Calvin professor and director of the art department, Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk accepted the award for 2013 Michigan Higher Education Teacher of the year. Van Reeuwyk is thrilled by the honour. She is well aware of her competition and the fact that the award is not necessarily presented every year, but only when there is a deserved recipient.
Both teaching and community involvement are taken into consideration for the award. Van Reeuwyk values these practices in her own work and also highly encourages her students to be involved beyond the classroom. Since taking over the art education program at Calvin, she has updated and developed the requirements. Art Ed students take as many studio classes as a bachelor in art in addition to education classes and service learning. Van Reeuwyk was nominated by a former student, Krista Krygsman who is now working towards her masters in education. (more info on the art education degree on Calvin’s website).
The award is not only an honour for Van Reeuwyk, but the recognition also puts Calvin on the map. Van Reeuwyk tells her students, “you’re always advocating for the program and for the arts”.
Van Reeuwyk graduated from Calvin in 1983, earned a master’s degree in art education at Simon Fraser University in 1989 and earned the equivalent of an MFA. She worked as an art educator in K-12 for 20 years.
If you ever would like information on handmade paper, organic materials or basket making, she’s the prof to talk to. Van Reeuwyk is an accomplished artist, and specializes in fiber vessels, see for yourself here.