Presenters

Cindy Foley

Cindy Meyers Foley is the Executive Deputy Director for Learning and Experience at the Columbus Museum of Art. She envisioned and led the charge to open the 18,000 sq. ft. Center for Creativity in 2011. In 2013, the museum received the National Medal for Museums in recognition of this work. Foley co-authored a chapter for The Manual for Museum Learning, 2015 as well as guest edited and wrote chapters for Intentionality and the Twenty-First-Century Museum, for the 2014 Journal of Museum Education. Foley has been on the faculty of the Harvard Project Zero Classroom Summer Institute and regularly keynotes a variety of Museum, Art, and Education Conferences. In November 2014, she was a TEDX Columbus Speaker presenting Teaching Art or Teaching to Think like an Artist and in 2016, she was asked to again take the TEDX Stage to present The Benefits of Boredom. Foley received the 2018 Ohio Distinguished Educator for Art Education award.

Dr. Jody Kerchner

Jody Kerchner is Professor of Music Education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she is Director of the Pedagogy/Advocacy/Community Music Engagement. Her research interests include children’s responses during music listening, choral music education, empathetic leadership, teacher identity development, reflective thinking, and prison music education. Kerchner is an executive board member of the International Society for Music Education. She teaches a course in Music Creativity at the Conservatory.

Adina Rose Bloom

Adina is a licensed independent social worker; social-emotional learning specialist; curriculum consultant; author, singer/actor and teacher. She speaks and consults nationally on her book, “Teaching Emotional Intelligence: Strategies and Activities for Helping Students make Effective Choices” (Skyhorse, 2016). She has had extensive experience as a therapist, working with individuals ranging from children through seniors, and has provided programs, materials, and curricula for a variety of schools, and institutions such as the Cuyahoga County Public Library. Additionally, she speaks nationally on the use of the expressive arts in education, prevention, and therapy. Adina has been collaborating with Darlene Haight in a program that builds social-emotional intelligence through the use of music and a range of STEAM activities. They support middle and high school age choir students to edit the assumptions leading to their choices, so they can make the most effective choices possible regarding their emotions, confidence, and relationships.

Darlene Haight

Darlene Haight has been teaching in the Beachwood City School District for thirty years. For the first twenty-five years she was the K-2 General Music teacher and is currently the choir director at the Beachwood Middle School and High School. Her goal for students is to connect and build community with each other and become their best selves through music education. The challenges of this year called for creative ways to reach this goal and engage students. Darlene has accomplished this by implementing technology such as Tone Savvy, Kahoot, Edpuzzle, and Flipgrid. By using these tools, she created lessons that integrate social & emotional learning and STEM education objectives into her music curriculum. These opportunities develop self-confidence, self-awareness, empathy, and understanding, along with music skills.

Dr. Scott Edgar

Dr. Scott N. Edgar is Associate Professor of Music, Music Education Chair, and Director of Bands at Lake Forest College. He received his Doctorate of Philosophy in Music Education from the University of Michigan, his Masters degree in Education from the University of Dayton, and his Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from Bowling Green State University. Prior to his work in higher education he taught K-12 music in Ohio and Michigan. Dr. Edgar is the author of Music Education and Social Emotional Learning: The Heart of Teaching Music and is an internationally sought-after clinician on the topic. Dr. Edgar serves as Director of Practice and Research for The Center for Arts Education and Social Emotional Learning. In addition to clinics, he also teaches graduate courses on Musical Social Emotional Learning at VanderCook College of Music. Dr. Edgar is a Music for All Educational Consultant, a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician, and VH1 Save the Music Foundation Educational Consultant. He enjoys grilling, exercising, and spending time with his wife Steph, their son Nathan, and their cats Elsa and Wolfie.

Lesley Moffat

Lesley Moffat is a high school band director who helps band directors build successful music programs without burning out. Having experienced the joys of teaching along with health issues that come as the result of stress, exhaustion, and 14-hour work days, she wrote her first book, I Love My Job but It’s Killing Me as a guide for teachers to take control of their own health. Her second book, Love the Job, Lose the Stress takes the principles from her first book and applies them to the classroom. The techniques she teaches to her students, clients, and music teachers all over the world have been used before and during the pandemic to help educators and students minimize the impact of stress on their emotional, mental, and physical health. She teaches in a suburb of Seattle, Washington.

