Casey Smith is the Area Coordinator for Liberal Arts at DCAD and runs the DCAD Writers Studio. He holds an AB in English literature from Kenyon College and an MA in English literature and language and a PhD in English with a minor in Victorian studies from Indiana University. Before coming to DCAD, he spent 20 years on the faculty of the Corcoran College of Art + Design/Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at The George Washington University, where he was founder and director of the Corcoran Writers Center. He also has taught at Indiana University and West Chester University. A frequent publisher and presenter of scholarly work on a range of topics, Casey most recently presented “Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market: 150 Years of Art & Illustration” at the Annual Symposium of the Fellowship of American Bibliophile Societies and “William Joseph Ibbett (1858-1934): Poet, Printer, Piquerist, Ripper Suspect?” at RipperCon18, the Biannual Conference on Jack the Ripper, the Whitechapel Murders, True Crime and Late Victorian Period History. He is an active member of the College Book Art Association; the American Printing History Association; the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals; the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing; and The William Morris Society of North America.
Liberal Arts Faculty
Penni Gioffre, MA, MEd, is an experienced teaching artist and a longtime DCAD faculty member. At the College, she has taught studio (interior design) and art history courses and acted as interim area coordinator of the liberal arts department. Penni’s approach to teaching art/design history combines a traditional emphasis on the recognition of form and style with a broader exploration of the social-cultural-political significance of art and art makers. Courses taught within the department include “Art History II,” “Art History III (Modern Art),” “Introduction to Non-Western Art,” “Visual Dialogues” and “The Sensational Sixties & Seventies.” In addition to DCAD, Penni has taught at the University of Delaware and completed numerous artist residencies in Delaware K-12 schools. She also works outside academia facilitating expressive arts workshops for cancer-related wellness programs and collaborating with mental health professionals on the creation and implementation of trauma-informed, art-based activities and interventions. Research and professional development interests include learner-centered pedagogy in higher ed, contemplative initiatives for academic settings and art making as wellness practice.
Laura Brzyski was born and raised in Philadelphia (not a suburb of). Laura received her master of arts degree in English from Lehigh University, specializing in medieval literature, and then spent four years as a high school English literature and creative writing teacher before coming to DCAD. Her poetry has been published in the CEA’s Proceedings, Weal and Vagabond City, and her creative nonfiction has appeared in The Stonecoast Review. At DCAD, Laura teaches “Reading and Composition” and “Academic Writing Lab.” In the world, she is an avid globetrotter, dog lover and taco eater.
Lisa comes to DCAD with a background in academic and studio training and seeks innovative ways of teaching art history. She has taught “Introduction to Art,” “Art History I” and “Art History II” in the greater Philadelphia area, along with current classes in “Art History I,” “Art History III” and “Writing for the Arts.” Lisa holds an undergraduate degree in English literature from Rutgers University-Camden and a graduate degree in humanities, art history, from Arcadia University. She also studied drawing and sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where she served as a studio monitor for portrait and figure drawing and painting.
Mariam I. Williams is a writer, arts educator and public historian born and raised in Kentucky. She holds an MFA in creative writing and a certificate in public history from Rutgers University-Camden and also is an alumna of VONA/Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation. As a member of The Decades, a Philadelphia-based woman of color arts collaborative with members of different generational, ethnic and regional identities, Mariam seeks to present counter-narratives to people of color’s collective trauma and objectification. She currently is writing a memoir and thinking about projects that combine writing, dance, visual art and podcasting to present the true stories of underserved communities whose narratives historically have faced erasure. Mariam’s work has been published in Women’s Review of Books, on Hidden City Philadelphia, on Longreads.com, The Common and several other publications. Outside DCAD, Mariam is project director of “Chronicling Resistance, Enabling Resistance,” an initiative by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries to think about current collections, resistance narratives and ways to build partnerships, strengthen collections and engage new audiences. She also teaches dance fitness classes for Freedom Valley YMCA.
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