Arts and Architecture appoints interim graphic design head for spring

Darrin Thornton

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State College of Arts and Architecture has appointed Darrin Thornton, associate dean for academic affairs and outreach, as the interim head of the Department of Graphic Design in the Stuckeman School for the spring 2024 semester while Joel Priddy, the current interim head, is on sabbatical.

Thornton, who has been a faculty member in the School of Music since 2010, was named one of six Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program fellows from Penn State for the 2022-23 academic year. He served as the assistant director of the School of Music prior to his appointment as associate dean in July 2020 and previously held two additional administrative posts at Penn State since his arrival on campus in 2002. His research interests as a teaching professor of music include teacher preparation and continued professional development, educational equity, access, and outreach, learning in ensemble settings, and lifelong music engagement.

“Darrin is an experienced administrator and, through his position as associate dean for academic affairs and outreach, is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of all the college's academic programs,” said B. Stephen Carpenter II, Michael J. and Aimee Rusinko Kakos Dean. “I am grateful he has agreed to take on this role during a transitional period for the Department of Graphic Design.”

Thornton earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, master’s degrees from National Louis University and the University of Missouri, and a doctorate from Penn State.