Congratulations Kim Snepvangers
Citation award recipient
For the design, development and implementation of research-led, accessible and innovative teaching and learning resources in the field of creative professional experience in art, design and media.
Associate Professor Kim Snepvangers is an award-winning educational leader in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and professional practice in creative ecologies.
Kim has co-edited 4 books, over 20 book chapters and journal publications that have been recognised and shared in the wider professional context nationally and internationally. She promotes a scholarly approach to all aspects of teaching, course design and mentoring activities. Her command of the field is best demonstrated through leadership of all aspects of development for the Professional Experience Project (PEP) across all undergraduate programs at UNSW Art & Design.
In receiving a Citation, Kim has been recognised as being among Australia's most exceptional university teachers. She has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to student learning through her dedication to quality teaching. Her work is valued highly by her students, University and the Australian Government.
Kim's creative ecological approach and innovations in Work Integrated Learning:
Kim empowers students through transformative learning experiences in real-world creative industries. Flipping the traditional notion of ‘internship’ towards negotiation of ‘projects’, Kim encourages students to self-manage professional experience with hosts and business mentors.
To meet contemporary creative workforce goals, Kim created a living digital ecosystem of students, staff and creative industry professionals.
“By developing a range of stable, dynamic and interstitial resources I created a self-organisational human system at scale, mirroring pattern morphologies in desert ecologies. I was motivated to transform professional practice given increasing modularisation of eLearning driven by economies of sustainability, accreditation and cost effectiveness.”
Kim also designed a flexible PEP Tool and Self-Enrolment Moodle site, shifting the approach from ‘servicing industry’ towards ‘human-centred design’.
“Transferring student creative skills to diverse mentors who may not be art and design practitioners was essential in prioritising students under-utilised creative networks and connectedness capabilities. I foster placements in one on one, small to medium start-ups, collectives and galleries through to larger companies, digital producers and managers of design thinking in banking, property and health care. Projects in local government precincts and with marginalised groups are prioritised addressing accessibility of all in core programs.”
Kim designs projects that creatively respond to industry, university and student needs, encouraging beneficial ecological thinking rather than pre-determined, line managed notions of a traditional internship. Kim also designed a Self-Reflective Expectations Framework that enables students to identify shifts in practice.
The impact on student learning and mobility is best evidenced through a 48% employment rate after PEP.
Feedback from students and colleagues and Universities Australia:
"I really appreciate how you’ve shared with us advice and insights into setting up a meaningful and authentic WIL course for Art & Design students. It’s been great to be able to crosscheck our ideas with such knowledgeable team that has gone through the same process. We look forward to sharing insights and keeping in touch with you ongoing."
Tom Richards, Executive Education Manager, Faculty Built Environment
“During PEP my focus was shifted from thinking about what kind of objects I want to create to thinking about curating the objects other people create. It was a completely different kind of creative thinking.”
Revised student Artist/Designer Statement.
"The panel found that the Professional Experience Program (PEP) was well documented, and its ability to link students with professional mentors is an initiative to be applauded.”
Kim's advice to fellow educators:
I believe creating innovative physical, virtual and intellectual resources for students helps develop their professional skills and knowledge beyond their studies and into their future lives.
By negotiating mutually beneficial projects between students and industry you extend the notion of what a project can be. Taking this approach ensures students are properly nurtured and valued for their cognition and perspective. This results in personal growth, as students are challenged out of their comfort zone resulting in extension and transfer of their skills in new and meaningful ways.
Kim would like to thank Emma Sinclair in the A&D Student Centre, Professor Ruth Bridgstock, Griffith University and the leadership team at UNSW Art & Design including Marie Sierra, Edward Sheer and Ross Harley.