Julia L. Hovanec has taught art for more than 33 years, beginning as an elementary and middle school art teacher in The School District of the City of York. In 2011, she earned her doctorate at Capella University with research focused on pre-service art educators, professional identity construction and reflective practice. At KU, Dr. Hovanec inspires undergraduate and graduate art education students and general education students alike. Department chair since 2017, one of her major roles at KU is supervising student teachers. She has guided the KU art education program through several transitions with sensitivity to the best interests of students, faculty and the field overall. Service and leadership fuel her work in curriculum development and pedagogical practices. Dr. Hovanec has presented on a range of topics at local, regional, state and national conferences and facilitated a number of professional development workshops and seminars. In those presentations, she shares her research on interdisciplinary teaching and learning, literacy, visual literacy, picture books and reflective practice. Dr. Hovanec is deeply committed to teaching and preparing her students for their role of enriching lives through the visual arts as they become the next generation of educators. Recently, she was honored as the 2019 Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator Award recipient from The Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA).