Executive Committee

Nicholas Allen

Nicholas Allen is Director of the Willson Center and Franklin Professor of English.  His books includeBroken Landscapes: Selected letters on Ernie O’Malley (Dublin, 2011), Modernism, Ireland and Civil War(Cambridge University Press, 2009), That Other Island (2007), The Proper Word (2007), George Russell and the New Ireland  (2003), and The Cities of Belfast (2003).  Recent essays have been published in The History of the Irish Book in the Twentieth Century (Oxford, 2011) and Synge and Edwardian Ireland(2011). Allen’s work is located at the intersection between literature, history and  visual culture.  His interests include the study of modernism, empire, and increasingly, writing about ocean and archipelago.  Allen has taught previously at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the National University of Ireland, Galway, where he was academic director of the Moore Institute.

Jason Corey, University of Michigan Representative

Jason Corey teaches courses in sound recording, timbral ear training, and musical acoustics, and is active as a recording engineer focusing primarily on symphonic band, jazz, orchestral, chamber, and experimental electronic music. His research is concerned with technical ear training and critical listening and the development of audio processing tools for multichannel audio with applications in music and film sound recording. In 2010, he published a book with accompanying software entitled Audio Production and Critical Listening: Technical Ear Training (Focal Press).

He is a recipient of the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship at The Banff Centre in Banff, Canada, where he has worked as an Audio Research Associate. He has presented his research at conferences in Europe, Canada, and the United States. His research and education have been supported by the Audio Engineering Society Educational Foundation (New York), Bang & Olufsen A/S (Denmark), McGill University Stern Fellowship for Doctoral Studies in Music, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Pioneer Electronic Corporation (Japan), and TC Electronic A/S (Denmark).

Serving as Chair of the Audio Engineering Society Education Committee from 2004 to 2008, he was actively involved in the organization of student and education events at AES conventions.  He is the founder of the University of Michigan AES Student Section, serving as its faculty advisor since 2003.

Professor Corey has been a member of the Audio Engineering Society since 1995, and is also a member of the Acoustical Society of America, the International Computer Music Association, College Music Society, and the Society for Music Perception and Cognition.

Shannon Jackson

Shannon Jackson is the Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Chair in the Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is Professor of Rhetoric and of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. In the fall of 2015, she was appointed to be the first Associate Vice Chancellor for the Arts and Design (AVCAD). In this leadership position, Jackson reports to both UC-Berkeley’s Chancellor and to its Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. Her office is responsible for creating new operations and collaborations across departments, centers, presenting organizations, and initiatives in the arts and design for the entire campus. The AVCAD office facilitates communication platforms, research initiatives, student arts access programs, curricular innovation, multi-unit fundraising, public engagement, facilities planning, and local and global partnerships in the arts and design across the campus and with local and international organizations.

Jackson’s own research and teaching focuses on two broad, overlapping domains 1) collaborations across visual, performing, and media art forms and 2) the role of the arts in social institutions and in social change. Her most recent book is The Builders Association: Performance and Media in Contemporary Theater (M.I.T. Press, 2015).  Her previous books include  Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics (Routledge 2011), Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, and Hull-House Domesticity (2000) and Professing Performance: Theatre in the Academy from Philology to Performativity (2004).  “Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Commons,” co-edited with Johanna Burton and Dominic Willsdon, is forthcoming from the New Museum/M.I.T. Press. Other projects include the guest-edited Valuing Labor in the Arts with Art Practical, a forthcoming special issue of Representations on time-based art, and an online platform of keywords in experimental art and performance, In Terms of Performance, created in collaboration with the Pew Center for Art and Heritage. Her writing has also appeared in dozens of museum catalogues, journals, blogs, and edited collections.

Jackson has received numerous awards, including a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lilla Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Performance Studies (NCA), the ATHE Best Book Award, Honorable Mention for the John Hope Franklin Prize, the Kahan Scholar’s Prize in Theatre History (ASTR), and the Arts and Humanities Outstanding Service Award.  She has received fellowships from the Spencer Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as several collaborative project grants from the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, UCIRA, the Creative Work Fund, the Pedar Sather Center, the San Francisco Foundation, and the LEF Foundation.

