“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.
Lindsay Edwards – UTeach Art, B.F.A. Art Education 2021, M.A. Art Education 2023
Lindsay attended Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas, where she was engaged in many disciplines of fine arts. She played the viola in Symphony Orchestra throughout high school participating in the Full Orchestra UIL competition her junior year and the
String Orchestra UIL Competition her senior year. Lindsay found her passion in the visual arts through taking drawing/painting courses throughout high school, including AP Art her final two years. She values the need for arts at all levels of education and hopes to implement these values in her future teaching career.
“The fine arts are unique in their ability to teach students about self-expression, creativity, and empathy. As fine arts teachers, we have the responsibility and gift to be able to help facilitate a student’s growth in their technique and character.”
Grace Featherston – UTeach Theatre, B.F.A. Theatre Education 2023
Grace attended Winston Churchill HS in San Antonio. Her love for the theatre and sharing led to her wanting to seek teacher preparation!
Grace’s advice for entering the field is “lead with your heart and keep an open mind.” Her time so far in the UTeach Theatre program reminds her of the following quote:
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” – Forrest Gump
Savannah González – UTeach Theatre, BFA Theatre Education 2023
Savannah attended Stevens High School in San Antonio, Texas where she was lucky to have some great teachers that made a difference in her life. She wants to be that teacher for someone. She wants to share her passion and inspire students to be who they are and find their passions.
“This program is preparing me to become the best, most thoughtful educator that I can be. I’ve learned so much about the types of educators that the world needs and as time goes on I feel more and more ready to be that educator.”
To new students entering the field… “We’re responsible for shaping the future. Empathy and accountability are something that’s needed no matter how you choose to tackle your goals.”
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.”
Sam Taylor – UTeach Music, B.M. Music Studies, Instrumental Emphasis 2023, Co-Chair
While in high school, Sam got his first small taste of teaching at a summer camp teaching a short trumpet lesson to a few middle school students. After that experience, he knew that teacher preparation was the right path for him to take in college.
“It’s worth it to even have a chance to be like the teachers that I’ve been so lucky to have. I feel so lucky to be in the Music Studies program at COFA. The amazing students and faculty that I get to interact with on a regular basis as a part of the program continually inspire me to be the best version of myself. The focus put on learning in this program makes me feel more comfortable not only in teaching environments, but in any learning situation that I’m put in.”
“Don’t be afraid to follow your interests, even if you’re not quite sure where they’ll take you at first.”
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.”