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OLu's Hamby earns prestigious fellowship

Art Department Chair Dawn Hamby will travel to China over the summer, hoping to bring her cultural lessons back to OLu.

By Mackenzi Greene

Orange Lutheran’s Art Department Chair, Dawn Hamby, has been selected for a fellowship with the 2016 Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Summer Institute on China in partnership with UCLA's Confucius Institute, the Getty, the Institute on East Asian Studies at UC Berkeley, and the San Mateo County Office of Education.

She is one of about 16 teachers selected from applicants across California. The fellowship begins in Los Angeles, studying at UCLA and major local art museums, before heading to China for three weeks following the Silk Road and studying at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The Institute's theme, “Landscape and Perspective,” will focus on Buddhist cave shrines and significant sites located along the Silk Road and the Getty Conservation Institute's collaboration with the Dunhuang Academy to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hamby and others will also examine other evidence of cross cultural landscapes found in Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi'an and Beijing. They will also be conducting a lesson study (i.e. planning, implementing and reporting on a lesson in the Fall semester) and participating in a Teachers Workshop at the Getty Center during the exhibition Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road.

Hamby heard about this opportunity through an email from the Getty for teachers, and immediately jumped on the opportunity, driven by her love for travel and the arts. To apply, she had to submit a sample lesson plan, articulate her reasons for interest, and complete an interview. She is excited to study pieces, such as Buddhist cave temple paintings, as the AP Art History class she teaches has recently added a large amount of Chinese art to the curriculum.

“I met a couple of other candidates who were really impressive, and it makes it all the more amazing that God opened this door for me,” Hamby said. “As I look forward to the trip, I think about getting to know the other teachers and people, and being able to share Christ in the most authentic way there is, which is simply being who you are.”

While Hamby participates in the program, she will be planning a lesson to implement in classes at OLu in the fall that other teachers from the program will observe. Travel has opened her eyes to how big and diverse the world is, but at the core, all people from all cultures have much in common, and those connections are the biggest things taken away.

“I am so thankful to be at this school,” Hamby said of OLu. “This opportunity came because of the people and programs at this school. One amazing part of this is that as an artist and an art teacher, I think art connects all of these other subjects. That’s the real values for students as they study in this area. Art isn’t just about one thing. It’s something that draws together a lot of different skills in a lot of different subjects.”

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Founded in 1973, Orange Lutheran High School is a comprehensive private Christian co-educational college preparatory high school, grades 9-12, that exists to help students internalize the gospel message of salvation in Christ Jesus. The culture and climate of Orange Lutheran are based on caring relationships that strengthen our community as a Lancer Family. High standards of excellence coupled with a warm, energetic atmosphere create a safe, nurturing environment where students can thrive, as they discover and develop their unique gifts, talents, and passions.