The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

SoVA Art Education Alumnus Dr. Wei-Chung Chang

“We are Penn State!” It is an honor for me to write and share my reflections on my experience studying art education at Penn State, where I earned my Ph.D. in 2011. My name is Wei-Chung Chang, and I am an assistant professor in the Department of Multimedia and Animation Arts at National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA). Before enrolling in Penn State’s Art Education Ph.D. program, I taught graphic design, multimedia design, and 3D animation in the Department of Visual Communication Design at NTUA for four years. Studying art education at Penn State has allowed me to critically reflect upon my previous teaching experience via different perspectives. It also broadened my vision to look at the practice of art making as a form of research and to understand the values between them. The diversity of faculty members and students from different cultures formed a dynamic learning environment that allowed me to learn and share ideas and values from different perspectives, which made each class full of fun and challenges. From classes I took, issues of diversity, pedagogy, visual culture, gender, power, and technology had blended together to allow me to rethink what was missed in my education throughout my life. The strong feeling of reflection leads me to seek the answer, and to challenge my understanding with regard to issues of gender and power relationships in the Taiwanese culture. After completing my doctoral studies at Penn State, I came back to my teaching job at NTUA. At that time, I still taught the same design and animation studio courses, but began to offer graduate courses and to serve on graduate thesis committees to help students with their research and animation projects. My previous experience of being a doctoral student working with my dissertation committee helped me to become a better project and research advisor. In the past few years, students’ animation projects have won several awards nationally and internationally. In addition, I also serve on different committees at NTUA. For example, as a member of the Gender Equality Committee, I have great opportunities to look at the gender issues on campus, and promote the idea for creating a better gender-free learning environment. Serving on an Off-Campus Internship Counseling Committee, I develop programs to bridge the school and industry that help students gain practical experiences from internships before graduation. In 2012, I was chosen as the chief to work closely with the director of the Research and Development Office at NTUA. This extra hat gives me a great opportunity to work closely with other faculty members to apply for grants from the National Science Council and the Ministry of Education. In addition, I also develop ideas with the director to provide a better research environment to motivate research, build a research culture, share work in progress, value what research does, propose research, and carry out research projects. Penn State’s Art Education doctoral program gave me a strong foundation to develop and conduct research projects and has made me not only a better educator, but a better researcher. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to express my great thanks to all the faculty and staff members who I worked with, in particular, my dissertation chair, Dr. Karen Keifer-Boyd, and committee members, Dr. Jeanne Hall, Dr. Wanda Knight, and Dr. Patricia Amburgy. They are not only my mentors and role models for being a good researcher, but also friends who always support me in different ways whenever needed throughout the journey of my doctoral studies.