Let’s meet a genuine New Yorker, Stefanie Snider of the A-State Art Department, who knows the keys to life are the importance of art, and, we suspect, finding a very good schmear on the streets of NYC.
Place of birth:
New York, New York
I spend my off-campus life with my wonderful partner Sarah and have a great brother, sister-in-law, and an amazing 5-year-old niece and 18-month-old nephew who all live in New York.
My favorite meal is...
New York pumpernickel bagel with whitefish salad, tomatoes, and onions or with lox and cream cheese. You can take me out of New York, but you can’t take New York out of me.
Why did you choose A-State?
I chose A-State because I wanted to teach students of all different levels in an art department that valued teaching and learning as a lifelong process. The examples set by the other professors in my department in terms of their excitement for their own artwork or research, their focus on teaching, and their kindness and generosity with both students and colleagues is really inspirational to me. In the past two months of teaching here I’ve found that this passion and generosity can be found in many other professors across disciplines on A-State’s campus as well.
My pet peeve is...
Students who don’t read directions. Anyone who doesn’t read directions.
My hobby is...
My passion is...
What makes a good professor?
Someone who is both enthusiastic about their area of study and about communicating their area of study to others is the best kind of teacher. There are always logistical or administrative tasks that might make teaching boring at times, but as long as a professor can maintain their interest in their field as well as in helping students develop their own enthusiasm and critical thinking skills within that field, then they are in a good place.
E-book or hardback?
Beach or mountains?
What makes for a good student?
A good student is someone willing to expand their knowledge and skills to include a greater variety of perspectives and experiences in a thoughtful way. Someone who is interested not just learning facts, but in skills that help to think critically about the world around them will learn much more beyond just the materials specific to any individual class. And learning how to empathize with other viewpoints and think about how we interact with and affect the world will serve them their whole lives, well beyond their college years.
My favorite trip was...
visiting London recently to see art and Hamlet.
If I could travel anywhere it would be...
the Greek Islands. I love water and the beach.
What’s the value of a university education?
A university education can be important for so many reasons – learning more about a wide variety of fields of study, learning more about yourself as a person, learning how to socially and politically engage with individuals and communities you are familiar with and those that are new to you, establishing friendships, and exploring what the world has to offer.
Your philosophy on education in seven words:
Teach students critical thinking about the world.
If you could teach another field, which one and why?
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies because it coincides with a lot of my own research as an art historian. As an inherently interdisciplinary field WGSS invites collaboration and creative work and brings people together from so many areas of life and academia.
What is the one thing you wish you could teach everyone about your field?
Art is an essential part of our lives as humans! It’s not superfluous and it doesn’t just reflect our culture – art helps to shape and change us and the world.
In college, I was known for...
Talking in a New York accent.
What music is playing in your car?
KASU public radio.
My favorite motion picture is...
This is hard. Clue is a favorite from childhood. I also love cheesy dance movies like Dirty Dancing and Center Stage. When I was really little I wanted to be a ballerina, so I got attached to dance movies.
The last book I read for fun was...
Cat is Art Spelled Wrong. It’s about cat videos, contemporary art, and why people are so enamored with cats.
What is the one thing I’ve learned I’d tell my college self...
Look beyond your individual life. There’s a lot more to the world that what’s going on in your head.
A perfect day is...
Waking up without an alarm to a sunny 70 degrees, spending some time outdoors reading, being able to visit some water – a beach or lake or river, and eating some delicious food, all with my partner.
What I like about Jonesboro is...
The public library – it’s a fantastic building with great events, excellent materials, and wonderful staff!
Cats or dogs?
Dinner or supper?
I wish I could...
have a magic wand to eradicate poverty, racism, homophobia, disablism, and classism around the world. This would not just improve the lives of people who experience these oppressions, but help break down the barriers between people who have different levels of power and negatively enact their power on disenfranchised or marginalized communities.