Alyson Pouls, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Academic Advisor

I learned about AOEU when I was teaching pre-service K-12 art education majors at Central Michigan University. I shared the website with my students, who struggled to understand how to translate theory into practice. When an adjunct graduate instructor position was posted, I applied and was so excited to be chosen to join this incredible team, helping art teachers everywhere transform into master’s-level artists, teachers, and researchers!

I am a lifelong learner dedicated to art education and a passionate advocate for the arts. I am a practicing artist as well as an associate professor, academic advisor, and researcher. I love working with ink of all kinds—watercolors, acrylics, and mixed media—and I focus on improvisational doodling to push through creative blocks. I also love dogs and continue to rescue dogs who need homes, along with my husband, who works in animal rescue. Music also drives my creativity. I especially love Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Beatles.

I consider teaching an art form essential to my artmaking practice. I have discovered my passion for making art and my love of teaching carry similar qualities that merge as the central core of my identity. They are creative, artistic, and performative acts that thrive through personal reflection, authenticity, and vulnerability. As an artist, I constantly strive to evolve through new ways of connecting materials with ideas. As an associate professor and academic advisor, I seek to find multiple ways to empower my students to gain confidence in their own art and choice. The need to reflect, edit, grow, change, risk, redo, remake, and revisit is essential to both artists and teachers for life-long learning and personal transformation.

Professional Accomplishments:

  • Publication: Book Chapter: Art Foundations Curriculum in Higher Education. In The International Encyclopedia of Art and Design Education, Vol. 2: Curricular Aspects of Art & Design Education. (2019)
  • Faculty-Visual Arts Education, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (2017-2019)
  • Multiple art exhibitions from 2001-2019
  • PhD in Art & Design Education, Northern Illinois University, Illinois (2017)
  • Published Dissertation: Theories Impacting Art Foundations Course Descriptions in the United States (2017)
  • Substitute Certificate, Illinois (2017-Current)
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant Award Recipient-Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois (2016)
  • Associate Professor of Art Foundations and Illustration & Design-The Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago (2009-2015)
  • Instructor of Record, Art & Design Education-Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, (2013-2015)
  • Annual Award for Excellence in Freshman Teaching-The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago (2011)
  • Academic Director of Art Foundations-The Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago (2006-2009)
  • Masters in Art Teaching, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, 1996
  • Bachelors in Fine Arts with a concentration in Drawing and Painting, University of the Arts, Philadelphia (1996)
  • Standard Certificate, K-12 Art, New Jersey (1996-Current)

I have led numerous juried presentations at the National Art Education Association’s (NAEA) annual conference and the bi-annual Foundations in Art: Theory in Education (FATE) conference, focused on the connection between K-12 art education and first-year college art foundations coursework for studio art and art education majors, artist and teacher identities, and design thinking in the classroom.