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Gateway was the community newsletter of Pratt Institute published monthly by the Office of Communications, in the Division of Institutional Advancement through spring 2014. For current Pratt-related news, visit the News page on Pratt’s website.


New Appointments Across the Institute as School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Names Dean

Chairs also Appointed in School of Architecture and School of Art and Design

Pratt Institute has appointed Andrew Barnes, an expert in cultural and gender theory and interim associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at William Paterson University of New Jersey, to serve as the new dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (SLAS).

Pratt has also named several new chairs: Amir Parsa, visiting associate professor in the Department of Critical and Visual Studies and director of the Alzheimer’s Project at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will serve as chair of the Department of Art and Design Education; Leighton Pierce, who heads the film and video production program at the University of Iowa will serve as chair of the Department of Film/Video; and Dagmar Richter, chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell will serve as chair of the undergraduate Department of Architecture.

Andrew Barnes, Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Andrew Barnes’s appointment begins July 1, 2011; he replaces Dr. Toni Oliviero who will take a year’s sabbatical, then return to teaching after more than a decade as the school’s dean.

Barnes has been serving as the interim associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at William Paterson University of New Jersey since 2009. Prior to that, he taught in the English Department and served as its graduate director. As interim associate dean, Barnes was especially instrumental in curriculum development, helping re-shape the university’s core curriculum, and developing a new M.F.A. in Creative and Professional Writing, the school’s first terminal degree.

Barnes’s research areas include early modern English literature, science studies, economic theory, religious studies, cultural theory, and gender theory. His latest book, Post-Closet Masculinities in Early Modern England (Bucknell University Press, 2009) has earned significant praise from scholarly journals in the field.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Indianapolis; a master’s degree in humanities and social thought from New York University; and a doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook.



Amir Parsa, Chair, Department of Art and Design Education

Amir Parsa has been teaching as a visiting associate professor in the Institute’s Department of Critical and Visual Studies since 2009.  He also served as director of the Alzheimer’s Project in The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) Department of Education. He co-authored Meet Me: Making Art Accessible to People with Dementia (MoMA, 2009), a resource for creating art programs for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

An accomplished writer who has 13 published books in English, French, Persian, and Spanish, Professor Parsa leads and presents at education conferences nationally and internationally.

He received master’s degrees in comparative literature and French theory and literature from Columbia University, where he also completed doctoral studies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University. His appointment begins July 1. 


Leighton Pierce, Chair, Department of Film/Video

Since 2000, Leighton Pierce has been heading the film and video production program of the Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa, where he developed and instituted Iowa’s successful M.F.A. in film and video production.

His works have been exhibited in major art museums and film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, the Whitney Biennial, and the San Francisco and New York film festivals. In the last five years, he has been a subject of dozens of retrospectives, curated screenings, and juried exhibitions. He has also received several prestigious fellowships and grants for his work.

Pierce received a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s School of Art and a bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of Iowa, following earlier studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His appointment will begin July 25.

As of this fall, Photography will be split off from Film/Video to serve as its own department. An acting chair for the new Department of Photography will be named this summer.


Dagmar Richter, Chair, Undergraduate Department of Architecture

Dagmar Richter has been a teaching professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning in Ithaca, New York, since 2009. In that capacity she has overseen the accreditation for both Cornell’s bachelor of architecture program and its master of architecture I program and developed a new vision for the department.

Richter has also taught and lectured at top architectural programs around the world and held professorships at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Cooper Union, Columbia University, and the Art Academy in Berlin and in Stuttgart.

Richter is the principal of DR_D, a design research practice in Berlin and Los Angeles, known for its inventive design approach and research-oriented experiments. Her design work has garnered numerous prestigious competition prizes and awards, including second prize for the design of the National Library of Denmark in Copenhagen and a first prize for an office-park design for the Shinkenshiku Membrane competition in Japan.

Her work is the subject of two monographs: XYZ: The Architecture of Dagmar Richter (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001) and Armed Surfaces: Architecture and Urbanisms 5 (Black Dog Press, 2003). Her writings have appeared in many publications in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Japan, and the United States. Her work has been exhibited internationally including shows at the Louisiana Art Museum in Copenhagen, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

She was educated at the University of Stuttgart, the Royal Art Academy in Copenhagen (where she received a master’s degree in architecture) and the Städel School in Frankfurt, and has practiced and taught throughout Europe and the United States.

Richter will begin her appointment on January 1, 2012. Until then, Erika Hinrichs will continue serving as the department’s acting chair.

Photos: Jonathan Weitz (Barnes), Janett Parra (Parsa), Leighton Pierce (Pierce), Zachary Tyler Newton (Richter)

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cool and funny
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