Shutz Award recipient to lecture on studio environment

Friday, November 08, 2013

LAWRENCE — Jeremy Shellhorn, University of Kansas associate professor of visual communications and recipient of this year’s Byron T. Shutz Award for Excellence in Teaching, will give a presentation next week on the unique educational opportunities that exist in a studio environment.

Shellhorn’s short talk, titled “It’s Weird in Here: The Design Studio as a Model for Teaching and Learning at KU,” will take place at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in The Commons at Spooner Hall. In addition to the studio environment, he also will discuss ways in which he and his design colleagues engage students using experiential learning.

“The design studio and the design process is really a process of discovery. Our designers gain expertise by ‘learning their way’ to the best possible solutions. I am passionate about that, and how students learn, and engage this process in a small design studio setting. I am more of a coach or catalyst than a traditional professor or lecturer.”

The design studio and longer class meeting times afford Shellhorn and his colleagues to design a classroom situation that is blended, with time for lectures, demonstrations, critiques and individual student feedback.

“My goal is for our students to be ‘T-shaped’ people, to be able to look at the world through multiple lenses using the breadth of knowledge gained by their KU campus experiences. The specific skill sets and points-of-view they discover in the visual communication design curriculum give them the confidence they need to become design leaders. They can then harness the power of design to clarify, humanize and energize the issues that are central to life our pluralistic society,” Shellhorn said.

At the end of class Shellhorn always says, “Go do good work.”

Shellhorn began teaching at KU in 2006. Although he has taught a variety of Department of Design classes at all levels, from first year through senior and graduate level; his primary focus is his VISC 520: Designing for Change capstone course for seniors. He currently serves as a faculty fellow with the Office of First Year Experience.

He received a master’s degree in graphic design from North Carolina State University in 2003 and a BFA in visual communications from KU in 1999. In addition to teaching at Indiana University and the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, he has worked professionally as an art director for several years. 

A reception will take place in The Commons immediately following the lecture. 

The Byron T. Shutz Award for Excellence in Teaching was established by the late Byron T. Shutz in 1978. The recipient of the Shutz Award  receives a one-time stipend of $4,000 and delivers a public lecture later in the academic year. The lecture is followed by a reception in the recipient’s honor. Faculty members are nominated for this annual award by deans, department chairs or faculty colleagues.