Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts

2016-2017 Faculty

Chris Bateman

Liberal Arts

MSc Advanced Computer Science + Artificial Intelligence | PhD Aesthetics of Games and Play

LA501 Game Narrative


How and why do people play games? This question has absorbed me for much of my life in various different ways, and provides a link between my career as a professional game designer, and my parallel career in academic wizardry. Thanks to my award-winning consultancy, International Hobo, I am currently closing in on having fifty published games to my credit, although I am still perhaps best known for Discworld Noir and Ghost Master. As well as working on numerous game projects I can’t discuss because of non-disclosure agreements, I am currently pursuing research exploring phenomenological and neurobiological distinctions between different play styles and preferences, and am also engaged in historical research into the lineages of play. I love being a Visiting Professor at LCAD as it gives me a chance to share my narrative design experience with bright and talented Masters students. However, nothing gives me quite as much pleasure as dabbling in the dark arts of philosophy. In 2013, I became the first person in the world to attain a doctorate in the aesthetics of play and games, and I’ve published a trilogy of books exploring the philosophy of imagination (one of which, Imaginary Games, is a course book at LCAD). In 2016 I published Wikipedia Knows Nothing, a brief enquiry into knowledge as a practice and a critique of ‘facts’ – it’s available as a free PDF, as well as a paid paperback or ebook: You can find me on Twitter at @SpiralChris

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Denise Cucurny

Adjunct Liberal Arts

MA Anthropology | MA Probate Law

LA125 Scientific Anatomy
LA215 American Culture
LA225 Non-Western Cultures
LA229 Multi-Cultural Healing
LA235 Introduction to Psychology
LA255 Human Diversity
LA260 Human Sexuality

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I am an anthropologist whose background includes biological, cultural and medical anthropology. My diverse background in anthropology and lifestyle provides me with the knowledge and experience needed to teach a variety of subjects in the Liberal Arts Department at LCAD including Human Diversity, Human Evolution, Multi-cultural Healing and Human Sexuality. As a Professor of Anthropology I have lived and taught all over the world including Ecuador, Costa Rica and Spain. My field work has taken me to the Amazon, Andes, Eastern Europe and the Himalayas. I am President and Co-Founder of Women for World Health ( a volunteer organization dedicated to providing free plastic/reconstructive surgery in developing nations. I serve as trip coordinator, translator and international liaison for our international medical missions. I have two children, Jordi age 29 and Tess age 27. I have a home in Ibiza, Spain where my daughter was born. I spend two months a year there soaking up the Mediterranean spirit and cooking in my kitchen. I have a quadrupedal boyfriend named Sammy who is my exercise partner and travel companion. Sammy and I walk, bike and kayak regularly and he goes to Spain with me. I also have a bipedal boyfriend named Bill. Bill and I have been together for six years and he is honestly the nicest man I have ever met. I am in awe of the talent my students have. I am grateful for my 23 years at LCAD, my entertaining, challenging and creative students, my colleagues and the administration.

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Jason Dowd

Art History

BFA Illustration

AH331 History of Illustration

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I have enjoyed a creative life from a young age, wanting only to be an artist. Unlike most kids, I was more interested in drawing than sports so much of my time was spent practicing. As I reached the age of fifteen, I began painting in oils at my father’s illustration studio in St. Louis, Missouri. People had always been a favorite subject and soon I discovered I had a talent for portraiture. My high school years (and two at Meramec community college) were spent creating a portfolio for college. It had been a long time dream to attend Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Thankfully, I received that opportunity in the Fall of 1987. Graduating with distinction from Art Center in December of 1990, I have worked as a freelance illustrator for clients such as Coca­Cola, Scholastic and Simon & Schuster. Art history has always been of great interest and I began taking my cue from illustrators such as Norman Rockwell, Joseph Leyendecker and Haddon Sundblom. Embracing the traditions of these Golden Age Illustrators, I tell stories through a rich process of paint layering. Subjects are conveyed with painstaking attention to detail of light, expression and costume. In 2006, I moved my family to Southern California and became an instructor at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD). I continue to work in the Illustration, Fine Arts and Liberal Arts departments, inspiring students to find their own creative paths.

