Slate: Board of Directors

Each year, the National Council of Arts Administrators holds an election of officers (3) at the Annual General Meeting (held during the annual conference,) for a four year term on the Board of Directors. The membership elects officers from a slate of nominees, initially nominated by members and vetted by the Executive Committee in advance of the election to ensure a fair representation of the membership and skills.

Election to the Board comes with the expectation of significant participation in, and responsibility for the governance of the organization, including leadership on various sub-committees, representation at other professional organizations and attendance at conferences.



Sandra Murchison Bio

Professor Sandra Murchison is currently the Director of the School of Art & Design at Eastern Michigan University. Prior to EMU, she taught at Millsaps College, serving as the Chair of the Art Department and she founded a non-profit arts center off campus in Jackson, Mississippi. An active member of SGC International, she served first as Archivist and then Vice President for Internal Affairs of the organization.  Apart from her duties as School Director, she is also the Director of the Parsons Center for Arts & Sciences, an offsite campus in northern Michigan.  

Murchison aims to do meaningful work through artistic means, careful stewardship in administrative responsibilities, and service in the community. Her mixed media prints and paintings have shown internationally, and she has been an invited visiting artist at institutions across this country. In addition, she has taught at such places as the Center for Contemporary Printmaking and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. Sandra Murchison received the Millsaps College Distinguished Professor Award in 2013 and was a finalist for the Joan Mitchell Foundation grant for painters. Her work as an administrator has garnished multiple grants from the Windgate Foundation and the Horn Foundation. Murchison’s community volunteer work includes serving as the Chair-Elect of the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She received an MFA from Louisiana State University and a BFA from Alfred University with teaching certification. 

Sandra Murchison Statement
I am indeed honored to be nominated to serve on the NCAA Board. Gladly, I would like to give back to this organization that welcomed me so warmly as a 2019 NCAA Fellow. I have been grateful for the genuine collegiality at the conference, and our remote, robust, and supportive conversations that have been happening this past year. I especially enjoy sharing similar stories and remembering that we have ways to handle our challenging positions better as we offer feasible solutions from all points in our community.   

It is my intention to serve on the NCAA Board in order to do meaningful work. As such, I was pleased to be invited to serve this summer on the Fellows Committee to help decide on this year’s slate of Fellows. This type of membership work, in this case mentoring top emerging administrators, is exactly the kind of work that I would be most drawn to accomplish on the Board. Similarly, I am eager to participate in the conversation about the future growth, vitality, and purpose of NCAA. I hope that NCAA, an already service minded organization, will continue to develop into a more youthful, inclusive, and collaborative council. In all of this work, I strive to make a positive and worthwhile difference and look forward to participating with future NCAA initiatives.    


Arne Flaten Bio

Arne Flaten (Ph.D. Indiana University-Bloomington) is Professor of Italian Renaissance Art History and Head of the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance at Purdue University. Growing up in a diplomatic family, he has lived in various parts of the world, including Israel, Rwanda, and Italy. Flaten earned his B.A. in Art Studio and English Literature at St. Olaf College and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Previously, he was Director of the School of Art at Ball State University, and Associate Dean and Chair of Visual Arts at Coastal Carolina University. In 2012 he was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award from the South Carolina House of Representatives; in 2013 he was named HTC Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at Coastal Carolina University; in 2014 he was elected to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts—Salzburg.

Professor Flaten’s publications include books, edited journals and articles on the Renaissance, Greek architecture, digital humanities, and popular culture. He is co-founder of Ashes2Art: Digital Reconstructions of Ancient Monuments, and co-founder of the Digital Jazz Manuscripts Archive. His research has been supported by the Fulbright Commission; the Getty Research Institute; the NEH; the NEA; the Kress Foundation; the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the NGA, Washington; and the Renaissance Society of America. 

Arne Flaten is a site reviewer and workshop presenter for NASAD. He serves on the Services to Historians of Visual Arts and Culture Committee for CAA and is on the Leadership Development Committee for ICFAD. 

Arne Flaten Statement
I hope to bring over a decade of administrative experience to my service to the National Council of Arts Administrators. My leadership of multiple programs of various sizes and foci in different parts of the country gives me a broad perspective on how NCAA might aid faculty, staff, and administrators in diverse circumstances. I first became involved with NCAA several years ago when I was Director of the School of Art at Ball State, and through a panel presentation at CAA. The networking opportunities provided by NCAA have been invaluable in forming my responses to shifting administrative challenges. 

