Academy of Art University President Elisa Stephens Named to Haute 100 List

    Dr. Elisa Stephens, president of San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, has been named one of the Haute 100 most influential Bay Area residents in Haute Living magazine’s annual list of “Billionaires, Philanthropists, Power Couples, Entrepreneurs, Athletes and Tech Titans.”

    Dr. Stephens, who makes a repeat appearance this year, was named a top “Commander” in the education realm in the January/February 2015 San Francisco issue, which also includes a separate “Day in the Life” profile on Stephens. She holds the distinction of being part of a very small number of female university presidents nationwide, and one of only 23 women on the Haute list. Other high profile women in the Top 100 include Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice and Sheryl Sandberg.

    Haute Living has issued its Top 100 list for the past six years and Dr. Stephens has appeared four times. Since her last inclusion in 2014, Dr. Stephens has received a number of additional honors, including her recent appointment to the Smithsonian National Board and, closer to home, the “Community Hero” award from the SF Firefighters Local 798 for her invaluable contributions to the SF Firefighters Toy Program.

    Elisa Stephens1

    Dr. Elisa Stephens. Photo by Bob Toy.

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    Chantal Saperstein Celebrates 20 Years Teaching Illustration 1

    Twice a week Chantal Saperstein stands at the helm of a room full of hopeful illustrators. During the 6.3 hour class, she buzzes about energetically, remarking on shading and perspective in her authoritative French accent. She has been doing it for 20 years. And Chuck Pyle, director of the School of Illustration counts that as quite the feat. 

    “ILL 232 is the bedrock skill class for learning how to think, be and do as a professional artist,” he said. “Eighteen students, two sections, twice a year for 20 years. That is a lot of talent shaped on their way to being illustrators. All of us are deeply grateful for her service thus far.”

    During the class, students go through intensive development as they work through the process of creating an illustration. Witnessing this growth, Saperstein said, is what she loves most about teaching. “Some students are very clear—that’s what they want to do, and it’s wonderful, and we support them—their path is very clear all the way, but some of them are struggling and uncertain, and I love to see those students grow and blossom.”



    (L–R) Associate Director Lisa Berrett, Chantal Saperstein and Director of the School of Illustration Chuck Pyle. Photo by Dax Santi.

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    Instructors Gear Up for Spring at Teaching Essentials Conference


    Courtesy of Faculty Development.

    On Wednesday, Jan. 21, instructors, directors and staff from across Academy of Art University, gathered at 180 New Montgomery for Faculty Development’s annual Teaching Essentials Conference to share and brush-up on teaching skills.  

    Workshops focused on core areas of teaching, such as lesson planning, facilitating critiques and creating rubrics. There were also panels led by faculty and staff on topics ranging from “First Semester Lessons Learned” to “Maintaining High Standards.” 

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