Jackson serves on the boards of Cal Performances, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Berkeley Center for New Media, the English Institute, and the Oakland Museum of California. She also serves on the advisory boards of several journals and arts organizations; she has been a plenary speaker at a variety of distinguished venues, including most recently the Venice Biennial, ArtCOP21, the Chicago Humanities Festival, the PUBLIC Theater, Tate Modern, Creative Time, the Sorbonne, the Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA, Open Engagement, the Ibsen International Festival in Oslo, the Blaffer Museum, The Kitchen, Cooper Union, the Yale School of Drama, Harvard’s Spencer Lecture in Drama, and many other universities and art organizations. She has organized dozens of conferences, symposia, and artist residencies with the Arts Research Center, the Global Urban Humanities Initiative, Art Practical, Cal Performances, BAMPFA, Open Engagement, The Builders Association, Touchable Stories, American Society of Theatre Research, the American Studies Association, the Women and Theatre Project, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Multi-campus Research Group on International Performance, UCB’s Center for Community Innovation, and with the civic governments of Berkeley, San Francisco, and Richmond, California.

Shannon was an Erasmus Mundus visiting professor in Paris at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Nord and at the Université Libre de Bruxelles for the 2008-09 academic year. Before moving to Berkeley, she was an assistant professor of English and Literature at Harvard University from 1995 to 1998.

Leila Kinney, Co-Chair

Leila W. Kinney is the Executive Director of Arts Initiatives and of the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), working with Associate Provost Philip S. Khoury, the School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), the Creative Arts Council, the Council for the Arts at MIT, the MIT List Visual Arts Center, and the MIT Museum, to advance the arts at MIT in the areas of strategic planning, cross-school collaborations, communications and resource development.

Kinney is an art historian with experience in both SA+P, where she was on the faculty in the History, Theory and Criticism section of the Department of Architecture (HTC) and SHASS, where she taught in the Program in Women’s Studies and in Comparative Media Studies. She specializes in modern art, with an emphasis on media in transition, arts institutions and artists’ engagement with mass culture. She is a member of the Executive Committee of a2ru (Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities) and of the Advisory Committees of the Catalyst Collaborative at MIT, the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the MIT Museum.

R. Benjamin Knapp

R. Benjamin Knapp is the Director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. ICAT seeks to promote research and education at the boundaries between art, design, engineering, and science. Dr. Knapp also leads the Music, Sensors, and Emotion research group, with researchers in the UK and the US.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Knapp has been working to create meaningful links between human-computer interaction, universal design, and various forms of creativity. His research on human-computer interaction has focused on the development and design of user-interfaces and software that allow both composers and performers to augment the physical control of a musical instrument with direct sensory interaction. He holds twelve patents and is the co-inventor of the BioMuse system, which enables artists to use gesture, cognition, and emotional state to interact with audio and video media.

In previous positions, Dr. Knapp has served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at University College, Dublin, and chief technology officer of the Technology Research for Independent Living Centre. As the director of technology at MOTO Development Group in San Francisco, Calif., he managed teams of engineers and designers developing human-computer interaction systems for companies such as Sony, Microsoft, and Logitech. He co-founded BioControl Systems, a company that develops mobile bioelectric measurement devices for artistic interaction. Dr. Knapp has also served as professor and chair of the Department of Computer, Information, and Systems Engineering at San Jose State University.

He earned a doctorate and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University. Dr. Knapp has been a PI in several pan-European projects including, CAPSIL (Common Awareness and Knowledge Platform for Studying and Enabling Independent Living) and SIEMPRE (Social Interaction and Entrainment Using Music Performance) and coordinated the EU project, BRAID (Bridging Research in Ageing and ICT Development).

Barbara Korner

As dean of the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, Dr. Barbara Oliver Korner oversees multiple academic units plus the Center for the Performing Arts, Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State Centre Stage, and Music at Penn’s Woods. The college offers more than 20 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in architecture, landscape architecture, art history, integrative arts, music, theatre, visual arts, and graphic design. With approximately 1400 undergraduate students, 200 graduate students, 200 faculty, and 100 staff, the College of Arts and Architecture boasts a strong presence on the University Park campus, offering hundreds of musical and theatre performances, visual arts exhibitions, and related events each year.

