“Be a Leader! Take the initiative to organize things you’d like to do. Treat the people around you with respect and have enthusiasm when interacting with others. Keep working hard toward your goals, refining your skills and never give up!” Matthew Chan, B.A. Biology, B.M. Music Studies, 2016
The Council is a group of students enrolled in COFA’s UTeach Fine Arts programs in Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre. They plan and host activities that allow students to meet their colleagues and faculty from other departments and schools within the college preparation programs. In addition, the Council creates opportunities for students to gain connections and opportunities to advance their careers after graduation.
Vida Jarrell – UTeach Theatre, B.F.A Theatre Education 2023, Co-Chair
Mik-Everett “Whim” Krueger-Inabnit (he/they/it), B.F.A. Art Education 2024, Co-Chair
Mik-Everett attended The Woodlands High School in The Woodlands, TX. From thier freshman to senior year, they were primarily involved with the school’s Gay Straight Alliance (G.S.A.); serving as a member in ninth and tenth grade and as the club’s secretary during both junior and senior years. Besides G.S.A., they were also a member of the school’s creative writing and visual art clubs. They love all things science fiction, and have been a writer since they were little; so, joining the creative writing club was pretty intuitive. However, in contrast, they didn’t get seriously involved with visual art until their senior year. Artmaking was something that they started to do at around 14/15 years old, but didn’t take seriously until they were seventeen years old.
“Just before summer, during my junior year, I was doodling while waiting to be picked up after classes and my school’s A.P. art teacher took notice. She and I talked, and by the end of our conversation, she’d convinced me to apply for our school’s A.P. visual art program. Before this, I had only ever taken my school’s required intro-to-visual-arts course; so, I had to go before a committee to get approved to skip the required prerequisites. Luckily, I got in and was able to take A.P. art in my senior year. My time in that course was life-altering. The class taught me that there was value to my work as an artist, that I was capable of more than what I was told, and that expressing myself authentically was something to be celebrated. Being surrounded by passionate artists and art educators made me realize that being an art teacher was what I wanted to do in life – and where I needed to be. It’s been five years since, and I haven’t looked back.”
“Every day spent in the UTeach Art program is an opportunity to be inspired. Being surrounded by people who understand the significance of fine arts education is truly invaluable. As pre-service art educators, this program highlights our ability to shape and inform the creative futures of our students. And that by applying ourselves within our own schooling, we can learn to positively wield this impact. As a student myself, this program has confirmed my love for art and taught me that visual art and its creation should be fun and transformative!”
“To anyone interested in pursuing a career in art education: learn all that you can, work stubbornly, get involved in local art communities, be passionate about your art and the art of those around you, put your best foot forward, and have fun. Believe in yourself as an artist and educator, and know that your peers and mentors are rooting for you. There will always be space for you – and your ideas – in fine arts education.”
Lizzie McElroy – UTeach Theatre, B.F.A. Theatre Education 2023
Kade Miller – UTeach Art, B.F.A Art Education 2025
Kade attended Waller High School in Waller, TX where she was influenced by her art teacher to express herself through art. Since then she has wanted to be that same influence for future generations.
“You will be challenged to create in ways that you have never thought of before. When you think you’re done, you’re not. Continue to push yourself further, and challenge yourself in new ways you have never thought of.”
Leslie Tang – UTeach Art, B.F.A. Visual Art Education 2021, M.A. Art Education 2024, Co-Chair
Leslie attended Heritage High School in Frisco, TX. The positive push that her high school art teacher provided, the fun challenge of creating art, and the great atmosphere of her high school art class made her seek teacher preparation so she could create such a teaching environment for future students.
“The UTeach Art program has enriched my own thoughts about teaching and how to reach a deeper understanding about the ways to teach art. From creating my own art to teaching out on the field, I can see that there are endless possibilities for educating students about making their own artwork.”
“Don’t give up. There are multiple opportunities waiting for you. All you need is to reach out and grab them.”
Cassidy Wen – UTeach Theatre, B.F.A. Theatre Education 2026
Cassidy attended Chisholm Trail High School in Fort Worth, TX.
She observed and learned during every production she was involved in during the past 6-plus years in theatre. Understanding the different mechanics that went into the production process and seeing her peers as they all developed these skills allowed her to grow and express her creativity through theatre. She knew that she wanted to pursue Theatre, but these experiences helped her to realize why; because as someone who loves this community, we are connected through theatre. She wanted to be that place for students to learn and be able to express themselves in a comfortable space.
“The UTeach Theatre program has really provided so many helpful resources from my classes and through organizations like UFASAC, which has allowed my cohort and me to be supported with access to opportunities that enable us to have a better understanding of not only how to be a better educator in the arts, but all that goes into supporting young developing minds.”
“Those interested in pursuing UTeach Fine Arts programs, I definitely encourage you to reach out in the community and join organizations and clubs that enable you to work on different projects you are interested in.”