Panthers Find a Home at the High

At Georgia State, students have a plethora of interests. Some students find joy in math and the thrill of solving a complex equation, while others live in literature, spending their time rereading and overanalyzing pieces of text. Several students, such as senior Adela Lopez and sophomore Jackson Markovic, identify strongly with the art that they share with the world.

Both are employed as teaching assistants at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta while pursuing their degrees in art education. This career is not new for either student — Lopez and Markovic have been employed at the High since their high school years.

In May, Lopez will have been at the High for five years. In 2016, she applied for their Teen Team, a group of high school students responsible for creating and hosting public programs at the museum. Now, as a college senior, her role at the High is a little different.

“I like to say that my title is teaching assistant, but I tell everybody that I’m basically everybody’s assistant,” Lopez said. “Being a teaching assistant in general means that, within any program that involves visitors or children in general, we’re the supporting system for the teaching artists. We’re able to communicate with the kids and help them directly.”

Markovic is focused more on the teaching aspect of being a teaching assistant. In addition to preparing supplies for classes, Markovic is also in charge of teaching younger students his own art skills.

“It’s usually like a workshop environment,” he said. “It’s very [much] at your own pace. Explain the activity, give supplemental help, encourage people to try something different. But it doesn’t have a classroom feel.”

Lopez is the first person at the High to go through each of the phases of working there, from a Teen Team member to a volunteer for public programs to a teaching assistant. The student lined up to take over her position once she leaves is Markovic.

After graduation, both students have plans to pursue a graduate degree and then continue to pursue art education by teaching in public schools. Neither plans to continue at the High following their time at Georgia State.

However, several Georgia State alumni, including 2016 graduate Yema Thomas, are employed by the institution. Thomas is the coordinator of public programs at the High, which entails several roles.

I just make sure that I stay on top of everything, organizing my calendar and taking lots of notes in order to prepare myself for the programs that are already coming and the programs that I have to actually plan ahead,” Thomas said.

Thomas credits the communication skills required for her job to her time at Georgia State. 

“My studies [at Georgia State] definitely opened me up to being able to receive information and also to do research,” she said. “While I was at Georgia State, I participated in the Georgia State Undergraduate Research Conference, as well as the Georgia Undergraduate Art History Form, and that really prepared me for public speaking along with networking with colleagues in my field.”

Whether the High employees are still continuing their schooling or have finished their education, every one of them is still growing and evolving through their working experiences.

“Just the rigor of being here [at Georgia State] has prepared me [for the working world],” said Markovic.” “I’m not in my final form yet.”