Dowd_Festival of Arts  Dowd_The Comedy of Life, the Death of Caesar Augustus


Ben Garceau

Liberal Arts

PhD Comparative Literature + English

LA110 Critical Reasoning
LA223 Foundations of Western Civilization


Old things have always fascinated me. When I was eleven I developed a keen interest in the Irish language and in the alphabet that Irish scribes used to write their manuscripts in the Middle Ages. When I entered the working world after college, I found myself staying up late at night to read more about the ancient homeland of the Indo-Europeans, or Roman curse tablets, or the private lives of late medieval merchants. So I applied to the graduate comparative literature program at Indiana University, and began taking coursework in languages like Old English, Middle Welsh, and Latin. I moved to Paris for two years to do some research at the national library (and eat and drink and do all of the other wonderful things you can do in Paris), and when I came back I started work on my dissertation about early medieval translation. I have taught at Indiana, the University of Paris – Nanterre, UC Irvine, and here at LCAD. With my PhD finished last year, I am now turning my dissertation into a book. An essay of mine about Seamus Heaney and Jorge Luis Borges translating Old English is forthcoming in PMLA. My translations from French and Old English have appeared in the Yearbook of Comparative Literature and Inventory, respectively, and I am currently collaborating on a translation of the work of a French psychoanalyst. Perhaps it’s my love of outmoded things, but when I’m not teaching or doing research I like to hunt through record stores for rare LPs, watch films on 35mm, and collect first editions of books. I’m working on a couple of novels, I’m an avid hiker and, one of these days, I’m going to learn how to surf.

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Nicole Hartshorn

Art History | Liberal Arts

MA Art History

AH 210: Western Art 1
AH 220: Western Art 2
AH 335: Asian Art History
AH 420: Aesthetics (Guest Lecturer)
LA 252: Art and Culture of Africa
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Art has always been my passion: art is what truly satisfies and inspires me. I feel so fortunate in my profession to have the opportunity to share this passion with others. At the age of twelve I created and sold my first logo, and years later created a successful graphic design business, specializing in branding and identity packages. My artistic accolades include the New York Society of Illustrators competition in 2000, and the Disney Creative Challenge Awards competition in 1994. My academic work has earned prestigious merits in writing and collaborations with the leading Classical Studies scholars as a writing contributor. I am published in the area of Roman Visual Narrative and Commemoration, a visiting lecturer on Ancient Propaganda, and an inductee into the Distinguished Guest Lecturer Series through Saddleback College. I have worked in the museum context, and as gallery curator, consultant and community arts volunteer. Where I am most comfortable is in the classroom. My students have honored my dedication to teaching in the most humbling ways, sharing the impact I have had on their life and art. I was also honored to be nominated for the Teacher of the Year award in 2012. Since 1998 I have been travelling internationally for both leisure and field work. I have been told my photography and travel adventures enrich the classroom experience and inspire students in their art and worldly endeavors. I consider it a privilege to be an educator at LCAD, where I am continually renewed by my students.

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William Havlicek

Associate Professor of Art History

MA, MFA Painting + Art History | PhD Philosophy (Aesthetics + Art History)

