Skip to Content

**Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award Presented to Kerry Freedman for Art and Design Education at NIU**

Kerry Freedman, Ph.D., a distinguished professor and the head of art education, has been honored with the Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award by Northern Illinois University. With over two decades of experience at the NIU School of Art and Design, Professor Freedman has established herself as a respected national and international figure in the realm of art and design education.

Throughout her tenure, Freedman played a pivotal role in the inception of a program and has been instrumental as its advisor since its establishment. She imparts knowledge through doctoral core courses, offering guidance and professional insights during her frequent participation at national and international conferences. Professor Freedman actively mentors doctoral candidates from coursework to dissertation, often leading as chair or committee member for numerous dissertations.

A prolific writer, Freedman has authored more than 120 published works, including seven books translated into nine languages. Her expertise has been shared through keynote speeches and workshops in over 30 countries spanning five continents. Additionally, she has held significant roles such as Senior Editor of the research journal of the National Art Education Association, co-editor of the International Encyclopedia of Art and Design Education, and a former Fulbright Scholar.

Nicholas Leonard, a current doctoral candidate in art and design education, commended Dr. Freedman for her exceptional mentorship as an advisor and dissertation co-chair. Leonard highlighted her personalized approach tailored to individual research interests, coupled with a rigorous teaching style that prepares students for the demands of a premier research institution.

Kathryn Sowinski, a second-year Ph.D. student under Freedman’s guidance, praised her as a scholar, researcher, professor, and advocate for graduate students. Sowinski’s decision to pursue studies at NIU was influenced by Freedman’s stellar reputation within the academic community.

Richard Siegesmund, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the School of Art and Design, emphasized Freedman’s profound impact on the field of art and design education. He credited her mentorship for elevating NIU’s doctoral degree program to global prominence, underscoring her dedication to nurturing future scholars on an international scale.

The prestigious Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award, bestowed by The Graduate School at NIU, includes a monetary prize and a commemorative plaque. Furthermore, Freedman will be bestowed the honor of carrying the ceremonial mace at the spring 2024 commencement ceremony.