Kutztown University has named Dr. Amy Pfeiler-Wunder as associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Pfeiler-Wunder began at KU in 2009, is a professor of art education, has served as the interim associate dean and will transition to the permanent role effective Jan. 27.
Pfeiler-Wunder has more than 25 years of experience in art education, working with learners from Pre-K-16 in a wide range of educational settings. During her time in the art education department, she served as the coordinator of the Master’s in Art Education program and then department chair for two years.
“I am deeply honored to serve as the associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts,” said Pfeiler-Wunder. “I look forward to working and collaborating with the dedicated faculty, staff and students to foster, grow and support the amazing programs and initiatives that are part of the college and university community.”
During her time as interim associate dean since 2022, Pfeiler-Wunder facilitated Communities of Practice (CoP’s) focused on equity, diversity, and inclusivity with faculty to support curricular and pedagogical transformation college wide. She collaborated on assessment, recruitment, and philanthropic programming and led student success initiatives focused on student growth, academic, health and wellness.
She also designed student engagement initiatives to recognize and honor student leaders within the college and coordinated the award of scholarships to support student retention. In her time at KU, Pfeiler-Wunder also served as assistant dean, chair of the Graduate Council and chair of the Commission on Human Diversity.
As an art education professional, Pfeiler-Wunder’s research explores identity and representation, with keen attention to the impact of professional identity on views of the learners and curriculum creation. Additionally, she collaborates with colleagues to explore transdisciplinary studies at the intersection of art and science.
Other collaborations and professional learning presentations focus on creative inquiry, national art standards, and research with a library scientist. Her research has been presented at regional, national, and international conferences along with her work being published in books and peer-reviewed journals.
She is active in the National Art Education Association (NAEA), serving as the current chair of the Research Commission and former Higher Educator Representative on the NAEA Board of Directors. She also served as the Higher Education Representative on the Research Commission from 2016-20 and is the former chair and co-founder of the Professional Learning through Research working group under the Research Commission. NAEA recently named her the National Higher Education Art Educator and Eastern Region Higher Art Educator of the Year; she will be honored at the national convention in Minneapolis, Minn., this April.
“I am thrilled that after a comprehensive national search, Amy has accepted the permanent position of associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts,” said Dr. Bradley Shope, dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts. “Her hard work and dedication in this role over the past year and a half have been invaluable to the college and university; I am confident that she will continue to excel. Her strategic thinking, creativity and leadership skills make her an ideal fit for this role. Her passion for creating and implementing student, faculty and staff support initiatives is unending. I have no doubt that she will embrace this position with optimism, rigor and dedication.”
Pfeiler-Wunder has won numerous awards in her time at KU. She was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) Outstanding Higher Educator Award in 2017, the National Art Education Foundation grant titled, “Socially Engaged Pedagogy: The Impact of Teacher Identity on Views of the Learner and Curriculum Development” and KU’s Chambliss Faculty Research Award in 2019.
Pfeiler-Wunder earned her Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning: Art from the University of Iowa, her Master of Arts in art education from Iowa and her Bachelor of Arts in art education and elementary education from Mount Mercy University.