Professor Terry Martin Honored as Icon of Education

Terry Martin
Terry Martin

Terry Martin, professor of art at William Woods University, has been named an Icon of Education by Ingram’s, Kansas City’s business magazine. What the magazine calls a “small but extraordinary class” of honorees will be published in the magazine’s next issue.

Martin was one of 11 Missouri and Kansas leaders chosen for the honor and the fourth honoree from William Woods University. Dr. Mary Spratt, Cox Distinguished Professor in Science, was named an Icon in 2011, and Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, was chosen in 2010 and Gayle Lampe, professor emeritus of equestrian studies, was honored in 2012.

In addition to being featured in the upcoming magazine, the educators and industry professionals from the two states will be honored at a formal luncheon in Kansas City.

Terry and male studentThis is not the first time Martin has been rewarded for his dedication and love for teaching. In 2002 he was a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and in 1990, he received the Louis D. Beaumont/Dads’ Association Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching at William Woods University (the student body annually selects the recipient for this $3,000 cash award).

In her nomination letter, Barnett said, “Professor Martin has been teaching art at William Woods University since 1989, and his impact on his students and the community has been huge. He is a warmhearted, loving professor, and his name is, without question, one of the most recognized across campus.  His expertise spans from murals to illustrations and painting.”

Terry Martin with his mentee, Sarah Williams, who went on to be an art professor herself.
Terry Martin with his mentee, Sarah Williams, who went on to be an art professor herself.

She added, “He fosters in his students a love of nature, as well as art, and he introduces them to the idea of community service. He collaborates with other professors (notably psychology and social work) on unique projects. Terry is a strong believer in academic service-learning, which allows students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world problems in the community.”

Service-learning projects Martin’s students have participated in over the years include:

  • Art therapy for children through Dream Factory, a national volunteer organization that works to fulfill dreams of critically and chronically ill children 3-18
  • Greeting cards for deployed soldiers to send to their loved ones
  • Art therapy activities for Joplin residents after a tornado ravaged their community
  • Therapeutic paintings to brighten the walls of SERVE, a local agency for the underserved
  • Paintings to bring color and life to the exam rooms of St. Mary’s Creektrail Clincs in Jefferson City
  • Making memory boxes with cancer patients at St. John’s Mercy Hospital in St. Louis
  • Creating art from recycled and reused materials. Art was donated to the Missouri Coalition for the Environment and the City Museum in St. Louis, which held an online auction to support healthy watersheds, clean air, open space and wildlife.
  • Combining the talents of art students with various community groups (ranging from children in a public housing project to senior citizens) to produce a unique, colorful sculptural work on campus called the “Wings” project.
Terry Martin installs the Wings project.
Terry Martin installs the Wings project.

 

Of the Wings project, Martin said, “The symbolic aspect of our project may remind people that when we come together in creative pursuits, it fosters community and makes us forget things that may divide us.”

Barnett called Martin “a compassionate soul,” and said he “has a love for bringing people together and making the world a better place. As these projects demonstrate, he encourages his students to become involved with the community, and he himself has a passion for helping those in need.  He introduces students to the process of community involvement through the arts, sharing creative processes with diverse viewers at hospitals, schools and churches.”

Martin’s contribution to arts education goes far beyond the classroom. He instills the larger community—everyone he meets—with an appreciation of art, and he does so in numerous, innovative ways.

Painting by Terry Martin
Painting by Terry Martin

Perhaps his largest contribution on campus, besides positively impacting the lives of his students, has been at the Rosa Parks Center, a residential treatment group home for young women 12-17, located on the edge of campus. Along with his students, Martin strives to increase the creativity of the residents and enable them to enjoy their time at the Rosa Parks Center—just one more way he shows his love for helping and guiding people.

His goal is to encourage future art teachers in service-learning and to provide creative enjoyment for the Rosa Parks Center students. The residents benefit from the attention of the students, and the students benefit from the experience gained from working with the young women.

Painting by Terry Martin
Painting by Terry Martin

“This is true of each art project Terry and his students undertake,” Barnett said. “The students in Terry’s classes experience a deeper learning because the artwork they are creating has a specific purpose. For this reason, the art becomes more important to them than work they might do to simply demonstrate mastery of a technique. This is the learning portion of all his academic service-learning projects.”