Dr. Read Diket, chair of the Department of Art and professor of art and education at William Carey University, was recently awarded the Maryl Fletcher de Jong Service Award by the Women’s Caucus of the National Art Education Association.
The award, which is given annually, honors an individual in the field of art education who has made noteworthy service contributions to art education as an advocate of equality for women and all people who encounter injustice. This individual gives outstanding service of community, state, national or international significance that contributes to eliminating discriminatory gender and other stereotyping practices for individuals and groups.
Diket was nominated for the award by Dr. David Burton of Virginia Commonwealth University with letters of support from Dr. Robert Sabol of Purdue University and Dr. Sheri Klein, the president of the Women’s Caucus. Their letters presented aspects of Diket’s service, including her presidency of the Seminar for Research in Art Education and of the Women’s Caucus. Diket has also served as president of several American Educational Research Association groups, including arts and education and brain, neuroscience and education.
Appropriate to the award, the letters also highlighted Diket’s 17 years of work as leader of the art education university consortium for secondary analysis and interpretation of National Assessment of Educational Progress visual arts from 1977, 2008 and 2016. Diket also contributes to an international dialogue on leadership and will publish a Taylor & Francis Group book chapter in 2016 on the ideology of thought leadership in social media.
In her acceptance speech, Diket spoke of Carey and the climate for service that has been such a strong component in its community for learning. She mentioned that kindness and empathy are mediums of respect that lead to positive outcomes for students, events and work at the university. From childhood, these components have figured into Diket’s orientation to the world.
Additionally, on April 2, Diket presented at Penn State University a paper on “Living the Vision.” The occasion was the 50th anniversary of the seminar that reoriented education in the arts at schools. Creativity needs for the race into space, needs for defining the disciplines in art and a spirit of collaboration despite consternation marked the original seminar.
Diket showed through her reading of the event papers, and through autoethnography, that national ideas found positive expression in Mississippi schools, and further, that Mississippians in the arts are known to contribute leadership within the national discussion.