AH103 Directed Research and Writing
AH200 Art History in Europe
AH210 History of Western Art 1
AH220 History Western Art 2
AH300 Van Gogh’s Untold Journey
AH301 Rodin: The Man, the Time, The Art
AH320 Modern & Contemporary Art
AH335 Asian Art History
AH337 History of Representational Painting
AH420 Aesthetics
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I grew up in Iowa roving its fields and forests on imaginary expeditions. An early immersion in nature was amplified by a childhood visit to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago where I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Egyptian mummy cases exuding the strange odor of ancient objects. While studying painting at the international Dutch academy Atelier 63’ in Haarlem, Netherlands, I discovered the great Dutch historian J.H. Huizinga and his classic Dutch Civilization in the 17th Century and Other Essays.  Huizinga brought history alive, transporting the past into the present. When I graduated as a Fine Art Major from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, I drew well and had developed a natural gift for color composition. At the University of Iowa I completed the MA and MFA in Painting and Art History and began a lifelong career as an exhibiting painter and college teacher. I enjoyed a half decade as curator of education and exhibitions at the Riverside Art Museum. While teaching at LCAD, I completed a PhD from Claremont Graduate University in Aesthetics and Art History, and my dissertation on Van Gogh’s letters resulted in Van Gogh’s Untold Journey: Revelations of Faith, Family & Artistic Inspiration. This book has led to an active lecture schedule at venues like the Bowers Museum and universities. Currently I am co-authoring a second book, Johanna: The Other Van Gogh. I cherish co-leading LCAD summer study groups in Europe and my weekly classroom exchange with our inspiring and creative students.

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Dana Herkelrath

Art History

BFA Graphic Design + Packaging | MFA Graphic Design

AH334 History of Graphic Design

After earning a BFA with honors in Graphic Design and Packaging from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, I had the opportunity to work on a broad range of projects in studios, agencies and entertainment companies throughout the U.S. My professional and academic experience includes working with many designers that are now considered an important part of Graphic Design history. As a designer and a design educator for over 15 years, I know that design matters. Innovation through design thinking is changing the world and design students are ensuring a positive future. Earning an MFA in graphic design gave me an opportunity to engage in design and critical thinking with a focus that professional work does not always afford. As a design educator, I enthusiastically engage students in conversations about design history and provide context for their own practices. I have been faculty at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and Art Center Europe in Switzerland. I have taught courses at University of New Mexico, CSULB and a guest lecturer at La Sierra University. My own professional design office specializes in design and development of brand identity, environmental graphic design, packaging, retail merchandising, marketing, interactive media and public awareness campaigns. Our client list includes Fortune 500 companies in the field of entertainment, medical care, urban community development, education, publishing, hospitality, real estate, and international aid organizations.

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Robin Hextrum

Liberal Arts

MFA Painting

LA 231 Math, Science & Art: The Golden Ratio to Neuroaesthetics
LA 228 The Voyeuristic Gaze: The Depiction of Women in Art from Edo Japan and Europe

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I have never been one to follow a narrow path. During my time as an undergrad at USC, I completed a double major in Fine Art and Neuroscience, and was a member of the women’s rowing team. I went on to receive an MFA in Painting at Laguna College of Art and Design, where I am now an adjunct faculty member in the Fine Arts and Liberal Arts departments. By teaching two courses that I proposed and developed for LCAD, I am fortunate enough to entertain my own eclectic combination of interests ranging from gender studies and aesthetics to oil painting and neuroscience.  As a working artist, I have exhibited my paintings in locations across the country including Washington DC, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Irvine, and Laguna Beach.  I recently received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for emerging representational painters.  As a representational artist and a scholar, I bring a wide variety of experiences and a broad knowledge base to my teaching. I consider it a privilege to teach other artists, and to be actively involved in an exciting and ever shifting conversation. When I’m not lecturing about fractal geometry in art or perspective drawing, you can find me running, hiking, traveling, or simply enjoying the great outdoors.

