A closeup of Lauren Stetz wearing a black blazer and a pink blouse and standing in front of a white backdrop

Art Education (MAT)

An art educator and scholar, Lauren Stetz has worked with students from Pre-K to the university level in public and private schools in Pennsylvania; Northern Virginia; and Washington, D.C. Her interdisciplinary global research utilizes data visualization to develop culturally responsive pedagogy and harnesses the power of art activism for healing, community building and societal change.


Lauren Stetz earned her PhD in Art Education with a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State); an MA in Art History from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia; and a BS from Penn State in Art Education. 

Her global research considers culturally responsive arts pedagogy and artistic approaches to activism to promote healing, community building and societal transformation. Stetz’s interdisciplinary research has been published in numerous scholarly journals, including Visual Culture & Gender, Ground Works, Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation and a commentary in Studies in Art Education. Her work has also been featured internationally in the India-based arts magazine Stir World and on Pakistani artist and curator Mehreen Hashmi’s YouTube channel, Behind the Art Scene. She currently serves as chair of the Data Visualization Working Group in the National Art Education Association.


Stetz’s experience in the field of art education extends over 15 years, during which she has worked with diverse populations across race, ethnicity, religion and ability, from Pre-K to the college/university level in both urban and suburban environments. As a K–12 art educator, she collaboratively designed an art curriculum for Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia, one of the largest school divisions in the U.S., with 198 schools and more than 180,000 students.

Stetz has supervised student teachers from George Mason, Marymount, and James Madison universities. She has also mentored and taught preservice art educators at Penn State in a Saturday Art School practicum and seminar. She served as a graduate researcher and an instructor in Penn State’s Bioethics Department, where she fused arts and health through Viral Imaginations: COVID-19, a cross-disciplinary collaboration aimed to document and preserve the intersectional experiences of Pennsylvanians through visual arts and creative writing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Stetz has taught art history at the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata.

Awards & Accolades

Stetz’s work has been recognized numerous times. 

  • Outstanding Research Award in Art & Media Technology, Art & Media Technology Interest Group, National Art Education Association, 2024

  • Elliot Eisner Doctoral Dissertation Award, National Art Education Association, 2023

  • The Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award, The Pennsylvania State University, 2022

  • Harlan E. and Suzanne Dudley Hoffa Dissertation Award, The Pennsylvania State University, 2022