Rachel Somerville headshot

Rachel Somerville

Assistant Professor of Art Education

Dept. : MAT

“I believe the Art classroom should provide a learning environment that values cultural and social differences, recognizes multiple learning styles, and encourages critical thinking. Visual Arts education is much more than making things. In the Art classroom, students learn to develop and creatively express their ideas, solve problems, and make meaning. In studying a subject that is fluid and open to interpretation, students are challenged to examine their own perspectives, to question ideas, and to successfully respond to the visual culture in which they live”

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.

Education

  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, December 2015
  • University of California – Davis, CA
  • Master of Arts in Art Education, May 2007
  • Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, May 2002
  • Scripps College For Women – Claremont, CA

Laurels

  • Power of Ten Scholarship – UC Davis
  • Golden Bell Award – Marin County Schools
  • Maestra/Maestro Resident Artist Program – City of Phoenix Arts & Culture
  • Teaching Fellowship – Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University
  • Power of Ten Scholarship – UC Davis
  • Golden Bell Award – Marin County Schools
  • Maestra/Maestro Resident Artist Program – City of Phoenix Arts & Culture
  • Teaching Fellowship – Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University