photo of Maria Leake

Maria Leake

Assistant Professor of Art and Design
Art Education

PhD in Art Education (Major) and Art History (Minor), University of North Texas, 2010
MA Curriculum and Instruction, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1993
BFA in Art Education, University of Texas at Austin, 1989
BA in Studio Art, University of Texas at Austin, 1989

Dr. Maria de la Luz (Maria) Leake is an Assistant Professor for the University of Nebraska- Kearney’s online art education program. She retired from teaching in the Texas public school system after 33 years. Her research explores how contemporary art and socially engaged practices can help articulate the human experience for critical reflection. Her publications have been featured in peer-reviewed journals including Art Education, Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, Trends, Visual Culture and Gender, and a book chapter in the Palgrave Handbook on Race and the Arts in Education. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of North Texas in 2010, with a major in art education, and a minor in contemporary art history.

Dr. Leake has participated in multiple competitive international education programs. She was selected for Fulbright programs to Japan (2003 & 2005) and Mexico (2010) to better understand their educational priorities and cultural traditions on-site. Maria later returned to Japan (2016) to understand how peace education is promoted within and beyond school settings, under the guidance of the Five College Center for East Asian Studies. Her on-going interest in comparative Asian studies also informed her choice to host and mentor Master Teachers from the Korean and Japanese Fulbright programs throughout 2005. It also prompted Maria’s participation in a study tour of Korea and China (2007) with members of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia to learn more. The interdisciplinary learning connections that these programs encouraged by sharing the learning process with others, continue to shape Maria’s pedagogical practices in her online classes. They highlight how the intersection of education with art and our lived experiences can be potentially transformative. Maria earned the Distinguished Teacher recognition status from the Dallas Independent School District in 2015.