By Bernadette Launi
Jonathan Monaghan, assistant professor in the Department of Art at Catholic University, was awarded the Young Faculty Scholar’s Award on Friday April 15th at Catholic University’s inaugural Research Day.
“This award means a lot to me,” Monaghan said. “I work very hard producing and exhibiting my animated films and sculptures and to have my efforts recognized by the school is truly wonderful.”
For each of the past 9 years, the Office of the Provost has honored three distinguished faculty members with the recognition of achievement in the creative arts, achievement in research, and the young faculty scholars award. The selection process entails a nomination by the faculty members’ peers and endorsement of this recommendation by the dean of their individual departments. Upon endorsement, Ralph Albano, Associate Provost for Research, selects a committee of faculty members who reviews the candidates, making recommendations to the Provost who will ultimately make the final selection.
As recipient of the Young Faculty Scholar’s Award, Monaghan was recognized for demonstrating “achievement during the first four years of appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor and promise of potentially significant scholarship,” according to the letter of nomination.
At 29 years old, Monaghan has become recognized at the local, national, and international level for his innovative digital films, 2-dimensional, and 3-dimensional work. He has also had solo exhibitions in Venezuela, Venice, New York City, D.C., and Scotland since 2010. Monaghan has also shown in cities such as Amsterdam and Istanbul, as well as being a part of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah for his animated film Escape Pod. The film was featured in the “New Frontiers” exhibit celebrating artists using the newest forms of technology to further the development of storytelling as a craft.
As for his role at Catholic University, Monaghan runs the digital lab and teaches both basic and advanced skills to the university’s art students. Department chair Nora Heimann finds this ability to teach basic skills despite all of Monaghan’s success to be a great strength for the department.
“With my students here at CUA I try to get them to experiment and think creatively with the digital tools they are already immersed in. I think using technology in the artistic and creative act is essential to thriving in the 21st century, and I am glad this is recognized.”
“We are a small department in a small school, but we are feisty and try to do our best,” said Heimann. “Having someone who has been recognized at the local, national, and international level teaching basic skills, you can’t get much luckier than that.”