KUTZTOWN, Pa. – Dr. Julia L. Hovanec, department chair and associate professor of Art Education at Kutztown University, has been honored as the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator Award recipient from The Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA).
Hovanec has taught art for more than 32 years, beginning with elementary and middle school education. She earned her doctorate at Capella University with research focused on pre-service art educators, professional identity and reflective practice. At KU, Hovanec inspires undergraduate and graduate art education students and general education students alike. Department chair since 2017, her major role at KU is working with student teachers. She has guided the KU art education program through many transitions with sensitivity to what is best for students, faculty and the field.
Hovanec spoke about her journey at the award reception, recalling the distinct moment when she knew she wanted to become an art educator. From second grade, when her own art teacher encouraged her artistic talents and celebrated her as a person, she knew that wanted to keep creating art and someday teach. In her early years as an art teacher in York, Pa., Hovanec reveled in the opportunities to be that same source of confidence and inspiration to her many students from impoverished neighborhoods and broken homes. She continues her passion for art and inspiration at KU by teaching the next generation of art educators and using the power of art to transform lives in even the smallest ways.
In addition to the awards for art educators, three students were recognized for receiving the Clyde M. McGeary Scholarship, among them, Kutztown University’s Nicole Mangold. Mangold is a multimedia artist and pre-service art educator studying at KU. Primarily a printmaker, ceramicist and textile artist, she is defined by a family legacy in the textile and fiber arts. She aims to investigate not only how artists produce art, but why they are motivated to continue and elaborate on traditions across cultures.