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Robert Howsare

Department Chair, Assistant Professor
M.F.A. – Ohio University
Areas of Instruction: Printmaking, Drawing, Design, Foundations
Office: McCuskey 103
Phone: 8468

Bio: Informed by a background in psychology and commercial printing, Robert Howsare’s interdisciplinary work explores failure and the glitches occurring within systems. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Ohio University.

His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally; select venues include the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Austrian Cultural Forum of New York, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art and the International Print Center of New York. Howsare’s work has been recognized by WIRED Magazine, Abitare International Design Magazine, HOW, and other publications. Most recently his work has appeared in The Art of Tinkering, Meggs’ History of Graphic Design and on Adult Swim. Awarded artist residencies include the Charlotte Street Foundation Studio Residency, Vermont Studio Center, and is currently an artist-in-resident at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Robert Howsare currently lives and works in West Virginia, where he is an assistant professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

John Benjamin

Assistant Professor
M.F.A. – Rochester Institute of Technology
Areas of Instruction: Graphic Design, Web Design, Typography
Office: McCuskey 105
Bio: Jon received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York and a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. His master thesis was entitled, “Medical Information Design: Empowering the Patient.” He started as a freelance designer for biotech startups in Madison, Wisconsin. For eleven years, Jon was a Senior Graphic Designer for Management Solutions Plus in Rockville, Maryland. Jon developed brands, designed websites, and produced scientific journals. His clients included the American Society of Consulting Arborists, the Association of Water Technologies, and the Cardiology Leadership Alliance. Jon won awards for logo design and conference branding from the American Advertising Federation and Association Trends. Jon previously taught courses in Digital Foundations and Medical Illustration at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Crystal Ann Brown

Lecturer & Director of Sleeth Gallery
M.F.A. – Ohio University
Areas of Instruction: 3D Design, Foundations, Intermedia
Office: McCuskey 104
Bio: Crystal Ann Brown is an interdisciplinary artist who creates work that references the domestic and the everyday in her dual role as mother/artist. This blending of her studio practice with her daily life also touches on its inherent challenges. In her words, “my love/hate relationship with my kitchen might manifest in my drawings and paintings that celebrate work and the labor of love with a hint of fury and frustration shown in the economy of line found in blind contour drawings.”

Crystal is the founder and director of The Hown’s Den: A Nomadic + Domestic Exhibition Space that strives to bring new ways of viewing contemporary art to her community. Crystal earned an MFA in Sculpture and Expanded Practice from Ohio University and a BFA in Sculpture with a minor in Art History from Kendall College of Art and Design.

Megan Leight

Lecturer for Art and Sociology Departments
B.A. in Art History, West Virginia University
M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies, SUNY University at Buffalo
Ph.D. student at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, NY
Areas of Instruction: Art History, Sociology, Humanities
Office: McCusky 100
Phone: 8689
With academic preparation in the arts, humanities, anthropology, and archaeology, Megan Leight integrates these varied disciplines to inform and shape her teaching practice. She has extensive course development expertise in both seated and online course design and implements interactive learning strategies and engaging communication methods to improve student understanding and retention of material. Many of her courses focus on teaching Non-western cultures and their related arts from Pre-Columbian Americas, Oceania, Asia, and Africa to increase student exposure to diverse cultures to broaden their cultural perspectives and understanding of global issues.

Leight graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Honors B.A. in Art History from West Virginia University. Her M.A. degree from SUNY University at Buffalo in Art History focused on Greek Vase Painting, which she combined with a Critical Museum Studies certificate, completed following extensive coursework in museum practice. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Archaeological Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City with a specialization in Maya Archaeology. Her doctoral work focuses on Maya interaction and trade at the riverine port for Salinas de los Nueve Cerros, a Pre-Columbian salt-production site located in the Alta Verapaz department of Guatemala. Her excavations of the Maya port have yielded evidence of a Middle Preclassic through Late Classic occupation of the site, which traded salt, fish, jade, and obsidian materials. Ceramic and lithic materials suggest extensive interaction and trade between the Guatemalan Transversal region and the major cities in the Maya lowland and highlands throughout the sites’ nearly 1000-year long occupation period.

After spending nearly 10 years in New York for her graduate degree work, Megan recently moved back to West Virginia. One of her major goals has been helping WV college students, who have usually been relatively isolated from the arts, learn to: 1) appreciate and discuss a wide range of art and anthropological topics; 2) seek out cultural experiences to increase students’ personal growth; and 3) integrate these humanities experiences into their everyday lives beyond the classroom setting. Through reading contemporary news articles, attending local and national museum openings, using historic weaponry like atlatls, recreating Andean pottery, and learning to ask thoughtful, reflective questions about world issues, her students learn to engage directly with the arts in meaningful and long-lasting ways. Megan currently divides her time between West Virginia, New York City, and Guatemala City, Guatemala.