Before coming to Penn State in June 2007, Dr. Korner, who holds the rank of professor of theatre, served as associate dean for academic and student affairs in the College of Fine Arts at the University of Florida for seven years. While there, she also spent a year as interim dean. Her other academic administrative experience includes serving as dean of fine and performing arts at Seattle Pacific University and special assistant to the chancellor at the University of Missouri at Columbia, in addition to positions at Ohio University.

Dr. Korner holds a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary fine arts from Ohio University, a master’s in theatre performance, and an undergraduate degree in theatre production. She has been recognized as a distinguished alumna of the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University. Her women’s history performances have been funded by humanities councils in both Missouri and the state of Washington. With Carla Waal, she is the co-editor of Hardship and Hope: Missouri Women Writing About Their Lives. She is the writer/performer of Responding to the Call: African-American Women Preachers. She has also performed dozens of stage roles in plays and musicals, as well as directed many university theatrical productions.

Dr. Korner presents communication and leadership workshops to a wide range of organizations and institutions. She holds a certificate from the Institute for Management and Leadership at Harvard University and is the co-director of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Leadership Institute, which she founded with Mark Heckler, president of Valparaiso University. Since 2000, that program has influenced more than 250 academic leaders of theatre and fine arts programs in higher education. She has served on several regional and national arts and cultural boards, including two terms as vice president of ATHE; member of the board of directors for the International Council of Fine Arts Deans; and chair of the executive committee of the recently established Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), of which Penn State is a founding partner. The partnership involves 28 major research universities and includes Penn State’s College of Engineering and College of Information Sciences and Technology, along with the College of Arts and Architecture. At Penn State, she has served as chair of the Academic Leadership Council, the University’s United Way Campaign, and the Forum Speakers Series.

David C. Munson, Jr.

Dr. David C. Munson Jr. became president of Rochester Institute of Technology in 2017. Dr. Munson, the former dean of the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, is the 10th president of the university.

As RIT’s president, Dr. Munson is responsible for one of the nation’s leading research and career-oriented universities featuring 19,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries, 124,000 alumni, $73 million in sponsored research and an endowment of more than $750 million.

RIT’s full-time undergraduate enrollment ranks RIT among the top 10 largest private universities in the United States. RIT is the third largest producer of undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math among all private universities in the U.S. RIT also is home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) and has one of the oldest and largest cooperative education programs in the country.

Dr. Munson has 38 years of experience in higher education, which includes serving as the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at Michigan from 2006 to 2016.

Dr. Munson earned his BS degree in electrical engineering (with distinction) from the University of Delaware in 1975. He earned an MS and MA in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1977, followed by a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1979, also from Princeton.

From 1979 to 2003, Dr. Munson was with the University of Illinois, where he was the Robert C. MacClinchie Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Research Professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory and a faculty member in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

In 2003, he became chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan prior to becoming dean.

Dr. Munson’s teaching and research interests are in the area of signal and image processing. His current research is focused on radar imaging and computer tomography. He is co-founder of InstaRecon Inc., a start-up firm to commercialize fast algorithms for image formation in computer tomography. He is affiliated with the Infinity Project, where he is coauthor of a textbook on the digital world, which has been used in hundreds of high schools nationwide to introduce students to engineering.

Dr. Munson is married to Nancy Munson, a former nurse, avid runner and volunteer. The couple has four sons and four grandchildren.

Robert Palazzo, Treasurer

Dr. Palazzo serves as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He received his BS and PhD degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. After conducting four years of post doctorate research at the University of Virginia’s biology department, he received appointment as scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He joined the University of Kansas in 1992 where he served in a variety of roles including professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology and professor for the Department of Molecular Biosciences.

In 2002, he joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as professor and chair of the Department of Biology. In 2004, he received appointment as the first Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Rensselaer. During this time, he also served as a Research Scientist for the Wadsworth Center with the New York State Department of Health. Palazzo was appointed Acting Provost in 2006 and Provost of Rensselaer in 2007.

