MACIE Student Spotlight: Brian Harrison

As the Center for Puppetry Arts Atlanta wraps up their season of Harold and the Purple Crayon, we’d like to recognize MACIE student, Brian Harrison. Brian is a puppetry artist who just completed his first semester in our program. We enjoyed watching him perform as he made connections between his experiences and the theories and research he was exploring through his coursework. 

Center for Puppetry Arts describes the show as, “[combining] the latest in projection technology with blacklight puppetry to enable Harold to create his world live on stage – in real time.” When we asked Brian how kids could be excited about the innovations in the show, he explained that the puppetiers “used an old theater trick called Peppers Ghost which allows [them] to interact with “drawings” in mid air. Children enjoy guessing what the drawing will be.”

In the MACIE program we invite our students to consider creativity as social interactions and collaborative experiences. We were excited to hear Brian describe his experiences in the show as an experience “which required everyone involved to work together to complete it” and “an excellent exercise in collaborative creativity.” Our goal is for each of our students to make  connections between what they are learning and their personal experiences. Brian’s experiences in this innovative production illustrate the kind of learning we strive for in the MACIE program.

Congrats to Brian and the creative team at the Center for Puppetry Arts for an amazing show!!


Connecting MACIE students with our Community Partners

A central element of our program is building relationships between our students and our partners in the Atlanta creative community. One of our apprenticeship partners, See Beautiful, was founded by Lydia Criss Mays, PhD and this local business is committed to “seeing beautiful in every nook and cranny of the world.” See Beautiful is creating a movement through empowerment, education and strategic giving initiatives. ​Through the sale of inspiring, ethically-sourced products, Mays and the See Beautiful community have donated $190,743 to 134 non-profits. 

Recently, one of our MACIE students was awared a See Beautiful grant for her work with Whole World Improv Theatre. Bethany Rowe works with this non-profit organization to provide acting classes for children and teens with autism, PDD, learning disabilities, and other learning differences. The goal of this program is to provide a safe and fun environment where students can enhance communication, build relationships, and practice social skills. The See Beautiful grant is providing funding for children who otherwise could not have afforded to attend these classes.  Rowe explains that through these drama classes, they are “creating a space where children, teens, and parents can come together and continue to grow in communication as well as self and social acceptance.”

As the MACIE program continues to grow, we are excited to watch our students and our community partners build relationships that will work towards our larger mission to cultivate children’s creative lives. 

We thank See Beautiful and Whole World Improv Theatre for the work they’re doing to support children’s creative and innovative thinking!

Do Millennials Have What It Takes To Be Entrepreneurs?


If you’ve listened to news bites this week, you’ve likely heard the buzz about the majority of Millennials living with their parents. According to a recent study, more Millennials are living with their parents than with a significant other or on their own. These stats are a modern phenomenon because dating back to the 1880’s, 18- to 34-year-olds have always been most likely to live on their own or with a romantic partner. Although this isn’t shocking in light of many characterizations of Millennials, it does raise questions about how we are preparing this highly creative and innovative generation to pursue their dreams. Very few critics dispute the fact that today’s young people are perhaps the most creative and inspired generation in recent history, but Millennials have earned a bad rap when it comes to self-motivation, determination, and grit.

Those who’ve studied entrepreneurs have identified specific characteristics that risk-takers apply to reach their goals. For example, successful entrepreneurs do what they love, but they are also disciplined, organized, ready to compete, financially savvy, and strategic about how they will execute their plans. As educators, we must ask ourselves if we’re equipping our highly creative and innovative students with the skills they need to turn their ideas into action.

We designed the MACIE program to support our students’ individual goals. Those who come to our program seeking to do creative and innovative work with children have the opportunity to select a learning pathway that prepares them to execute their plans. Students with entrepreneurial goals can choose a business path that provides courses about topics like financing, management, and marketing. Some students come to our program to refine their artistic medium and learn how to share their process with children. These students might select a pathway of studio courses through the Fine Arts Department. Those students who seek to enter other fields like education and non-profits also have opportunities to craft pathways that will prepare them to do this work.

When the media is buzzing about Millennials, we should take the opportunity to consider how we’re equipping these 18- to 34-year-olds to take action on their world-changing ideas. If recent data is true, 60% of Millennials consider themselves to be entrepreneurs, but in reality, they’re starting companies at the lowest rate in 25 years. Perhaps we should not only be asking how we can support creative and innovative thinking, but also, how can we prepare students to take action?