Rachel Whitcomb

Rachel Whitcomb is Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Music Education at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she teaches undergraduate courses focusing on elementary general music, popular music pedagogy, and music for students with special needs. She regularly teaches music to children at the Child Development Center on campus. Dr. Whitcomb’s professional interests include improvisation, preschool music, songwriting, and popular music in schools. Her work has been published in Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, Research and Issues in Music Education, and General Music Today. She is also an active singer-songwriter and recording artist.

Nora Willauer

Nora Willauer, Executive Director of Documentary Songwriters, has performed as a soloist with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, the Liceu Cello Ensemble in Barcelona, and the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra. She has won numerous awards, including the Labberte-Hoedemaker Award from the Peter de Grote festival in the Netherlands. She is a certified Suzuki teacher and has taught and led documentary songwriting workshops in both English and Spanish. Nora established the Songs of #MeToo Project that culminated in a concert, CD release, and multimedia presentation. The project raised over $8,000, benefitted the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and included more than 20 different female artists from across the globe. Nora’s work has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Malcolm Brooks

Malcolm Brooks, PhD, is a composer and documentary songwriter. His work is heard on PBS, NOVA, and the History Channel. He has written music for films that have won honors, including two Emmy nominations and a Peabody award. He has served as a director for the Carnegie Hall - Bay Chamber Concerts Lullaby Partnership and helped young mothers write lullabies for their children. His documentary songwriting approach has been featured in numerous articles and broadcasts and has been adopted by musicians in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Cynthia Larsen

Cynthia Larsen is Lake Erie Ink’s Education Director. She holds a BA in English & creative writing from Stanford University, a 7-12 ELA teaching credential from San Francisco State University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Arizona. Ms. Larsen was a classroom teacher before co-founding Lake Erie Ink. Ms. Larsen has collaborated with teachers on project-based creative writing for over 15 years, combining her training in education with her passion for writing. Ms. Larsen participates in continuing education as a teacher and writer. At Lake Erie Ink, Ms. Larsen develops and implements creative writing curriculum that supports and meets the educational state standards for English and Language Arts.

Jarred Small

Jarred Small is Arts Learning Coordinator at the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Jarred joined the OAC in 2017 and helps to oversee Arts Learning grant programs including those that support artist residencies, student visits to arts experiences, partnerships between organizations and schools conducting projects with arts learning at their core, and other special initiatives and activities for learners of all ages and abilities. Jarred has a diverse background spanning education, program management, consultation, research, and evaluation. He earned a master's degree in Arts Policy and Administration from The Ohio State University and his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Western Michigan University. Raised in the Detroit area, he began his career teaching band, choir, orchestra, and guitar in the public schools of southwest Michigan.

Dr. Jennifer Groman

Jennifer Groman, PhD, is a teacher, singer and songwriter who has worked with students from two years old to the graduate level, in general education, talent development education, creativity studies and songwriting, reading and math intervention. She has worked as a state level gifted consultant and teacher trainer and at the local level in arts administration. She has four self-produced albums of her own music and big band jazz. She is an Assistant Professor and directs the graduate program in Talent Development at Ashland University, and she is a visiting lecturer for the Talent Development Program at McNeese State University. She lives in Wooster, Ohio.

Dr. Nettrice Gaskins

Dr. Gaskins has taught multimedia, computational media, visual art, and even Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles with high school students who majored in the arts. She earned a BFA in Computer Graphics with Honors from Pratt Institute in 1992 and an MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994. She received a doctorate in Digital Media from Georgia Tech in 2014. Currently, Dr. Gaskins is the assistant director of the Lesley STEAM Learning Lab at Lesley University. Her first full-length book, Techno-Vernacular Creativity and Innovation through The MIT Press will be available in August.

Alecia Gorski

Alecia has a Bachelor’s of Science in print-based media and a Master’s in Technology Education. Discovering a passion for Creativity and Sustainability in Technology Education she has been working with Lorain County Community College to educate and recruit for these areas of study. A 2020 graduate of the MIT How to Make “Almost” Anything course through LCCC she works closely with the FAB Lab and is driven to educate the community about sewing the seams of Arts, Technology and STEAM together to ignite the imagination of those she teaches.

Hannah Kye

Hannah Kye, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education at Rowan University. Her teaching and research focus on science and engineering for young children, family engagement, and issues of diversity and equity.