An active contributor to his field, Palazzo is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Scientific American Magazine and is a member of the Board of Directors for The Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America(ASTRA). He served as the President of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), which currently represents 26 basic biomedical research societies and more than 100,000 scientists. Palazzo served as Chair of the Science Advisory Council and as ex officio member of the Board of Trustees for the Marine Biological Laboratory. He has also served as a panelist or as member of various committees for a variety of organizations throughout his career, including the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Palazzo served as an editorial board member of Biology of the Cell for five years and spent seven years on the editorial board of Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton. Palazzo’s honors include a Junior Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society, a National Research Service Award from the NIH, and a number of fellowships. He is a member of many professional societies, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the American Society for Cell Biology.

Mónica Ponce de León

Mónica Ponce de León, AIA, is Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University. Ponce de León is a pioneering educator and award-winning architect who is deeply committed to architectural education. Ponce de León builds bridges between academia and practice, underscoring the interdisciplinary nature of architecture by encouraging experimentation and critical thinking in the curriculum. As a dean and an educator, Ponce de León has emphasized the connections between scholarship, research and creative practice.

Ponce de León served as dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor from 2008 through 2015 where she was also the Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning. Before her appointment at the University of Michigan, Ponce de León was a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she served on the faculty for 12 years. Ponce de León also has held teaching appointments at Northeastern University, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design and Georgia Institute of Technology.

She is widely recognized as a leader in the application of robotic technology to building fabrication. Building upon her work as director of the Digital Lab at Harvard, she developed a state of the art student-run digital fabrication lab at the University of Michigan, integrating digital fabrication into the curriculum of the school. In large part because of her pioneering work, the use of digital tools is now commonplace in architecture schools across the country.

Among her many prestigious honors, Ponce de León has received the National Design Award in Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum; the Academic Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the USA Target Fellow in Architecture and Design from United States Artists; and the Young Architects and Emerging Voices awards from the Architectural League of New York. Her work has received a dozen Progressive Architecture Awards, several awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and numerous citations. She was also named a National Academician (NA) in recognition of her exceptional contributions to American art and architecture.

Ponce de León’s interdisciplinary practice, MPdL Studio, has offices in New York, Boston, and Ann Arbor, MI. MPdL Studio’s work ranges in scale from furniture to architecture, urban design and infrastructure, with a focus on design integration, craft, detailing, and precision. Much of the studio’s research is dedicated to an exploration of how to improve on contemporary modes of construction, investigating both industry standards as well as evolving technologies derived from digital manufacturing processes.

Emily Ryan, 2019 Conference Host Representative

Emily Ryan is the Director of The Commons. She works with faculty/staff/students at KU to launch and explore ideas; address challenging issues; and create opportunities for meeting people across specializations. She works with individuals to create customized formats for programs, some nontraditional, to achieve each event’s unique goals.

William H. Sherman, Co-Chair

William Sherman is the Chair of the Department of Architecture, the Lawrence Lewis Jr. Professor of Architecture, Associate Vice President for Research in Design, Arts and Humanities, and the Founding Director of the OpenGrounds initiative at the University of Virginia. As an architect and educator, his teaching and design research examine dynamic cultural and environmental processes in architectural design, ranging in scale from human physiology to global energy flows. His work explores the intersection of these processes with the cultural frameworks that inform the design of buildings and cities, with a particular focus on emerging spaces for creative engagement and institutional transformation.

His design work, ranging in scale from furniture to communities, has been published internationally and has received numerous awards, including six from the American Institute of Architects, five for Design Excellence at the national, state and local levels and one for Excellence in Education. In 2010, he was awarded the Z Society Distinguished Faculty Award at the University of Virginia and the Creative Achievement Award of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

In 2012, Sherman founded OpenGrounds, a network of places and programs that inspire creative research at the confluence of technology, science, the arts and humanities.  He designed both the spaces and programs of OpenGrounds to serve as catalysts for cross-disciplinary research collaborations and new institutional partnerships that inspire the conception, development and implementation of transformational ideas. He has lectured widely on the concept of OpenGrounds and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Alliance for the Arts at Research Universities.

Sha Xin Wei

Sha Xin Wei, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of the School of Arts, Media + Engineering at ASU. He directs the Synthesis Center for responsive environments and improvisation with colleagues in AME and affiliate research centers.