If you’re ready to put your plans into action, join us.





Are you ready to start?

This spring, we have welcomed 12 passionate, engaged, and motivated professionals who are committed to cultivating children’s creative lives. These individuals are committed to using their own creative talents and their careers to support children as creative and innovative learners. Currently, our students are taking part in courses that invite them to explore what it means to be a child in the 21st century and how creativity and learning are positioned in multiple ways.

Soon, our students will have opportunities to connect with local organizations that are doing creative and innovative work with children. These experiences will provide them with hands-on-learning experiences that will support them in their personal pursuits.

Applications to begin the MACIE program in Fall 2017 are due May 1st.

Will you join us in cultivating children’s creative lives?

If so, learn more about the application process HERE.

Funding your dreams: Scholarships, Loans, and Financial Information


When considering an advanced degree, we all ask the same questions: how much will it cost and how will I pay for it?

There are numerous opportunities for scholarships, aid, and other forms of financial assistance, but figuring out what applies to you is half the battle. To help you begin your search, we have compiled a list of helpful links for information about the ways Georgia State University can support you through our office of Student Financial Services.

  • Before you search for aid, scholarships, or loan opportunities, it’s important to know how much your degree will cost. Use this COST CALCULATOR to estimate the total cost for completing a Masters Degree at Georgia State.
  • When applying for a graduate degree, make sure you search for scholarships that are designated for graduate students. To simplify this process, you may want to attend a workshop through the Student Financial Services office.
  • For a direct link to a list of scholarships specific to graduate students, click HERE.
  • When you have been officially accepted to a Georgia State Graduate Program, you will have access to a scholarship data base that allows you to search internal and external scholarships that apply to your degree program. Click HERE to access the scholarship database.
  • If you work in K-12 education, you may be eligible for scholarships specific to public-school educators. For more information about opportunities available to educators, check out the scholarships and fellowships through the College of Education and Human Development.
  • Georgia State University now offers a payment plan that allow you to defer payment for up to 50% of the current term’s tuition and mandatory fees OR 50% of their account balance, whichever is less. For more information about this payment plan, click HERE.
  • There may be study abroad opportunities that can apply to your interests. If so, there are funding possibilities through the university. To learn more about study abroad scholarships, click HERE.

As always, we are here to help answer your questions about The Master of Arts in Creative & Innovative Education. If you have specific questions about scholarships and financial aid that are not addressed through these links, your questions will be best answered through the Office of Student Financial Services. Click HERE for their contact information.

Your questions answered: Our program at-a-glance

If you haven’t been able to join us for an in-person informational session, you probably have lots of questions about The Master of Arts in Creative & Innovative Education program. You might be wondering:

  • What can I do with this degree?
  • Who is the ideal candidate?
  • How many semesters does it take to complete the program?
  • What kind of courses will I take?
  • How do I apply?
  • Are there opportunities for financial assistance?

Check out our SlideShare presentation to find answers to these and other questions about the MACIE program. Inside the presentation you’ll find a video, program information, and important web links.

MACIE Aims to Close the Creative Divide One Child at a Time

Our mission is to cultivate children’s creative and innovative thinking and we are looking for individuals who want to join us on this journey. Are you passionate about children, creativity, and innovation? Do you want to work with children in challenging and unique ways? If so, we’d like to invite you to learn more about The Master of Arts in Creative & Innovative Education.

In the latest episode of GSU’s Urban Education podcast, our program director, Dr. Laura Meyers, discusses the design and purpose for the MACIE program. If you have questions about what you’ll learn through our program, the job opportunities this degree will support, or how to apply, check out this discussion. Also, don’t forget to join us for FREE coffee during one of our “Coffee Talk” sessions this week (find the times, dates, and locations HERE).

Want to learn more about MACIE?

We know you have lots of questions about graduate school: Is this program for me? How do I register? When do I register? If you’re interested in cultivating children’s creative and innovative thinking, come talk with us and let us answer your questions.

Check out our upcoming informational sessions, both on and off campus:



Apprenticeships That Connect

MACIE from College of Education & Human Dev on Vimeo.


