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Academics . Liberal Arts . Faculty

Liberal Arts Faculty

Zachary Savich

Title Associate Professor | Interim Chair of Liberal Arts
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Creative Writing Senior Seminar | Writing + Inquiry III: Narrative Forms

Degree MFA, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
MFA, University of Iowa
BA, University of Washington

Zach Savich is a poet and nonfiction writer. His books include the poetry collections Daybed (2018) and The Orchard Green and Every Color (2016) and the memoir Diving Makes the Water Deep (2016).

Savich’s work has received the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Colorado Prize for Poetry, the CSU Poetry Center’s Open Award, a New American Poet citation from the Poetry Society of America, and other honors. His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in journals and anthologies including American Poetry Review, Best New Poets, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily, and the Academy of American Poet’s Poem-a-Day. He serves as co-editor of Rescue Press’s Open Prose Series, an editor at the Cleveland Review of Books, and an associate editor at Tupelo Quarterly

David Hart

David Hart

Title Associate Professor | Assistant Chair of Liberal Arts
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7302

Degree PhD, Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MA, Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BA, Political Science from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Dr. Hart is an Associate Professor of Art History in the Liberal Arts Department. He taught African-American Art at UNC Chapel Hill as well as Wake Forest University before he came to the Cleveland Institute of Art.

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Gary D. Sampson

Title Professor of Art + Design History
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7369

Courses  Critical Issues in Visual Culture

Degree PhD, Art History, University of California, Santa Barbara
MA, Art History, University of California, Santa Barbara
BA, Art and Art History, California State University, Northridge

Gary Sampson teaches art and design history and theory. He is also adjunct in art history and occasional SAGES faculty at Case Western Reserve University. His areas of scholarship are in history of photography, urban design and representation, and media arts and visual culture. His publications include Imag(in)ing Race and Place in Colonialist Photography, with Eleanor Hight, Photographs at St. Lawrence University, with Catherine Tedford, and “Landscape and Fluid Imaging of the Emerging City," in Emerging Landscapes: Between Landscape and Representation. Sampson also engages in practice-based research in photography; one of his ongoing projects investigates city environments, infrastructure, and media.

Cori Winrock

Title Assistant Professor
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Writing + Inquiry III: Narrative Forms

Degree PhD, University of Utah
MFA, Cornell University
BA, Oberlin College

Elizabeth Hoag

Title Lecturer
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Anthropology of Gender Roles | Indigenous Cultures: The Inca, Aztec and Maya | Urban Ethnography

Degree PhD Candidate (ABD), The University at Albany, SUNY
MA, University of Cincinnati
BA, Ithaca College

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Scott Lax

Title Lecturer
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Art of the Personal Essay | Fiction Writing | Screenwriting | Writing + Inquiry I: Basic Composition + Contemporary Ideas | Writing + Inquiry III: Narrative Forms

Degree BA, English, Hiram College

Novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction writer, and producer Scott Lax graduated from Hiram College in English with a concentration in American Studies. While at Hiram he studied Shakespeare at the University of Cambridge in England. Scott currently works as a lecturer in the Liberal Arts Department at the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he teaches Creative Writing.

Scott is a recipient of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bernard J. O'Keefe Scholarship in Nonfiction, and of the Sewanee Writers Conference Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Fiction. "The Scott Lax Prize in Writing," established "in recognition of novelist Scott Lax of Ohio," was endowed anonymously by a former student of Scott's and was awarded yearly between 2008 and 2014 as a full-ride scholarship to the week-long Wild Acres Writers Workshop in South Carolina.

Scott was inducted into the Chagrin Falls Schools' 2016 Achievement Hall of Fame, and in 2002, at the premier of the film The Year That Trembled, the City of Cleveland presented Scott with a Certificate of Congratulations for his body of work.

He is the recipient of two short fiction awards, as well as six journalism awards from the Cleveland Press Club's Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards and the Ohio Professional Writers Association for his essays, features, series, and commentary. As an essayist, Lax wrote human interest, profiles, humor, and opinion essays. His 2008 magazine column, "The Paddle and the Damage Done," was used by anti-corporal punishment organizations to help persuade the Ohio legislature to ban corporal punishment in schools, which they did in July 2019, becoming the 13th state to do so. Working with Native American groups, Lax also argued extensively in print, beginning in 1992, against the Cleveland Indians use of the team’s name and racist mascot, “Chief Wahoo,” which was finally banned by the Indians – now Cleveland Guardians as of 2022.

For his role as producer of the feature film version of his novel, The Year That Trembled, Scott was awarded the Midwest Filmmaker of the Year by the Cleveland International Film Festival; the Producer's Award, Winner, People's Choice, Cincinnati International Film Festival; the Producer's Award, Winner, Best Regional Feature, Cincinnati International Film Festival; and Bessie's People's Choice Award, Burlington, Vermont City Arts, Favorite Film.

The Boston Herald wrote of Scott's film, "Memorable…beautifully reflects the depth of experience of the late 60s and early 70s …a touching glimpse into the lives of young people enmeshed in the political and emotional climate of the times."

The Denver Post called his novel, The Year That Trembled, "powerful" and named it as one of the year's "milestones in fiction" listing it alongside books by authors such as Alice Walker, Stephen King, Ann Rice, Tim O'Brien, Andrea Barrett, and Phillip Roth.

Lax adapted his novel as a two-act full-length play directed by Carol Jaffee Pribble, which premiered at Cleveland's University School in 2003 to sold-out audiences and was again produced in 2013 at US. As of the summer of 2022, Scott has rewritten the play for national community and professional theatres.

Scott's second novel, Vengeance Follows, was called "A minor masterpiece of suspense and human nature," by the Midwest Book Review. His screenplay adaptation of the novel is currently being shopped.

Lax has also worked as a journalist, business professional and executive, speechwriter for social justice leaders and others. He has also been a frequent presenter and speaker at libraries, workshops, schools, and writers' conferences, and gave the 2001 Commencement Address at Hiram College

As a freelance writer and content creator he's written for dozens of clients such as Comedy Central, ESPN, and Oracle. He's also worked in television, most recently as co-creator and co-writer of a television pilot with comedy legends Martin Mull and Fred Willard, filmed at the PBS ideastream studios in Cleveland, Ohio.

A professional drummer, Scott has performed with many musicians around the country, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bo Diddley.

Scott cites as influences filmmakers François Truffaut, Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, and Stanley Kubrick; poets Walt Whitman and Pablo Neruda; and authors James Baldwin, Hermann Hesse, Tim O'Brien, Gabriel García Márquez, Joan Didion, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is also an admirer of the works of many current artists, such as Vietnamese-American poet and novelist Ocean Vuong, author Ta-Nehisi Coates, and filmmakers Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig, and Bong Joon-ho.

Scott Lax lives in the Chagrin Valley with his wife Lydia and son Finn. – May 2022

Jonathan Rosati

Title Lecturer | Coordinator of Writing Center + Learning Center
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.8018

Courses  Writing + Inquiry II: Research + Intellectual Traditions

Alyssa Perry

Title Faculty-in-Residence
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Degree MFA, University of Iowa
BA, University of Iowa

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