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Donald W. VanAuken has been named the Visual Arts Talent Program Director for Olivet College. He will work in collaboration with College leadership to continue to develop its vibrant and engaging visual arts program and recruit students for the Visual Art Talent Scholarship Program. VanAuken will also continue his role as an instructor in painting, printmaking and art history.

Originally from Bellevue, Michigan, VanAuken has worked in art education for 20 years. He has a strong commitment to supporting and empowering student success in a collaborative studio art environment. VanAuken said, “As a visual artist and arts educator, I have always endeavored to prepare my students with motivational and critical thinking skills to develop their voice for artistic expression. I knew that I wanted to be part of an academic environment where I could make a true difference in the lives of my students and aid them in the development of the formal and conceptual skills for their artistic expression. I am so grateful and excited for this opportunity and look forward to continuing my contribution to the greater Olivet College community.”

Olivet College Provost Dr. Maria Davis said, “Don is a tremendous asset to our college. In addition to his teaching, he serves as the adviser of the Art Alliance, a student organization that brings art and the experience of art to other students. Last year they completed a series of murals in several student-used areas on campus. Our students really enjoy working with Don, both in and out of the studio. I am so pleased that he is joining us full time as I know he will be able to have an even greater positive impact on our students.”

VanAuken is entering his sixth year of employment with Olivet College where he has served as an adjunct instructor of art and art history with the visual arts program. In 2019, he earned the Doctors Gorton and Peggy Riethmiller Award for Outstanding Adjunct Instructor at the College. In addition to his teaching, VanAuken has assisted in the development of the Visual Art Talent Scholarship Program and served as a faculty adviser to the student-led organization Art Alliance. He previously served as an adjunct professor of art at area community colleges and as a teaching associate with the School of Art at Ohio University where he received his M.F.A. in painting. VanAuken has also worked in secondary public education and museum exhibition interpretation. He continues to exhibit and create his own artwork utilizing painting and printmaking techniques.

To learn more about VanAuken’s role or the Visual Art Talent Scholarship Program, contact him at dvanauken@olivetcollege.edu. For more information about Olivet College, contact the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.