Get to Know Your 2010-2011 Leadership Team!

The 2010-2011 leadership team is really excited to meet you! We’ve each written up short bios so that you can get to know us a little bit before you arrive.

Patricia Morales, Representative

18379_264880065648_730140648_4260077_4652928_nHi! I am Patricia Morales, your ELAN Representative for 2010-2011 at the University of Oregon. I am originally from Harlingen, Texas, which is a small city near the Texas/Mexico border. I feel passionate about the roles that both art and culture can play in someone’s life and have therefore decided to pursue my Master of Science in Arts Administration with a concentration in Community Arts.

I received my Bachelor of Arts at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX in Art History. Shortly after completing my undergraduate degree, I moved overseas for about a year.  I began my overseas adventure in Spangdahlm, Germany and then moved on to Monnickendam, Holland where I worked in a tourist shop selling wooden clogs, tulips and cheese to tourists. I was also fortunate enough to spend a month in Italy where I had the life changing experience of standing in front of original pieces of art that I had only seen previously in books and projected on a wall.

After returning to the states, I began working as a middle school Art teacher where I worked with about 150 6-8th grade students at various proficiencies not only in art but also in English speaking abilities.

Following my short career as a teacher, I took the position of Museum Coordinator for our local Arts and History museum followed by a position as a Mentoring Coordinator at a local community college. In that position, I had the opportunity to work closely with multiple granting agencies for our program and was introduced to the importance of program planning and evaluation.

My move to Oregon in order to attend the University of Oregon has been one of the most fruitful decisions that I have ever made. I have thoroughly enjoyed the faculty, staff and my fellow classmates.  I am excited for this coming year and hope you are too!

Tomas Valladares, Vice Representative

IMG_3500I was born and raised in Florida and lived there for most of my life. I’m the son of a Venezuelan father and a Cuban mother (a fiery mix as I like to say). I’m very proud of my heritage and believe it definitely helps shape my world view. After high school I moved to Strasbourg, France for a year, to study french and drink wine. This experience helped solidify my passion for art and the art of life. From their I went to the University of Central Florida where I graduated with a B.S. Degree in Entertainment Marketing, with minors in Cinema Studies and Mass Communications.

After working on a couple of very exciting research projects as a videographer and media editor, and later as Production Coordinator, I began to realize my interest in interpretation and curation. Coupling this with my interests in media and technology I moved across country to pursue a degree in Arts Administration. My interests in Media Management are bringing together all of my passions, skills, and interests to help me promote and create interesting and inspiring work across disciplines.

I believe the arts should be a uniting and enlightening force within communities. I have always been drawn to the storytelling aspect of the arts (whether Film, Music, or Photography) and I will work to promote art and artists that seek to bridge gaps and connect with their communities. An independent work ethic has allowed me to take initiative and ownership of projects that I am a part of.

Through creative and vibrant collaboration I work with interdisciplinary groups across various media to create unique experiences for audiences and consumers of art and media. I believe in the importance of understanding and embracing technology to further the mission of artists and arts organizations and constantly continue to seek out new and unique forms of communication.

I am proud and honored to be a part of the leadership team for the Emerging Leaders in the Arts Network for 2010-2011. I look forward to continuing our work to bring the community and students together in fun and exciting ways.

Arielle Sherman, Secretary

photoI spent my entire life up until college in the suburbs of LA. I attended the University of California at Davis as an undergrad, where I earned my BA in Art History with a minor in Global and International Studies. Immediately following graduation, I moved up here to Eugene. I knew that aside from research and teaching (neither of which I wanted to do for a living), a BA in Art History was not going to take me many places, or at least the places I wanted to go. Everything seemed to fall in place over the next few months. I found UO’s Arts & Administration program and knew that if I was going to go the grad school route, that’s the road I would want to take. I gathered a few references, applied on a whim, got in, and here I am!

My emphases in this program are both Community Arts and Media Management. During my first year here, I worked with the Lane Arts Council on resource development for the EcoArts artist residency program. I was also on staff as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Cinema Pacific film festival. Over this next year, I will be focusing on my research (among many other things), which is on the role of social media as both a fundraising and community development tool for local arts organizations.

Outside of the arts, my interests lie in shopping at the farmers market and experimenting with new recipes, traveling the world, drinking too many chai tea lattes for my own good, and exploring this (not-so-)new life in the Pacific Northwest.

Steph Sokolowski, Treasurer

IMG_4019_3I was born and raised in northeastern Wisconsin, prime Green Bay Packer country. I attended the University of Wisconsin, where I earned a B.A. in Art History and History. During my four years in Madison, I was fortunate to work and intern with organizations which directly related to my professional aspirations. The priceless experiences I gained from these organizations helped solidify my passion for the arts.

A self-proclaimed creative economy nerd, museophile and marketing/development enthusiast, I enjoy exploring the ways in which arts organizations contribute (or can contribute) to larger economic development. An anomaly of sorts, I like crunching numbers, writing a good press release and working with people.

When I’m not hitting the books, I hike, camp, read, consume more than my fair share of strong coffee, blog, run, work, cook for people I love, shop, follow all sports related to Wisconsin (particularly Badger athletics) and travel as much as my checking account allows.

Sarah Brothers, AAASAC Representative

photo-3I was born and raised in Ithaca, NY, a community that greatly values art education and creative learning.  I was exposed at an early age to museums, art and music festivals, art classes, community theater groups, and music lessons, making an enormous impact on my  personal appreciation for the arts.  Both of my parents passed on their love for learning to me. They encouraged my participation in extracurricular activities and spent a lot of time with me, traveling and exploring in the woods. My father was a biologist and environmentalist. This has had an enormous impact on how I interact with the world around me.

While working towards my bachelor’s in fine art and graphic design at the State University of New York, Oswego, I worked as an illustrator for the Rice Creek Biological Field Station, creating detailed drawings of local flora and fauna. I took classes in biological illustration at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at Cornell University’s Shoals Marine Lab, and also minored in anthropology and music.

Upon graduation, my path led various administrative art and education positions in the after school non-profit arena in several parts of the country, ranging from the Ithaca Sciencenter, to the Milagro Center, to the Hamilton Hill African Arts Center, to the Intel Computer Clubhouse. During the past eight years, I have played many roles ranging from art instructor, to Mentor Director, to marketing manager and events coordinator, to Program Director, to Director of Arts and Volunteers.  Working with youth from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, I developed and provided enriching and supportive programs that met the students’ educational, social/emotional, and artistic needs. I recruited and trained mentors to be consistent role models for students, and hired and trained staff and artists from the community to develop quality educational programs for the students.  Additionally, I attended the Masters of Art Education Program at FIU (Florida International University).

Through my passion for teaching and the arts, I have touched the minds and hearts of children. My way of working with my students encourages creativity and problem solving, empowering them to be free in their creations without imposing judgment. I highlight my students’ accomplishments, building their self-esteem. I strive to teach to the whole student, and have experience in teaching with techniques outlined in programs like Living Values and Conscious Discipline. I believe that it is through the arts that artists learn to embrace their individual differences.  I have observed through my upbringing and through my career how involvement in the arts can break down barriers, bring people together, and form communities. Possibilities become endless as the imagination is sparked.

I chose to enroll in the University of Oregon’s Arts Administration Program because I wished to grow professionally and to broaden my opportunities while deepening my understanding of the field of arts administration, gaining a clearer understanding of the cultural contexts that influence arts policy, research, and education. I felt the program held a conceptual framework for learning that was in alignment with my own.

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