From 2005-2013 Dr. Sha was the Canada Research Chair in media arts and sciences, and Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. From 2001 to 2013 he directed the Topological Media Lab, an atelier-laboratory for the study of gesture and materiality from computational and phenomenological perspectives. He
established the TML at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2001, and moved the lab to Montréal in 2005 with the support of the Canada Fund for Innovation and the CRC.

Dr. Sha’s research concerns ethico-aesthetic improvisation, and a topological approach to morphogenesis and process philosophy. His particular areas of study include the realtime, continuous mapping of features extracted from gestural instruments (such as woven or non-woven fabrics) into parameters modulating the continuous synthesis of video, sound, and physical or software control systems. This technical work supports the expressive improvisation of gesture in dense, palpable fields of sound, video and structured light, and animated materials.

Sha’s art research includes the TGarden responsive environments (Ars Electronica, Dutch Electronic Art Festival, MediaTerra Athens, SIGGRAPH), Hubbub speech-sensitive urban surfaces, Membrane calligraphic video, Softwear gestural sound instruments, the WYSIWYG gesture-sensitive sounding weaving, Ouija performance-installations, Cosmicomics
Elektra, eSea Shanghai and the IL Y A video membrane, and Einsteins Dreams time-conditioning instruments. Sha collaborated with choreographer Michael Montanaro and the Blue Riders ensemble to create a stage work inspired by Shelley’s Frankenstein, with experimental musicians, dancers and responsive media.

Sha co-founded the Sponge art group in San Francisco to build public experiments in phenomenology of performance. With Sponge and other artists, Sha has directed event/installations in prominent experimental art venues including Ars Electronica Austria, DEAF / V2 The Netherlands, MediaTerra Greece, Banff Canada, Future Physical United Kingdom, Elektra Montréal, and eArts Shanghai. He has also exhibited media installations at Postmasters Gallery New York and Suntrust Gallery Atlanta. These works have been recognized by awards from major cultural foundations such as the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology; the LEF Foundation; the Canada Fund for Innovation; the Creative Work Fund in New York; Future Physical UK; and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Sha Xin Wei was trained in mathematics at Harvard and Stanford Universities, and worked more than 12 years in the fields of scientific computation, mathematical modeling and the visualization of scientific data and geometric structures.

In 1995, he extended his work to network media authoring systems and media theory coordinating a 3 year long workshop on interaction and computational media at Stanford. In 1997, he co-founded Pliant Research with colleagues from Xerox PARC and Apple Research Labs, dedicated to designing technologies that people and organizations can robustly
reshape to meet evolving socio-economic needs.

MIT Press has recently published Dr. Sha’s book, Poiesis, Enchantment, and Topological Matter.

Sherry Wagner-Henry

As the director for the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sherry Wagner-Henry is responsible for center strategy, which includes recruitment of students as emerging leaders, teaching through applied professional practice, job placement, and the development of enhanced educational experiences, including the rollout of the campus-wide Arts Business Initiative. ABI is program that connects artists and creative majors to business students and curriculum, fostering collaboration and creative inquiry around the processes for making a living and life with the arts at the center of exploration.

The ABI program launched the Aesthetics and Business Project—a coordinated series of activities, experiences and coursework that lead BBA students toward the development of their personal aesthetic, which hopefully lead to such outcomes as deeper empathy, better communication skills and a heightened sense of perspective—all, which in turn, develop better leaders. More recently, Sherry has been working to connect her students and the Bolz Center to regional and national Creative Placemaking initiatives, utilizing arts and artists to catalyze community development and rejuventation. Early attempts have included the launch of a Nonprofit Board Leadership program and Strategic Impact Consulting projects for graduate students at UW-Madison.

Sherry came to the Bolz Center from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she was director of graduate programs for the College of Continuing Education and faculty director of the Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Leadership (ACL), a program that she founded. For 14 years, at the University of Minnesota, she was managing director of University Theatre and Dance, and executive director of the Minnesota Centennial Showboat, where she built and expanded the opportunities to create and manage public/private partnership development.

Sherry graduated with her MBA in Arts Administration and Marketing from Illinois State University and was a Follett Fellow in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management (AEMM) at Columbia College-Chicago. Sherry also serves as an affiliate member of the Arts Institute on campus, is a board member of the international Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE), and is a founding network partner at Sort Sol Consulting Group.