Benjamin Tellie – Research Commission Director
Ben Tellie is the Director of the Maryland Art Education Association Research Commission and serves on the executive council of the Maryland Art Education Association. Tellie is an Art and Design Instructor at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Upper School Campus in Rockville, Maryland. He teaches courses in art and design, sculpture, graphic design, and painting and drawing. Tellie earned his B.A. in Studio Art from the Tyler School of Art of Temple University and M.A. in Art and Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Tellie has had previous experiences teaching art in The National Gallery of Art’s High School Seminar Program, Teachers College, Columbia University printmaking workshops, and The Philadelphia Musem of Art. He is regularly invested in publishing and presenting his art education research and interests at the local, state, and national levels.
Jessie Nathans – Research Commission Assistant Director
Jessie Nathans is the assistant director of the Maryland Art Education Association Research Commission and serves on the executive council of the Maryland Art Education Association. Nathans teaches art and design at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD. Before becoming an art educator, she was a senior associate art director at Scientific American Magazine. Nathans draws inspiration from process based art-making and the value of graphic methods to organize information. Nathans holds an MA in Communication Design from Pratt Institute and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. Nathans regularly presents her work at the state and national level.
Shyla Rao – Research Commission Founder
Shyla Rao created and founded the Maryland Art Education Association Research Commission. Rao was the previous director of the MAEA Research Commission from 2012-2014. Rao facilitates various research initiatives and a research study group in Maryland as part of the Research Commission. Rao is currently the director and instructor in the Masters of Arts in Teaching Program at Maryland Institute College of Art having taught courses in theory, methods, and practice. Previously, Rao taught at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she has completed her doctorate of education. Rao also holds an MAT and BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. Rao regularly presents her work and research at the local, state, and national levels.
Eleni Dykstra – Research Commission Co-Founder