05 April 2009

VCUQatar bids farewell to Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Charles Bleick

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar held a reception luncheon in honor of Dr. Charles Bleick, who, after over 30 years of service to Virginia Commonwealth University as a teacher and administrator, is retiring at the end of June of 2009. The reception was held in the atrium at VCUQatar.

Besides VCUQatar faculty, staff and students, Dr. Abdullah Al Thani, Vice-President of Education for the Qatar Foundation, Dr. Saif Al Hajari, Vice-Chairman of Qatar Foundation and the deans from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies and the director of Academic Bridge Program also attended the reception.

“It is a great pleasure to be standing here today, honoring Dr. Charles Bleick on his retirement, celebrating his time with the University and the esteem in which he is held,” said VCUQatar Dean Allyson Vanstone in her speech that went on to elaborate Dr. Bleick’s achievements in a career that spans over three decades. Dean Vanstone thanked Dr. Bleick for his contribution to VCUQatar’s excellence and hoped he would continue to be a part of the proud VCU community for many years to come. Dean Vanstone also thanked Victoria Bleick, Dr. Bleick’s wife, for the role she played at VCUQatar as Library Specialist. Dean Vanstone was joined by Dr. Saif Al Hajari and senior faculty who reminisced about their association with Dr. Bleick and his many contributions to the VCU community.

Dr. Bleick said he was exceptionally proud of his time at VCU and enjoyed working with everybody and was now looking forward to the new direction his life was taking.

Dr. Bleick received his B.A degree in drawing and painting from the California State University in 1967. He then got his Master’s in 1970 and proceeded to earn his Ph.D. from the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (College and University Teaching), in 1979. Dr. Bleick’s association with Virginia Commonwealth University goes back to 1976, when he joined the Art Education department as Assistant Professor teaching art/museum education and foundation design. He was then appointed as Director of the Art Foundation Program and Associate Professor of Art Education at the School between 1981 and 1997 and then became Chair of the Department of Art Education until 2004 after which he moved to Qatar as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Bleick’s accomplishments include his role as a member of various organizations promoting and supporting the arts, like the College Art association, The National Art Education Association and Museum Education Division to name, but a few. He has also lent his support to diverse community organizations and has steered various committees as Chairman and member. His scholarly, professional and research experience has been extensive and encompasses work done as far back as 1974 to the more recent presentation entitled Translating a Western Approach to Art Foundation to a Design Program in the Middle East which he co-presented with Donald Crow and Kathleen Ferguson-Huntington at the Foundations in Art: Theory and Education 2007 Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in April 2007. He has also participated as a consultant, guest curator, designer, project director and panelist on various projects over these past three decades.

Dr. Bleick has been felicitated on numerous occasions as well with special awards, fellowships and other honors some of which include the Virginia Art Educator of the Year Award from the National Art Education Association, the 1997 Foundations in Art: Theory and Education (FATE) Award and in 2004, a Project grant ($5700) from the Memorial Foundation for Children for the Blackwell Summer Arts Program.

Virginia Commonwealth University thanks Dr. Bleick for his service and wishes him well on his retirement.

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