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KU professor named Outstanding Special Needs Arts Educator

October 3, 2012

Heather FountainKUTZTOWN, Pa. - Kutztown University professor Heather Fountain has been named the Pa. Art Education Association 2012 Outstanding Special Needs Art Educator. The award will be formally presented at the PAEA Annual Fall Conference in Harrisburg, on Oct. 6.

Fountain serves as associate professor of Art Education. She holds a doctorate in Curriculum Instruction and Art Education. Serving as chair of the Undergraduate Art Education Program at Kutztown University, she has been very active in designing arts and education resources and  courses which provides teachers with the knowledge they need to help students of varying abilities access learning.

Fountain has a unique, one-on-one style of teaching.

"She does not approach the subject matter from a textbook point of view; rather, she allows the students to experience it first-hand, giving them the ability to understand accessibility and social challenges," explained Jackie Conley, a recent KU alumnae who suffers from spina bifida.

Fountain also pairs community volunteers with differing disabilities with art education pre-service teachers. They work in teams to design innovative products that make life more accessible for a person with a disability.

Misty Young, a KU student shares, "I do not think that I would have made it this far in my pursuit for higher education without Dr. Fountain.  She kept me going when I thought that giving up was my only option.  She made me believe in myself and... I now use my disabilities to help others."