A passion for teaching and art
By Marisa Larson
Family ties enticed Jarred Pfeiffer to consider coming to K-State for his master’s in fine arts-ceramics, but it was the opportunities he’d be afforded that sealed the deal. “Among the most enticing was the opportunity to teach,” Pfeiffer said. “I have been lucky to have a full graduate teaching assistantship, where I have taught two classes each semester. This has given me invaluable experience and has made me more competitive in the job market than other recent graduates.”
Pfeiffer was awarded the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Teaching in Excellence Award for his ability to excite students about art and his skill in teaching ceramics, 3-D design and 2-D design. “I give a lot of credit to my parents, Joel and Mary, who taught for a combined 65 years. Their dedication and hard work is what I model my teaching after,” he said. “Teaching is my passion, and receiving the award was verification that my efforts were making a difference,” he said. “I hope this award brings awareness to the hard work that graduate art students do. Each of us teaches two classes per semester along with taking 10 graduate credits and working in our studio. While we all care deeply about our studio work, I have been incredibly impressed at the level of thought that goes into teaching each class.”
“Graduate school was very challenging, but with the help of my mentors and colleagues, I flourished,” Pfeiffer said. “Working closely with my graduate committee, I found my artistic voice and ultimately put together a successful, cohesive show for my thesis.”
All of Pfeiffer’s hard work in the classroom and studio has paid off — he’s going to be the new ceramics professor at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, Cal. Pfeiffer credits his experience teaching at K-State for helping him land the job.