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Schwartz Leader-in-Residence

The Schwartz Leader-In-Residence (LIR) Program, named in honor of Dr. Stephen W. Schwartz (1940-2006), the founding and longtime dean of the McDonough Center, is designed to infuse leadership across the Marietta College campus. The McDonough Center works collaboratively with a department to bring to campus an outstanding leader in the department’s academic area of interest. During the academic year, the Schwartz LIR works with the department faculty to develop and implement a project that enhances the leadership knowledge and skills of the participants. The project is open to students in the department, based on selection criteria established by the department chair in close consultation with the Schwartz LIR.

The 2016-2017 Schwartz Leader-in-Residence:


Hosting Department: Music


Donna S. Collins became Executive Director of the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) on July 1, 2014. Prior to leading the OAC, Collins served as the executive director of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) since 1998 and as the executive director of the Ohio Citizens for the Arts and Foundation (OCA) since 2001. During her tenure, both the OAAE and OCA were recognized statewide and nationally for their success at increasing services to constituents, creating policy, and generating more funds for the arts. Collins brought to the OAC more than 20 years of experience in leading statewide non-profit organizations, demonstrating consistent success and solid results that impact policy, education, economic development, and arts and culture. A proven leader in the field of arts education and arts advocacy, she has worked with the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network (KCAAEN) on the Network Leadership Committee and as a consultant to state Alliances across the nation. She also served as an Americans for the Arts State Captain and a State Arts Action Network chair and member, as well as chair of the Arts Education Council. In addition, Collins is a member of the steering committee of the Cultural Data Project/Ohio. Currently Collins serves on the Awards Committee and Membership Dues Task Force for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). Collins has received the Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award from Americans for the Arts; Distinguished Fellow and Arts Administration Awards by the Ohio Art Education Association; VSA Ohio's Fran Bay Award; Executive Director recognition from the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network in 2003, 2008, 2011, and 2014; and induction into the Ohio Educational Theatre Association's Hall of Fame. Collins was also honored by the Ohio PTA as a Life Member.

Project Description:

In the past several decades in public education and in public venues as well, the value of music and the arts has been questioned and often faced the chopping blocks in school systems due to budget shortages. With a vast amount of current research completed on the value of music specifically and its affect on the overall learning of the student, music and the arts need to be looked at more carefully.
With the institution of the common core curriculum, more emphasis has been put on the STEM areas of education while negatively affecting the ability of students to be enrolled and participate in the arts programs in the secondary school systems. Arts was recently added as a core subject changing STEM to STEAM.  However much convincing and advocacy is needed to take those words and put it truly into action.
As the Leader-In-Residence, Donna Collins, will help students develop greater knowledge and skills in the advocacy of music and the arts. This work will include but will not be limited to locating and identifying recent legislative action at the state and national level affecting the arts, identify useful research in the area of arts advocacy and development, identify ways to advocate, develop a connection with invested parties in the advocacy effort, identifications of those most directly affected by the arts programs, the economic impact on communities where music and the other arts are an integral part and identifying up to date educational research on the role and positive outcomes of the educational system that demonstrates an active and effective music/arts program.
The students will identify various constituencies and research on the impact of music and the arts in educational settings. Research of the importance of music for music’s sake will also be explored. Students will be assigned various constituents to contact and get involved in the final project.
With the guidance of the Leader-In-Residence, the project students will develop a panel of individuals to present a panel discussion at the 2017 Leadership Conference on the Marietta College campus. This panel discussion will address the educational benefits of music and the arts in the educational setting and it’s impact on the economics of the community. Further discussion on the advocacy needs and methods of engagement for music and the arts will also be explored.
The culminating project event will be a music and the arts festival to be held in downtown Marietta featuring music performances by various college and public/private school ensembles, visual art exhibitions, and theatre scenes. The culminating project event goal is to make the community and local schools (administrators, teachers, students, and parents) more aware of the many benefits of music and the arts in, and out of, school. Before each performance, the student introducing the performing group or art exhibition will provide a short presentation on the value of arts advocacy, as well as the strategies involved. A key feature is the importance of music and the arts in public/private Pre-K–16 education.
To learn more about Collins' LIR Project, please click HERE.
The 2015-2016 Schwartz Leader-in-Residence:
Hosting Department: Education