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Grant Hier

Professor of English

MA Literature + Creative Writing | MFA Creative Writing

LA 103 Directed Research and Writing
LA110 Critical Reasoning
LA141 Speech/Acting
LA143 Acting for Animators
LA115 Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry
LA193 Creative Writing Workshop: Literary Summer Intensive
LA194 Creative Writing Workshop: Multi-Genre
LA195 Art Spotlight
LA196 Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction
LA197 Creative Writing Workshop: Non-Fiction
LA198 Creative Writing Workshop: Script Writing
LA199 Creative Writing Workshop: Storytelling
LA214 Healing Practices Workshop
LA421 Senior Capstone 1
LA422 Senior Capstone 2
LA265 Mythology
 LA265 Mythology
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I have a passion for the art of language – have loved words ever since my sister taught me to read and write when I was just three years old. I’ve been writing ever since, earning two Master’s Degrees in Literature and Creative Writing, serving as editor of several literary journals and magazines over the years, and ultimately, teaching. I’m currently developing an MFA in Creative Writing at LCAD. Recently, I received the high honor of PRIZE AMERICANA for my book-length poem Untended Garden (The Poetry Press, 2015), as well as the NANCY DEW TAYLOR PRIZE for Literary Excellence in Poetry (2014), and the KICK PRIZE for poetry (2013). My poems have been widely published internationally, and anthologized in such places as Human and Inhuman Poems (Knopf/Everyman), Poets Against the War, and WTC Remembrances. My fiction, reviews, and essays have been published in such places as the Anthology of Los Angeles Short Fiction (Red Hen Press), and the award-winning book, John Fante: A Critical Gathering. I was also a professional Art Director, graphic designer, visual artist, and musician. For seven glorious days I recorded my original musical compositions for A&M Records in Los Angeles. My installation art has been featured in several gallery showings. I am constantly inspired by my LCAD students and colleagues – their ideas, their creativity, their passion. To earn a living at what you love is a blessing. To be able to do it at such an enriching place as LCAD is the ultimate career.

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Susan M. King

Art History | MFA

MFA Painting |MA Art History | PhD Visual Studies

LA 516A MFA Focused Topics: Surrealism
LA520 Figuration and Modernism
LA530 Figuration and Postmodernism
LA621 Thesis 1
LA622 Thesis 2
IS602 Independent Study


USC’s MFA program brought me to California in the early eighties. I fell in love with LA’s art scene, ocean breezes, and rugged mountains, and never turned back to my family home in North Carolina. A postmodern painter with an interest in critical theory and modernism, I began teaching more art history than studio courses around 2000. To hone my research skills, I completed a MA in Art History at UC, Riverside and went on for a PhD in Visual Studies at UC, Irvine. My thesis focused on the reception of German modernism in England, and my dissertation centered on surrealism, a topic which I plan to turn into a book. In addition to presenting papers at College Art Association (CAA) annual conferences, I have contributed an online review to CAA Reviews for the Getty’s J.M.W. Turner exhibition and catalogue. I have also published a book review on European interwar avant-gardes and two book chapters—one on the painter Max Liebermann, and another on the Women’s Caucus for Art’s legacy of honoring women in the visual arts. As someone who equally enjoys studios, galleries, museums, libraries, and archives, I am thrilled to blend my varied interests in LCAD’s vibrant MFA community and to share in the rich dialogue among LCAD’s painting and liberal arts faculty and students. When I’m not in the classroom, buried in a book or a painting, or building a slide presentation, you can find me cooking, gardening, skiing, or hiking mountain and costal trails with my dog Cody.

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Norman Leonard

Assistant Professor Liberal Arts

MA English | MFA Film: Screenwriting

LA010 College Preparatory Writing 1
LA011 College Preparatory Writing 2
LA108 English Composition
LA110 Critical Reasoning
LA141 Speech/Acting
LA198 Creative Writing Workshop: Script Writing
LA199 Creative Writing: Storytelling
LA218 U.S. Literature
LA233 The Landscape and Sense of Place in American Film
LA243 Acting for Animators


I grew up in Lake Elsinore, California. Local legend had it that when Cortes explored the area, he sent a cabin boy down into a valley to scout fresh water. Three days later the boy returned, skin pale, hair ghostly white, and on the brink of death. Cortez asked the boy what had happened, what he had seen. The boy replied, “Hell, señor!” and dropped dead. In honor of the boy’s death, Cortez named the lake after his dying words — Lake Hell Señor — which by and by became Lake Elsinore. I didn’t find the town to be Hell exactly but rather the ideal place — with its mystery and intrigue — to fall in love with the world of the story. I left Lake Elsinore to study English at CSU Long Beach and then film and screenwriting at Chapman University, and now I spend my days teaching and my nights writing. Professionally, I work as a screenwriter and script doctor. Many shorts I have written have toured the festival circuit the world over. Currently, I live in Lake Forest with my wife, my two kids, and my dog. The dog was adopted; the kids were not — but they could be. Serious offers should be sent by certified mail.



