FATE Educator and Leadership Awards are given biennially. Nominations are solicited from FATE members following our Biennial Conferences and juried by a committee of FATE members and past award winners.

If you are interested in serving on the FATE Educator Awards Committee, please contact FATE President Stacy Isenbarger at fate.stacyisenbarger@gmail.com

Special thanks to previous FATE Awards Committee Chairs Valerie Powell & Barbara Giorgio-Booher for making these awards possible.

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2015 FATE Awards Winners

FATE Emerging Educator: Chris Kienke

Chris KienkeChris Kienke has been teaching studio courses for over 14 years. He serves as the Chair of the Foundations Curriculum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Previous to that he was Professor of Foundations studies at Savannah College of Art and Design from 2006 – 2013, and Assistant Professor of Foundations and Design in the School of Architecture and Design at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates from 2000-2006. As a faculty in the department of foundation studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Chris was an excellent member and demonstrated a strong commitment to foundations education.

Chris is an inspired and effective educator. He creates a supportive environment, in which he motivates and guides students to succeed. He is committed to providing students with a strong and solid foundation guiding them toward conceptual rigor and technical proficiency consistent with contemporary approaches in studio practice. As a member of the assessment and curriculum development / revisions committee he provided valuable insights. Students, fellow faculty and administrators valued and relied on Chris’s amazing capacity for innovation and his willingness to share knowledge with his colleagues within the university and in national and international peer groups. Chris has consistently participated in national and regional forums that focus on foundation education such as Think Tank; where he was Vice President for Communication for Integrative Teaching International. In addition to his significant accomplishments as an educator Chris is a dedicated practitioner of studio art and an insightful scholar. 

In Chris Kienke’s statement to the committee he demonstrated those characteristics sought in FATE Emerging Educator:
My first FATE conference was in 2009 in Portland, Oregon. Since then I have been actively involved in leadership roles at the regional and national level. Currently I serve on the board of FATE as the CAA representative. Previously, I served as Vice President for the 2011 and 2013 Biennial Conference. At the postHaus National Conference in April of 2013, my responsibilities included scheduling over 400 presentations, negotiating finances with the conference hotel, securing Tim Rollins as the keynote speaker, and building a stronger relationship with corporate sponsorship partners. It has been my pleasure to work with FATE and I am looking forward to many more productive years.

Ultimately success emerges through the student’s ability to learn through engagement, to abandon preconceptions, to allow accidents to happen and to recognize value in the unintended. An accident once it has occurred is either erased or incorporated, either way it has ceased to be an accident the moment it is considered.

FATE Master Educator: Jason S. Yi

Jason YiJason S. Yi has been at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) since 1996 where he has dedicated himself to teaching and developing the Foundations programs. Ever since his arrival at MIAD he has established an impressive and rapidly growing record of professional achievement while demonstrating an excellence in teaching and a particular dedication to Foundations level education. Between 2009 and 2013, he took on a leadership role at MIAD, three years as the Foundations Department Chair and one year as a Core-Coordinator. In these roles, he was charged with making sweeping changes in the Foundations curriculum and re-energizing a program that was perceived by many in the institution as stagnant. Through his dedication to openness and refreshing new approaches, he led his faculty and the college to a completely revamped curriculum grounded in research, meaningful choices, a wider range of academic exposure, the inclusion of digital tools in all courses, and a commitment to contextualizing one’s learning. Jason stated, “the change was extraordinarily challenging, but the entire process revealed the camaraderie, collaborative sprit and a commitment to Foundations education that exist in faculty who teach in Foundations.”

Jason can be best described as the college’s “most valuable player” as he is ready and willing to step into a new learning experience. He has proposed and taught many new courses at MIAD striving for innovation and relevance. Some of the courses include: a video class with a cable access channel, collaborative projects between Foundations and high school students, joint classes with other colleges in the area, study abroad courses in Vietnam, China, Italy, Thailand and courses resulting in exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum, local galleries and businesses. Jason has been equally active in securing exhibition, visiting artist, and residency opportunities that continuing his growth as an exhibiting artist and educator. He is a co-director of the Pitch Project (www.thepitchproject.org), an artist-run gallery and studio that exhibit contemporary artists with national and international presence and engage in artistic and cultural dialogues with the regional community in Milwaukee.  Most recently Jason S. Yi has been selected as one of 25 artists nationally to receive a prestigious grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, an award named after the late, Chicago-born artist.

In Jason S. Yi’s statement to the committee he demonstrated those characteristics sought in FATE Master Educator:
As a FATE member since 1996, I’ve presented in both the national and regional conferences. Most recently, at the Savannah FATE conference, Jan Feldhausen and I shared MIAD’s recent Foundations curricular overhaul under the title of “Unlocking the Curriculum”. As a deeply involved planning committee member for the MIAD FATE conference 2007 in “Shift, Connect and Evolve”, I gained intimate knowledge into the enormous planning required for such an event but more importantly the experience crystallized what I’ve known all along; educators teaching Foundations have dedication beyond reproach and are constantly striving to enhance their craft.

As a firm believer of collaboration and sharing knowledge with my colleagues and instilling the same ethos in my students, I am humbled by colleagues around me for their unrelenting commitment to teaching to first year students. This makes the FATE Master Educator award a very special honor.

2013 FATE Award Winners


Jerry Johnson of Troy University (left)
FATE Distinguished Service Award 

Eric Standley of Virginia Tech (right)
FATE Emerging Educator Award 

2011 FATE Award Winners


Jan Feldhausen of Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (left)
FATE Master Educator Award 

Elizabeth Bilyeu of Portland Community College (right)
FATE Emerging Educator Award 

2009 FATE Award Winners

Mary Stewart, Florida State University
FATE Master Educator Award

Ann Coddington, Eastern Illinois University
FATE Emerging Educator Award

2007 FATE Award Winners

Jeff Boshart, Eastern Illinois University
FATE Master Educator Award

Lee Ann Garrison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
FATE Emerging Educator Award






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