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Practice Makes Perfect

As a scholar, this TC alumnus believes that those who teach should do
It’s a fundamental TC tenet that academics and the arts are a potent mix. James Rolling, Jr. (Ed.D., 2003) has made combining them his life’s work.
A dual Associate Professor of Art Education and Teaching and Leadership at Syracuse University, as well as Chair of the Art Education Department, he’s also assumed a leadership post this fall at the National Art Education Association. Yet Rolling still makes art.
“I like to keep my hands dirty,” Rolling says. “The challenge is to continue to be an academic writer, to continue to be a poet, and to continue to do the visual arts—and to try to do them all in convergence.”
Rolling credits his mentor at TC, Associate Professor of Art Education Graeme Sullivan, for his organizational framework and encouraging him to see “academic research as a form of creative practice, and creative practice as a form of research.”
It’s a concept that now underlies Rolling’s busy career. “Ideas that come to my mind can find culmination as a poem, a research article or a work of art,” he explains. “It’s all about cross-fertilization.”

Published Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009