October 22, 2010 —
Anne Cecil is a jack of all trades; artist, designer, innovative educator. As a professor and program director of our Design & Merchandising program, she has just completed her first cross-institutional online Global Classroom in which she brought together students from Oklahoma State University, City U in Hong Kong and Drexel through the use of technologies such as Blackboard Vista. The students worked together on a project and the course was designed to help students develop skills to overcome language and cultural differences, working with colleagues in different time zones, and how to reach experts in various fields through technology rather than travel. This spring term, Anne will teach DSMR 305-Merchandising Technologies, as an online course specifically investigating the use of various online tools in design and merchandising industries. Cecil believes strongly in the importance of online learning because, “Today, more and more business is being conducted and business training is being delivered via the Internet. Internet communication, presentation and learning require a different set of skills than those employed when interacting face-to-face. It is important for today's student to develop those skills through practice and to understand the tools available and how to keep up with them,” she says. Her advice to students, “Be open to everything. Absorb all that is around you like a sponge. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.”
Anne’s study abroad program brings students from all majors to Iceland for a semester to study and explore and is another of Anne’s passions. Cecil says, “I enjoy teaching because I enjoy learning from my students. My most recent 'great' experience was standing on a plateau in Iceland with students surrounded by constellations, the northern lights, a herd of Icelandic Horses and an erupting volcano. We were totally engulfed by Mother Nature. It was beautiful.” Cecil also stays busy presenting at conferences around the globe. She received wonderful accolades for her presentation at POPCAANZ in Sydney, Australia this past summer for her work on Punk Rock Women Alive and Well in South Philadelphia. She also presented at the Philadelphia Global Creative Economy conference in October of 2009 and at the AAUP National Convention in Washington, DC this past June.
In the little free time that Anne can find she likes to take advantage of all that Philadelphia has to offer by eating out and watching sporting events with friends. She also likes to travel, knit, spend time with her dog and visit a home for aged horses. When in the mood, Anne visits the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see the coat of arms for William Cecil, one of her ancestors. Her ancestry traces back to Lord Burleigh, advisor to Queen Elizabeth.