization Keeping Music Alive to raise funds for the music departments of high schools and colleges. Louise is a tireless advocate for music in education and has appeared on Larry King, Front Page, CNN, Good Morning America, and the Today Show.