Art education majors and faculty go to PAEA Conference

Many clubs and students at Mercyhurst are given opportunities to go to conferences based in their respective areas of study.

Recently that opportunity went to three officers of the student chapter Mercyhurst University National Art Education, as well as two faculty members of the Arts and Humanities department.

Senior Art Education majors Megan O’Polka and Rose Heid, junior Art Education major Samantha Strathearn, Assistant Professor of art Mary Elizabeth Meier, Ph. D., and Associate Professor of music Scott A. Meier, Ph. D., attended the 2013 Pennsylvania Art Education Association’s Annual Conference. They had presented research at the conference.

The title of the conference was Building a Strong Future: Reflect, Refine, Reignite.

The conference took place at the Lehigh Valley Hotel and Conference Center in Bethlehem, PA. The dates of the conference were October 18-20 when 310 art educators from Pennsylvania attended.

The Pennsylvania Art Education Association is a branch of the National Art Education Association, which allows art education students to gain experience and make connections in their field of study.

The research presented by the Mercyhurst faculty and students was presented in the form of five hour-long presentations.

Assistant professor of art Meier’s presentation was called Questioning & Taking Action: Participatory Theatre as Inquiry for Art–Making. Associate professor of music Meier did a presentation called Investigating Performance Art & LCD Projector Mapping Technology.

Heid’s presentation was called Technology Integration for Art Classrooms Using Apps and Digital Games. During her presentation, Heid showed her analysis of digital game-play and the characteristics of game apps that she recommends to inform the way young students learn art concepts and art historical information.

O’Polka did a presentation called Teaching Through the Dimensions of Arts Integration. During her presentation, O’Polka presented recommendations for facilitating learning using various methods arts integration and building on the perspectives of prominent scholars in the field of art education.

Strathearn’s presentation was called Promoting Environmentalism Through Art Education. During this presentation, Strathearn presented a framework for inquiry-based learning that promotes opportunities for art students, teachers, and community members to address local environmental issues as part of learning in visual art.

If you would like to know more about the PAEA conference, or the Art Education department in general, you may contact Mary Elizabeth Meier, Ph. D., at (814) 824-2673 or If you would like to know more about the PAEA itself, you may visit