Doan named director of ADRI

William J. Doan, 2019–20 Penn State Laureate, professor of theatre and artist-in-residence in the College of Nursing, has been named director of the Arts and Design Research Incubator (ADRI). School of Music faculty member Mark Ballora, who died unexpectedly on July 18, had previously been scheduled to take on the director role.

Doan has been an affiliate faculty member in ADRI and was part of the first group of ADRI embedded researchers in 2012. His current work explores the intersections of art, science and health through interactive experiences‚ including performances, workshops and discussions‚ that address issues of living with anxiety and depression.

“I look forward to helping shape the future of the ADRI, and continuing the work of connecting our college collaboratively to research interests across Penn State,” said Doan.

Doan is a past president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and was recently inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. He has co-authored three books and several plays, and created solo performance projects at a variety of venues across the United States and abroad. His current work includes a new performance piece, Frozen in the Toilet Paper Aisle of Life, part of a larger project titled The Anxiety Project. Work from this project includes multiple short graphic narratives published in the Annals of Internal Medicine/Graphic Medicine.

“Bill has been a valued researcher and faculty member in the ADRI since its inception, and we are grateful he is willing to take on the directorship of the ADRI at this moment,” said Mallika Bose, interim associate dean for research, creative activity and graduate studies in the College of Arts and Architecture. “As a longtime administrator and interdisciplinary researcher with faculty connections across the University, he is uniquely qualified to serve as the director and to provide the type of leadership that will help other College of Arts and Architecture faculty members pursue their own collaborative research and creative projects.”

Operating within the College of Arts and Architecture Research Office, ADRI provides seed funding, technical support and workspace to high-impact arts and design research projects that, although often in their initial stages, have a strong probability of attracting future external funding. In keeping with goals outlined in the college’s strategic plan, ADRI projects are typically collaborative and interdisciplinary in nature, push methodological boundaries, link research and teaching, make innovative use of technology, engage with University-wide research initiatives and priorities, and have the potential to garner national and international recognition. ADRI also coordinates and hosts a range of programming designed to foster and support innovative arts research and its broad dissemination. For more information, visit