— by Mellany Armstrong
Image shows the face of art educator Veronica Hicks.

Veronica Hicks MA '13 has been named the California Art Education Association Special Needs Art Educator of the Year.

"It means the world to me having contributed my services in an exemplary way to the state of California and to the goals of the art education profession," she said. She will receive the award during the CAEA annual conference being held November 4-7.

Hicks is currently an assistant professor in art education at California State University, Sacramento. Her job consists of preparing pre-service art teachers for their careers, but also involves partnering with community members and bringing them into the classroom. Her work connecting pre-service art teachers to disability community advocates is why she was recognized for this year’s award.

"The master’s degree I earned at Moore radically changed the way I envisioned disability and art education coming together in the art classroom," she said. "I found a community of passionate educators that strived to provide art education in the most supportive environment for their students of all abilities. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Moore."

Hicks earned the MA in Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations degree from Moore. The MA in Art Education is a one-of-a-kind graduate program for educators passionate about teaching art students with disabilities as well as typical students. She received her PhD from Pennsylvania State University.

"Teaching art to students with special needs compels you to think deeply about how you instruct every child," Hicks said. "I encourage art teachers to instruct art lessons with the attention and care to a student’s experience that all children deserve."