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The Annual Faculty Convocation is a college-wide event featuring keynote presentations, guest speakers of special interest, or discussion groups/workshops related to the education of artists and designers. The event is designed to welcome all returning and new faculty to campus, to provide updates on major developments at Otis over the summer, to offer a compelling presentation program to start the academic year, and to celebrate Otis' current recipients of Teaching Excellence Awards.
The 2012 Convocation features keynote speaker John Tagg, whose groundbreaking book, The Learning Paradigm College, defines a paradigm shift happening in higher education today that places more importance on learning outcomes and less on the quantity of instruction, and emphasizes results more than formal processes. As Tagg explains, the Instruction Paradigm that has dominated higher education for so long attends to courses, while the Learning Paradigm attends to students. Also featured is Otis’ own Chair of Liberal Studies, Debra Ballard, who will share thoughts, discoveries, and reflections from her own teaching and program administrative experiences, her extensive reading in the areas of pedagogy and best teaching practices, and her formal training in assessment for higher education.
The 2011 Convocation examined the theme of Creativity from three perspectives: research, practice, and teaching application. Renowned creativity researcher Mark A. Runco discussed phases of creativity and talent development. Inspiring advertising leader Will Travis shared insights into creativity through a branding and interactive design lens. And Otis faculty member Linda Hudson shared the innovative Foundation and upper division design course, Creative Practices and Responses.
The 2010 Convocation focussed on issues of sustainability in art and design education. Keynote speaker Nathan Shedroff is the author of numerous books on sustainable art/design practices, including Design is the Problem: The Future of Design Must be Sustainable, and he is Chair of the graduate program in Design Strategy at California College of the Arts. Independent currator Patricia Watts shared the work of several unusual and influential artists working in an environmentally-conscious way. And Otis' Chair of Fashion Design, Rosemary Brantley, revealed how the teaching of sustainable practices has been embedded in that program's curriculum.
The 2009 Convocation featured artist Bill Viola, a pioneer in the medium of video art and is internationally recognized as one of todays leading artists and Susan Metros, Associate Vice Provost for Technology Enhanced Learning and Deputy Chief Information Officer at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The presentations were facilitated by Chair of Communication Arts, Kali Nikitas.
The 2008 Convocation featured a special presentation by Neil Howe, co-author of the widely read and respected book, Millennials Go to College. Howe and his late collaborator William Strauss have done fascinating research on the nature and unique characteristics of our current “millennial” generation students, and this research holds important insights into how we teach successfully to these students.
Past keynote speakers also include Ken Robinson, internationally-renowned expert in the field of creativity and innovation in education.