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Staff Spotlight

The spotlight recognizes and celebrates achievements and contributions staff make to the successful operation of the college. This is an opportunity to acknowledge the dedication and exemplary performance of individuals that deserve special recognition.

Rick Dunn Staff Spotlight

Rick Dunn, Fine and Performing Arts, is the staff spotlight selection for the month of August.

Rick Dunn was hired as Studio Art Technician in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts in 2011. In that capacity, Dunn is responsible for purchasing equipment and materials, maintaining facilities, and monitoring and preventing health and safety issues in the art studios.

Dunn works humbly and broadly for all of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. He takes most pride in his ability to create a safe and well-maintained creative space year after year, and especially his work upholding a high standard of professionalism in the McNamee Gallery.

He works toward continuous improvements in the efficiency of the studio art spaces, taking the initiative to reconfigure spaces when needed to make them more functional. Dunn also has primary responsibility for the installation and de-installation of exhibitions in the MacNamee Gallery on the lower level of Cupples House. He brings his tremendous skills to bear for the entire department as well, working with other staff colleagues on web site content, producing recruiting materials, and overseeing a large cadre of work study students.

Laura Franklin, Fine and Performing Arts Chair, said, "One thing I appreciate about Rick is how understated he is in his work. He simply does what is needed, and doesn't make a big deal about it or draw attention to himself. Because of this, he might be easy to overlook. But I guarantee you that if he disappeared, within a week many things would just simply grind to a halt. He's that important to what we do every day."

Because he is an artist himself, Dunn is sensitive to the needs of faculty and student artists. He brings a sense of pragmatism to every challenge, and has the ability to think through problems or issues from multiple perspectives and develop best-case solutions. As a result, every area in studio art has seen vast improvement since Dunn's hire. Dunn built and installed all the presentation boards and shelving in the Xavier Hall studio areas. He also built and installed storage and work spaces in the ceramics and sculpture studios in Wuller Hall.

"Rick has an easy-going and unassuming manner that makes it possible for him to work well with everyone, even under sometimes difficult circumstances. He has a ready smile and an easy sense of humor that makes him a favorite with students, staff and faculty alike. The whole department is extremely grateful to Rick for all that he does," said Franklin.

Dunn is married with two kids between the ages of 5 and 10, with an old hound dog to keep everyone busy. He travels with his family, either in their little 13-foot camper or by plane. When he can find the time he tries to make art - ceramics specifically, but he also enjoys drawing and painting and, currently, woodworking.