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Academics . Liberal Arts . Faculty

Liberal Arts Faculty

Elizabeth Hoag

Title Lecturer
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Anthropology | Prehispanic Civilizations: The Aztec, the Maya + the Inca

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Scott Lax

Title Lecturer
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Screenwriting

Degree BA, English: Hiram College

Scott Lax is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art. He was called "A master wordsmith of the first order" by The Midwest Book Review, was born in Cleveland, Ohio. His first novel, The Year That Trembled, was called "Powerful" and named as one of 1998's Milestones in Fiction by The Denver Post, alongside authors Alice Walker, Phillip Roth, Tim O'Brien, Barbara Kingsolver, Jay McInerney, Stephen King, and Anne Rice. Of his second novel, Vengeance Follows, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and New York Times bestselling author Ron Powers wrote, "Mesmerizing and masterful…Aching suspense…Scott Lax gets inside the head of a lethal sociopath while maintaining a loving evocation of a quiet Ohio town with a Richard Russo-like respect for the human soul."

Scott holds a B.A. in English from Hiram College. While at Hiram he studied Shakespeare's Histories in Cambridge, ran track, and played drums in the Jazz Ensemble. Scott has been a recipient of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bernard J. O'Keefe Scholarship in Nonfiction and Sewanee Writers' Conference Walter E. Dakin Fellowship in Fiction. He was presented with a Resolution of Congratulations for his body of work from Cleveland City Council in 2002 and named the 2002 Midwest Filmmaker of the Year by the Cleveland International Film Festival for the feature film version of The Year That Trembled, for which he was source-writer and producer.

A twice-produced playwright, for his two-act stage adaptation of The Year That Trembled, Lax is an award-winning movie producer, short story writer, nonfiction writer, journalist, speechwriter for national figures, and TV writer who has written for ESPN and Comedy Central, and others.

Scott also periodically leads workshops and presents at writers' conferences and literary organizations. Scott's also a professional drummer who's played with Bo Diddley, among others. He recently finished a screenplay adaptation of Vengeance Follows. Scott lives in the Chagrin Valley with his wife, Lydia, and 8-year-old son, Finn. – July 2019

Thomas Mira y Lopez

Title Lecturer
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Kevin Risner

Kevin Risner

Title ESL Coordinator
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Writing + Inquiry I: Basic Composition + Contemporary Ideas | Writing + Inquiry II: Research + Intellectual Traditions | Writing + Inquiry III: Narrative Forms

Degree MA, English (ESL) from The University of Toledo; Certification in the Teaching of Writing from The University of Toledo; Certification in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages from Oxford Seminars; BA, English from Baldwin-Wallace College

Kevin A. Risner lived and taught English in Turkey for two years, then lived and taught in Toledo for two years while he received his MA in English (ESL). Since then, he has taught writing, narrative theory, and philosophy at John Carroll University, Cuyahoga Community College, and here at CIA. He is currently ESL Coordinator at CIA.

He has written My Ear is a Sieve (Bottlecap Press, 2017) and Lucid (The Poetry Annals, 2018) -- with many other poems in multiple publications.

Mary Assad

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Writing + Inquiry II: Research + Intellectual Traditions | Writing for the Sciences

Degree PhD, English (Case Western Reserve University); MA, English (Case Western Reserve University); BA, History (Baldwin-Wallace College)

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Mark Bassett

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.221.6025 (home)

Courses  American Crafts History | Writing + Inquiry I: Basic Composition + Contemporary Ideas | Writing + Inquiry II: Research + Intellectual Traditions | Writing + Inquiry III: Narrative Forms | Writing about Material Culture

Degree PhD and MA, University of Missouri-Columbia; BA, University of Alabama-Huntsville

For many years, Dr. Bassett has conducted research on CIA's history. With Henry Adams, he is now writing a book about the school. For some examples of his research, visit http://cia.edu/history. At the top of that page, via the link "CIA at CMA," you can see 100 artworks in the Cleveland Museum of Art collection that were created by CIA people between 1882 and the present. A few profiles of historic alumni, like Tiffany lamp designer Clara Driscoll and interior architect and portrait artist Charles Sallée, can also be explored from this page.

On June 11, 2013, Mark Bassett's 1985 Ph.D. dissertation--John Horne Burns: Toward a Critical Biography--was published electronically: http://hdl.handle.net/10355/35623. This account draws from the novelist's correspondence, which, until recently, the family wouldn't allow to be published.

As a collector, dealer, and researcher specializing in American ceramics, Mark frequently speaks on this topic. He and his partner George Cooper were lenders to "The Jazz Age" exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Fall 2017.

Adina Davidson

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

Courses  Basic Theories of Psychology | Jung + Creativity

Danielle Deibel

Title Adjunct Faculty
Department Liberal Arts
Phone 216.421.7000

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