The word apprentice may carry the dusty sound of a medieval trade, but the concept is vibrantly modern. Apprenticeships have been a launching point for many famous careers. Alexander McQueen apprenticed with a Savile Row tailor on the road to becoming an international fashion designer. Sir Ian McKellen started his acting career by apprenticing with a theatre company decades before he donned cloak and staff as Gandalf. And Elvis Presley trained as an electrician’s apprentice before…well, ok, not all apprenticeships are steps along a direct path.

The definition of an apprentice is “a person who works for another in order to learn a trade.” And yes, that is the stated goal of an apprenticeship: to enter into the work place of an experienced practitioner to watch, learn, and engage in aspects of a trade. But there is another, equally important function of an apprenticeship that is only hinted at in the formal definition—the building of relationships, the establishing of ties, the nurturing of connections. And it is both of these facets of apprenticeship that we foster in MACIE.

As part of the MACIE degree program, students apprentice at a local enterprise that matches their career goals. If their future plans include developing or working for a non-profit, students can apprentice for a semester or more at a local non-profit organization, learning the importance of grants and community relations. If they plan to work as a teaching artist or start an after-school program for children, they can apprentice with an organization that works with area schools. If they intend to launch a start-up focused on children as creative learners, they can apprentice in a like-minded business. And if they want to work in schools as teacher leaders in the area of creative and innovative education, they can apprentice with area educators operating with similar goals.

These apprenticeships lay the ground for networks of relationships, ones designed to enrich not just the student but the larger community as well. But the learning-through-apprenticeship model of the MACIE program doesn’t stop there. The relationships and connections also include strong commitments by the faculty to the students in the program. Faculty see themselves as mentors, taking an active interest in the goals of their students and supporting their learning every step of the way. It’s one of the secrets of the trade: the joy of the job rests in supporting students as they strive to meet their goals.

Courses That Inform

MACIE – Inform from College of Education & Human Dev on Vimeo.

Among the many exciting aspects of today’s world is the availability of information on demand. Want to know how to take a good photo? Google it. Want to be able to name the constellations in the August sky? There’s an app for that.

Technology is changing the ways we learn. The content that used to be enclosed in books and housed on shelves is now open for anyone with access to broadband and an Internet device. And we know that children and adolescents are tapped into those online sites for both learning and pleasure. Research shows that 5- to 9-year olds spend 28 minutes a day on the Internet (Gutnick et al., 2011), 8- to 10-year olds spend 46 minutes a day in recreational computer use, and 11- to 14-year olds spend an hour and 46 minutes (Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010).

So what does that mean for adults who want to work to support children’s creative learning? First, we must learn to be thoughtful about how, when, and where children engage with digital technology. One way to do that is to team up with like-minded people. While apps and how-to videos are good tools for some kinds of learning, they cannot replace the vibrancy and productivity of collaborative learning that takes place in well-designed courses taught by well-informed people who are enthusiastic about the topic and active in the field.

MACIE faculty take several stances toward the development of program courses:

* Classes should be useful and creative spaces that excite adult students’ inquisitiveness and joy.

* Learning should take place in multiple spaces and at flexible times.

* Effective learning should allow for a combination of collaboration and individual work.

* Courses should provide information, inspiration, and opportunities to form relationships and build connections.

Our courses—and the program as a whole—have been developed with these stances in mind. Course content is useful and selected to prepare students to be productive and knowledgeable in the area of creative and innovative education. Instructors are active participants in the content they teach. Classes take place in a variety of modes, some face-to-face, others online or hybrid. To make it easier for students who work full time, courses are offered in the evenings and on weekends. Aware that 21st century learning is built on relationships and collaborations, classes are responsive spaces that respect what students can do individually and together.

Undergirding it all is this primary disposition: we all hold a deep commitment to human curiosity and the wonder and satisfaction that comes with pursuing knowledge and know-how to support children’s creative lives.


Gutnick, A.L., Robb, M., Takeuchi, L., & Kotler, J. (2011). Always connected: The new digital media habits of young children. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Retrieved from content/uploads/2011/03/jgcc_alwaysconnected.pdf

Rideout, V.J., Foehr, U.G., & Roberts, D. F. (2010). Generation M2: Media in the lives of 8- to 18-year olds. Kaiser Family Foundation Report. Retrieved from