June 4, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 69°F


Q&A: Dean shares vision for School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Anne Hogan joined Ithaca College as the inaugural dean of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (MTD) on Aug. 1. 

On July 1, the School of Music and the Department of Theatre Arts — formerly part of the School of Humanities and Sciences — merged to form the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. The new school is divided into two centers: the Center for Music and the Center for Theatre and Dance.

Hogan’s past experience in education and administration includes the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England; London Metropolitan University in London, England; American University of Paris in Paris, France; and more. She most recently served at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee, as the dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts.

Contributing writer Noa Ran-Ressler sat down with Hogan to discuss her vision for the new School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Noa Ran-Ressler: How has your past experience in teaching and administration prepared you for this role?

Anne Hogan: I’m so excited about this role and when I learned about it, I thought … this is the ideal opportunity for me that I can bring my experience in higher education as a teacher, a scholar, a creative activity person and an administrator. … I’m a first-gen student, a non-traditional student and I think that that experience has really made me be very aware [of] how we need to make sure that [students] feel comfortable and welcomed and prepared. … My very first job included administrative experience. … It wasn’t intended as a whole career path but has been really helpful because cultivating relationships with alumni and with donors has been a big part of my experience and is key to my role now. … Another thing I can bring to the vision and the energy of this school is the global perspective and looking at opportunities for international experiential learning. … When I heard about this role, I already felt like I belonged here.

NRR: What is your vision for the School of MTD?

AH: It’s got to be a collective vision. It’s got to align with the vision of Ithaca College. Clearly, we are a welcoming and inclusive and diverse School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. There’s a lot of work to be done there, in the world and in every area of the world, including ours, so that is absolutely part of our vision. Our vision for the student experience is to train artists and educators in music and theater and dance so that they feel fully equipped to succeed in whatever they want to do and … part of our mission and our approach is training and supporting our students as graduates so that they can really use the power of music, theater and dance to change our world. … There’s that aspect of being a citizen of the world … that’s in need of healing. … We want to have a strong local presence that enhances the student experience, but we also want to be nationally and internationally renowned for excellence. … A goal is having a strategic plan in place with measures of success. … We’re going to be implementing a student council for the school, which we’ve never had before, and with alumni and friends of the community.

NRR: How would you like your students to get involved on and off campus beyond their academic programs in the School of MTD?

AH: One thing I’m really excited for is to put together the student council for the school and working closely with them and hearing from them and hearing their ideas about how we can do this. I think that students in music, theater and dance, a lot of their time is … going outward into the community, a lot of time is in the productions. I think there’s a lot of opportunities for students to look for opportunities — both on a curricular level but also on an extracurricular level — to get to know each other and have projects and work together. … I want to hear from the students and think about … how we can make sure that everybody’s engaging in the performances and the concerts.

NRR: In what ways do you want to invite students from outside of the School of MTD to participate in your programs?

AH: The more students you can know from across the institution, the more enriching. I’m so fortunate to work for a visionary president and a fantastic provost and the other deans in the five schools, who are all committed to this, to looking at how we can cross-pollinate ideas and make sure that students have opportunities. … I would love all the students at Ithaca College to feel and understand and be engaged with the power of music, theater and dance. … We’re living in rapidly changing times. … It’s important in terms of preparing our students for the world, which does not necessarily conform to the structures we have inside schools. … Everybody is excited about how we can respect the specific disciplines within each school and also [everybody is] proactively exploring ways that we can break down silos.