Goff receives 2020 President’s Award for Engagement with Students

March 27, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Shannon Goff, associate professor in the College of Arts and Architecture, has received the 2020 President’s Award for Engagement with Students.

Shannon Goff

Shannon Goff

IMAGE: Tom Lauerman

The award is given to a faculty member who goes beyond his or her responsibilities to engage and encourage students in learning. The honorees have made themselves available to interact with students outside class, link students to opportunities and help them build their confidence as learners and potential contributors to society.

Colleagues say Goff has been instrumental in recruiting students to the School of Visual Arts and is a tireless supporter for students because she’s able to connect them to prestigious centers and institutions in the art world. She’s strengthened the program by further stressing experiences with visiting artists, exhibitions and public engagements.

Her recruitment efforts -- particularly among underrepresented students -- also stands out. She recruited Roberto Lugo, who earned his master of fine arts from Penn State in 2014. His work now appears in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Museum of African History and Culture.

Goff is credited with improving the diversity of the program by recruiting students from underrepresented racial, cultural, gender and ethnic groups. Some of her recruits have earned prestigious Bunton Waller Fellowships. Several more earned $15,000 Windgate Fellowships.

Her work has paid dividends. Recently, the ceramics program earned a reputation with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts for encouraging diversity, colleagues said.

One decision that’s had an impact on improving student learning is when Goff added summer workshop or residency experience to the curriculum for undergraduate and graduate students of the ceramics program. Colleagues said that’s encouraged students to expand their art and also interact with the public.

Her class projects took a similar tack. One 2016 project produced a lending library of functional ceramic objects. It was open -- several weeks at a time -- to areas of campus outside of the visual arts.

“This lending library allowed students to interact with those outside of their college,” a nominator said. “The project pushed students to hone their interpersonal communication skills as well as other abilities they would need should they become independent artists who work directly with the public exhibiting, promoting and selling their work.”

Goff earned her bachelor of fine arts from the University of Michigan in 1996 and her master of fine arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2003. She has been the recipient of a Japanese Monbusho grant and twice awarded residencies to the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry program. In 2017, she received a United States Artist Fellowship nomination. Goff exhibits both nationally and internationally. Her work has recently been included in exhibitions at the Cranbrook Museum of Art, Greenwich House Pottery, New York City, Red Bull Arts, Detroit, Michigan, Elijah Wheat Showroom and Honey Ramka, Brooklyn, New York and in London, and Australia. Reviews of her work have been featured in Hyperallergic, DesignBoom, Colossal, FastCoDesign, Cfile, and Detroit Art Review.

Last Updated March 27, 2020