The annual conferences provide a wealth of stimulating presentations and workshops, as well as opportunities to tour other facilities and meet affiliated faculty and staff. More recently, the “meet up” sessions have provided welcome connections from our hermetically sealed Zoom lives. As a board member, I would like to continue to expand the interfacing between NCAA, CAA, NASAD, ICFAD, and other associations. I think the board can also look to increasing its advocacy for various initiatives, including those directly related to diversity and inclusion, at local, regional, and national levels. Every arts program faces unique challenges, and NCAA is a powerful tool in helping all of us navigate those challenges with the collective wisdom of seasoned administrators across the country.

Mariah Doren Bio
Mariah has a Doctorate in the College Teaching of Art and Design from Columbia University, an MFA in photography from Pratt Institute, and a BA in Architecture and Urban Studies from Bryn Mawr College. She is Director of Program Planning and Development at Rhode Island School of Design, Continuing Education. She has also served as the Director of Assessment and Accreditation at RISD and Dean of Curriculum and Learning at Parsons School of Design. Her work is a mix of studio practice, research, and teaching, carefully woven and intermixed such that each component feeds and supports the others. Mariah has a studio practice based in photography that includes collage work combining printmaking, drawing, and photographs that have been part of recent exhibitions at the New Britain Museum of American Art and Site Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Mariah’s writing centers on teaching, upcoming projects include a co-authored book titled Do We Have to Call it Critique? Reimagining the tradition: More inclusive, more fulfilling, and maybe a little more fun (Intellect Press-2022) and a chapter in Introduction to Design Education: Theory, Research, and Practical Applications for Educators by Steven Faerm (Rutledge 2022). She has run workshops and presented papers at the College Art Association, AICAD, and Digitally Engaged Learning. She teaches Collegiate Teaching Practicum at RISD and prior to this has taught courses on Pedagogy, Master’s Thesis, Photography, and Cross-disciplinary studio/seminar courses in art and design at Parsons, SUNY Purchase, SUNY Albany, Columbia University, and Central Michigan University. 

Mariah Doren Statement 
It is an honor to be nominated to serve on the NCAA Board, and I would consider it a great privilege to be of service to this organization. Coming to this conference, working, learning, and laughing with leaders from different schools and differing school cultures is something I look forward to every year. Each time I leave the conference with a renewed sense of purpose and deeper understanding of the successes and challenges we face as arts educators and arts institutions. 

What I bring to the table is my commitment to education as a transformative experience to all who engage. I have held leadership roles that focus on the importance of curriculum, teaching, and learning for many years and would bring that disposition—that we are all here to learn and grow—to the role as board member. My experience in leadership, within degree programs (Parsons) and non-degree programs (RISD) have required me to think hard about the future of education and I am excited to be a part of these emergent conversations. I see the role of the NCAA as providing a platform for the exchange of knowledge around pressing issues in our field:  supporting teaching, developing equitable learning experiences for students, administrative initiatives (finesse), finances, and the future of education (the list might go on and on) and am excited to play my part in making this happen.


Jenn Gardner Selby Bio

Jenn Gardner Selby completed her MA in Fine Art Studio at Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London) in 2003 with a specialization in Lens-Based Media. After teaching studio courses at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and Pfeiffer University, she joined the full-time visual arts faculty at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in 2007. An advocate for equitable access to higher education in the visual arts, she was charged with establishing a two-year visual arts foundations program and securing university transfer relationships to serve community college students.  

In 2009 the Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) in Visual Arts degree was established, and in 2010 Jenn was appointed the Associate Chair of the Department of Humanities & Fine Arts. In 2012 she founded the North Carolina AFA Association, which brought together faculty from NC’s universities, independent colleges, and community colleges. Ten years later the association has over 275 members and hosts an annual conference. Through the association faculty have worked together to establish binding statewide transfer policy, implement curricular improvement projects, and provide professional development opportunities. 

By 2013 Jenn was appointed Chair of the Department of Art & Design. In 2019 the Department of Art & Design was awarded a $55,000 grant by Z.Smith Reynolds for the inclusive public art project, Here’s My Story. Jenn currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Art & Design and as Executive Director of Transfer and University Partnerships. She was appointed by the NC Community College System Office to the Transfer Advisory Committee (TAC). She serves on the NC Museum of Art College Advisory Board and as the Past-President of the NC AFA Association.

Jenn Gardner Selby Statement
It is an honor to be nominated for the NCAA Board of Directors. As an administrator who has chosen to serve within the community college environment, I am reminded daily of the need for advocacy, equity, and access across higher education. I am passionate about the abilities of students who want to pursue visual arts, no matter their background, identity, status, or family history. Promoting strong collaboration across differences is one of my abilities and areas of focus as a leader – it is in that collaboration that I believe we strengthen one other and establish a more transparent and just world. As a Board member I would commit to growing and diversifying membership in the NCAA, with specific focus on two-year institutions. Supporting the needs of members and the current and future goals of the NCAA, especially in light of the impact of the pandemic, would be a top priority. During my eleven years in arts administration, I have embraced openness, innovation, and respect as guiding values; and as the founder of a statewide association and annual conference I have experience bringing people together. The NCAA has provided incredible resources, relationships, and opportunities that have helped me throughout my career. It would be an honor to give back and support the needs of arts administrators from across the country as a Board member.

Barbara Jk Nwacha Bio

Barbara Jk Nwacha serves as Assistant Chair of the Department of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). She joined the Art and Design faculty at SIUE in 2005 and served as Chair for eight years. Currently a Professor of Graphic Design, she has taught all levels of graphic design since 1998. Her freelance design work includes exhibition design for a thirty-four-panel traveling show, “Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide,” a touring exhibition shown in various educational venues across the United States from 2007–2014.

Professor Nwacha works as an exhibiting fine artist using a printmaking method called “Foil Imaging”–a hot stamped foil transfertechnique adapted for artisans and art studio use from commercial hot stamped foil printing. Professor Nwacha’s foil monotypes and series work have been published in two books: Foil Imaging: A New Art Form and Changing Light A New Visual Language. She continues to regularly make and exhibit work in regional and national juried exhibitions. Professor Nwacha holds BFA, MA and MFA in Design (Graphic Design) from The University of Iowa. She is a member of the National Council of Arts Administrators, College Art Association, and AIGA Design Educators. Barbara also serves as a NASAD Visiting Evaluator and NASAD Commission Member.

Barbara Jk Nwacha Statement
The National Council of Arts Administrators as an organization provides a safe space to examine and share management issues experienced with faculty, students, and administrators. I am a better department chair and now assistant chair since attending NCAA programming. I recognize the value of the diverse disciplines within the large framework of ART and see value for the student and the struggles facing artist-educators. NCAA helps Arts Administrators advance educational opportunities in art and advocate the value of art for our culture and in society. 

As a design educator my talents include strong graphic design skills and a technology background. I also have experience with curriculum development and an interest in arts opportunities within liberal arts education. These talents could help with ongoing dialogue around the arts in higher education.

Service to the board would include utilizing my graphic design background and organizational skills gained from my experience as department chair of a multi-faceted department with Art Studio (undergraduate and graduate programs), Art History, Art Education, and a nationally recognized graduate program in Art Therapy Counseling. Through programming provided at NCAA conferences I have learned how to help support department faculty to adapt to larger administrative demands impacting the arts within the university.


Anthony Crisafulli Bio 

Anthony Crisafulli is a former managing editor of a New York magazine, CEO of a Virtual Reality and Data Mining company, Director of Johnson Center for Digital Media, Chair Art and Art History at the University of Texas (RGV), Chair of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Alabama and the Director of Recruitmentand Retention for the School of the Arts. He has workedwith HBO, The History Chann

el, The Travel Channel, Hasbro, Lucasfilm Games - LucasArts, and MOMA/PS1. He is presently the head of the Digital Media and the BFA at the University of North Alabama and a faculty member at Penn State University's World Campus. Before this assignment, Professor Crisafulli taught Design in Arabic and English at Moravian University in Bethlehem, PA. He won Best of Philadelphia in Philadelphia Magazine, represented the United States at the 2008 Olympic's opening of China's first contemporary art museum, and raised over four million dollars for the arts. He is presently a Director of the Foundation Board for Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (Ranked as the no.1 high school for the arts in Pennsylvania.), a member of the Board of Directors for Karl Stirner Arts Trail in Easton, PA., and a member of CAA's Council of Readers. Anthony Crisafulli has also held past positions as a member of the Board of Directors for the Texas Museum of Art and Science and the Apple Academic Board. 

Anthony Crisafulli Statement
If elected to the National Council of Arts Administrators Board of Directors, I will focus on developing masterclasses and the infrastructure that will help our members build and maintain static partnerships and external sources of revenue. My goal is to help demystify this process by providing resources that are scalable, easy to replicate, and hopefully fun.