Faculty Profile: Fine Arts

Kathryn Hagy
Fine Arts Faculty

Title: Professor of Art; Chair of the Department of Communication, Literature, and Arts

What are you areas of interest or specialties?
I received both my bachelor's and master's degrees in painting and printmaking. Printmaking includes things like etching, silkscreen, lithography and woodcut. Another area of interest is digital photography, which is where most of my recent work is based.

Can you provide a brief overview of your post college career path and how you arrived at Mount Mercy?
My first job, at the tail end of my college career, was as a gallery director at the Women's Center on the University of Washington (UW) campus. I then worked as a library technician for several years in the Natural Sciences Library at the UW, while making and exhibiting art on the side, before attending graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). After RISD, I moved to New York City where I enjoyed life as a 'job tourist', working as an independent contractor and at short, contract jobs for several years before moving to Cedar Rapids to work for Mount Mercy University. During my time in New York, I:

 *   Taught a six-week study-abroad course in France for RISD undergraduates
 *   Taught as a visiting professor in art for one semester at Ewha Woman's University in Seoul, South Korea
 *   Worked for two different art galleries and an art consultant who bought artwork for other people
 *   Consulted for people on professional organizing of their home and office spaces
 *   Worked as an Office Manager for an architecture firm
 *   Worked as an Executive Assistant for a venture capitalist

Why did you choose to teach?
I discovered I was pretty good at teaching while working at the Natural Science Library at the UW in Seattle when I had to train student workers and develop training manuals as part of my job. This was not unlike what I do now in teaching and development of assignments. My decision to attend graduate school was partly based on the need to receive a terminal degree that would allow me to teach college-level art.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy a number of things about my work such as being able to mentor art students who are truly interested in advancing themselves. I'm especially enthusiastic when students (and even alumni) contact me because they want to apply for art exhibits, internships, study abroad or graduate school. These are students who have goals but may be unclear about how to meet those goals. I can help them.

What would you say to a student who is interested in attending Mount Mercy?
If you're still in high school, don't worry so much if you don't know exactly what you want to major in just yet, because in most cases you can still explore that in your freshmen year by taking a class or two in a couple areas of interest. And, if you still have a few areas of interest even after experimenting, it is possible to double-major (and potentially even earn a minor) so you have some expertise in all those areas. Several students in our Art & Design Program are double-majoring or have double-majored in psychology (for example if they're interested in attending graduate school in art therapy), business fields such as marketing, or the English and communication fields if they want to work in jobs where they develop both visual and written content.

What are some achievements related to your work that you are most proud of-published papers, conference speeches, awards?

Much of my current scholarship is focused on the arts and culture of Nepal. In 2010-11, I received a Fulbright Fellowship to be able to live and work in Kathmandu, Nepal for approximately six months.

What do you like to do in your free time?
My ‘free’ time is quite busy these days after giving birth to twins last year: one boy and one girl. They are so much fun! As if that weren't enough to occupy my time, I am earning my Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of Iowa and am really enjoying my time as a student again.