Posted Friday, June 25, 2010

New Department Chairs Named in the School of Art and Design and School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Pratt Institute, one of the largest and most prestigious colleges of art and design in the United States, has named four new department chairs; one in The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and three in The School of Art and Design.

Alumna Jean Davis has been named chair of the Institute's Creative Arts Therapy Department. Davis, who has been acting chair of the department for the past two years, will begin her appointment July 1, 2010. As chair, Davis will be responsible for leading Pratt's Creative Arts Therapy Department, which is part of the Institute's School of Art and Design. Established in 1970, Pratt's Graduate Department of Creative Arts Therapy is one of the oldest graduate creative arts therapy programs in the country. Students learn art and dance/movement therapy skills as applied to a wide variety of patient populations.

Steve Diskin has been named chair of the Institute's Industrial Design Department. Diskin, an architect, industrial designer, and filmmaker, professor of advanced product design from 1989-2002 at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and founder and co-director of the Art Center's graduate program in industrial design, will begin his appointment July 1, 2010. As chair, Diskin will be responsible for leading Pratt's Industrial Design Department, which is part of the Institute's School of Art and Design. The department's undergraduate and graduate programs are among the highest ranked in the country, and train students to be innovative and impactful in creating beautiful forms and products that express their vision as reflected by the people and culture of the times.

Gregg M. Horowitz has been named chair of the Institute's Social Science and Cultural Studies Department. Horowitz, who has taught at Vanderbilt University from 1993 to 2010, will begin his appointment on July 1, 2010. His areas of specialization include aesthetics and the philosophy of art history, critical theory of culture, and philosophy and psychoanalysis. As chair, Horowitz will be responsible for leading Pratt's Social Science and Cultural Studies Department, which is part of the Institute's School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and includes a bachelor of arts degree program in Critical and Visual Studies. The department trains students to develop an understanding of historical relationships among world cultures, ideas, and institutions and provides them with the perspectives of social science, history, philosophy, and cultural studies to explore the cultural achievements of humankind and the social forces that have influenced the development of culture and human personality.

Steven Zucker, a scholar in the art of the Post World War II era, has been named chair of the Institute's History of Art and Design Department. Zucker, who is currently Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), will begin his appointment July 1, 2010. Zucker was formerly Chair of FIT's Art History Department and Development Research Coordinator for The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Zucker is a leader in the field of the digital teaching of art history and is co-creator of the multimedia web-book and new art historical tool www.smarthistory.org. As chair, Zucker will be responsible for leading Pratt's History of Art and Design Department, which is part of the Institute's School of Art and Design and includes graduate and undergraduate degree programs.