Gwendolyn Oxenham

Liberal Arts

MFA Fiction

LA108 English Composition
LA110 Critical Reasoning
LA199 Creative Writing Workshop: Storytelling
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At sixteen, I was the youngest Division I athlete in NCAA history, a starter and leading goal scorer for Duke. At twenty, my career was over. The women’s pro league folded and I wasn’t good enough for the national team. So I got a new life: since writing and reading were the only things I loved as much as playing, I went to the University of Notre Dame for my MFA in creative-writing. I received the Nicholas Sparks Prize, a post-graduate grant that gave me a free year to write and hatch plans. Not quite ready to be done with the game, I set off with friends to make a documentary about pickup soccer around the world, playing with anyone from prisoners in Bolivia to women in hijab in Iran. (You can check out the trailer for our award-winning doc at This experience also became the material for my book, Finding the Game: Three Years, Twenty-Five Countries, and the Search for Pickup Soccer (St. Martin’s Press 2012). I’ve also contributed articles to The New York Times, Sports, and The Atlantic. I continue to read, write, teach, and, of course, play pickup.

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Kathryn Schubel

Liberal Arts

MA Geological Sciences | PhD Earth + Planetary Sciences

LA101 Project GREEN: Hillside
LA234 Project GREEN: Ridge to Reef
LA242 Project GREEN: Oceans

I grew up on the East Coast, the daughter of a teacher and an oceanographer. I learned to love learning and the natural world at an early age. As an undergraduate at Oberlin College I spent a couple summers doing research in Western Australia with my adviser. From there I went on to receive my MA at Binghamton University where I studied salt deposits in Western China. I received my PhD from Johns Hopkins University where I studied marine sedimentary rocks in northern Italy. I have been teaching courses in Environmental, Earth, Atmospheric and Oceanic sciences since the mid‐1990s. I have also translated science for public audiences—creating exhibits for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. I am inspired to share my love, understanding and appreciation of the natural world, both marine and terrestrial, with people of all ages and from all walks of life. I engage people through a variety of different modalities, including online learning, inquiry‐based learning and creative exploration. I moved to California in 2008 and have never looked back. I enjoy being on the ocean on my stand up paddle board and enjoying a close encounter with marine organisms—sea lions, dolphins and gray whales to name a few of my favorites.

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Genevieve Scott

Liberal Arts

MFA Creative Writing | MSc Social and Public Communication

LA108 English Composition


When I was nine, the things I liked best in the world were writing rambling stories, tennis lessons on Toronto’s weather-cracked courts, and playing “school” with the kids across the street. In high school and college, I didn’t write as much, played less, and studied more boring things. In 2005, I got an MSc in Social and Public Communication from the London School of Economics, where I learned about rhetoric and got excited about words (and school!) again. After a decade-long career in communications, I returned to school for an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. I moved to SoCal in 2013, and although I do miss Canada, this has been the perfect place to reunite with all my childhood loves: writing, tennis (year-round!), and, of course, being a teacher. My first novel, Catch My Drift, will be published by Goose Lane Editions in Spring 2018. I have published short stories in North America and the UK, and my short films have screened at festivals worldwide. In my free time, I volunteer with WriteGirl, a creative writing and mentoring organization for underserved teen girls in LA.

