Jen Rose Accomplishments in the Ceramics Department at Richland College Spring 2009-Fall 2011

Introduction In 2003 I begin my career at Richland College as Adjunct Faculty of Ceramics. I taught the Saturday Ceramics class from 2003-2008 and it was always the highlight of my week. During that time I was developed some strong relationships with our long-term ceramics students and listened to their concerns and aspirations for the department. When I received the opportunity to work full-time at Richland in 2009 I was ready to move forward with ideas that had been brewing for years. In this packet I have outlined my accomplishments from the Spring of 2009 through the Fall of 2011. As you can see, we have accomplished much in a very short time.

Firing Practices
When I joined Richland as a full-time employee the ceramics studio was firing glazes to a temperature of Cone 10 reduction, or 2300 degrees Fahrenheit. Many contemporary ceramics departments have changed their firing methods to Cone 6 reduction (2170 degrees Fahrenheit). This small reduction in the firing temperature reduces fuel consumption by 30%. In addition, most Cone 6 glazes can be fired in an electric or gas kiln which makes them more accessible to students who would like to set up their own ceramic studio. During 2010 I did extensive glaze calculation research to develop a color palette which matures at Cone 6 and produces a beautiful range of glaze options. To kick off this research the Clay Club invited John Brit, an internationally renown glaze chemist, to do a five-day workshop at Richland College. Before I became a full-time employee, our students had never been taught glaze chemistry or allowed around the kilns or glaze chemicals. John helped fill some of these deficiencies with his hands-on workshop and also helped to educate students about the benefits of Cone 6 firing. In the summer of 2010 we transitioned completely to Cone 6 glazes. The feedback from the students has been positive and we are proud to reduce our carbon footprint with better fuel efficiency. This transition prompted me to be nominated for Innovator of the Year at the 2011 Fall Convocation.

I have tackled several styles of recruitment during my tenure at Richland. Vicki Mayhan and I have traveled to area high schools to promote the Richland Art Department. Students are always eager to learn about the classes we offer. At the same time, I can recruit area art teachers to take ceramics classes for their professional development classes. This fall I contacted the Arts Coordinators for Richland and Dallas ISD to disperse announcements about a Continuing Ed class created specifically for their benefit. We had several inquiries about the class, which was a huge success. Those that could not attend in the Fall asked about our future offerings for the Spring. There are also rich recruitment opportunities on the Richland Campus. Most students do not realize we offer ceramics at Richland or that the class can be used for their wellness credit. During registration I take the wheels to very visible spots around the campus and do throwing demonstrations. This is always a huge success and our numbers increase quickly after these recruitment activities.

Student enrollment up almost 40 %
The recruitment efforts have paid off! Between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 our credit student enrollment increased thirty-eight percent. Most of our growth is in traditional college students. In 2007-2008 we had 136 Continuing Education students and only 82 credit students. By the end of Spring 2011 we managed to reverse this trend so that we have 64 continuing education students and 127 credit students in ceramics courses. I feel that this shift is a result of our renewed academic approach to learning, rather than catering to hobbyists who are only enrolled to use the studio equipment. These figures are clarified in the chart below.
RLC - Ceramics Course Enrollment CE Courses CR Courses ARTZ- TNLZARTS- ARTS- ARTSTotal Total 1000 1000 2311 2346 2347 136 0 136 26 41 15 82 53 0 53 9 17 4 30 48 0 48 6 20 9 35 35 0 35 11 4 2 17 122 0 122 28 41 20 89 39 0 39 13 11 3 27 45 0 45 5 19 10 34 38 0 38 10 11 7 28 113 0 113 30 41 11 82 41 0 41 10 20 2 32 39 0 39 9 16 6 31 33 0 33 11 5 3 19 64 16 80 28 84 15 127 18 0 18 8 34 3 45 23 0 23 8 44 5 57 23 16 39 12 6 7 25 25 0 25 13 30 7 50 25 0 25 13 30 7 50 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 460 16 476 125 237 68 430

AY/Term 2007-08 2007FA 2008SP 2008SU 2008-09 2008FA 2009SP 2009SU 2009-10 2009FA 2010SP 2010SU 2010-11 2010FA 2011SP 2011SU 2011-12 2011FA 2012SP 2012SU Total

CE & CR Total 218 83 83 52 211 66 79 66 195 73 70 52 207 63 80 64 75 75 0 0 906

* The TNLZ 1000 class in the Spring of 2011 is a three-week RCHS class to help them complete their hourly school requirements for the month of May. We also offered this class in the Spring of 2009 but it is not reflected in this chart.

Dynamic Student Work and Committed Instructors
The quality of the student work has improved drastically through the work of our dedicated adjunct instructors and our fostering of more freedom in the studio. This summer the students produced some rather amazing totem sculptures inspired by Richland's guest artist, Nancy Neergaard. Take a look at some of the exciting results which were recently installed in the yard of F179

I am happy to say that Nancy Neergaard has agreed to teach ceramics as adjunct faculty in the Spring of 2011. I am especially proud of all the adjuncts I have recommended for employment and manage in the Sculpture/Ceramics area. Eric Eley is one of our adjuncts who has helped us add an additional 3D Design class and also teaches ceramics in the evenings. Eric is a team player and has a very refreshing presence in the studio.

Studio Clean Up
During my first two weeks on the job in January of 2009 I cleaned out over four full dumpsters of trash and unused or outdated equipment from F179. The kiln room alone was in desperate need of help due to code violations from the stacks of abandoned equipment, trash, and cat food that cluttered the room and choked its ventilation system.

I have made steady progress in removing clutter from the main classroom of F179 and from the porch area. This has created a safer working environment and reduced the risk of accidents. In addition, students understand that the faculty and staff take pride in their school, thereby instilling a sense of pride and ownership to the student.

Chemical Room Updates

This year I tackled the major project of cleaning up our chemical room. I worked closely with Sonny McDonald and Michael Henry in Risk Management to properly label the hundreds of clay powders, ceramic colorants and other chemicals we store to mix glazes. The chemicals now have proper, non-aerating buckets with screw-top lids and the proper MSDS labels. Kenneth Hart and his custodial crew helped me with some very heavy lifting so that I could arrange the shelving and tables in a logical, efficient configuration. The room is now safer to use with better ventilation and functions much more efficiently.

Clay Club
I have enjoyed my time spent as the Clay Arts Club faculty sponsor. In addition to doing the ever popular holiday sale, we have expanded our activities to workshops, ceramic study groups, and studio beautification projects. Ceramic students, with my direction and design, created a stunning sixteenfoot mural in the ceramics studio. The installation of the mural was funded by the Clay Club. The aquatic-themed mural was created by students using clay recycled from discarded student projects. The mural has created a sense of ownership and pride in the studio and brought a sense of beauty to an otherwise gray and dusty area. We have plans for future murals in other strategic spots in the studio.

Richland College has been privileged to host several workshops in the past two years. Since the Spring of 2010 we have hosted the following workshops. Some of these workshops have been paid for with Fund Twelve money. Other workshops were funded by the Clay Arts Club. John Brit: Glaze Chemistry and Cone 6 firings, Ashville, NC Brenda Lichman: Wheel Thrown and Altered Forms: Wichita, Kansas Ian Thomas: Print Transfers on Clay: Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania Amy Halko: Surface Decoration with Slips: Healdsburg, California Nancy Dart Neergaard: Totems and Animal-inspired Sculpture

Left: Amy Halko, Surface design Right: Brenda Lichman, Altered Functional Ware. Students learning about glaze chemistry at the John Brit Workshop

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful