CCAD celebrates its excellent educators


For 15 years, Columbus College of Art & Design has recognized its outstanding faculty with Teaching Excellence Awards. More recently, the college expanded the award categories to include the accomplishments of its talented adjunct faculty, too.

The 2022 Teaching Excellence Award winners were honored at a reception on Thursday, April 14. Alumni, current CCAD students, and faculty recognized individuals for their strength in discipline knowledge, instructional effectiveness, and student focus. This year’s winners were Michael Kellner, associate professor in the CORE Studies and Master of Fine Arts programs, and Brice Bunner, adjunct faculty in Advertising & Graphic Design.

“Recognizing excellence in teaching is one of the most important things we can do for each other as faculty colleagues,” says Dean of Faculty Joshua Butts. “Yet we also need to recognize that teaching excellence isn’t a static, or rubric-determined matter. Our two recipients this year are different teachers, in different programs, with different work and educational backgrounds. If there is a thread that connects their teaching, however, it would be the willingness to see students not as empty containers to be filled with knowledge, but rather as people—not just students—who will take those transformative class experiences into their lives.”


Read on about this year’s winners:

Michael Kellner

Two second-year MFA candidates were among those who nominated Kellner for the recognition. One, Eric Clift (MFA, 2022) said in his nomination: 

“Beyond being a passionate, informed, and intelligent educator, Michael is a kind and caring person. He goes above and beyond to give students a fulfilling and challenging experience while prioritizing their health as individuals, and he is invested in every one of his students' success. Although he is already sensitive to the many needs and backgrounds of his students, Michael is committed to being an ever-growing individual with a lifelong commitment to learning about the people around him. He has shaped me into a better artist as well as a better person, and it was a great privilege to be able to have a class with him. Michael is an incredible asset to CCAD and I hope that many more students will get to experience having him in class in the future.”

Another, Mia Smith (MFA, 2022), wrote: “I was so grateful to have Michael as one of our MFA professors this past fall. His class offered relevant texts and discussions that helped us begin navigating our thesis writing. His feedback and lessons were always thoughtful and reflective. His classroom quickly became a space in which I experienced monumental growth in the way I thought about my work and approached writing. Michael was kind enough to join my MFA committee and has gone out of his way to discuss and edit my thesis writing with me. It is evident from the time spent in his class and in one-on-ones that Michael cares for his students and has a genuine interest in helping us learn as well as learning from us. Working with him has really made a difference in my time here at CCAD.”

Brice Bunner

Advertising & Graphic Design Professor Jim Lutz tapped Bunner for the award for faculty. In his nomination, Lutz wrote the following: “Brice is a patient teacher who presents the principles of copywriting and storytelling in an engaging and interactive class. His class preparation is extensive, which is reflected in the quality of samples and visuals he uses to demonstrate good writing. Students often request for him to review their work years after they have taken his class. Brice offers critique and input that strengthens the students' ideas without changing their original concept. Brice has also written a solid curriculum with easily followed syllabi for courses that engage his students. An unusually good listener, Brice brings out the best in his students and the colleagues that have the good fortune to work with him.”

Other faculty news

The reception also included the following announcements:

  • Advertising & Graphic Design Professor Jim Lutz will be named Professor Emeritus after he retires at the end of the academic year. 
  • Liz Trapp has been promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor.
  • David Bennett, Joshua Bodman, and Steven Hubbard have been promoted from Associate Professor to Professor.