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Evan A. Senn

Art History

MA Art History

AH320 Modern & Contemporary Art


Looking back on my life, the path to where I am now seems straight and easily mapped, though at any time during my journey, if asked, I would have said that the winding roads on my life path were hard to see and harder to follow. Growing up in Los Angeles, with a child actor brother, an artist-mother and a father in the music industry, I was constantly surrounded by creativity and a unique view of the world. With my graduate education in Orange County, my unique perspective on the world around me and my voice led me to the obsession of storytelling and my abilities to help facilitate passion in others. I have been published in over a dozen different publications, I have contributed to three books on contemporary street art, I have lectured at a number of prestigious universities in Southern California, and I am an active curator, art critic and contributing artist to the local Southern California art scenes. I now am the Editor-In-Chief of Inland Empire WeeklyCulture Magazine, Assistant Editor for YAY! LA Mag, and contribute to a variety of gallery and museum catalogs, and underground zines.  I have an M.A. in Art History and have contributed as an arts writer for KCET ArtboundOC Art BlogOC RegisterOCR MagazineArtillery MagazineArt and Cake, Artvoices Magazine, Local ArtsBeauty & Wellness Magazine, Laika, Wild Magazine, Unite4:Good, and E-VOLVED Magazine. Past publications also include ArtScene, Juxtapoz, and Art Ltd. When I am not staring at art, mesmerized, telling torrid stories of art history or editing and writing masterpieces, I cook vegan and gluten-free feasts for friends and family, sketch the stars or pose for artists, hoping to inspire their genius to come out and play.,,

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Robin Cole Smith

Liberal Arts | MFA

BA English | MFA Drawing

LA620 The Writing Artist
LA623 Thesis 3


I originally came to LCAD as a graduate student, pursuing an MFA after a mid-education shift in my academic pursuits. Though I have always loved visual art, and my affinity for drawing was well-known among my peers and colleagues, it was literature that formed the core of my early studies. I majored in English during my years of undergraduate study as a Boettcher Scholar at Colorado College, but the school’s commitment to liberal arts allowed me to range freely between departments from fine art to natural science, psychology, classics, and my particular love: medieval literature. In subtle ways, each of these disciplines contributes to my current artistic pursuits. After college, I chose to pursue visual art in a serious capacity first through the Burren College of Art’s (Co. Clare, Ireland) post-baccalaureate offerings, and later in LCAD’s MFA program after committing to building a career as an artist and educator. I’ve since had the great fortune of combining these areas of interest and training with my background in literature as an instructor in the liberal arts & writing portion of LCAD’s MFA program and the Fine Art department of our BFA program. I balance these pursuits with an active life as an exhibiting artist in which I am represented by Lora Schleshinger Gallery in Bergamot station and Gallery 1261 in Denver, CO, my hometown. In the rare hours outside the studio or classroom, you might find me traveling, gardening, hiking, skiing, or experimenting with my latest culinary discovery.

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Sol Smith

Associate Professor and Chair of Liberal Arts

MFA Creative Writing | EDS Teacher Leadership

LA101 Wellness: Keys to Balance and Success
LA108 English Composition
LA423 Senior Capstone
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. It was always such a big part of my life, that it was like background music–I never knew it was there. I majored in Music, at first, but a chance encounter with Moby Dick changed everything for me. Mark Twain and Ray Bradbury had made the soil fertile, but it was Melville who forced me out of the ground and made me want to study and write books. I read an average of 50 books a year, and that’s not bad for someone with dyslexia. I have seven books in publication, ranging from a travel memoir to children’s horror stories. Along the way, I’ve discovered another passion of mine: teaching. I’ve been teaching now for 15 years at colleges all over the country. I’ve found my home at LCAD, a place I feel like I’ve been heading to all my life. In addition to these things, I’m a husband and father. I have four daughters who are the center of my world. We enjoy traveling, a lot. My wife and I have driven through 47 states and we vow to get those last three.
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Mike Stice

Liberal Arts, Writing Lab Director

BA Linguistics with Specialization in Language and Mind

LA422 Senior Capstone 2
LA421 Senior Capstone 1
LA 236 Introduction to Linguistics
LA 213 Project GREEN: Surf Culture
LA 110 Critical Reasoning
LA108 English Composition
LA011 College Preparatory Writing 2
LA010 College Preparatory Writing 1
LA007 College Skills

