Hi, my name is Joe. I am an artist, designer, and educator who thinks deeply about our digital culture and how creatives can shape the future. I believe that collaboration across disciplines is the best way to make meaningful change. As a design educator, I emphasize a human-centered approach to help students of all ages identify and tackle problems small and large. Read more


Professional History:

2022 - present - Maker Education Designer, The Delta School, Wilson, AR

  • Create learning experiences for preK-12th grade students based on design thinking principles.
  • Programs at The Delta School fulfill learning objectives through offering hands-on learning opportunities designed to allow each child to discover their strengths. To discover, develop and practice student strengths, we combine project-based learning with Human-Centered Design to create interdisciplinary projects.
  • My experiences are carried out in the context of a state-of-the-art Makerspace, which I also am responsible for managing. The students follow a modified Stanford Design Process to identify problems, ideate authentic solutions, build prototypes which they test and then iterate upon.

2012 - 2022 - Associate Professor of Digital Design, Arkansas State University Department of Art, Jonesboro, AR

  • Developed Digital Design BFA program
  • Affiliate Faculty Member - Center For No Boundaries Thinking. Affiliate faculty met regularly to ideate potential collaborations between university faculty researchers and the Center's AI specialists on new approaches to solving complex problems.
  • Developed online BS degree program in Digital Innovation and Design
  • Conceived of and advocated for the Certificate program in Swift Coding
  • Assembled and managed an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students to research atmospheric conditions as they relate to the control of Agricultural smoke. Project deliverables include a mobile application that would assist farmers in burning fields with minimal impact on local air quality. Secured grants in excess of $650,000 to support this work from multiple sources including the US Dept. of Ag, UALR Small Business Technology Development Center, AState Office of the Provost, and Winrock International.
  • Assembled and managed an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students to research the effects of agricultural smoke on public health. Project deliverables include a mobile application that would allow the public to track current, local smoke conditions. Secured a $70k grant from the AR Biosciences Institute to support this work.
  • Conceived of and participated in a project with an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students to research the potential of artificial intelligence, design, and typography to improve reading speed and comprehension for students with dyslexia. Secured a $70k grant from the AR Biosciences Institute to support this work.
  • Served as Chair of the Provost's General Education Task Force. The group produced a report and provided recommendations for how the University might reenvision the Gen Ed curriculum to meet the needs of the 21st Century student.

2010 - 2012 - Art Director, True VM, Jonesboro, AR

  • UI and Advertising Design for National and Regional clients: St. Bernards Regional Medical Center, Ritter Communications, AT&T, Jonesboro Surgical Group, etc.

2008 - 2010 - Art Director, Jimco Lamp and Home Decor, Bono, AR

  • Developed lighting and home goods for National brands including Target, Lowes, Walmart, etc.
  • Worked with manufacturing partners in Guangzhou, China to ensure quality and design fidelity.
  • Managed package design, ensuring compliance, and brand standards were maintained.

2007 - 2015 - Project Manager, Ford Family Homes

  • Implemented a rigorous Project Management framework to coordinate complex teams of subcontractors, helping the company weather a particularly difficult economic environment.
  • Managed the construction of custom homes in the Jonesboro, AR area.
  • Worked with clients to develop design concepts and budgets.
  • Managed the construction process from ground break to move in.

2005 - 2007 - Assistant Director of Grants & Sponsored Programs, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ

  • Wrote grant applications and managed awarded funds to support research and technology development projects within the University.

2003 - 2005 - Executive Director, City Without Walls Art Gallery, Newark, NJ

  • Managed the day-to-day operations of a non-profit art gallery.
  • Curated exhibitions and managed the gallery's collection.
  • Managed the gallery's budget and fundraising efforts.

2002 - 2003 - Curator of Prints, Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions, New Brunswick, NJ

Educational History:

MFA 2002 - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

BFA 1998 - Arkansas State University

Study Abroad 1997 - Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Recent Awards and Publications:

Arkansas Biosciences Institute Research Grant, "Dyslexia and AI: The use of Artificial Intelligence to Identify and Create Fonts to Improve the Reading Ability of Individuals with Dyslexia."

US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Research Grant, "Improving Crop Residue Burning and Management Recommendations in the Arkansas Delta Region"

Arkansas Biosciences Institute Research Grant, "Exploring Causative Relationship Between Agricultural Burning and Negative Health Outcomes In the Arkansas Delta"

Faculty Research Sabatical Grant, 2021 6 month paid research leave award

University & College Designers Association Design Conference, paper presentation, "Human Centered Designers as Key Collaborators In Scientific Research Tenured Faculty"

NASA AR Space Grant Consortium Research Infrastructure Grant, "App Development and Data Acquisition for Best Practices in Crop Burning"

Technology Transfer Assistance Grant, AR Small Business Technology Development Center,

Delta iFund Fellow, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Department Teaching Award, ASTATE Department of Art + Design

Marjorie Hoeltzel Best in Show Award, Art St. Louis

Individual Artist Fellowship, Arkansas Arts Council

Provost's Faculty Development Award - “Physical Computing and the Internet of Things”

Publication: “Embracing Failure, Challenging Art”, Number:78, Spring 2014

Publication: “Review of Failures Exhibition”, Number:78, Spring 2014

Publication: “Regional Update: Northeast Arkansas”, Number:80, Fall 2014

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow - Humanities & 3D Visualization Summer Institute, Arkansas State University & The University of Arkansas.