Who We Are

SIG Officers

Amanda Claudia Wager, 


Chair  5/1/2020 - 4/30/2022

Amanda Wager, PhD is a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Community Research in Arts, Culture & Education and Professor at Vancouver Island University in Canada. As an interdisciplinary scholar, she practices community-engaged research, pedagogy, and scholarship that encompasses literacies, languages, and the arts with local youth, families, and communities. Her current youth-led research explores the use of art as a form of language learning, leadership and advocacy work. Her recent publications include two special issues, Collaborative Arts, Creative Research, & Youth Engagement in Social Justice Practices and Art as Voice, Engaging Youth in Critical Arts Pedagogies and Creative Research for Social Justice (Routledge, in press), Art as a Way of Talking and The Reading Turn-Around with Emergent Bilinguals. She is an Associate Editor for Art/Research International and on the Editorial Board: Arts Education Policy Review.

Vancouver Island University

900 Fifth Street

Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5 Canada

Phone:  250.618.1505


Matt Omasta, Immediate Past Chair

Past Chair  5/1/2020 - 4/30/2022

Matt Omasta is Associate Dean of the Caine College of the Arts (CCA) and Professor of Theatre Arts at Utah State University. He has been recognized with the Founders Award from the Educational Research Association; the Johnny Saldana Outstanding Professor of Theatre Education Award, Lin Wright Special Recognition Award, and Research Award from the American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE); as well as USU CCA’s Teacher of the Year, Mentor of the Year, and Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Awards. Dr. Omasta teaches courses in drama pedagogy, theatre for young audiences, applied theatre, and theory history, literature, theory, and criticism.  Dr. Omasta is an active leader in national organizations and has served on AATE’s Board of Directors, the American Society for Theatre Research’s Executive Committee, and as Chair of the American Educational Research Association (AERA)'s Arts & Learning Special Interest Group.

Utah State University

Department of Theatre Arts

4025 Old Main Hill

Logan, UT 84322-4025

Phone: (435) 797-3103 FAX:  (435) 797-0086


Joy Gaulden Bertling, Program Chair

Program Chair  5/1/2020 - 4/30/2022

Joy G. Bertling is an assistant professor and team leader of art education at the University of Tennessee. She received her Ph.D. in art education from the University of Georgia. Her research engages with critical place-based art education and other arts-based ecopedagogies as well as the intersections between arts-based research and teacher education. She has published articles in various peer-reviewed journals including the International Journal of Education & the ArtsInternational Journal of Education through ArtArt Education, Environmental Education Research, and the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Her research article, “US Art Teacher Education in the Age of the Anthropocene,” was published in Studies in Art Education earlier this year. She has taught visual art at the K-12 level for over ten years and is a National Board (NBPTS) certified art teacher.

University of Tennessee

Department of Theory & Practice in Teacher Education

David Bailey Education Complex #109

Knoxville, TN 37996

WORK:  865-974-8602


Sarah Travis, Awards Chair

Awards Chair  5/1/2019 - 4/30/2021

Sarah Travis is an Assistant Professor in Art Education in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Travis has a BA in Art Studio and African and African Diaspora Studies from Tulane University, an MA in Art Education from the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in Art Education from the University of North Texas. She uses qualitative research methods to examine issues around the sociocultural identities and experiences of artists, art students, and art educators. She received the 2019 Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Award from the National Art Education Association for her dissertation, Portraits of Young Artists: Artworlds, In/Equity, and Dis/Identification in Post-Katrina New Orleans. She is the co-editor of Pedagogies in the Flesh: Case Studies on the Embodiment of Sociocultural Differences in Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and has published articles in Art Education, Studies in Art Education, The Urban Review, International Journal of Education & the Arts, and Journal for Cultural Research in Art Education. Dr. Travis serves as an Editorial Review Board member for the journals of Art Education and Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

School of Art + Design, Art Education Program

408 E. Peabody Dr. Champaign, IL 61820


Mary McAvoy, Secretary/Treasurer

Secretary/Treasurer  5/1/2019 - 4/30/2021

Mary McAvoy is an associate professor in the School of Music, Dance, and Theatre. Her research and creative practice focus on histories of theatre and drama in educational contexts; performance pedagogy and activism (particularly in US labor movements); educational theatre/drama, theatre teacher preparation, and teaching artistry; radical and experimental performance in youth cultures; and arts education policy.

She is the author of Rehearsing Revolutions: The Labor Drama Experiment and Radical Activism in the Early Twentieth Century (University of Iowa Press - Studies in Theatre History and Culture; 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title; George Freedley Memorial Award Finalist), the co-author of Drama and Education: Performance Methodologies for Teaching and Learning (Routledge) and co-editor of Youth and Performance: Perceptions of the Contemporary Child (OLMS). She is also co-editor (with Professor Peter O'Connor, University of Auckland) of the forthcoming "Routledge Companion to Drama in Education." Her articles have appeared in Youth Theatre JournalThe Journal of American Drama and TheatreArts Education Policy Review, and various edited collections. She serves on the editorial board for multiple journals and has guest edited Youth Theatre Journal (Special Topic: Intercultural Exchange). She has also presented master classes and professional development in theatre teaching and theatre arts curriculum integration in the US, Russia, and China. 

She teaches courses in theatre history, research methods, and theatre teaching methods preK-16+ in both the undergraduate and graduate theatre programs. In addition, she directs the theatre education teacher certification programs and serves as the faculty coordinator for community engagement programming connected with the Music, Dance and Theatre season. She is also a director and dramaturge.

Arizona State University

Film, Dance, and Theatre

1001 S Forest Mall DGH 232

Tempe, AZ 85287

Phone: 704-560-6652



Jody Stokes-Casey, Graduate Student Representative

Graduate Student Representative 5/1/2020 - 4/30/2021

Jody Stokes-Casey is an art education PhD candidate in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has a MA in Art History and certification in museum studies from the University of Memphis, and a BFA in Art Education from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She has several years of experience teaching in K12 schools and museums. Her current research is rooted in a rural community in the Mississippi Delta and interested in how arts education is implemented in historical narrative. Some of her peer-reviewed publications appear in journals including Art Education, Journal of American Studies, Tennessee Historical Quarterly, and Visual Arts Research.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

School of Art + Design, Art Education Program

408 E. Peabody Dr. Champaign, IL 61820