Meet our Faculty
- Rachel Somerville, Interim Program Chair of Art Education, Assistant Professor
Rachel Somerville holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Davis, where her doctoral work centered on research that bridges the divide among innovation, community, and education, exploring areas of equity within the education system and the impact that mentor programs have on college enrollment and retention for first-generation students. She also investigated the emergence of community workspaces or makerspaces within formal education, specifically examining teachers as early implementers of this movement and the academic conditions that foster creativity.Dr. Somerville’s approach to teaching emphasizes collaboration, creativity, and student voice. Through her experience as a teacher and administrator in a variety of K-12 settings, she believes that quality art programming in the visual arts should be provided by arts specialists and supported by school leaders, classroom teachers, with arts organizations and community programs. She feels that this partnered instruction serves to enhance a collaborative and an authentic approach to learning.
- Heather Nunez-Olmstead, Adjunct Assistant Professor
Heather Nunez-Olmstead is an artist-educator who has decades of walking with students on inclusive Art Learning journeys in the Art room and beyond, as well as engaging in Arts-integrated methods across disciplines in grades Pre-K through Higher Education. Her teaching focus is on educational equity and access, and she is well versed in creating meaningful Arts experiences across instructional modalities, and for a variety of learners. She holds a Bachelor’s of Art in Art Education from the University of Maine at Presque Isle, as well as a Master’s in Curricular & Instructional Strategies from the University of New England. Heather is currently teaching Arts-Integration and Education at the University of Maine Presque Isle. In addition to teaching, Heather is a painter and mixed-media artist, whose work focuses on what we hold sacred as a culture.
For additional details about the Art Education faculty, visit the faculty directory.