Alumni Success Stories

MAT graduates have found success in many areas including: teaching and administration for public, private (independent), and charter schools.


Jeannine Cook


About me:

Jeannine Cook joined People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation in August 2015 as the youth program manager for the Center of Digital Inclusion and Technology. Jeannine manages curriculum development as well as CDIT’s initiatives for youth ages 5-24. Prior to PECCDC, Jeannine spent 8 years with YESPhilly Alternative High School as the Media Arts Director coaching teachers and students on how to use media as a tool for social change and mindfulness. At YESPhilly, she co-produced two feature length films which were highlighted by the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Nightly News for being “excellent examples of youth development.” In addition, Jeannine is the lead facilitator at the Slought Foundation’s Mixplace Studio where she is responsible for leading media integration, compassionate communication, and social justice projects with West Philly youth and University of Pennsylvania graduate students. Jeannine serves on the Philly Children’s March steering committee as a facilitator working with parents to undo racism. Jeannine is a Leeway Transformation Award recipient and has been named one of South Philly’s top 25 Difference Makers.

 Undergraduate degree & concentration:

B. S. Media & Communication (UArts)

Graduate degree:

M.A. Art & Design Education (UArts)

Where are you now?

Youth Program Manager at People’s Emergency Center

How did the MAT/MA program help you achieve your goals?

MA program gave me a solid foundation in child development, art education, research, and analysis helping me to achieve my goals of being a research-driven educator.

How did it lead you to the position you are currently in?

My work combines both art & design education with media and communications. The MA program allowed me to focus on my passion for media even though it’s not a traditional element of art education. My thesis allowed me to learn from people in the media and art  education fields which directly effected my ability to be successful upon graduating.


Everything is unfolding in perfect order.


Katie Haire


About Me:

I am an Illustrator and Art Educator who has lived in Philadelphia for 10 years. I love

South Philadelphia, where I have lived for over 5 years. In my spare time I enjoy playing

music, video games, and reading. Science is especially fascinating to me, and I love to

read about biology, life science, and forensics.

Undergraduate degree & concentration:

BFA in Illustration ’10

Graduate degree:

Art Education ’11 (MAT)

Where are you now?

I am currently teaching High School Art and English to Speakers of Other Languages

(ESOL) at the Multicultural Academy Charter School located at Broad and Eerie Streets

in North Philadelphia. I do freelance illustration at night and on weekends. Currently, I

am working on the Democratic National Convention Donkey sculpture installation,

which will be seen around Philadelphia this summer.

How did the MAT/MA program help you achieve your goals?

The MAT program at Uarts helped me by requiring real classroom experience in

Philadelphia, which helps you to understand the classroom structure in the city. The

teachers are very supportive post graduation in helping their alumni get work, and most

people seem to land a job quite quickly. I was hired right after graduation into the

Philadelphia School District. Student teaching through the program is difficult, but worth

the time it takes. I learned a lot through the MAT program.

How did it lead you to the position you are currently in?

The position I am currently in came after only one year of working in a Philadelphia

public school. I was furloughed by the school district after they laid off over 3,000

employees in 2011. At the time it was a huge letdown because I felt my hard work was

undermined by a dismissive furlough. I was then rehired a year later at a small charter

school, where I am now. However, now I am thankful because I love my current school,

students, and administration. I wouldn’t be at my school now if I was never furloughed!


My artwork can be seen at


Christopher Sweeney


About me:

Mr. Christopher Sweeney is a 1996 graduate of University of the Art’s Philadelphia College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Fine Arts/ Painting and Drawing, and recently received his M.A., also from the University of the Arts, in 2012. While enrolled at the University of the Arts in undergraduate studies, Mr. Sweeney majored in painting/ drawing and held a minor in art education. Mr. Sweeney was also the recipient of several awards while attending University of the Arts including the Ernest W. Greenfield Annual Award in Painting, the Peter J. McCahill Memorial Award in Art Education, and finalist for the Rohm and Haas Fine Arts Award, all of which were awarded in 1996. He was also awarded the prestigious position of giving the Student Address at the 1996 commencement.

Mr. Sweeney has taught art to all different communities of students in the Philadelphia area, ranging from pre-K to adults. He has taught a variety of students from various socioeconomic backgrounds in a variety of settings, both at public, private, and charter schools. He has also worked with special needs groups with students that are severely physically impaired, emotionally/ physically abused, as well as autistic students. Mr. Sweeney has taught at various schools and/or organizations such as the Philadelphia School District, Foundations, Inc. at Christopher Columbus Charter School, Friends Central, Arts League, and the Creative Artists Network, as well as the University of Pennsylvania this past summer, where his students built a 3D printer and learned how to use it. He is also a practicing artist with a variety of artistic interests, one of which currently is 3D printing and using digital media such as the MakeyMakey, Drawdio, and electronic circuitry. He has recently shown at Slinghuff Gallery in Philadelphia, as well as several other local venues, such as Delaware Contemporary Center of Art this past year. Mr. Sweeney is currently employed full time as a Design teacher at Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia. Mr. Sweeney teaches a variety of classes, all of which are geared towards students’ full understanding, appreciation, and education in the visual arts and design. He places a special emphasis on multicultural, interdisciplinary, and technological education in the visual arts, in his current position, as well as wherever he is teaching.

