Lorien Leyden’s thesis work has continued past her graduation in August of 2019. She presented her research on inclusivity in the art classroom for LGBTQ+ students at the Vermont Art Teacher’s Association (VATA) annual conference and has recently taken on the role of Curriculum Chair for the National Art Education Association’s (NAEA) LGBTQ+ Interest Group.

In December 2019, Lorien wrote, “My experience in the VCFA MA in Art & Design Education program awakened in me a passion for social justice. The focus of our classes went way beyond the art classroom and encouraged us to realize the potential we have as educators to provoke reflection with our students and in our own work. Four months after graduation, I have presented my thesis work, have become a board member of a National Art Educators’ Association (NAEA) Interest Group, and I plan to work towards publishing my thesis work. For me, VCFA was the beginning of an incredible journey of social justice through art education.”