Director, Drama for Schools
Katie Dawson is an assistant professor and director of the Drama for Schools program at The University of Texas at Austin in the U.S. She is a nationally and internationally-recognized consultant in drama-based pedagogy and creative learning. As a teaching artist, Dawson has facilitated trainings, presented workshops and given interactive keynotes at universities, professional conferences, arts organizations and community sites across the world. Her scholarship has appeared in numerous U.S. and international journals. Her co-authored book, The Reflexive Teaching Artist: Creative Wisdom from the Drama/Theatre Field, received the 2015 Distinguished Book Award from the American Alliance of Theatre and Education (AATE). She also won the 2013 Creative Drama Award and the 2006 Winifred Ward Scholar Award from AATE. Dawson is a Provost Teaching Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin and was a winner of both the 2013 Regents Award and 2015 College of Fine Arts Teaching Award.
Prior to her work in academia, Dawson worked professionally as an actor, youth theatre director, classroom teacher and museum theatre educator.
Professional Learning Coordinator
Lara Dossett believes that learning in and through the arts can be transformational. She serves as a faculty instructor for the course Arts Integration for Multidisciplinary Connections offered through the College of Fine Arts. She received her M.F.A. in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from The University of Texas at Austin where she researched sustainable models for arts-based instruction in K-12 public schools. In addition to teaching, Dossett is also the professional learning coordinator for Drama for Schools (DFS). She programs and implements drama-based pedagogy professional development through DFS's partnerships with schools, school districts and the Austin Independent School District's Creative Learning Initiative. She mentors and educates a team of graduate students who serve as the teaching artists for Drama for Schools. She also serves as a faculty member for the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities graduate program. Dossett has presented her practice-based work and research at several national conferences including the Southeast Center for Education through the Arts (SCEA), Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and internationally at the International Drama in Education Institute (IDIERI) in Limerick, Ireland.
Director of Research and Evaluation
Dr. Stephanie Cawthon is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin. She has training in research design, assessment and instructional strategies for students with special needs. She serves as the director of research and evaluation for the Drama for Schools program. Her background includes expertise in language and literacy development and educational psychology. Cawthon has experience with multiple research strategies, including both quantitative and qualitative methods. Her previous research methodologies include survey design, classroom observations, teacher interviews, focus group studies and policy analysis.