Undergraduate degree & concentration:

B.F.A. Painting & Drawing, Art Ed

Graduate degree:

M.A. Art Education

Where are you now?

I am currently a Design teacher at Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia.

How did the MAT/MA program help you achieve your goals?

It furthered and helps advance my career, and helped me open doors to new opportunities having a M.A. It also helped clarify what direction I wanted my teaching pathway to go and what I was interested in teaching in the latter half of my career.

How did it lead you to the position you are currently in?

I had finished my M.A. while my old school district employed me, and this job at CHAD opened up. The degree, and the professional development I had been involved with strengthened my professional portfolio, which I believed help me land my position at CHAD.



Please check out my website:




Alison Klein


About me:

I am an artist (ceramics & painting) and art educator living in Ambler, Pennsylvania. I enjoy making functional ceramics and landscape paintings, spending time with my family and twin sons (8), and enjoying nature.

I have recently started blogging about art & art education on facebook @paintdabsandsprinkles and at It has allowed me to reflect, connect, and share my ideas with the school community, other artists/ art teachers, and friends/family.

Undergraduate degree & concentration:

BFA Drawing & Painting, Pennsylvania State University, 1998

Graduate degree:

MAT Teaching Visual Arts, University of the Arts, 2005

Special Education Certification Program (PreK-8), Gwynedd Mercy University, 2016

Where are you now?

For the past nine years, I have taught Elementary Art (part-time) to grades K-4 (for three years) and grades K-1 (for six years) for the School District of Springfield Township in Oreland, Pennsylvania.

For the past three years, I have been taking classes towards a Special Education certification (PreK-8) at Gwynedd Mercy University. In April, I become certified in Special Edcuation (PreK-8).

 How did the MAT/MA program help you achieve your goals?

Quite simply, I am grateful and proud to be a working art teacher! It is an incredibly competitive and challenging career climate for Pennsylvania teachers right now, so I am incredibly thankful to be teaching and doing what I love.

The program helped me build a community of art-minded that I can relate to!… alumni, professors, they have all helped me along the way.

I have strong interest in using Art Education as a way to help students with special needs better communicate/socialize with their peers, particularly students with ASD. I plan to pursue the Autism Endorsement Certification through Kutztown University to further my career in the field of Special Education.

 How did it lead you to the position you are currently in?

Following UArts, I spent two years working as a web designer for IQnection Internet Services in Doylestown, Pa. IQnection is a wonderful design firm with great people! Following IQnection, I was thrilled to become an Elementary Art teacher for the School District of Springfield Township where I have been teaching for nine years.





Lauren Economou
School District/School Name: Hatboro-Horsham High School in Hatboro-Horsham School District
Position: High school Fine Art and Technology Education Teacher
Classes taught: Art Major 1 & 2, Drawing, Painting, Illustrative Drawing for Comic Book Art, Computer Graphics, Digital Photography, Architectural Drawing, Technical Drawing, Engineering Drawing and Design. I am also the faculty sponsor for our chapter of the National Art Honor Society.
Location: Horsham, PA (Montgomery County)
Degree Earned at UArts: MAT
Year Graduated: 2007
 Jamie Flynn
School District/School Name: 21st Century Cyber Charter School
Position: Art Teacher (Middle School Art, Art Appreciation, Digital Photography, Drawing)
Location: 21st Century Cyber Charter School serves students anywhere in Pennsylvania.
Degree Earned at UArts: MAT degree
Year Graduated: 2010
Contact: / 484-614-5875
Erika Gehringer
School District/School Name: Haddonfield/Haddonfield Middle School
Position: Art Teacher, grades 6-8
Location: Haddonfield, NJ
Degree Earned at UArts: MAT
Year Graduated: 2005
Contact: / 609-206-1018
Brooke Giles
School District/School Name: William Penn Charter School
Position: Pre-K Studio Arts Integration Teacher and Coordinator
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Degree Earned at UArts: MAT
Year Graduated: 2011
Adrianne Liwerant
School District/School Name: Indian River School District, Sussex Central High School
Position: High School Digital Design & Art Teacher
Location: Georgetown, Delaware
Degree Earned at UArts: MAT degree
Year Graduated: 2010
Jessica Singer
School District/School Name: Kincorth Academy
Position: Head Secondary Art Teacher
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Degree Earned at UArts: MFA with an Art Education Certificate
Year Graduated: 2010

The Art + Design Education department is currently looking for testimonials and teaching experiences of former students of the department. If you would like to submit what you are currently working on, and you graduated from the department, please submit by emailing us or filling out the contact form below.

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