Named Dean of the Utica, NY-based PrattMWP College of Art and Design in March 2022, Nicole Condon-Shih G’02 holds an M.F.A. in Painting from Hunter College, City University of New York, and M.S. in Arts Education from Syracuse University School of Education.
Condon-Shih also has served as Chair of the Cleveland Institute of Art Foundation Department and Head of Studio, International Foundation Course, at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China. Her work has been showcased at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism, Architecture in Hong Kong, and B3+ Beijing. She has been commissioned by Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, and Summa Health Systems in Akron, OH.
Describe your current role and its responsibilities.
I will be changing roles on July 1, 2022, to become the new Dean of PrattMWP College of Art and Design. I will be the chief administrative officer overseeing the program, in which students study for two years at the PrattMWP Utica location, followed by two years at the Brooklyn location. I also will oversee the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute community arts program.
How did the School of Education prepare you for this role?
When I think about my time in the School of Education, I can recall not just focusing on my art but thinking about how to be an arts educator. Throughout my experience as an educator, I’m always thinking back to SOE’s pedagogy.
What current trends do you see in your specialty and how are you addressing them?
A current challenge I am working on is “reframing the conversation.” The challenge of art and design is de-colonizing the curriculum because it is currently very under-represented. Within this reframing, I am focusing on including different voices, histories, and parts of the world. Another trend I am focusing on is mental health, specifically of my students. How can my students be supported not only in the classroom but outside the classroom to help form them into well-rounded individuals?
What project stood out for you most as a student at SOE?
One project I recall was being tasked in a small group to design a whole school! This included everything from the layout of the school, to the curriculum and how it relates to the architecture, to the people within it, movement through it, interactions, and more. I also recall elements of my arts education training, such as hosting a weekend for younger kids in the community and reflections on lesson plans and how to improve them.
Make a pitch for an SOE education—why should a prospective student choose the School of Education?
The School of Education is such a supportive environment, and my professors were leaders in their fields. All my friends were my classmates, and we still remain in touch and now are colleagues across Central New York. Syracuse University School of Education is a community—a community that learns about learning.