I am a native of Southern California who spent nearly my entire waking childhood outdoors. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I worked at SURFING Magazine as an Art Assistant. In 1998, I graduated cum laude from University of California, San Diego (UCSD) where I served as the Student Director of UCSD’s Language and Cognition Lab while earning a B.A. in Linguistics with a Specialization in Language and Mind. My graduate studies in English were at University of California, Irvine (UCI). I worked at Laguna Art Museum for over twenty years and have maintained a post as a part-time Liberal Arts faculty member and Writing Lab Director at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) since the fall semester 2000. In July 2012, I became LCAD’s first Communications Manager. I am the author of Wolfgang Bloch: The Colors of Coincidence (Chronicle Books, 2008). My writing has appeared in the pages of Juxtapoz,The Surfer’s Journal, Surfer Magazine, Surfer’s Path, Surfer’s Mind, Surfline, The Inertia, Saatchi, Glide, Laguna Art Magazine, Orange County Register, Riviera Magazine, OC In-Room Magazine, and more. A very, very amateur pianist, I count writing, playing, and listening to an eclectic array of music among my top passions. I am the creator, writer, editor and producer of “College. Art. Radio.”, a weekly, hour-long radio program on KX935FM. Surfing, traveling, stand-up comedy, culinary arts, reading, writing, creating art, and sampling craft coffees and beers are other activities that keep me (mostly) sane.




Marcella Stockstill

Art History | MFA

MA Art History | PhD (ABD) Early Modern History

AH 210 History of Western Art 1
AH 220 History of Western Art 2
AH 320 Modern & Contemporary Art
AH 510 Historical Context of Figurative Art

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At the age of 45, my grandfather, a structural engineer and architect, purchased an estate belonging to the family of US President Herbert C. Hoover. For the next fifty years lessons on architecture, engineering, and design unfolded at family gatherings. As I visited my grandfather’s construction sites, today home to iconic examples of mid­ twentieth­ century Modernism – the Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles County Museum of Art – I imagined a life where I could share the intellectual promise of innovators of all kinds, those with both an artistic and rational imagination. After two museum appointments, I earned an MA at UNC­Chapel Hill, where I explored exchanges between Netherlandish and Northern Italian artists and architects. Now, at the dissertation stage of my doctorate, I am investigating a new class of Renaissance craftsmen: fire­workers, gunners, and alchemists, and their place at the intersections of art, science, religion, and politics. From illustrated handbooks of art and ordnance, I am looking into the craft, splendid in its aesthetics as well as instructive in practice. Recent awards include Claremont Graduate University’s $10,000 Transdisciplinary Dissertation Research Award for 2016-17, the Newberry Library (Chicago), and the Delmas Foundation (UCLA). Publications include review of The Feminine Dynamic in English Art, 1485-1603 by Susan E. James, in Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Routledge: 2009). I spend a suspicious amount of time with music, dance, films, and books, but above all, I am proud to teach at LCAD where students possess energy, humor, and a turn of mind for the artistic process.

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Erik Watschke

Liberal Arts

MA and PhD in Visual Studies

AH338 History of Game Art


I am a film and media historian from Minneapolis, Minnesota. After attending the University of Minnesota and receiving an undergraduate degree in Cinema and Media Culture, I moved to Southern California in order to pursue primary research and archival work on the Hollywood film industry. I attended graduate school at the University of California, Irvine, in the Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies: an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Departments of Film & Media Studies and Art History. With that crucial experience, I have been able to study and teach media history and theory at UCI, Irvine Valley College, and LCAD, in such diverse subjects as film, television, new media, game art, journalism, comparative literature, and art history. Coming from Minnesota, I’ve had to adapt to a major change in climate, and sometimes miss the snowy winters and playing hockey on frozen ponds, but I now also cherish the chance to visit the beach and bike year round. I also enjoy the vibrant film and entertainment culture in LA and Orange County, and have been privileged through my research to have interacted and developed great relations with professionals across the trades. In this, some of my favorite work has been in programming and hosting film series and screenings, and being able to introduce students to exciting new art forms and the artists themselves.

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