Dr. Stephanie Starcher is Superintendent of Fort Frye Local Schools in southeastern Ohio.  Throughout her 19 years in education, Dr. Starcher has served as an elementary teacher and principal and is also an adjunct professor for several colleges and universities.  Wal-Mart recognized her as a Teacher of the Year in 2001, and in 2009, she was selected as part of the Ohio Governor’s Institute on Creativity and Innovation in Education.  Under her instructional leadership, the schools in which Dr. Starcher was an instructional leader have consistently improved their state accountability ratings.  Because of her proven track record, she is often asked to speak at state-wide conferences on topics related to continuous improvement. 
Dr. Starcher obtained her undergraduate degree in elementary education at Marietta College in 1992 where she was part of the McDonough Leadership Program.  She then earned a graduate degree as a reading specialist from Marshall University and later completed her doctoral studies in education administration at Ohio University.  Dr. Starcher’s written work was selected for the Outstanding Dissertation Award by Ohio University in 2005.   She currently resides with her husband and two daughters in Belpre, Ohio.
Project Description:
In the past decade, Ohio has experienced a phenomenal number of educational mandates, which has resulted in turbulent times for its educational system.  Educators are faced with rapidly occurring, unpredictable change.  As Leader-In-Residence, Dr. Starcher helped students identify some of Ohio’s critical issues in education that are associated with such unprecedented change, which may include, but are not limited to, school finance, standardized testing, curriculum standards, teacher evaluation, pre-service teacher preparation requirements, and school choice.  Students investigated the historical and political development of specific critical issues in education and the related state policies and laws.  Such research increased students’ capacity to address the demands that are inherent in education given limited resources, diverse community needs, and conflicting interests.  Each student were connected with a practicing teacher and administrator who shared perspectives on the critical issues from the field.  In the spring of 2016, the students used knowledge gained from their research and conversations with practitioners to make educational policy recommendations to state legislators and/or lobbyists.  Although the focus of this project was educational issues within Ohio, these educational topics are relevant nationally and the skillsets gained are applicable to other political and policy-making venues. 
The 2014-2015 Schwartz Leader-in-Residence:
Hosting Department: Political Science

Kathleen Reddy-Smith '71 retired from the U.S. Foreign Service after a twenty-nine year career.  She served in Islamabad, Brussels (both the bilateral mission and the U.S. Mission to the European Union), Paris, and Rome, where she was Counselor for Economic Affairs and then Minister Counselor. She was Special Assistant to Richard Armitage for International Assistance to the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union and monitored economic reconstruction of Bosnia following cessation of hostilities. She wrote a book on international finance used throughout the U.S. Government. Her last assignment was as Deputy Coordinator for Pandemic Influenza, where she supervised a USG-wide effort to prepare the United States globally for a possible pandemic, the first time such protocols were in place around the world.  
She attended Marietta College, and was inducted in 2007 to the College's Hall of Honor for her humanitarian and diplomatic work in pandemic preparations.  In 2012-2013, she was Diplomat-in-Residence at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, where she lectured on foreign affairs, negotiation strategy, and women's issues.  She also began a lecture series, the John Quincy Adams Distinguished Speakers in Foreign Affairs, in honor of one of the founders of Bridgewater. She is a Member of the Board of Trustees for DACOR, an organization in Washington, D.C., for foreign affairs professionals, and for the DACOR Bacon House, a federal home and museum in Washington, where she is also Assistant Curator and supervises the restoration of the House and its furnishings.  She holds Masters' degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Harvard University, and the U.S. Naval War College.   She lives in Kingston, Massachusetts, and is restoring a federal home and gardens there.  Her husband, Thomas Smith, a member of the U.S. Secret Service, passed away in 2007.
Project Description:
Kathleen Reddy-Smith began her Schwartz Leader-in-Residence project teaching strategic writing and analysis in Political Science 325 (Middle East Politics).  The Middle East exists as a truly tense and important region in world politics.  The course challenged the students to consider a number of factors that increase the complexities of policy-making in the region, such as: the legacy of imperialism in the region, the influence of the Cold War, the underlying religious realities of the region, the ongoing implications of Arab Spring, the fallout of the United States’ recent activities in the region, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the Leader-in-Residence, Reddy-Smith introduced the students to writing techniques, including brief writing and policy memorandums that added a significant layer of real-world policy-making to the class.  In the spring of 2015, the students participating in the Leader-in-Residence project used their newly developed professional writing skills to analyze and make policy recommendations on countries outside of the Middle East.  The project culminated with student presentations to region specific policy experts in Washington, D.C. Travel expenses for the student participants were provided by the Schwartz LIR Endowment.

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