Andi Steele

September 22, 2020

Teaching sculpture virtually may seem like an impossible task, but Andi Steele, associate professor of art and art history, has found it is actually quite possible.

“Like everyone, my day-to-day is different than before COVID-19,” she said. “I never thought I’d teach fully online or even hybrid. The pandemic has forced me to explore options outside of our studio norm. My spring students absolutely amazed me with the work they produced, especially since we were thrown into the virtual sphere without any notice.”

A month into the fall semester, Steele says she is more prepared and feels her students are, as well. An instructor at UNCW since 2006, she strives to create a positive learning atmosphere for her students. Her efforts were rewarded by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors when she was one of 17 outstanding faculty members selected to receive a 2020 Award for Excellence in Teaching.

While she was overwhelmed by the response from her colleagues after the announcement was made, she is ever appreciative of the support, something the South Carolina native has felt since she first interviewed at UNCW.

Steele’s former and current students’ work can be seen in the UNCW Sculpture Yard, which surrounds the Cultural Arts Building, as well as in the College of Arts and Sciences dean’s office in Bear Hall and in the office of the General Counsel, located in Alderman Hall.

During her tenure, she has worked to developed a curriculum that gives students the skill and confidence to produce intriguing, well-crafted sculpture, manifesting her personal teaching philosophy and methodology that “the success of my teaching is reflected in the work that my students create.”

-- Caroline Cropp