AWE Staff

Rick Williams, Executive Director
Rick Williams is Dean of the Division of Arts at Lane Community College and co-author of Visual Communication: Integrating Media, Art and Science. He developed the interdisciplinary Visual Communication Program at St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas and taught at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oregon for 15 years and is a national award winning arts and visual communications scholar, educator and documentary photographer. His work advances theoretical and practical explorations and applications in the use of visual communication and arts as pedagogical tools that help students balance cognitive modalities and integrate multiple intelligences to enhance creativity, intelligence, problem solving, decision-making and performance across academic and professional disciplines and practices.

Michelle Swanson, Coach and Trainer
Michelle Swanson works with teacher and teaching artist partners to help them plan and implement rigorous and relevant integrated arts projects. She is a partner and senior trainer for Swanson & Cosgrave Consulting, a firm that develops and implements a wide range of design and facilitation services for schools, districts and national organizations engaged in school reform. Her prior design work includes national high school theatre and playwriting programs, including The Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the West Coast Playwrights Conference and Festival. Her expertise in curriculum design and research-based instructional strategies includes project-based learning.

Dionisia Morales, Coach and Trainer
Dio Morales works with teacher and teaching artist partners to help them plan and implement rigorous and relevant integrated arts projects. She works as a freelance consultant with schools, school districts, and education and employer groups to enhance effective teaching, learning and assessment practices. Dio is a past Research Associate with the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, where she wrote Connections, a series of eight guides to help schools and community members create powerful teaching and learning opportunities through project-based learning and school-business partnerships.

Deborah Brzoska, Trainer
Deb Brzoska facilitates the training of teachers and teaching artists throughout the year. Deb is a former dancer and choreographer as well as founding principal of an award-winning, arts-centered public school in Vancouver, Washington. She is a national teaching artist for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, specializing in arts integration and assessment and in the professional development of teachers, school leaders and teaching artists. She has written about arts education for The Kennedy Center, Columbia College, the Arts Education Partnership and The College Board.